If you have never had a massage, you are really missing out. A massage can be relaxing and refreshing after a long and stressful week, or it can be therapeutic for the relief of sore muscles, stress and tension headaches. There are a wide variety of places you can get a massage and each offers a unique opportunity.
Massage clinics – Massage clinic often hire a variety of massage therapists which allows them to offer a variety of massage techniques such as Swedish, deep tissue, sports massage, Shiatsu, hot stone, aromatherapy, and prenatal massage. Reputable clinics will hire licensed massage therapists and present a professional image, almost as if you were at a medical facility.
Massage Schools – Did you know that you can get deeply discounted massage therapy at massage schools? This is an often best kept secret, but keep in mind these folks are still learning so you may get someone at the beginning of their training the first time and a near pro the next.
Hotels & Day Spas – These both generally offer pampering treatments such as relaxing massage. These generally tend to be more costly than regular massage clinics, but it doesn’t guarantee your massage will be any better as all therapists have different techniques and levels of experience.
Medical Practitioners – It is becoming more common for chiropractors and integrative medicine clinics to offer massage as many providers realize the therapeutic value of massage and incorporate it into their practice.
Acupuncture Clinic – The reason this was not included in with the other medical practitioners is because you would generally find a different technique at an acupuncture clinic where Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is practiced. These techniques include Tui Na and cupping; highly effective Asian massage techniques. If you haven’t experienced this, you need to. You might find a longer lasting relief of tension or pain than with a Western massage technique.
In the end, it’s all about you when it comes to your massage. A few keys to having successful massage therapy are:
Trying multiple techniques until you find what is best for your specific needs.
Communicating with the massage therapist openly (i.e. too much pressure, not enough, not the right area, etc.) A good therapist wants feedback in order to do the best job so that you return and also tell others.
Do you have any other advice for massage seekers? If so, please comment below.