What Do I Have to Do to Get a Good Massage?- By Stacey Kirkland
By Stacey KirklandAugust 02, 2010
If you want to make sure you get a good massage and not waste your time and money, the key is to ask the right questions.
A few questions can make the difference between bitter disappointment and massage heaven.
If you have any goals for the treatment, make them known. Make sure that your massage therapist can accommodate your goals. If for instance, you like a firmer massage and you make an appointment with somebody who's typical massage is a light Swedish, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.
The better a massage therapist gets at a modality, the more they will pull it out of their bag of tricks. If a therapist is good at therapeutic techniques and deep tissue, they'll usually tell you their massages are deeper or firmer. Somebody who typically does lighter work will tell you their massage is geared more toward relaxation, or they may say that they do more of a Swedish massage which is described as long, relaxing (and generally lighter) strokes.
A good tip is to talk to your therapist about their massage. You may ask them~
How would you describe your typical massage? Is it a firmer touch or a lighter massage?
You may think that asking somebody how long they've been doing massage therapy is a good measure of talent, and it can be, but not always. I've had lots of massages from long practicing massage therapists who's massage lacked talent and/or effort. People get burned out with all kinds of jobs. Massage therapists aren't any different. The rub is, you don't want to end up on their table if you can help it.
A massage therapist once told me that she refused to lift any limbs anymore. She said it's too much effort. This was from a woman who had been doing massage therapy for over 10 years. Seriously? Who wants to pay somebody good money if they can't even be bothered to lift your arm?
Clearly, talent is not just about how long a massage therapist has been practicing, it's much more about wanting to do your best and loving what you do. I've had really good massages from new graduates with great attitudes.
Talk to your massage therapist about how long they've been doing massage therapy, if they still enjoy it, and why. See if you can sense some joy and enthusiasm when they speak about their work.
A good massage therapist will make it their business to not only give good massages, but to get good massages.
At first, you may be wondering what this has to do with them giving you a good massage, but it has plenty to do with it. If your massage therapist is making it their business to find out who else is really good then going out there and finding out why, chances are you've found a good massage therapist.
Talented massage therapists learn how to give a really good massages from getting really good massages. Lots of them.
Ask your massage therapist if they get regular massages.
If you're going to a resort, hotel or massage clinic, you may not be able to talk to your therapist directly when you make the appointment. This is too bad, but can't be helped. However, most times the person setting appointments will be required to know the different modalities the therapist is qualified in so that they know what appointments they can schedule.
A talented therapist will make it a priority to regularly continue their education and learn new modalities. If the therapist knows a lot of modalities, you can probably assume they believe your experience is important enough to spend time and money gaining skills and talent to make your experience better.
When booking an appointment through a scheduler, ask them if they can tell you what modalities your therapist offers or is educated in.
The Higher End Resort Spas have many highly trained therapists. Ordinarily, they have strict minimum requirements for therapists, usually beginning with several years experience and certification in several different modalities. High end Resorts very often encourage their therapists to improve their skills by paying for continuing education and regularly bringing in trainers to teach employees signature and specialty treatments. This makes your chances of getting a better trained massage therapist better than going to the local massage clinic where this kind of training is the exception.
Treating yourself to a massage at a higher end Resort Spa can really be a wonderful experience~ it's all about being pampered. The facilities are usually nothing short of amazing, and in addition to being able to choose from several different kinds of massages, you can get waxed and scrubbed and wrapped and soaked get just about everything else you can dream of. Everybody should treat themselves to an experience of a Five Star Spa. Splurge.
If you visit one of these Spas, I suggest you plan on spending the day. Complementary with your treatment you will find many luxurious activities and amenities~ the steam, the soak, the yoga class, meditation class, the organic snacks and herbal tea, the pool...you just sort of float around all day in your robe like you're in heaven. The only thing you might need is a good book to enjoy by the pool. I suggest you take advantage of it all, because you'll pay for it.
To give you some idea of the typical price for a treatment at a high end Spa, for example, at The Boulders Resort and Spa in Carefree, Arizona, the price tag for their 50 minute signature massage treatment is $140 plus a 20% service charge. That's $168 for one 50 minute massage, with includes the gratuity and the use of the facilities. And that's the least expensive of all the massages they offer.
If you're paying that much, you want it to be GREAT, right? Right. Ask some questions about your therapist. Tell them what your goals are. If there's a question about the massage therapist that they don't know the answer to, ask if they can find out and call you back. Or ask if the massage therapist can call you back.
Another way to find a great massage therapist is to find somebody who's been in private practice or in business for themselves. If an independent massage therapist has built a clientele and has a private practice, chances are there's a good reason. A good massage brings return clients. Usually you can find a really good therapist in business for themselves for less than half of what you pay at a resort.
There are many of benefits from getting a good massage. The physical benefits include decreased pain, greater flexibility, improved immune function, faster healing, increase in endorphins, decreased depression and anxiety and lowered blood pressure from blissful relaxation...
And nothing feels as heavenly or can make you as happy as a really good massage...
Asking the right questions can mean the difference between a frustrating waste of time and a really wonderful experience.
Stacey is a licensed Massage Therapist in Mesa Arizona with over 14 years experience in massage and bodywork and training in over 12 modalities. She has done work doing Oncology Massage in Hospitals as well as been a massage therapist for several of the Top resorts in the Phoenix Valley including The Boulders Resort in Carefree, The Royal Palms in Phoenix, and The Camelback Inn in Scottsdale. Her private practice is located just south of Val Vista and the 202, in Mesa, Arizona.
Visit her website at: [http://mesamassage.weebly.com]
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