Massage a wonderful thing to do for yourself, but not all massage therapists are created equal. How can you find the best massage therapist? What can you do to make your massage session better?
-Original Article at ehow.com
Word of mouth is the best way to find a massage therapist. Ask your friends, coworkers, chiropractor, hair stylist, anyone you know for recommendations. Discuss the kind of massage you’d like to get, and how you would like to feel at the end of the massage. Do you prefer deep pressure or a more relaxing massage? Do you prefer oil or lotion? Do you think you would prefer the more Asian pressure point style of massage or a more Western circulatory type massage? Find out who your friends recommend, but also why they like a specific therapist.
Ask the massage therapist a lot of questions before scheduling an appointment. For accountability, a therapist should be appropriately licensed and should be a member of a professional association with a code of ethics and liability insurance.
The therapist should be willing to tell you his or her educational background and experience. Therapists should have formal training in the massage techniques they practice. They should be able to tell you what techniques they use, what the purpose and effect of each technique is, and how many hours of training they have had in each technique.
Visit the therapist’s office to see how it is organized and cleaned. Clutter, dust and dirt, and unpleasant odors indicate a less than clean and sanitary establishment. Ask to see the therapist’s intake form. Massage therapists should definitely ask questions about your health and keep a record of the discussion. There are some massage techniques that can cause harm when performed on the wrong person.
When you schedule your massage, discuss your expectations with the therapist. Really try to communicate what you need, the kind of massage work you would like to experience, areas of pain or concern. Ask as many questions as you need to. The therapist can do a better job if he or she knows what you want and need. Feel free during the massage to ask the therapist to change what he or she is doing if it doesn’t seem to be what you asked for.
Expect the therapist to show respect for your privacy. The therapist shouldn’t ask personal questions that don’t pertain to the massage itself. The therapist should leave when you undress or dress. The therapist should keep you modestly covered at all times. Your private areas, such as your genitals and for women your breasts, should never be exposed. It is absolutely unprofessional and illegal to do so and you should report any therapist who does so to the employer, the professional association and/or the licensing agency.
Give your therapist feedback after the massage. Tell him or her what you liked, what seemed to work for you, and what you would like done differently next time. Communication and respect are important factors in developing a good relationship with your massage therapist.
I am a licensed professional in the state of Illinois (AMA) and have been working as a chicago and chicago suburb top massage therapist since 1990. Please contact me @ 630-213-9102 with any questions or if you would like to setup an appointment. Thank you!
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