Know What You Can Expect From Your Massage Therapist
It’s no longer a secret. Massage therapy is now recognized for its value in treating everything from stress to low back pain, to fibromyalgia, and beyond. So now that so many individuals thrive on massage therapy as an important element of self-care, I think it’s only fair to help you determine what to look for in both your massage as well as the practitioner who administers it.
First and foremost, massage therapy is and always should be about health and wellbeing in a safe place, including a peaceful, comfortable environment before, during and after the massage. I am delivering therapy, and my fondest wish is that nothing is done to take away from the healing experience I offer.
If you are fairly new to the massage experience, I thought I would spell out what you should expect from any professional massage therapist:
Being draped appropriately by a sheet, towel or blanket, with only the area being massagedexposed at any given time.
Expect privacy while changing as well as the right to retain clothing pieces that apply to your own level of comfort during the massage.
Make sure you have booked a professional licensed/registered/certified massage therapist, working within their scope of practice and in an ethical manner. Expect him or her to be a member of a professional association with a code of ethics.
The massage therapist should initiate a conversation about your medical conditions and your expectations for the massage as well as any changes that may have taken place since your last massage session.
You have the right and option to ask questions of the massage therapist and receive professional responses.
You also have the right to determine if there will be conversation, music or quiet during the massage. Today’s massage therapists can use online music selections for just about any type of soothing sounds you prefer and most will not speak unless spoken to once the massage begins.
If you are someone who is into the process itself, ask for an explanation of the nature of the massage and techniques to be used before the start of the massage, geared toward the areas of concentration discussed during the intake conversation.
You have the right to consent to the massage techniques and approaches, including the level of manual pressure used in the massage and the ability to request adjustments to pressure at any time during the massage. We can’t know when we are off-base on these issues until you tell us, so nothing is EVER taken as an insult. This is YOUR time.
Don’t everhesitate to stop a massage and report anything you feel is inappropriate.
Expect mutual respect, courtesy, professionalism, confidentiality and dignity between you and your massage therapist.
Whether you come to me for relief of pain, to prep for a marathon, to knead away everyday stresses, or just for the sheer luxury of it, my goal is to see you hesitate to move by the end of my massage. Why? Your hesitance to get up (slowly, please) from my treatment table means my work is finished for the moment, and that you just experienced the ultimate in relaxation and therapy.