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How to choose the right massage therapist

You have decided you want a Swedish Massage because you have a sore neck, sore lower back or just feel tense all over and massage in place of taking pain killers is defiantly the option to go for.

You may be tense or tight from stress, work ergonomics, standing all day, manual labour, a past injury or maybe you slept wrong. You think “I could totally go a massage. Who do I trust? Will it hurt? How embarrassing, I have to take my clothes off. Where do I go?”

Good on you, you made the choice to honor your body and choose the natural alternative to pain killers and that is massage. But which style do you want? Swedish/Relaxation Massage is firm pressure utilising gliding strokes with oils. Swedish massage is good for increasing blood circulation, easing muscle tension, improving muscle flexibility, soothes the nerves, reduces stress both emotional and physical. Swedish massage is good at releasing the toxins from the body’s muscles and shortens recovery time for muscular strain.

Deep tissue massage is for massaging the deeper tissue structure of the muscles. Deep tissue massage helps both small muscle injuries and a good way to help with whiplash, sports injury, muscle spasms and chronic muscle tension.

A good therapist will never force the pressure into the muscles, which means your massage should not hurt. Pressure will be applied until the muscle releases and the therapist can glide along the muscles. The pressure should not be painful but a mix of release of tensions and a pain-blocking response from the body tensing up.

My experience before I became a massage therapist myself was to show up at the closest massage shop in the shopping center weekly and take whomever was free then and there. Most often my massages were painful which at the time I thought was normal even though I didn’t mind a bit of pain. My worst experience was lying on the table waiting for my

therapist. She came in after a few minutes, mumbled something to me and started straight on my back in a rough and forceful manner. During the half hour the therapist would talk to the other therapist at the front desk, walked off three times with no warning and come back and straight into rough massage without warning. The whole time I’m thinking “is this normal? I should really say something? What the @#$%”. Finally my half hour was up and I stupidly smiled and paid and never went back.

Now I am well aware that I have full right to ask her to stop and that the pressure is not good.

So to give you some help and to not learn the hard way like i did, don’t be afraid to ask for qualifications. A good therapist will also let you know that when you arrive for your appointment you will complete a Health History form. You should also wear underwear under your clothing to the appointment and you will keep them on when on the table and under the towels, which you are covered by when that body part is not being massaged. It is never appropriate to have your bottom etc exposed unless prior consent has been given for massage therapy. The therapist will also refuse to massage you if you don’t have knickers/jocks on. The towels you lie on should always be clean and dry. Both the therapist and yourself should turn mobile phones off so you can benefit and relax, and the therapist should not check their phone or be chatting to other staff. You will also be asked during the massage if the pressure is OK? Let the therapist know so that you benefit because they are there to help you achieve the massage results you are looking for and because you’re the one paying. Massage does not need to be painful to achieve amazing results.

So when you next have a massage, ask around, ask the therapist, relax and enjoy.

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