Massage Therapy Tips For Clients: Don’t Keep Secrets From Your Massage Therapist!
Do you want a good massage or a GREAT massage?
In the immortal words of the Spice Girls: “…Tell me what you want, what you really, really want!”
On what could be a long list of massage therapy tips for clients, open communication is at the very top. I personally begin massage appointments by asking my clients, “How do you want to feel at the end of this session?” From there, we launch into discussion and together can rapidly sketch out a plan of action for the appointment. Herein lies the single most important thing you as the client can do to ensure you get a GREAT massage, every single time.
Communication is Key—Be Open With Your Massage Therapist
It’s very important that you communicate about any recent injuries, areas of tenderness, things you like, things you dislike, etc. Open communication will help your massage therapist to apply the right techniques, and this will ensure you get what you came in for. Communication is key! Make sure you are on the same page as your massage therapist from beginning to end.
During treatment, feel just as free to let your therapist know if you are in pain, it’s too much pressure or not enough. Communication is the biggest difference between a good massage and a great one, and this is the number one thing your massage therapist wants you to know.
I’ve always said that massage sessions are, in a way, a two-person experience. If you don’t like something or would like to focus on a particular area, speak up—you won’t hurt any feelings. As a massage therapist myself, I can tell you that we very much appreciate the feedback as it helps us deliver a great session.
Different Styles of Massage Therapy Technique
Licensed massage therapists are generally equipped with lots of different techniques that can accomplish a variety of results. When the receiver (the client) can effectively tell the giver (the massage therapist) what they want, the giver can do their best work.
There are several different types of massage. If you take a moment to understand the distinct differences between each of them, you will be able to better communicate to your therapist exactly what it is you’re looking for:
1. Total Relaxation Massage – Most clients fall into a light sleep at some point during this kind of session.
2. Light Therapeutic Massage – Predominantly a moderate pressure massage that focuses on the problem areas but ends in soothing, calming relaxation techniques. (Best for those who can’t make up their minds.)
3. Full Therapeutic Massage – A technique that, despite the name, has very little to do with immediate relaxation. This technique focuses on handling acute or chronic conditions that are creating pain for you or limiting your range of motion. As a result, you will most likely feel more relaxed over the days following your appointment.
4. Sports Therapy – Pre- or post-event massage therapy or during a training period.
5. Deep Tissue Massage – Arguably the most misunderstood type of massage technique, there is a difference between mere “firm pressure” and deep tissue. Firm pressure presses into the tissue until the natural stop signals are reached. This engages the muscle at a comfortable level, possibly to the mildly uncomfortable level momentarily. Deep tissue means that the therapist is using tools like knuckles, elbows and such to engage the muscles closest to the bone. (This is not for most people and not recommended for the first session with a new massage therapist, because they need to learn your muscle tissue tension levels. Deep tissue is mostly for athletic body types.)
Taking a few minutes before your session to communicate is key. If at any time during your appointment you feel the need to say something in order to make sure you and the therapist are still on the same page, this always welcome by a good massage therapist. In fact, it’s much appreciated.
Lead Massage Therapist
Botanica Day Spa
P.S. Don’t forget to check out our monthly specials including a coupon for first-time clients to receive a 90-minute massage for $90!