How to get a massage.... seriously.
I know it sound silly to say this, but you may not know how to get a good massage. I will keep this post to the point. Seeing a trained massage therapist (please don't call us a masseuse) is time and money well spent. Here are my suggestions both as a professional and as a receiver of good body work.
1. Be on-time! Heck, be early....but not so early that you are waiting for the last person to jump off the table. This is YOUR TIME. We are already there and ready to work. Trust me, we would love to sit and check Facebook, but not during treatment hours. For these hours we have primed our body, prepared our space, and are expecting to see you. If you are going to be more than 5min late, please call. It saves us from calling you.
2. If possible, dress for treatment. This is what I mean... some folks come in in their gym attire which strips off and gets them on the table in 60sec flat, while others I wonder how many corsets they are wearing as 5min have past and they still say "hold on". I totally realize some of you come from work or somewhere more formal than your bedroom, but if you can help it, come in in easy to remove, easy to put on, clothes. Also, as a side note... if you are receiving a sports treatment on the lower body, bring shorts so we can move your legs around and preserve your modesty. You will relax, and honestly, so will we.
3. Explain what you may need that day, but please don't tell us how to do it. I know everyone is looking for the best use of their time on the table, but what you think you need and how we should get it done, and what your professional believes is the best route, may not sync up. You are better off receiving the work and saying if that feels right or not during treatment. Later on, judge on how you feel. Was it effective? Remember, the better part of why you are on the table is relaxation. Without the ability to relax, you will not feel you received a treatment of any kind nor will your body heal and come into balance. If you repeatedly are not satisfied with the treatment, you may need to consider explaining what you are looking for differently or seek out a different therapist.
4. Please don't say, "don't worry, you can't hurt me, go deeper"... actually we can and DO NOT WANT TO. A good therapist listens to the body. The body will show what is the best pressure and depth to the tissue. In fact, going deeper may make you feel much worse when your treatment is over or later on that day. The adage no pain, no gain, does not apply to massage. There may be discomfort, but if you are squirming, and flinching, and sweating from any kind of depth, your therapist will (and should) change techniques to a better comfort level. Again, if we rile up your nervous system, you will not get relief from anything. Simple as that.
5. Basic hygiene is kind. Personally, I do not care if you just worked out and are sweaty and stinky. But there is a difference to that and if you haven't showered in days. Again, I don't care if you haven't shaved your legs, your arm pits, your face, or anywhere else for that matter. I do care if your feet haven't seen soap and water though in too long or if your hair is so un-kept I can't get to your scalp. And if you have foot fungus, realize we will see it, so maybe a little heads up, and your "ok", to work through a sheet at this point of your body. Lets face it, the feet are great to have treated. A little preparation will go a long way to feeling the bliss of a foot massage.
6. Accidents, emergencies, brain-farts happen.... but if you miss an appointment, cancel the day of, or or walk in 1/2 way through your time, PLEASE pay your therapist for their time and re-schedule. Remember, we are paid for the time we are holding for YOU, not just what we do with that time. And if your therapist does any of the above to you, it is okay to leave them. Time is a valuable thing.
7. Update your medical info if anything at all has changed since your last visit. New medications, illness, injuries, skin infections/allergies/sunburn, even a new address and phone/email is important to our records, please make sure we know what is new.
8. To tip or not to tip... there is really no question. Unless your therapist has said that they do not accept tips, please tip what you can when you come in. Consider the tip payment for all that goes into your massage care beyond the table (and trust me there is more than you know). If your therapist is working for a facility, a portion of what you are paying will go to said facility and pay whats left to the therapist. It is fair to ask, as some have done to me, to ask how much your therapist will walk away with for the session so that you can make up the difference. And if you can not afford that, that is fine! Again, do as you can and feel is right. But please do it.
9. Want to feel better, sleep well, have fewer or no headaches, be more fit, stay mobile... then come in regularly. I understand the idea that massage is a luxury, but it truly is a necessity for many and can be the difference between a life well lived and one a struggle to get through. If you are not dealing with a chronic issue, a monthly massage is perfect to keep you lit up and ready to go!
10. Lastly, enjoy yourself. Rest, relax. Be cared for. These are good things and these are the very reasons your therapist became one in the first place. I believe if you have followed the above guidelines, you will be in the right place to experience all the benefits of a good massage.
Enjoy and be well!