Here are 5 things to ease your mind
Massage can be intimidating for the newcomer. The idea of having a stranger touch you may initiate fear of the unknown to some people. And, sometimes it’s hard to take the leap mentally from “Oh, my goodness NO WAY do I want some stranger touching me” to “I could really use a massage”. I’m sure there are a ton of other thoughts that go through peoples minds but this is the one I hear most often. And, I want you to know, it’s okay to have those thoughts. I’m not new to massage but when I go to a new place for a massage I’m always skeptical. Weird right? Well, I think it’s natural to have hesitation but here I reveal a few tips that I use to get over that fear.
Keep your clothes on
I once had a client tell me she would often go to the mall to get a chair massage. She did it because it was less intimidating than getting a “real” massage. In her mind, she decided that chair massage wasn’t massage because she didn’t have to take her clothes off. She ended up in my office because she wanted more: a longer session, deeper work and other areas worked on.
Prior to her arrival, she had reached out to me about her hesitation. I let her know we can do the sessions with her fully clothed and that my only request is that she wear comfortable clothes like sweats or spandex. This went on for quite some time. Until one day, she asked about what do other people do. I said they dress down to their comfort zone. If they want to take their shirt off they take their shirt off. If they want to keep their undergarments on they keep them on. It’s entirely up to them. The only area exposed is the one I’m working on. All other areas of the body will be under the sheets. Over time, she became comfortable with getting a full body massage without any clothes on.
NOT everyone reaches this point or has to. The idea is that you can keep your clothes on while getting a massage in order to feel comfortable, safe, protected. It’s also great way to get introduced to the healing powers of massage.
Get a referral
Get recommendations from people you trust about who to see for a massage. A good recommendation can lead you in the right direction. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you are going to a reputable therapist. This alone will help alleviate some of the anxiety around getting a massage. As of recent 75% of my clientele is from referrals.
Want to know if massage can help what you’re experiencing? Check out the American Massage Therapy Associations (AMTA) article on 25 Reasons To Get A Massage here.
Check the therapists credentials
Go to a professional, someone who has made this profession their career. How can you find someone who is reputable? Look for a therapist who has the following credentials:
- Completed massage school = Certified Massage Therapist (CMT)
- State licensed = Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)/Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) ***NOTE: Some states do not require a license.****
- Posses current liability insurance
- If they are self employed, they should have a current business license
These are good indicators that you’re working with someone who is serious about their craft. You can search for a massage therapist in your state through a license lookup here and you can search through Heath Professionals here.
Talk to the therapist
Give the therapist a call or send them an email. Most therapist are happy to answer questions. Although this may not be feasible if you are seeking to go to a therapist that works for a company. It may be company policy for them not to speak to perspective clients. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to try. Some people like to see if they have good rapport with therapist prior to coming in and vice versa. I personally, prefer an email as my schedule is full and it’s easier for me to respond to clients in between sessions.
My last suggestions and probably the most important for this population of people. Go with a small practice or an independent massage therapist. You’ll have a great appreciation for the genuine nature of the individual attention. You won’t feel so rushed. Your needs will be heard and attended to much better. At least this has been my experience.
Massage can benefit anyone. I sincerely mean that. Find a massage therapist whose skills match your needs. And go from there. Don’t give up if your first experience isn’t what you expected. Keep trying until you find the right therapist for you. Massage therapists are just as unique as your doctor, barber, hairstylist, personal trainer, chiropractor, wellness coach. You name it. Finding a good one is well worth the search. Your mind, body and soul will appreciate it. Best of luck.