Speaking Up: Telling Your Massage Therapist What’s What

In a past article on this site, we explored the importance of a massage  therapist communicating with their client, asking relevant questions about general health, any conditions which might contraindicate certain forms of massage, as well as where the client needs help.  Without asking questions of this sort prior to a session, a massage therapist is going to be greatly  disadvantaged.  While answering questions is helpful, offering unsolicited feedback can help you, the client, to take greater control of the session.

Usually, receiving a massage is an entirely passive act.  But when the client asserts herself and begins providing feedback without being prompted to do so, the results will be a better massage therapy session 100% of the time.  If you are concerned that this is not polite, or that your therapeutic massage practitioner may  not be comfortable with your suggestions, remember that the session is your time, and  you’re the one paying for the massage.

Sometimes your massage therapist will have a different idea than you of what a deep tissue massage with a good amount of pressure actually means.  For some, the therapist may be using too little pressure.  For others, it may be excessive.  No matter what technique or modality your therapist employs, your experience should not be torturous, though some clients can easily tolerate more pressure, having a higher pain threshold.

If  you are seeking a session with light pressure, then say so.  If your therapist is hurting you, then *absolutely*, without hesitation, say so!  If your therapist’s idea of deep tissue with ‘a lot of pressure’ isn’t even enough pressure to keep you awake, then say something.  “Deep’, ‘medium’, and ‘light’ pressure are just words.  Be certain that your definitions match those of your therapist.

Sometimes, what a massage therapist is doing is very helpful.  Why not suggest that the therapist continue to work on that area, or utilize that technique for an extended period?  Maybe what a therapist is doing isn’t helping, and is wasting precious time.  Again, a session should focus on what the individual client requires.  A focused session working on just a single, or a few, areas is also a good idea for some clients.  Just because a session has already begun doesn’t mean you should settle; change the direction of the session mid-stream if necessary.   Speak up; it isn’t at all impolite or poor form  to do so.  You’ll find that you get a lot more out of every session, no matter how  skilled or experienced your therapist is.  A good massage therapy practitioner will appreciate the feedback.

© Copyright 2011 H Miller

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