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I Need A Great Massage Therapist. How Do I Find One?

Finding an awesome massage therapist can be a harrowing and daunting task especially when you move or your favorite therapist has moved, retired or had to move onto something else. Chances are you feel like you have lost more than a therapist, you have lost a friend and confidant.

You Are Not Alone

If you feel like this or something similar, you are not alone.

How could you not feel bonded to someone who has helped you in a very personal and intimate way by relieving your pain and reducing your stress month after month, year after year?

However, the unfortunate truth of the matter is that massage therapists statistically have a short career duration averaging just 10 years. So if you are one of the many people grieving the loss of your amazing massage therapist and wondering how you could ever find anyone like him or her ever again, take heart. Here are some things to do and look for that will make your search less tedious and uncomfortable.

Questions to Ask When Finding A New Massage Therapist

Start by asking your friends and professional network if they ever get massages. Don’t jump right in and ask them who they use right off the bat though.

Ask them what kind of massage they like. Is it relaxing, invigorating, hurts-so-good? Find people you know and trust who describe the kind of massage YOU like. Make sure you question them about the how knowledgeable their therapist is when it comes to the muscles, nerves, fascia planes, bony landmarks, kinesiology, stretching, etc.

If their therapist never talks about any of those types of things they have likely gotten into a mundane groove and give a mediocre massage.

After you’ve narrowed it down to your preferred style ask the remaining unaware candidates what kind of experience they have with their therapist. Do they come to their house, go to a luxury spa, a quaint modest room rental?

Now you want to get down to it.  Ask about personality. Are they friendly, somber, talkative, low-key, high-energy, professional, casual?

With the following criteria, you should now have a small list of names or maybe even just one.

Narrowing It Down

DO NOT let the price deter you from trying someone.

If a massage therapist is confident enough in their work to charge $100/hour or more, they are very likely worth it.  Now is the time to ask for the referral(s) and work up the courage to try someone new.

Just remember the only consistent thing in life is change so open your mind and go find your new massage therapist!

Communication is Key

No matter where we are in our journey,  communication remains a consistent need in our lives.

Adequate communication between massage therapist and client is certainly no exception. In fact, it is becoming increasingly popular with the #metoo movement for female clients to accuse male therapists of sexual assault and battery; when in fact, all that has occurred is poor communication.

Recently, I found myself in court as a qualified expert witness in one such case. I was responsible for educating the judge about what is considered proper, reasonable and even expected in Massage and Bodywork.

It is understandable for both male and female clients to sometimes feel uncomfortable with bodywork in the breast, gluteal or groin area; it is the responsibility of both client and therapist to maintain open lines of communication.

While massage therapists are trained to look for nonverbal cues while working on our clients, this does not absolve the client from the responsibilities of communicating at any point during the massage how they would like the therapist to alter their pressure, area or technique.

Since communication is a two-way street, I call upon both massage therapists and clients everywhere to ensure that they are adequately communicating during this important therapeutic experience.