Massage Therapy Session Etiquette

For some reason, the topic of RMT's and massages come up from time to time and I've found myself surprised with the amount of people who find the experience foreign to them. I've never been one to shy away from a visit and it doesn't necessarily have to happen when I'm hurt. I'm a big advocate for soft tissue work being a great way to prevent injury while improving performance.

Booking the appointment...

It's fairly simple. You call the clinic and you book a time that works for you. Usually clinics will have a page on their website dedicated to who their massage therapists are, what they specialize in and what they enjoy eating on weekends (seriously, there are some unnecessary profiles out there). Anyways, see who you think would be a good match and request that therapist. It's not creepy to request a woman or man and it's also not creepy to ask who has a heavier hand (that means who massages hard or who will rub your back like your at a spa that you got a Groupon for that so happens to be in a plaza next to Walmart (just in case you didn't quite get my sarcasm, I'm saying they give pretty shitty massages).

When you get to the clinic...

Hopefully by the time you get to the clinic you're fully hydrated. That's a general rule. I've been told by many therapist whether there a chiropractor or RMT, that the muscle is a lot easier to work with when hydrated. Come to the front desk, check in and sit down. Pretty easy.

The massage therapists talks too much...

Here's the interesting stuff and the motivation behind this post. You're massage therapist comes out and she's clearly a chatterbox. She'll have to ask you general questions like, how's you're day going? What brings you in? Where would you like to primarily focus on today? The problem occurs when she starts asking you where you work, what you drive and have you seen the latest episode of Orange is the new black (because she and her girlfriends stayed in this weekend to watch a marathon because "she's so over the clubbing scene" and she's "just too mature for that stuff now") If you're up for conversation and enjoy it, by all means continue to engage he or she, but beware that some people will not shut up. I've learned that the hard way and it kind of takes away from the massage for me.  I used to have this mentality that an RMT would probably prefer someone talk to them because who wants to stand for an hour in silence? However, how do you know they feel obligated to talk to you, meanwhile they just want to focus on the massage and not talk. At the end of the day, keep in mind that you're a paying client and that the hour is for you and you can choose to be quiet if you prefer.

Requesting them to massage harder...

Do not feel bad about asking them to focus more on a particular body part or asking them to massage harder during the massage. I think far too often people forget that massage therapists take their job seriously. For the most part, the therapists that I've come across generally want to provide relief. I used to think that I would offend them by requesting a heavier massage (implying that he or she was weak), but they most likely want to know as well. Also, be weary of RMT's who diagnose you. Everyone in the healthcare field plays a role and some are better suited to diagnose and asses any physiological issues better than others. If you're sick, see a doctor, if you're hurt see a chiropractor, if you're sad, see your mom. Pretty simple.

On providing a tip at the end of the session...

You don't have to. If they seem like there expecting one, then you didn't go to a massage therapist but instead you went to nail spa where they rubbed your neck while you soaked your feet (be honest with yourself). Another tip... If the clinic is stays open later than 11pm, walk away.

This was a post based on my experiences. Hopefully it was helpful. I'm going for a massage now. Till next time.