"You always have a choice."
- An Old Saying
"The" Massage Therapist...
How exactly do you find the right Massage Therapist? Given that you have checked their license and all, the best way to find a massage therapist that is a match for you is to try them, one after the other, until you find the one.
Referrals and recommendations may only work if you have a lot in common with the person who gave them to you! Healthcare and massage needs for example varies from one person to the other and it is very unlikely that your needs are identical to someone else. Not because a massage therapist is a match for your friend, he/she is also match for you.
Your quest for the perfect massage therapist can be tough. Everyone has their opinion and preferences, and you have yours. And what makes it even more complicated is that they all change through time, even yours will. Finding the right one may take time, however, knowing the wrong ones is not as tough. Save yourself from further trouble and cross them off your list. Here are 12 indications that you chose the "wrong" Massage therapists:
1. The massage therapist seemed to be too elusive to book or to talk to. When you call to inquire, you were answered by an answering service or a voicemail. Which is fine enough if the therapists is a one-man clinic. But you have been waiting for a call back 2 days ago, and I don't think "too busy" is an excuse. If it has been more than 24 hours, go call someone else.
2. The massage therapist does not know phone etiquettes. Good communication is always the key to a great professional relationship. Even if the therapist calls you back immediately, the good massage therapist should have a solid phone skills as well. Note the tone and the choice of words. Courtesy, empathy and kindness can be felt even over a voice-only call. If the therapist talks tactless to you like you are on the streets, talk to someone else.
3. The massage therapist dodges simple massage questions or does not know what to say. Nobody is all-knowing and the truth is, your questions may not be his/her specialty. But if a question is as simple as a benefit or contraindication of massage, they should be able to answer them confidently. So the next time you ask a question, and you don't feel comfortable about how the therapist answers it or they can't give an answer at all that make sense, then ask someone else.
4. The massage therapist does not ask you back questions, i.e. health info, massage queries or contact details. A good therapist is also a good people person as well as versed in business and marketing. They should at least be asking you how you find out about their practice, your contact details and why you seek Massage Therapy. If he seemed less interested in your business, then find someone else.
5. The massage therapist has no intake process and has no health forms at all. Even if it is from the most luxurious spa, there should be at least a hand-out and a waiver that you should sign or fill-out and the therapist should at least ask you some pertinent questions regarding health concerns or issues that you might have. Massage has many benefits, but it also has many contraindications and can do harm if given to someone, or if given to someone the wrong way. Don’t settle for a therapist who does not care about your safety. Next!
6. The massage therapist's clinic will not pass health and safety inspection, if ever. When you look around, it seemed that the clinic is also the dwelling of the therapist, and you can even smell last night's fish dinner. There is no problem about having a home office as long as it is allowed by laws of zoning! The good therapist should have a clear separation between the facility's functions and they should both be well kept! It is hard to relax if you are surrounded by a dirty mess and some fish aromatherapy!
7. The massage therapist talks too much, none of which are related to massage therapy. Your session was meant to be felt not heard! Occasional questions about pressure and massage-related concerns is fine, and responses to your inquiries and talks are just as good too. But if he/she start to initiate conversations that are not even related to massage, or even worse, started to gossip - then there is no need to rebook. Next!
8. The massage therapist breaks therapist-client confidentiality. This is related to number 7, but is worth mentioning on its own because it is the law. The therapists should never tell or talk to you about other clients! Gossip and breaches of other clients' privacy are red flags that the therapist and the clinic are not respectable. Chances are when you turn your back, you are next on the topic!
9. The massage therapist does not check on you and does not talk at all. This is a little extension of number 7. It is important for a therapist to ask questions to ensure that the whole massage experience is safe and to your preference. Examples are: levels of pressure, temperature of the room, brightness of the lights, strength of the aromatherapy, volume of the music, etc. But otherwise, good therapists should not be initiating conversation.
10. The massage therapist has hygiene issues. Long fingernails, body odors, uncombed loose hair, unpresentable and unprofessional clothing (and sometimes inappropriate) - the likes. Enough said. Next!
11. The massage therapist customized the session based on what he/she pleases. So what exactly is the purpose of having massage goals and requests, if they are not to be addressed. You are having foot problems and your therapist gave you a scalp massage half the entire time! They will definitely make you feel unheard, unwelcomed and worse - feeling worse than when you came in!
12. The massage therapist exudes an aura that you just can't attune with! Not everything can be explained by science! And there are those instances that upon meeting someone, you just feel uncomfortable immediately. Trust your gut feelings, you ought it to yourself to be safe!
You are not required to like the first massage therapist you have, especially if there are signs that you should avoid them. And if your regular massage therapist started to show any of these, then you have the option to move on. It is your body they work on, your safety and your money to spend. If you see any of these red flags, walk away and save yourself some trouble in the future. You always have a choice! Next!
- Leo Feraer-Oporto