Who is the BEST Massage Therapist?   Leave a comment

Obviously..the answer is me. No,really,I am not. But I recently spent the weekend taking classes with some of the best in the U.S. And it got me thinking about what makes a great massage therapist and how one can discern a good therapist,the right one for whatever issues. In Massachusetts there are over 9,000 licensed massage therapists. Which one is which?

In March I joined a whole lot of massage folks at the AMTA NERC-that is the American Massage Therapist Assoc.New England Regional Conference. All licensed massage therapists in this state (and most other states) must be certified,bonded and insured. So there’s your first parameter~the therapist should hold a Massachusetts license and belong to either AMTA or AMBP(Assoc. of Massage and Bodywork Professionals). These associations check credentials,licensing and education,require ongoing education as well as provide necessary insurance.

Before arriving at the conference I had no idea there were so many LMT’s in the state. Altho I don’t know how many in attendance were specifically from Mass.,I think it’s fair to say maybe 10% of Licensed Massachusetts therapists were in attendance. Here I was at a well-known,well run conference,priced reasonably, a varied selection of classes~~where is everyone? There were a LOT of people there but remember 6 states were represented! And I am pretty sure there weren’t more than 900 people from Mass. Why wouldn’t you spend some time getting new ideas and techniques to share with your clients. For me-that’s the next criterion–what was the last class your massage therapist took and when? Come on people!!

Then the framework should get a little more personal. What kind of setting do you like? Would you prefer receiving massage in your home? or in a spa? Some people absolutely do not want to know their therapist,some HAVE to know theirs. Male or Female? Always a BIG question. My most consistent massage partner is a good guy named Mike. We went to Massage School together,and when he graduated and was ready to practice-sexism was a huge issue for him. He had to give away massage to establish his reputation. I can understand women’s hesitation. If a friend recommends a massage therapist~that’s a good sign. Another idea is to inquire if they offer chair or hand/foot massage. With these modalities you are fully clothed and you can test out your “creepy-meter”. Listen to your gut.

Is price a criteria? Wellll,yes and no. If you stay at a nice resort or city hotel,you will pay upwards of $150-$350 for a massage that I do for $55-$85. But that’s no surprise. If you go to a place that is cheap cheap cheap and the menu says–“Backrub”-chances are good you are not working with licensed massage therapists. So even tho’ it’s only $35…..please….take your tired self elsewhere.

Style and technique-major criterion. Because after you ascertain the LMT is; a. truly licensed, b. gets on-going education, c.has a setting you prefer and doesn’t creep you out,and d.is priced right for you~you also have to get the massage you need. Swedish? Deep tissue? cranial-sacrum? zero-balancing? Rolfing? Sports massage? Amma? what the hell is that? aaargh! What do all of these things mean? Look it up! Research the type of massage a practitioner does and see if it sounds good to you. Honestly-Google ‘Amma massage’ right now. I have been trained extensively in Amma. I don’t do a full Amma in my practice but I do incorporate it into my therapeutic work. Deep tissue-means a lot of different things to a lot of people. Yup,when my elbow sinks into your knotted muscle,that’s deep tissue. But I don’t do a total massage with that because I don’t want you to hate me. And if you spend an hour on the table getting tortured? Not my style.

Who is the BEST massage therapist for you? After licensing and education it is the person who you trust will do a good job,care about your well-being and listen to what you are trying to accomplish by getting a massage. Don’t hesitate to try someone out,if it’s not the right experience for you? Try again,the best massage therapist is out there somewhere.

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Posted April 1, 2013 by Padanaram Massage in Uncategorized

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