Your First Step on the Road to Better Health, Less Stress and Improved Vitality
How do you go about finding a good massage therapist? Someone who fits not only what youâ€™re looking for in skill, training and professionalism but is also a good personality fit? Read on!
There are several ways to go about solving this challenge:
Ask your Friends: Calling therapists that are recommended to you by friends is always a good start. Itâ€™s a safe bet someone you already know and like is going to a massage therapist already. To paraphrase the old saying: â€śthe therapist of my friend is my therapist.â€ť
Google, Yelp, FourSquare, etc.: Looking on the Internet and finding places with good reviews is another way. The Internet has made finding recommendations easyâ€¦of course, finding good recommendations is a little harderâ€¦and not getting overwhelmed by sheer numbers is harder still. Â There are no shortage of review sites and you may already have a favorite or five. But if not, we recommend starting at Google Places, Yelp, or FourSquare.
Do a Google search for â€śmassageâ€ť and your town is also going to yield results. For example, if you type â€śmassage Bloomington, Indianaâ€ť youâ€™ll get a bunch of hits, but at the very top youâ€™ll receive a map along with links to the reviews and the websites of several fine massage therapy establishments in Bloomington. Another option is to search for something even more specific like â€śsports massage therapy near Indiana Universityâ€ť or â€śIU deep tissue massageâ€ť. Read the reviews, check out their websites, and find one that appeals to you.
Your final online technique is to head over to the national certifying and insurance websites of National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork and Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. Both of these sites maintain lists of massage therapists near you who meet their exacting standards (see below for more on what that means). If the therapist is on the list, theyâ€™re worth trying out.
Ok, Iâ€™ve got a recommendation or twoâ€¦now what? Things to look for before you buy.
Make the call. When a friend recommends a massage therapist to you itâ€™s easy to trust she knows what sheâ€™s talking about, but when youâ€™re going by a strangerâ€™s review there could be a major discrepancy in their perception of a good massage therapist and yours. A quick call will pay long dividends.
Is the person who answers the phone polite, knowledgeable and easy to get along with? While your massage may or may not be with the person on the phone, their behavior sets the tone with others in the office.
Does this person ask you what type of service youâ€™re looking for? Do they ask if you have any issues that youâ€™re specifically looking to have addressed? While this may seem minor, it could determine which therapist they schedule you with due to experience in the field. You want to be matched with someone who can specifically help you with your issue. If you have no issues youâ€™d like to have addressed, itâ€™s better to place you with someone who may be a great massage therapist, but likes to work the body in a more overall approach. This will provide a better match for you and your needs further enhancing the outcome of satisfaction.
I recommend asking a few questions as well. First on my list is what type of massage does the person specialize in? Do they work mostly with injuries and athletes? Do they specialize in energy work? Do they hem-and-haw and eventually say they do it all? The first two of these choices are valid, good answers and will help you to make a decision, the third is a clue to hang-up and call somewhere else.
Second, I want to know if they are certified or licensed. Different states have different requirements for what it means to be a professional massage therapist. Typically a state approved massage therapist is called an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) or CMT (Certified Massage Therapist), these are largely interchangeable terms decided on by the stateâ€™s licensing body. Some states require quite a bit of schooling and practice time before a therapist can practice massage while others require very little. Additionally, some states allow anyone to practice regardless of training. Donâ€™t hesitate to ask where the therapist trained and if they are licensed / certified. There are now two national certifying bodies that are more and more accepted and respected as an assurance that the therapist has had a minimum training standard and is worth trying out. If the therapist is nationally certified, you can rest easy, theyâ€™re legitimate. If the person calling themselves a massage therapist does not hold state and/or national certifications, pass them by.
Hooray! I scheduled an appointment! Things to pay attention to when you get there.
Does your massage therapist do an intake? In other words, does he ask you what your goals are for the massage? Does she ask about your health conditions? Does he check with you that the pressure is enough, too much? Does she ask if there other factors that brought you into their office? Does the therapist seem to be empathetic to your needs? In whole, does she communicate with you?
The truth is that all massage therapists are different, so if you donâ€™t gel with your first choice, try another and youâ€™ll likely be delighted to find the experience is quite different. Youâ€™re going to discover quickly and quite literally there are different strokes for (from) different folks. Massage (and especially finding your therapist) can seem rather daunting at first, however with the right fit, your massage therapist will be a great health partner. Your therapist gets to know your body, how it responds, what issues it has, what issues pop up that arenâ€™t normal (rashes, moles, etc ) that may require a doctorâ€™s attention, but you are unaware of because itâ€™s in that hard to see place in the middle of the back. Massage is also great at preventing a lot of issues that crop up in the body, keeping you out of the doctorâ€™s office BEFORE something becomes a real issue. While your massage therapist canâ€™t diagnose (they are not doctorâ€™s themselves, after all), they are trained to see things that need medical attention and can be a voice to help you should you need it. Massage is also helpful to control blood pressure, relieve arthritic joints, increase circulation, decrease swelling, bring better body awareness, and relieve muscle tension, as stress relief, as a sleep aid, as an aid to recovery from injury/surgery or general well being. Not to mention it feels wonderful! Come, discover the power of positive touch. You will never go back to the dark side again.
Thatâ€™s the Rub,
Lisa Keplinger is a nationally and Indiana State certified massage therapist, internationally sought after spa consultant and corporate massage trainer, and owner of Thatâ€™s the Rub Massage Therapy Center in Bloomington, Indiana.
205 N. College Ave, Suite 160 Bloomington, IN, 47404 USA
firstname.lastname@example.org • 812-333-3393