Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions with regard to massage and Mercier therapy:

What can I expect from a massage at Sparrow's Nest?

You can expect a nurturing and professional massage in which your specific concerns are addressed by a caring and competent therapist. Sessions are both nurturing and strong where appropriate. They are tailored to your trimester and address your particular concerns and requests.

We use rhythmic motions to reassure your nervous system before gradually sinking into muscle tissue to unlock stored tension. Sessions are like a lullaby for the body; reconnecting mind, body and spirit and helping facilitate the growing bond between you and your baby.

We'll ask you to fill out an intake form and discuss your health history and your goals and preferences before you get on the massage table. Our therapists are highly trained and experienced, and our aim is to tailor a session that best fits your needs. While we are very intuitive, we also invite and encourage your feedback during a session. If you'd like more or less pressure, would like to spend a little more time in a certain area, or just want to be educated about what we're doing, just let us know! This is your session, and we're honored to support you.

What are the benefits of prenatal massage?

Here are a few common complaints addressed by prenatal massage:

 - Edema, Sciatica and other leg and hip discomforts, Ribcage pain or shortness of breath, Lower back and pelvic pain, cramps and spasms, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Sleeplessness

Some benefits of prenatal massage:

 - Decrease of stress and anxiety, Reduction of physical discomforts, Promotion of relaxation and normal blood-pressure, Emotional support and physical nurturing, Promotion of shorter, less painful labors and reduction of complications and interventions, Improvement of blood and lymph circulation and support of healthy physiological pregnancy, Enhanced kinesthetic awareness or the ability to "tune in" to your body and your baby resulting in feeling better-prepared for birth

Is it safe to get a massage during my first trimester? Contrary to what many people think, yes, it is safe to receive a massage in your first trimester. There is NO evidence that massage increases the likeliness of miscarriage, but because most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, many massage establishments avoid it for liability reasons. This is a shame, especially when many women could greatly benefit during this time from the relaxation engendered by massage as well helping to remedy pre-pregnancy tension before it compounds later in pregnancy. That beings said, it is wise to receive sessions from a therapist specially trained in prenatal massage. With us, you are in good hands!

Is it safe to have deep tissue work included in my prenatal massage?

Yes, deep tissue work is safe with a qualified therapist who understands pregnant anatomy. Some deep work may be necessary to achieve the lengthening and release we look for to help you feel lighter, aligned, and more comfortable in your body. Along the way, there are some acupressure points to be avoided and we will effortlessly steer clear of those while working slowly and attentively to relieve your discomforts.

Is it safe to have my feet worked on while I am pregnant?

Yes, you can have your tired feet massaged. While it is true that there are acupressure points in the ankle and feet that should not be held with deep pressure for a sustained period of time, you can rest assured that we know how to navigate the body safely.

What are the benefits of postpartum massage?

Here are a few of the most common complaints addressed by postpartum massage:

 - Postpartum fatigue, Neck and shoulder pain, aka “New Mother’s Neck”, wrist and  forearm pain, pelvic or tailbone pain.

Some benefits of postpartum massage:

 - Promotion of healing, including post-cesarean scars, Restoration of abdominal and weight-bearing muscles & joints, Physical and emotional support to new moms adjusting to demands of infant care.

Do you only do massages for pregnancy? 

No, we also offer therapeutic massage for women and men, as well as Mercier Therapy for women wanting to conceive. Sparrow's schedule only allows her to work with women, but the rest of our team are available for the wonderful men in your lives.

Do you support all family structures?

Yes, we welcome everyone; surrogate mothers, single mothers, young mothers, teen mothers, mother's who conceived with the help of IVF, same-sex or hetero couples and anyone in between. 

What kind of oil do you use in your treatments?

We use a nut-free, unscented, 100% natural professional grade oil blend by Pure Pro which leaves skin feeling clean, not greasy. We also have a few essential oils to choose from if you enjoy the relaxing effects of aromatherapy.

How many sessions do you recommend during pregnancy?

 Two treatments per month is usually ideal up to 36 weeks of pregnancy. From 36 weeks until delivery, weekly appointments are highly recommended. This is simply a guideline to get the most out of your care as massage yields its best results cumulatively over time. We are thrilled to serve you at any interval that works for your schedule and budget. We also offer discounts on packages.

How many sessions do you recommend after baby arrives?

