Massages are a great way to relax and unwind while relieving soreness and tension. Over time, your body can hold on to stress and tightness in your muscles. When you go to a massage therapist, they work out the tightness using specific techniques to promote healing and muscle restoration.
How do you know when a massage therapist is right for you? Here are eight things you should consider when looking for the right massage therapist.
Read Reviews Online
Most massage therapists have established practices with their own business websites. Do some digging and read what others have to say about the professional you’re interested in working with.
Online reviews can tell you what the massage therapist’s work style, personality, and patient care are like. That way, you can make sure you’re working with a therapist that will honor your individual needs and preferences.
Identify Your Massage Needs
Massage therapy is a broad category of bodywork encompassing many different styles and techniques. You’ll therefore want to think about what your body needs to feel better and which massage styles will be most beneficial for you.
For example, people with nagging injuries might get relief from deep tissue massage, while those looking purely for relaxation would probably enjoy a steamy hot stone massage. Having a clear idea of what you want will help you find a professional who can give it to you.
Evaluate Their Credentials
Massage therapists have to obtain certain credentials to work with clients. You should always check a therapist’s credentials before working with them. In general, massage therapists should at least have a massage license and board certification. This shows that they’ve acquired the knowledge and skills needed to safely work with patients in a therapeutic setting.
Some massage therapists are also affiliated with professional groups. Group memberships keep massage therapists up-to-date on current regulations, new research, and best practices . This is a bonus if you are looking to work with a serious professional.
Consider Their Availability
In most cases, massage therapists have the freedom to set their own hours. This means your massage therapist might not be available during the same hours you are. If you have limited windows in which to schedule appointments during the day, it’s important to find a professional whose availability matches your own.
For example, if you work a nine-to-five job, you’ll want to find a massage therapist who can schedule sessions after 5:00 p.m. That way, you’ll be able to get in some post-work relaxation before heading home.
Look at Booking Schedules Online
These days, most massage therapists offer online booking services. Check out their availability before you commit to receiving their services. You can also reach out to the massage therapist and ask for specific appointment times. They may be willing to accommodate your schedule.
Visit the Massage Space in Advance
When you go in for a massage, you want to feel at ease. To this end, you might ask the massage therapist if you can have a look around their space before you come in for your scheduled appointment.
Don’t be afraid to ask the therapist questions during your initial visit. Do they use oils? Do they play music? Is the room temperature controlled? These sorts of considerations can play a part in determining how comfortable you are during your appointment.
These are all important factors in choosing the right massage therapist. If you don’t feel relaxed during your massage, the experience may do more harm than good. Visiting the massage space before your first appointment can give you peace of mind and help you build a trusting relationship with your therapist.
Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways massage therapists boost their businesses.
If you have friends and loved ones who work with their own massage therapists, ask them for a referral. You might find an amazing professional this way, especially if you have similar preferences or needs as the person who referred you.
Learn About Different Massage Techniques
As the client, you’re more empowered when you have information available to you. Do some research about different massage techniques and the benefits they offer. For example, if you’re an athlete or perform hard physical labor every day, sports massage might be best for you. This type of massage focuses on relieving pain and inflammation while enhancing range of motion .
How Massage Therapy Benefits Your Health
It can be helpful to know some of the physical benefits of massage therapy before you head into your first appointment.
One of the biggest benefits of massage is that it increases circulation to regions that need healing. When you experience pain and soreness, it’s often because your muscles are in need of better blood flow. Different massage therapy techniques accomplish this in different ways, so it can help to have some prior knowledge before making a decision.
Try Different Providers
This last tip is important: don’t be afraid to switch massage therapists if you’re not satisfied with your care. Everyone has different needs, and any professional worth their salt recognizes this. If you’re not getting the results you want from your massage sessions, it just makes sense to try a different provider.
Trial and error is a natural part of finding the perfect massage therapist. Unless you get lucky on your first try, there’s really no way around it. But the try-on process comes with its own advantages — you’ll learn how different professionals do things and get some experience with different styles and techniques, which will help you form a clearer idea of what you’re looking for.
Find Your Ideal Massage Professional
Finding the perfect massage therapist can be time-consuming, but the results are often well worth the wait. Don’t be surprised to see a tremendous improvement in your physical, mental, and emotional well-being once you’ve found a therapist willing to cater to your specific needs.
Bottom line: massage can be an incredible tool for relaxation, recovery, and overall health. Give your body the gift of massage therapy and see for yourself what a difference it can make.