Massage therapy is a wonderful thing to experience, as you probably already know. There are, however, a surprising number of people out there who have never visited a professional massage therapist – either because they’re unsure of what to expect, or because the idea of receiving a massage may be uncomfortable. But for most people, one professional experience is enough to make them want to book another session in the near future.
1. Where did you receive your training and certification?
Anybody can give a massage, and some people are naturally talented. You’ve probably had a friend or family member rub your shoulders, and been surprised at how much tension was released. But working as a professional therapist is another matter altogether. Reputable programs put students through a rigorous program involving hundreds of hours (600 hours is a reliable indicator of a quality school) involving a blend of classroom teaching and hands-on training with real patients.
2. How long have you been treating patients
Years of experience aren’t the only thing that matters in the world of massage therapy. There are obviously some fantastic therapists out there who haven’t been working as a professional therapist for very long – give them time and their reputation will be as strong as anyone else’s. That said, experience can be a very important indicator of quality and skill. It means the therapist in question has stuck with it, and has treated hundreds (or even thousands) of patients. Their methods are often more refined. They’ve developed their own unique style within the parameters of their professional training, and they’re more relaxed and attuned to the needs of each patient.
3. How can massage therapy help my specific condition?
One of the most important factors in receiving quality massage therapy is maintaining open communication with your therapist. That means asking about specific techniques or methods that might ease your lower back pain, or sooth an injury from which you may be recovering. When a professional therapist knows about your specific therapy goals and what you’re trying to achieve through massage therapy, they’re much better equipped to deliver quality treatments that make a real difference. The best therapist will, of course, proactively seek this information – especially from people who are new to massage therapy and aren’t quite sure what to expect.
Working with a professional massage therapist
Massage therapy is one of those areas that attracts a lot of different people with a lot of different educational backgrounds. Unfortunately, there are probably “therapists” operating in your area who aren’t even licensed to do so. These people tend to appear suddenly with quickly-designed web sites or listings on popular business directories, and they tend to disappear just as quickly. The best professionals will have quality training and certification from a reputable school. Those that have been in business for time will have high review scores on popular sites like Yelp, Google and Facebook. Choose a highly professional therapist with a strong reputation, and you’re more likely to reap all the amazing benefits of this therapeutic practice!