Are you in need of a 'good' massage?
Massage has become a very popular complementary treatment over the past few years and the need for a good massage is only increasing as more of our work and even some of our social activities are desk or computer based.
There are a variety of massage based treatments are available in clinics, spa's, salons and health clubs. We've even seen massage in clubs, shopping centres as well as massage therapists who come to the work place.
With so many places offering massage, how do you know which is the best place to go and how can you tell if you are likely to get a good massage?
1) Online Reviews
Firstly, online reviews are a great way of finding out about what people have to say about a particular business. Do bear in mind though, sometimes the reviews may be something negative about the establishment or one member of staff so you could potentially miss a great massage from another member of staff who hasn't been reviewed. Also there is a saying which goes 'a customer who has had a bad experience will tell five people but if they've had great experience they may not even tell a soul'. So sometimes you can't always get a true indication whether you will get a 'good' massage treatment or not from a review.
A good massage therapist will have the following qualifications: NVQ level 3, HND Health & Beauty, ITEC, CIBTAC or CIDESCO, there maybe other recognised bodies too but check whether they have a qualification and not just a workshop certificate. Anatomy and physiology is a big part of the training as knowing the muscular system, skeletal system and their functions can make the difference in the quality of massage.
Businesses within many area's especially London cannot operate without a valid massage license. In certain borough's even the therapist needs to be licenced. The only way a therapist can get licenced is if they have the relevant qualification. Sometimes you can see the premises license displayed on the wall.
4) Medical Questionnaire & Consultation
Your massage therapist should ask you to fill in a basic medical questionnaire to establish any medical conditions which may prevent you from having massage. For example any recent injuries or operations, wounds, infections etc. For certain conditions you can still have a massage but may need written permission from your Doctor that its OK to still have massage.
If you are in your first trimester of pregnancy, its advisable not to have massage and a professional therapist will know this should they see it on your consultation form.
Consultation time is also a great time to establish what your main concerns are or if there are any area's you'd like your massage therapist to work most on. Its also a time to ensure you've been booked in for the correct type of massage for you, for example you may have been booked in for a 'Swedish Massage' but maybe wanting a 'Deep Tissue' massage.
5) Your Massage Therapist
Sometimes the size or age of a massage therapist can be decieving. Size doesn't matter as massage therapists develop their pressure by using a combination of strength as well as their own body weight to perform a good firm massage.
It depends on how passionate your therapist is about her job. If he/she enjoys massage and is passionate then you will most likely have a great treatment.
6) The Massage Treatment
Its not uncommon for changing time to be included in your massage time so do make sure you try to settle onto your treatment bed as quickly as possible so you get more hands on time.
Your massage therapist should check if you are warm enough and comfortable before they begin your massage. Many salons and spa's have soft relaxing music playing in the background which really enhances the experience.
You can often tell the difference between a really good massage therapist and one who is not as good. A really good massage therapist will be connected intuitively and will know the correct pressure to apply, they will also know which area's need to be worked on the most without the need to stick to a robotic routine of just massage movements.
Your therapist should give you the correct aftercare which includes drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated and help to flush away any toxins. Your massage therapist should also warn you that you may be a little sensitive the next day on the areas they have worked on.
Massage has become more of a necessity rather than a luxury now for many people. Its become one of the most popular treatments in many spa's and salons now. Its definitely a good investment for the physical and emotional benefits.