20 Ways To Get The Best Massage For Your Money

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20 Ways To Get The Best Massage For Your Money

  1. 1. 20 Ways To Get The Best Massage For Your Money
  2. 2. 1. Venue  You have a choice:  Corporate run franchised spas – ex: Massage Envy  Medical clinics  Privately owned wellness centers  Private therapists  Your choice from this selection will greatly influence the nature and value of the massage you receive. Oftentimes, the difference between these venues lie in the ownership.  You must discern which of these focus more on the type of massage you are looking for in order to get your money’s worth in value and experience.
  3. 3. Corporate Run Franchised Spas  Whether a corporation owns a few or hundreds nationwide, these spas tend to be the McDonalds of the massage industry. It may be cheaper, but remember, you get what you pay for.  They hire massage students right out of school, so your therapist usually has limited experience. Although this helps a therapist get started and gain experience, these institutions often exploit them because they underpay, and overwork the therapists they hire.  Consider that if the therapist is not getting great internal customer service and consideration from the franchise owner or the corporation’s directives; and if they are overworked and in pain, they will not be happy and that energy can affect the quality of the massage you receive.  Oftentimes, insecure franchise owners and management will manipulate clients with claims that the therapist they like or specifically request is not available. The reality is, they require therapists to sign no compete contracts so that you are prohibited from following your favorite therapist when they leave to seek better opportunities.  These spas focus on Relaxation predominantly. To know if the spa you are considering is one of these, check to see if they are nationwide, or how many locations there are in your state.
  4. 4. Medical Clinics  Usually, the focus of these clinics is recovery. Most often, their clients are victims of accidents or hereditary conditions that require a great deal of physical therapy.  Massage in a location like this is usually only for 10-20 minutes per insurance directives.  Most often, physical therapy has precedence over massage in this environment.  Regardless of additional pain areas you may want addressed, the insurance company’s requirements direct the treatment and the doctor dictates what body areas the Massage Therapist can massage.
  5. 5. Privately Owned Wellness Centers  These centers focus on actually Therapeutic Massage.  They hire very talented and experienced therapists.  Massage Therapists in wellness centers are more focused on eliminating muscular problems and pain.  These centers are great for treating accidents, injuries, muscle tension and strain, stress and athletes.  Some wellness centers are owned by Chiropractors. If this is the case, the purpose will be redirected from Massage Therapy, to Chiropractic Care. In such a situation, treatment recommended will be very frequent, and unless you pay separately for a longer massage, massage in this type of clinic will be 10-20 minutes dictated by insurance directives. Make sure you check to learn the focus of the center.
  6. 6. Private Therapists  There is a lot of choice with private Massage Therapists. Options include, price, time, location, style and convenience above all.  Private Massage Therapists may have their own location. They may rent a room in an office or spa. They may come to your home or office location.  There are no restrictions in addressing your pain problems.  Usually, private Massage Therapists are more therapeutic in nature, and have a greater freedom in exercising their massage styles.  You can develop a good working relationship with your therapist and get the care and relief you need
  7. 7. 2. Price  The reason that many people walk away from a massage feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth is because of the venue they chose to receive their massage in.  The type of massage you receive may depend greatly on your choice of quality over quantity when you consider price.  The corporate franchised spas have lowered pricing, but quality takes a hit. To compensate, they will push monthly membership contracts and products to make up the difference.  If you want a quality massage, you need an experienced Massage Therapist with no restrictive directives that prevent them from exercising the full range of their education and skills to effect your muscles in a positive way.  Massage prices range from $50 and up, and depend on whether or not the venue is running a special or discount for the lower pricing. An average price range for a 60 minute massage is $90.
  8. 8. 3. Time  Most people are unrealistic about the time needed for a good massage.  Depending on the style desired, greater time may be needed than the standard 60 minutes.  More time may be needed depending on the condition of the muscles.  More time may be needed depending on the level of pain.  More time may be needed depending on how many pain areas the client complains about, and how well they want those areas addressed.
  9. 9. 4. The Type of Massage  There are three main types of massage that govern the industry:  Relaxation – Swedish massage, a light to medium rub down – full body.  Deep Tissue – More focused muscle tension relief; not always full body  Therapeutic – Muscle tension, stress and pain relief; deeper pressure, deep tissue, predominantly spot specific according to client pain; includes muscular and structural integration and alignment.
  10. 10. 5. Front Desk Staff  Are they helpful in accommodating your scheduling requests?  Are they familiar with the therapists and their massage styles?  Can they properly communicate the difference between styles to you?  Are they warm and friendly?  Do they truthfully tell you your favorite therapist’s schedule of availability?  Do they match you up correctly, according to your request with the type of therapist you need?
