How to Find Your Perfect Massage Therapist

Are you in need of a ‘good’ massage?

Massage has become probably the most popular treatments over the past few years and the need for a good massage is increasing as more of our work and also a few of our social activities are desk or computer based.

When I first trained in massage therapy in the early 90’s, clients would normally visit the salon or spa for waxing, facials or for slimming treatments. Massage was among the treatments which were considered as being a luxury or a special treat once in a blue moon.

I must admit back then life was very different for people generally, many clients could have a secretary or assistant to type up work. For some, once you finished work that was it as there is no emails to check on as not everyone had the internet. Very few people had laptops so sitting on the sofa or in bed whilst working was very minimal and lastly ‘Googling’ and social networking was near non-existent.

Coming in today things have changed. Many no longer have secretary’s so they have to deal with admin themselves, most work is performed using the pc, some at desks plus some in awkward positions whilst sitting on the sofa or lying in bed. Long gone will be the days when once you left the office your projects would be over, now we are able to be contacted on our mobiles or can check our emails in the home if not on the way. Our working day still continues even with we’ve left the office and even before we’ve reached the office.

There are a number of massage based treatments are available in clinics, spa’s, salons and health clubs. We’ve even seen massage in clubs, shopping centres and also massage therapists who arrived at the work place.

With so many places offering massage, how will you know which is where to go and how will you tell if you are likely to get a good massage?

1) Online Reviews

Firstly, online reviews are a great way of finding out about what people have to state in regards to a particular business. Do remember though, sometimes the reviews may be something negative concerning the establishment or one employee so you might potentially miss a great massage from another employee who hasn’t been reviewed. Also you will find a saying which goes ‘a customer who has had a negative experience will tell five people but if they’ve had great experience they may not even tell a soul’. So sometimes you can’t always get yourself a true indication whether you will get a ‘good’ massage treatment or not from the review.

2) Qualifications

A good massage therapist could have the following qualifications: NVQ level 3, HND Health & Beauty, ITEC, CIBTAC or CIDESCO, there maybe other recognised bodies too but check if they have a qualification and not just a workshop certificate. Anatomy and physiology is really a big part of the training as knowing the muscular system, skeletal system and their functions can make the difference in the quality of massage.

3) Licence

Businesses within many area’s especially London cannot operate with out a valid massage license. In certain borough’s even the therapist must be licenced. The only method a therapist can get licenced is if they have the relevant qualification. Sometimes you can see the premises license displayed on the wall.

4) Medical Questionnaire & Consultation

Your massage therapist should ask you to fill in a simple medical questionnaire to establish any medical conditions which may prevent you from having massage. For instance any recent injuries or operations, wounds, infections etc. For several conditions it is possible to still have a massage but may need written permission from your own Doctor that its OK to still have massage.

Should you be in your first trimester of pregnancy, its advisable never to have massage and a professional therapist will know this will they see it on your consultation form.

Consultation time is also a great time to establish what your main concerns are or if you can find any area’s you’d like your massage therapist to work most on. Its also a time to ensure you’ve been booked set for the correct kind of massage for you, for example you could have been booked set for a ‘Swedish Massage’ but maybe wanting a ‘Deep Tissue’ massage.

5) Your Massage Therapist

Sometimes the size or age of a massage therapist could be decieving. I’m 5 ft and only six and a half stone but i’m use to massaging bodybuilders so my pressure is very strong despite the fact that I look very small. Massage therapists develop their pressure with a combination of strength in addition to their own body weight to execute a good firm massage.

Also i’ve trained many 18 year olds who are equally as good as massage therapists who have years of experience. It depends on what passionate your therapist is about her job. If she enjoys massage and is passionate then you will most likely have an excellent treatment.

6) The Massage Treatment

Its not uncommon for changing time and energy to be contained in your massage time so do ensure you try to settle on your treatment bed as quickly as possible so you get more hands on time.

Your massage therapist should check if you’re warm enough and comfortable before they begin your massage. Many salons and spa’s have soft relaxing music playing in the background which really enhances the experience.

You can often tell the difference between an extremely good massage therapist and one who is not as good. A really good massage therapist will undoubtedly be connected intuitively and will know the correct pressure to apply, they will also know which area’s must be worked on the most with no need to stick to a robotic routine of just massage movements.

7) Aftercare

Your therapist should provide you with the correct aftercare which includes drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated and help to flush away any toxins. Your massage therapist should also warn you that you may be a little sensitive the very next day on the areas they will have worked on.