It can be tricky to find a massage therapist that you vibe with and who you can trust to have your back. There are 5 key things that we think everybody should look for when choosing a massage therapist.
Let's dive in so you have the tools you need to find the right person for you.
1. Is the therapist NON-JUDGMENTAL?
This is the first thing you should be looking for in your therapist. It’s counterintuitive to have your body worker judging you for anything about your body including your diet, exercise habits, water intake, appearance, weight, and everything else! Judgment is contractive in nature and a top notch massage therapist is always looking to contribute to you relaxing, unfolding, unwinding, detoxing, and generally letting go of your tender spots and even your own, self-judgment. Just say no to judgmental massage therapists!
2. Is the therapist present?
This one’s huge! If your therapist can’t sync up with you and seems distracted or engages you in unwanted conversation and small talk, keep on looking for your person! A quality massage therapist knows when to talk to you and when to be quiet. An excellent massage therapist only engages in conversation when it is lead by you. We all have different conversational preferences and you should always be the one who determines the level of chit-chat. There is nothing worse than being totally relaxed, mind totally drifting, you’re drooling a little, and you have to make small talk. Just NOPE.
3. Do you feel comfortable with your massage therapist?
First impressions matter! If you feel at ease with your person, that’s a great sign to go ahead. Feeling uneasy off the bat? It’s OK to walk right back out the door. Your body will give you immediate signs about your upcoming massage. Listen to it! If, after your first session, something seems off, you are under no obligation to ever go back. Even if you’ve seen your therapist a hundred times, if it feels weird, it likely is.
4. Is your massage therapist clear in business?
Just because someone is a good body worker, doesn’t mean they can do business. A therapist who is unclear about cost, tries to guilt or persuade you into packages, upsells, tips, or anything else, is actually undoing any relaxation they may have opened up for your body. There is nothing slimier than a desperate massage therapist who will sink as low as to tell you what’s wrong with you in order to make a quick buck. Your massage shouldn't just be the massage. Every interaction you make with your therapist and the business creates your massage experience and it is important that you take into consideration the additional stress that bad business skills create for you.
5. Is your massage therapist licensed, insured, and knowledgable?
Um. If not, just don’t! Licensed massage therapists have gone through rigorous training, passed national exams, and adhere to state and local laws. These are ways to know that your person is an expert. The legal standards are high and so should yours be!
We suggest that you try out different therapists until you find one that ticks all the boxes. And we mean ALL the boxes. Don't settle for mediocre when it comes to your body!
We know that just the simple (and highly complicated) notion of choosing can come with its own level of stress. Often times, people feel guilty or like they're "cheating" when the reality is, they're simply shopping. This can be compounded if you have a needy massage therapist. We suggest that you stand strong in your search. Remember, you and your body are the leaders here and we just don't think anybody should ever have to suffer through a massage. Ever.
Viridian Massage offers half hour massage services as a low stakes way for new clients to come try us out. Look for short, introductory sessions that don't obligate you to a sales pitch or a membership program. That will allow you to get a feel for your therapist without breaking the bank. Just remember that the entire experience is for your body and that every interaction should open a space of relaxation. If you don't feel relaxed, try another therapist and don't feel the least bit guilty. It's OK for you to have preferences!
Whether you look to Viridian or somewhere else for your massage needs, do yourself a favor and find the right match for you!