So, you’ve had a million massages in your life, and you have determined that not all massage therapists are created equal. Some therapists quickly throw you on the table without much interaction and give you a basic treatment. Some therapists seem to be on every other planet, than the one you are currently on. You might get someone who asks you what you would like worked on, then seems to touch everywhere except the place where you needed it the most. Then ahhhhhh, there’s the ONE! The one you connect with, the one that listens addresses your needs and does just what you would have done if you could have done it yourself.
That’s what we’re talkin about!
What is this thing that defines a good therapist? Some aspects are unexplainable. But many, even most aspects are very explainable and should maybe even be the standard with every therapist who is striving to be the best.
- How is the booking process? Is your therapist clear, responsive, call or text you back within 12 hours? If they are busy, are they clear with you about how long it will be before they can see you? Massage therapists are known for their inevitable “flakiness.” Often, the lifestyle of a massage practitioner is against the 9-5 norms, making up their own rules, and working for themselves. That’s all fine and well, however, you being the client, you are the one that keeps them in business. If a massage therapist does not respond to your call within an appropriate amount of time, then it means they do not value you as a paying client. If they are on top of their business practices and quickly schedule you, you should feel as though they are present with you the whole time. Not exhausted from their day or previous client or rushing you off the table to get to the next one.
- Are they punctual? On par with the flakiness, therapists can also be late. Whether they are travelling to you, or you to them, your appointment is the time that you’ve allotted for yourself. Your time must be valued and appreciated. In this, it is a good massages therapists job to be on time and stay in session for the full time that you’ve scheduled. We believe that establishments or practitioners that shave off 5-10 minutes for your treatments are cheating you out of valuable time that you deserve to be o the table.
- Do they check in with you every time they see you? Do they ask you how you are feeling and what is going on for you that day? A therapist should know that every day is different for you. Things in your body shift and change on a daily basis, therefore each session is unique to what you need for that day in particular. With that in mind, each session should be distinctive, and address specifically what you have in mind.
- Is the pressure just right? Are they checking in with you throughout the session to determine that you are happy with the amount of pressure they are administering? Pressure is key with any style of massage. The whole purpose of massage is to press, manipulate, rotate and knead muscles until they release. If a therapist is simply giving you a rub down with oils, then it is defeating the purpose and wasting your hard earned money. If your practitioner is not giving you what you are paying them to do, then let them know. Don’t wait until the end until it’s too late! However a good practitioner, will ask you and check in during your treatment, so you don’t have to J
- Do you feel like the session was thorough & complete? Did they address all the areas you needed them to? Mind you, this does determine if you got a 60 or 90- minute session. 60 minutes is a relatively short period of time to massage the entire body in a comprehensive way. Generally a good massage therapist would explain this and focus on specific areas in a 60-minute session. 90 minutes should generally be enough time for a broad and deep session, including all of your trouble zones, as well covering the whole body. With this said, you should feel like you got what you paid for and even a touch more.
- Do they follow up with you? Receiving a phone call or even a text to follow up is a nice way of making sure you were completely satisfied with your experience. If you have a long- term relationship with your therapist, or a standing appointment, then every session may not be necessary. However, it is good practice for a great massage therapist to follow up with you, monitoring your progression.
- Finally, are you progressing? Do you find yourself in less pain and discomfort throughout the week? Your treatments should be just that. A way to manage your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. A good massage therapist has a way of making everything better. Helping life to be a bit more adaptable on a day-to-day basis.
If your massage therapist fails in the majority of these departments, it may be time to consider looking around for a new one. We know it can be tough to find the perfect match. However, when you do, it is always good to get on a consistent program with them. Give yourself that time every week, month or 2 months, to tune into your body and recalibrate. Your body will thank you, and your therapist will too!