  11. 11. 6. Improper Matching  This can occur when the spa is more concerned with their bottom line, than with giving you the service you are paying for.  This can occur when the client does not adequately articulate the type of massage they need.  This can occur when the client confuses their desire for “Deep Pressure” in a Swedish Massage, with a “Deep Tissue” Massage.  This can occur from indecisiveness of the client as to what their massage needs are.  This can occur when a spa owner fails to respect the style of the massage therapist, and insists on the therapist performing a different style. For example, many therapeutic massage therapists don’t do Swedish massage, but in a corporate run franchise, the owner may insist that the therapist does Swedish.
  12. 12. 7. Expectations  Reasons the client’s expectations may not be met.  If the client has a lot of pain issues  If the client has limited time  If the time needed to address the pain issues greatly exceeds the time paid for.  If the client cannot make up their mind what they expect or want the therapist to do, or if they constantly change their mind during the massage.  If the client attempts to direct the therapist on what to do and how to do it.  If the client failed to properly communicate their expectations to the therapist.
  13. 13. 8. Indecisiveness  Indecisiveness can be the catalyst for failed expectations.  If the client’s muscular needs exceed the type of massage or time requested, they may leave not feeling any sense of relief, nor value for their dollar.  If the client overlooks the issues in their tissues or refuses to allow the therapist to address obvious muscular problems; they may leave without feeling relief. They may get upset when they feel their tension and pain return within 1-2 hours of having received their massage. For example, the client that says, “My body’s all messed up, but I just want relaxation.”
  14. 14. 9. Controlling & Redirecting  When management in a spa does this, they disregard their clients and therapists in favor of what best suits their business. Customer service takes a hit.  When clients do this, they disrespect the skills and competence of the massage therapist, who invested a lot of time and money in their education, certification and in continuing education that is required to sustain their license.  An example of this is a client who tells the therapist that they want them to spend 5 minutes on their legs, 10 minutes on their arms, 15 minutes on their neck and shoulders, and 25 minutes on their back.
  15. 15. 10. Cleanliness  A spa or massage environment, whether it be a clinic or wellness center has to be clean.  It is unprofessional if there is musty or offensive odors.  It is unprofessional if linens do not appear to be properly laundered. {Wrinkled, torn, excessive (colored) stains. Sometimes oil stains will be present, but should not be predominant.}  It is unprofessional if dust is very visibly present. (Fans, vents and ceilings should not have dust bunnies)  It is unprofessional to utilize improper equipment, such as surgical caps in place of face covers on the table.  Clients need to remember that massage involves close contact between the Massage Therapist and client. Proper hygiene is necessary and considerate. Please do not come to a massage if you haven’t showered, brushed your teeth, or washed your clothes or failed to use deodorant. Heavy smoking odors are also offensive and are hard to remove from the rooms.  Remember that Massage Therapists have the right to refuse to work on any client, and inconsideration in hygiene is the #2 reason a therapist will exercise this right.
  16. 16. 11. Professionalism  Professionalism starts with the appointment  It is enhanced by the environment  It is embellished by the staff  It is cemented by the Massage Therapist and the treatment
  17. 17. 12. Lack of Communication with the Therapist  Most spas and centers/clinics provide an intake or medical questionnaire upon the first visit.  Many clients either are not forthright on these questionnaires, or they forget information that should be on it, or they simply refuse to give it.  Many past injuries or conditions are discovered by the therapist during sessions, as questions are asked.  If the client does not communicate about previous or current injuries or illnesses, the Massage Therapist is placed at a disadvantage which will ultimately affect the quality and level of the massage treatment.  Additionally, in order to receive adequate focused attention on trouble areas, the therapist must be apprised of all possible contraindications, endangerments or sensitive areas.  Cancer is a contraindication for massage because massage can cause it to metastasize and spread. This condition is never treatable by massage without authorization from your doctor in writing. This is the #3 reason a therapist will exercise the right to refuse treatment.
  18. 18. 13. Inappropriate Behavior & Expectations  The Massage Therapy industry has been greatly undermined by a large number of Asian based brothels masquerading as legitimate massage businesses, as well as unlicensed people selling themselves via massage.  Massage Therapy has a Code of Ethics that prohibits sexual based behavior, sensual massage, or sexual manipulations of any sort.  A Massage Therapists could lose licensure if they indulge in such inappropriate behavior.  Massage Therapy does not include “Finishing off,” “Happy Endings” or any other related sensual based requests.  Massage Therapists have the right to stop a massage session, or refuse to work on a client that acts inappropriately during a session. This is the #1 reason a Massage Therapist will refuse to work on a client.