We recommend at least three postnatal sessions within the first four months. After four months, we recommend you come in every 4-6 weeks for maintenance. The postpartum period truly lasts at least a full year, and we support many women beyond that time frame as well. Receiving nurturing bodywork during your child-bearing years has far reaching effects on your ability to nurture your new baby and your growing family. 

What if I go into labor and have to cancel?

There's never a penalty if you have to cancel due to labor. We love what what we do, and want to support women as much as possible leading up to the birth of their baby. We'd rather you have an appointment scheduled and end up needing to cancel, than to need one and not have one set up.

Are there any times that massage should be avoided?

If you have an active infection, skin infection, fever, cold or flu, massage should be avoided. Please reschedule if you have any of these conditions.

What length of session should I choose?

We offer both 60 minute and 90 minute sessions. Sixty minute sessions can focus on either a specific focus area, or on full body relaxation. Ninety minutes gives us time to do both focused work on a particular concern as well as a more "global" full body treatment.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel or reschedule, please give at least 48 hours notice. Cancellations with less than 48 hours notice will warrant payment for the scheduled appointment. Please reschedule if you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms. There is no fee for rescheduling due to illness with 2 hours notice, onset of labor, or a true emergency. Thank you for honoring this policy.

What are your massage specialties?

 We are specialists in  pre & postnatal massage, labor-prep &  labor induction, pelvic pain relief, C-section scar rehabilitation, and Mercier Therapy for conception support.

What is Mercier Therapy?

Mercier Therapy is an external deep pelvic visceral manipulation technique focused on restoring blood flow and proper positioning of the uterus and ovaries within the pelvis. The "Shared Journey Fertility Program" is a prescribed course of Mercier Therapy to help support conception.

Is there anyone who shouldn't  have Mercier Therapy?

Yes. Anyone with an IUD, Essure, current pelvic infection, or cancer cells present cannot receive this therapy. Women with endometriosis cannot receive this therapy during their menstrual cycle. We would resume treatment after menstruation ceases.

What's the success rate of conception?

In a 4 year case study concluded in 2012, 83% of participants became pregnant within one year of completing the program. To read more about the case study,  please click here

Why is the fertility work structured as a program?

The work is structured as a total of six hours of treatment for successful outcomes as well as accountability. We share this journey with you to support your towards your ultimate conception success. Generally the work is structured as 6 one hour sessions, spaced one week a part. This timing can be condensed if there’s travel required to access treatment, or if you’re preparing for a medically assisted cycle.

What will the work feel like?

Mercier Therapy is deep, precise, organ-level work. If there are any restrictions in the pelvis, the work may be uncomfortable, but should not be painful. We will work with you to coordinate your breath with some of the deeper work to alleviate discomforts should they arise.

How does Mercier Therapy compare to IVF treatment?

Mercier Therapy is a natural means of promoting fertility by optimizing the function of the reproductive organs. It works by promoting blood flow and releasing scar tissue in the pelvis from a sedentary lifestyle, past C-section or other abdominal surgeries, accidents, sexual trauma or traumatic birth, or endometriosis. It may be used as a stand-alone therapy or as a preparation of the body for IUI or IVF treatments to help augment the chances of a successful ART cycle. Unlike IVF, Mercier Therapy is non-invasive, more cost effective, has no long-term health consequences, and is often more emotionally supportive of the woman and her partner.

What makes Sparrow unique in her approach to Mercier Therapy?

Sparrow has worked extensively with women preparing for motherhood. She is adept at supporting women and their partners during emotionally "charged" and vulnerable times. In addition, Sparrow's advanced massage training add elements of soothing and relaxation which compliment the deeper precise work that  Mercier Therapy entails.

What happens if I conceive before the end of my treatment program?

Any remaining sessions may be used after delivery. This work is very helpful post-delivery as well.

How much does the "Shared Journey Fertility Program" cost?

The cost of the program is $2,800 which is to be paid prior to the first treatment of the 'Shared Journey Fertility Program." To find out more, please feel free to come in for a consult that will include a full health history intake and a pelvic mobility assessment. The cost of the consult is $200. Should you decide  you'd like to move forward with the entire journey, the $200 consult fee will be applied toward the total cost of the program. Please keep in mind that the average cost of IVF treatment in California is $12,400, with a 28% average rate of conception.

Is it covered by insurance?

No. Mercier Therapy is not generally covered by insurance. However, we’re happy to provide a detailed receipt of service for you to submit for possible reimbursement of treatment costs by your provider.


We hope these answers have been helpful! If you have other questions please click "Contact" and send us a message.