I provide modern, evidence-informed bodywork to all kinds of people, for all kinds of reasons.
I treat comprehensively. Every time you visit, we unwind your entire musculature and settle your nervous system. It's pretty great. Here's what you get:
Many of my clients are regulars who have a monthly appointment with me as a kind of ongoing healthcare and performance tuning. These are people who understand that maintenance is the way — that regularly helping your body makes life healthier, less stressful, and more fun.
Regular appointments are not required. You can also come see me occasionally, or just once.
My message to you: helping your body helps everything.
— Mike Papciak
In-office appointments are two hours. Cost is $450, no gratuity. A first appointment is usually forty minutes assessment and consultation, and an hour-twenty on the table. Subsequent sessions are usually ten minutes checking in, and an hour-fifty on the table.
I also offer 60-minute video sessions. Cost is $225, no gratuity. Working virtually, I provide assessment, consultation, self-treatment instruction, and practical ways to deal with problems and feel good in the body you have right now.
It's totally unlike traditional massage. Will you like the way I work, and find it helpful? Read this and you'll know.
Surprise #1) It costs what other professional services cost in this area. Historically, massage therapy has cost much less than other private-practice healthcare or professional services. This is changing. Science! Everybody knows now: stress kills.
Surprise #2) It doesn't hurt a lot. Fifty years ago, practitioners thought they changed the body by pressing really hard on it, so people came to think that bodywork had to be painful and intense to be effective. That's how you know you're getting serious therapy, and not some wimpy spa massage — right?
In fact, pressure is placebo. Decades of contemporary research show that we do not change human tissue by pressing really hard on it. The truth is more complex.
Your brain is in charge of your muscles — how tight they are and how painful they are. Our session helps you feel better and perform better, but not because we dug some bad stuff out of your body, and not because we forced your tissue to obey. You feel better and perform better because your nervous system, reassured and guided by touch, feels safe enough to allow your body to unclench. That's how it works, folks. More of that pesky science stuff, true whether we like the sound of it or not.
When I explain this, some people think the work will be delicate. It's not that, either. It's not dainty or artificially gentle. And it's not uselessly painful. It's a middle way.
Surprise #3) We never spend the entire session working only on "the problem." We carefully treat your whole body every time, because — as you may have heard — it's all connected. It may seem like your problem is in just one spot or one muscle, but the human body is never actually like that. Science again: your body is a complex system, where everything affects everything, in ways that are not always predictable or controllable. So we treat broadly. We address specific complaints like headaches or knee pain by working with the entirety of your musculature and your nervous system.
Surprise #4) Relaxing and enjoying the session amplifies its benefit. You can't switch over to repair mode unless your nervous system feels safe and comfortable. What I do feels good. When you relax and enjoy the session, the downregulation of your nervous system produces a surge of neurochemical and hormonal benefits. I call it burping the brain. The bad molecules chill out and the good molecules flourish, boosting immunity, recovery, and performance.
Surprise #5) A permanent fix never arrives. This is because you are a living organism. Your body cannot be permanently fixed. Your body is maintained. Hello, reality.
Surprise #6) I'm only part of your solution. It would be nice if you could just come see me from time to time, and your body wouldn't need anything else. This won't happen. You'll only thrive, or heal, or improve sustainably if you also take care of yourself in other departments like strength, sleep, mental health, and nutrition. Yep: more reality.
Surprise #7) It's not emergency medicine. If you just destroyed your shoulder in the gym yesterday, or your back spasmed and now you're crawling to the bathroom, it's too late for me to help much. Come see me when you're out of catastrophe, if you want to work preventatively to keep it from happening again.
Surprise #8) It's not what is often presented as "sports massage." I am a lifelong athlete myself, and sometimes high-profile athletes come see me and say nice things in public, so I get a lot of interest from the athletic community. I return the honor by being clear, before you spend time and money, about what I see in my practice again and again: that many athletes arrive with the wrong ideas — yes, the wrong ideas — about what bodywork can accomplish. What it's for. The two biggies are: we fix you by hammering on the problem spots, and the heavier we hammer, the better. Both are untrue. Anti-science, even. These are powerful but false beliefs, stubbornly hanging on in sports culture despite modern pain science and other research.
If you want to focus all of the attention on your symptoms, instead of the system, and if you want to feel hammered and sore afterward, you'll be happier elsewhere.
If you want to feel expertly untangled from head to toe, totally refreshed for a season or a comp or a project or a deload, more mobile and supple, stronger because you have more range and fewer hiccups, and feel you've done something deeply restorative for the body that you flog so hard, come see me. Secret weapon!
Surprise #9) There's no fancy name for it. It's my own method and I like that simple word for it: bodywork. I am working with your body. There are no gimmicks. My tools are hand skill, expertise, and kindness. I use myofascial and deep-tissue techniques, non-physician osteopathic techniques, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, relational therapy, structural integration from the Rolfing/Hellerwork tradition, some ideas and tools from the ancient instrument-assisted and manual therapies gua sha and tui na, and some ideas from Zen practice, like staying with reality instead of what sounds appealing but isn't true. I untangle your body, settle your nervous system, and tune you up for recovery, performance, and health.
There's no waiting room. I meet you at the building entrance and we go directly to my office.
Like many healthcare providers, I wear a mask to protect myself during treatment, while we're indoors in close quarters. Client masking is currently optional if you are symptomless. I always have surgical masks on hand if you want one or need one.
I wipe everything down between appointments just like you'd hope I do. There's no sharing of linens between clients. All linens are dried in a hot dryer before use.
I run a couple HEPA filters and there's a ceiling exhaust fan in the treatment room.
I wear nitrile gloves, which might seem unusual in a massage therapy setting, but my method unwinds the deeper structures of the body, instead of gliding on its surface. Gloves are no impediment.
Copyright © 2023 Mike Papciak