  19. 19. 14. Problems With Pressure  The most common problem with pressure is the confusion people have concerning a desire for Swedish Massage with deep pressure, or Deep Tissue Massage.  Most people who want relaxation with pressure expect the Massage Therapist to use their hands to give them Swedish, but utilize more pressure. This is actually damaging to the therapist’s hands, and causes them great pain. It is better if the therapist uses their forearm to apply deeper pressure in a Swedish massage.  Deep Tissue is not Swedish with more pressure. Deep Tissue is deep focused pressure applied to muscular problems, and has nothing to do with relaxation techniques like Swedish. Releasing the muscular problem can bring relaxation, but Deep Tissue is not a relaxation technique.
  20. 20. 15. Following The Therapist’s Recommendations  Most Massage Therapists make a recommendation to each client, depending upon the muscle assessment they did while massaging the client.  These recommendations enhance the benefits of the massage and, in most cases, prolong and extend them.  Most clients do not heed these recommendations, which will ultimately speed their muscle’s recovery from stressors, and promote more supple and relaxed muscle tone. Additionally, following these recommendations can ultimately save the client in time, money and pain.
  21. 21. 16. Distinguishing Between Relaxation & Therapeutic Massage  You must be able to distinguish between Relaxation and Therapeutic Massage or you may not be pleased with the services you receive.  You cannot confuse Deep Pressure desired for Swedish with Deep Tissue.  If you seek the type of massage that addresses and eliminates muscular problems, tension, stress and pain, you want Therapeutic Massage.  If you seek the luxury of a spa experience strictly for relaxation, then Swedish Massage is what you are looking for.  If you want a mix of relaxation with some focus on muscles to release muscular problems, you need to request Swedish with deep pressure.
  22. 22. 17. Medical History  This information is crucial to assist the therapist in providing the best and safest treatment for your particular needs and requests.  Of major importance would be communicating about any condition that is contagious. It is best not to go to a massage with the flu or similar conditions or viruses, as spas are an environment that requires cleanliness due to the personal nature of the contact between the therapist and client.  If you are under the care of a physician, depending on the condition or problem for which you have sought a physician’s care, you may be asked to obtain a written release from your doctor giving you clearance to get massage.
  23. 23. 18. Accidents & Injuries  This is something the Massage Therapist needs to know about, especially if you are still under physician’s care for the injury, or if it is a very recent injury.  Depending on the sensitive nature of the injury and the client’s pain level will often dictate the type of therapy they should have. If there is a lot of inflammation, then light Swedish Massage is probably best until the inflammation is reduced considerably.  Once inflammation is eliminated, Therapeutic Massage would be best to eliminate the adhesions, knots and shock to the muscle caused by the accident. Of course, the therapist still needs to be mindful of the clients level of discomfort.  Clients must be sure to communicate with the therapist to inform them of pressure issues.
  24. 24. 19. The Experience of the Massage Therapist  Swedish Massage is the standard. When Massage Therapists are in school, they are taught the basics of massage, and exposed to several other modalities of massage. However, Swedish is the basic massage style that all therapists are taught. The other standard that most therapists know is Deep Tissue.  Therapists are required to take continuing education classes as a requirement to maintain their license. Many therapists that are interested in enhancing their technique or adding a new style to their repertoire, take advantage of the variety of modalities taught in the continuing education classes.  Years of experience is not the only measurement of a therapist’s experience. Many therapists gain knowledge and experience from studying books and theories about muscles or simply intense observation of their clients. There is a lot a therapist can learn from the bodies they work on if they pay attention. There are also Massage Therapists with a natural gift for massage.
  25. 25. 20. The Passion & Commitment of the Massage Therapist  A Massage Therapist that loves what they do is easily recognizable. They take a real interest in their clients and their muscular problems.  They have a need to eliminate muscle problems, even if you weren’t aware of them, or didn’t ask. Their heart intention is to ensure that you feel better.  A Massage Therapist that is passionate about what they do puts a lot of love into their massage. They don’t rush through the session just to get it over with. They aren’t there just for a paycheck. They are also interested in trying new techniques if they perceive that it will benefit the client.  They are truthful with their clients, and help client understanding by educating them about their muscles and why they are experiencing the pain or tension problems they have.  They offer a treatment plan and give (homework) some options of some simple adjustments or changes the client can make to either ease or assist the muscles, enhancing the massage treatment to eliminate pain, and maintain the best muscle tone for stress free living.

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