Have you ever gone for a Massage with high hopes for relief, only to leave wondering why you just paid someone for doing nothing more than slathering oil all over your skin? This unfortunate experience is more widespread than you might think. You should never leave an appointment feeling frustrated and without having your therapeutic needs met. Here are 5 Tips to help you find the best Massage Therapist possible:
1) Listen to What Others are Saying / Read Reviews. Consumer reviews can be very honest and revealing about the quality of therapy provided. If there are multiple reviews of a Massage therapist and they all repeat a similar theme describing a collective experience of complete awesomeness........ believe it. Pay attention to the details that each reviewer shares. Fake reviews will be broad and general, not giving any unique insight about the actual therapy. But you will know a review is the the real thing when it goes into very specific depth. Yelp and Google+ are both excellent sources for authentic Massage Reviews.
2) Choose a Massage Therapist with Experience. It's a sad fact that the average career life of a massage therapist is about 5 years. And many only practice part time. This is not enough time to develop real skill and mastery. Therapists become great only through extensive experience. The more people they touch, the more sensitive and skilled they are likely to be. There are countless therapists, fresh out of school, potentially providing low quality service. Find out how long your therapist has been in practice and choose a Seasoned Pro.
3) Choose a State Certified Massage Therapist. Unfortunately, there are people practicing with no certification at all. Some work for low wages at those ubiquitous "Foot Spas." It might sound tempting at first because the price is cheaper. However, these places should really be viewed like the "Wal-Mart of Massage Providers". That is exactly the quality of therapy you will receive from an untrained therapist and the price reflects it. You cannot be certain that they have studied anatomy and physiology. And the massage may be quite painful and ineffective. A State Certified Therapist has to meet specific training & experience requirements. Ask questions before you book a session.
4) Choose a Therapist Trained in Advanced Modalities. When it comes to Massage, one size does not fit all! And a Swedish Massage alone is usually very ineffective and unsatisfying for most people. You need to find a therapist who can customize the session with a wide range of pressure and expanded therapeutic knowledge. Ask them what kind of pressure they can deliver and what techniques they are trained in. Minimum training / offerings should include some of these: Deep Tissue, Swedish, Acupressure, Myofascial Trigger Point Release and Energy Healing.
5) Choose a Therapist with a Large, Repeat Client Base. This is an area where size really does matter. How large a therapist's client base is speaks volumes. If someone is seeing 3 - 4 clients a day, 5 days a week and has a ton of repeat business, there is a good reason why: They are great enough to be in high demand! Ask your potential therapist how many people they see on average each week and what percentage are regulars.
Once you are lucky to have found a wonderful and effective Massage Therapist, stick with that person and give them your support. Know that the quality they deliver is truly rare and can be difficult to find. And always make sure to clearly communicate your needs in order to receive the type of healing you need the most. Enjoy!
Most people don't know that receiving massage on a regular basis can greatly improve the quality of their life. The common belief is that massage is a luxury, not a necessity, and is too expensive to do as a routine. This is a mistake. In reality, most of us can't afford not to have regular massage. Just consider these two simple questions: 1) How well do you function in daily life when your body is restricted with physical pain, stiffness and fatigue? 2) How clearly does your mind think when you are carrying around a backlog of weeks, months, or even years of accumulated stress?
Unhealthy, negative stress doesn't support an optimal state of functioning. It gets in the way of happiness. It compromises our effectiveness. It robs us of our power. If a person is tired and can't move properly, motivation and productivity tends to suffer. When the mind is cluttered and confused, clear decision making becomes difficult and mistakes increase. Creativity and inner wisdom are harder to access. And the ability to be successful is seriously diminished. When we are overloaded with the harmful effects of stress, we should consider ourselves thoroughly compromised and take action to get back into balance. The beauty of massage is that it tends to work quickly and easily. One session can help elevate the body and mind out of the stress-crisis mode and back into a feeling of empowerment. Over time, just one massage a month can remove enough of the ongoing friction to keep us from spiraling into stress-overload in the first place. There is no reason to hit rock bottom if it can be prevented. Maintenance is the key.
Developing a self-care routine that includes massage can increase personal effectiveness profoundly. As much as stress in the mind reflects in the body, stress in the body also reflects in the mind. Our mind-body dynamic is multidimensional and we should address it from all angles. Massage is a fast, powerful, effective way to shift both the physical body and the mental paradigm right away and give a much needed energy boost. Personally, I've never worked better, danced better, or gotten more done than in the days following a deep tissue massage. The freedom it can give in daily activities can mean the difference between high level functioning and complete misery. Put into this perspective, the financial cost of a massage is really nothing to worry about. The cost against one's health and happiness is far greater when we deprive ourselves of this much needed healing time. And people take much better care of others, if they take excellent care of themselves first. It is worth it to invest just a little in order to raise the overall bar in life a lot!
As a massage therapist for 14 years, with a full time practice in San Luis Obispo (SLO), I am always looking for the most effective techniques to address pain issues in my own body. I am thrilled to have trained in Ashiatsu because it is now the primary type of massage that I want to receive these days. I need firm, consistent pressure to experience any real therapeutic change in my body. And for the last 12 years I've had great difficultly finding hands-on therapists who are either capable or willing to do it. A "skin-rub" massage does nothing to alleviate the chronic problems I've personally experienced. The first time I received Ashiatsu I was deeply impressed. Not only is the broad-pressure comfortable and relaxing but the healing effects for me, are phenomenal. After several sessions, this is the first time in many years that I've been free of lower back, shoulder and neck pain. My flexibility and overall daily energy level is remarkably increased from where I was just one year ago today. This happened through Ashiatsu by releasing the muscle adhesions and restriction in my back. AMAZING! Ashiatsu is also profoundly effective for the lymphatic and immune system, a great detoxifying modality, and it powerfully stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. I am currently offering Ashiatsu massage sessions to all my clients. The response has been excellent. A recent client said:
"This massage is a lymphatic steam-roller. It's like relieving an old, deep itch that's been stuck in there for a long time and is finally getting scratched. I want to incorporate Ashiatsu into my sessions from now on!" -Jennifer, San Luis Obispo,Ca
Everyone knows there are health benefits to quitting smoking. What most people don't realize is how fast some of the changes in the body occur once you give up the deadly habit. Here's the list, courtesy of Smoke Free International:
20 minutes after quitting smoking:
Blood pressure & pulse rate decreases to normal.
8 hours after quitting:
Nicotine and carbon monoxide level in blood decrease by ½.
Oxygen level in blood increases to normal.
Body is clear of carbon monoxide. Mucus & smoking debris start to clear from lungs.
Chance of heart attack decreases.
Nerve endings start to re-grow.
Nicotine is eliminated from the body.
Ability to smell and taste is improved.
2 weeks to 3 months:
Walking becomes easier.
Lung function increases up to 30%.
`3 to 9 months:
Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath all decrease.
Cilia re-grow in lungs, increasing ability to “clean” lungs & reducing likelihood of infection.
Body’s overall energy increases.
1 year after quitting:
Excess risk of coronary heart disease is decreased to half that of a smoker.
5 to 15 years after quitting, stroke risk is reduced to that of people who never smoked.
Risk of lung cancer decreases.
Risk of other cancers decrease (mouth, throat, esophagus, kidney, etc.)
15 years after quitting smoking:
Risk of heart attack is the same as someone who has never smoked!
Owner of Banyan Tree Healing Center in San Luis Obispo. Massage Therapist, Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher, Intuitive Healer