There are many options for massage in Calgary that finding the right massage therapist can be challenging, but it’s a crucial element to achieving the benefits of this treatment. To truly get the most out of your massage, it’s key to choose a qualified massage therapist—one who understands the proper techniques to keep you safe and improve your health, both mind and body. A good massage therapist will understand how the body works and moves, and they use that knowledge to tailor your massage to your specific concerns, such as headaches, back pain and so on.
To help set you up for success, here are 4 tips for finding a the right massage therapist for you.
Tip#1: Ask yourself what you want from massage
There’s nothing worse than leaving the spa feeling, well, meh. The first thing you should do before your massage therapy is ask yourself what you want out of it? Are you looking for a back or neck problem to be addressed? Are you seeking something to help you perform daily activities easier? Are you want to relax and be pampered? While massage therapists are trained to help your body, massage therapists can’t read your mind, so it’s best to tell the receptionist if you have any preference of therapists, pressure, or massage types when you book your appointment. This will help ensure you’re matched with someone who will be able to best work with your needs.
It’s also important to talk have open communication with your therapist is the best way to get the massage your body needs. In the first few minutes of your massage, your therapist is warming up your muscle tissues before working harder on your problem areas. If five minutes have passed and you don’t feel like the pressure is firm enough, then ask for more pressure to be used. Your therapist will also check in with you a couple times to see if they are using the right amount of pressure. You can ask your therapist to revisit an area. Just say, “can you continue working on that area?” Or “Can you pay more attention to my IT band?” Don’t be shy—mention this sooner instead of in the final few minutes of the massage.
Tip#2: Learn about different methods
There are many methods of massage therapy. Learning about different practices will help you determine the best technique to meet your needs. If you are looking for a basic massage experience, relaxation massage or hot stone massage should do the trick. If you are looking for pain relief in a particular area, you may benefit from deep tissue or cupping therapy. After finding the right method for you, it will be easier to find the right therapist experienced in the method you would like to receive.
Tip#3: Match the massage therapist to your goals
Consider your first appointment a test drive. Inquire about experience and training, and let them ask a lot of questions to assess your needs and explain how they would address them. Speak up about what you want (intense pressure, light pressure, etc.) and how you feel (too warm, too cold). Even after all your due diligence, you may find that your therapist isn’t exactly what you need or want, and that’s OK. You can change practitioners at any time. The more comfortable you feel with the massage therapist that you choose, the more beneficial and enjoyable each session will be in the long run.
Tip#4. Professionalism matters
Another great quality indicator is the professionalism of the massage therapist and the extent to which they model the values of a health care professional that you value—this will be different for everyone.
Questions you could consider include:
- How do they present themselves?
- Are they on time?
- Do they cancel appointments?
- Do they make you comfortable?
- Do they listen to you and genuinely seek your input for treatment plan development, and whether you are comfortable/engaged in the work?
- Do they take their career seriously?
Feeling at ease during your appointments and effective communication are paramount to massage success. If anything about your therapist gives you pause, it’s likely time to find someone new.