What’s so great about massage, anyway?
For anyone with stress, poor posture, desk jobs, etc. (I.e. Almost everyone!) a massage is a great way to alleviate soreness. Massage is well known for loosening muscles and relieving stress, but a good massage can also eliminate headaches, improve flexibility, and make you feel better in general.
Massage is not the cure for everything, but it can be part of a healthy lifestyle that counters some of the bad things we do to our bodies, and simply makes you feel good. Want more info?? Here’s a good article to read: Click Here to Read the Article.
I’ve never had a massage and I’m a little worried about my first visit. Should I be?
You were probably worried about your first hair cut as well, but in general getting a massage is similar to visiting a hair stylist, and the visit should be less stressful!
Most people fret about their first massage because they know they are going to have to take at least “most” of their clothes off. However, that is really never an issue because the massage therapist will always have you “draped” (as required by state Health Department rules). Draping means the only part of your body ever exposed will be the part your therapist is working on.
Other than doing your research on the therapist or the establishment (and maybe taking a look at our “spa etiquette” tips below), massage is a really pleasant, relaxing, healthy experience. You will wonder why it took you so long to try it!
What the heck is “Spa Etiquette”?
Spa etiquette is simply the do’s and don’ts that will help you--and others--enjoy the day at the spa (or while getting a massage). We can boil them down to 6 basic things:
- Inform the spa or the therapist what type of massage you would like when you book the appointment. There are different types of massage, and different types of therapists. Speak up, and the spa will be able to cater to your specific needs.
- Take a shower at some point before your massage.
- Arrive early so you can consult with your therapist, update any health information, enjoy a beverage, and most of all – relax!
- Try not to talk loudly, and turn your phone to vibrate.
- Be sure to communicate with your therapist. Tell him/her if the pressure is comfortable; what you like or don’t like. They can only give you a GREAT massage if there is good communication.
- Tip your therapist based on how much you enjoyed your session. Gratuity typically ranges from $10-$20 per hour (or more) depending on your preference and the quality of service you receive.
How do I find a good therapist?
This question needs to be answered in two parts: First, a “good” therapist is one that has been properly trained, holds a current massage license, has some experience, and with any luck has a passion for helping people. These things should provide the therapist with the technical skills to be “good”.
However, the second answer is probably the better answer: A good therapist is one that is a good fit for your particular needs. Think of massage therapists as professional athletes. All professional athletes are “good” athletes, but they also have different strengths, weaknesses and specialties. Could you find a professional baseball player that would be a great fit for your bowling team? Maybe, but it would be much easier (and better) to find a professional bowler for your bowling team. Any time you book a massage, be sure to inform the spa and/or therapist what type of massage you are interested in. (E.g. Swedish versus sports massage, relaxation versus deep tissue) Being specific will almost always provide you with a better massage experience.
What length of time should I book for my massage?
The vast majority of massage sessions are 60 minutes long (the “standard” appointment), which includes a little time for consultation with your therapist. A 30 minute session really doesn’t allow enough time for your therapist to do what needs to be done. Not to mention, you will not be as relaxed after a 30 minute session, and it is usually the most expensive (dollars per minute) option.
For those of us who really love massage, 90 minutes is the way to go. When you finish a 90 minute session, your therapist will have plenty of time for a full-body massage, and to address any muscles with specific issues.
Two hours is usually available as well for clients who want a truly wonderful and thorough massage. In many cases a two hour appointment will involve other spa services such as hand or foot scrubs, wraps, etc.
I didn’t like my massage, and I feel like I’ve wasted my money. What should I do?
Sometimes certain therapists and certain clients just don’t work together. The solution is to simply let the front desk (or if necessary the Spa Manager) know about the problem. If the spa is focused on client service, they should provide a reasonable solution for you. Incidentally, therapists should not be hovering around you when you check out from your appointment. If your therapist is present and you don’t want to cause a scene, call and ask to speak to the Spa Manager after you leave.
NOTE: If your massage goes VERY poorly, or if you ever feel extremely uncomfortable during a massage session, immediately tell the therapist that you need to end the session. Therapists know that you don’t need any explanation in this situation. It’s imperative that you let spa management know about the problem, as they will want to make things right for you and make sure there is not an ongoing problem.