Increase your odds of getting a great massage by following a few simple guidlines and suggestions.
Have you ever slowing gotten up out of bed, and noticed every muscle seems to be screaming at you? Have you ever felt the stress level in your life get so high that it feels like you have to walk on your tip toes just to keep your head above it? Perhaps you are experiencing a serious lack of nurturing touch in your life? I can just imagine that you might have thought to yourself, "I really need a good massage?" However, if you do not already have a great massage therapist on speed dial, the challenge is often finding the right fit for you and your needs. There are so many choices available. Many people "claim" to be the ONE you want to see, but how can you really tell what your experience will be like with a new therapist, and if this will be a good fit? Is it all just a matter of luck? Sometimes you may just want to give someone new a try. Their advertisement may look very inviting... but is it all hype, or the real deal?
Perhaps you have done your "homework" so to speak, and researched the prospective therapist and still cannot be sure. You have taken the time to read the advertisement or advertisements carefully, clicked on the link to the therapist's website and read every detail. You have even found and read reviews of other people's experiences with this particular therapist. You notice that most of them are very positive reviews, however, maybe there are one or two really negative reviews that seem to tell a different story. Perhaps it makes you wonder... Is it just a matter of taste? Different strokes for different folks? Or is something else going on here?
I have had several clients and fellow massage therapists share their massage stories with me; some quite humorous and some horrific "massage gone wrong" experiences where the client's expectations were not in the same ballpark of what happened. Over the years I have learned a thing or two about what goes into a truly satisfying massage experience, beyond what they teach in massage school, and have had several rather odd yet enlightening experiences to learn from. The good news is that you can benefit from the mistakes of others! I am ready to let you in on some wonderful secrets on how to change your luck for the better. You really can dramatically increase your odds of getting a great massage by following a few simple guidelines and suggestions. I know it may sound to simple to be true, but I have broken it down for you to the four Cs; Clarity, Communication, Courtesy and Cleanliness.
1. Clarity. First, before you even make that call to schedule an appointment, be clear what you are seeking in your own mind. Different therapists or providers have different specialties. You are going to want to pick a therapist who has the right set of skills to match what you need. I don't mean you need to be an expert in massage to get what you need. What I do mean is know what you want and need. Don't assume that precisely what you want and are seeking is exactly the same as everyone else. My experience is that massage can meet a wide variety of needs, preferences and expectation. Recognize that you are a unique individual. To get a truly wonderful massage, the intention of the therapist needs to be in line with your needs and expectations. I can't tell you how many times someone has said something that leads me to believe they assume everyone (or at least most people) are more or less like themselves and wants pretty much what they want. However, I have learned that this is not really the case.
My first recommendation is to check in with your body. Get some clarity about what your body really needs. What do you feel? Are you in any pain? Do you have sore, tight or achy muscles? Notice where you tend to carry your stress? Perhaps you are not feeling any physical pain, but are seeking emotional balance. You may have some mental stress you would like to release and really need some help to get out of your head. Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed and your mind is racing. Perhaps what you really want and need is to be pampered. Make mental note of what you are feeling and what you would really like to experience. Massage means very different things to different people. Let me share with you two examples of clients, whose needs are completely different.
Example number one is a 42 year old man who is athletic. He has been pushing himself extra hard lately, working out at the gym and recently joined a community baseball team. Even though he is in pretty good physical shape, he is not as young as he used to be. It has been a long time since he played baseball. Perhaps he did not warm up enough or stretch enough or the activity was just outside his usual realm. Now his body is in pain, feeling the stress and strain of this activity. What he is seeking is a deeply therapeutic massage by a well trained massage therapist; someone who has not only been to massage school, but perhaps has had some advanced training, ideally someone who specializes in something like Deep Tissue Massage or Sports Massage. This client's highest priority is finding someone who has an excellent understanding of anatomy and physiology, knows how to recognize and tune into his body's therapeutic needs and will deliver an awesome restorative massage. His overall goal from the massage is to put his body back on the road to recovery so he can feel better and get back out there and play some more baseball.
Example number two is a 54 year old business man who is very touch deprived and stressed out from his demanding job. He does not