It’s important to find the best possible therapist for any type of bodywork, but it’s especially important when you’re looking for someone to practice deep tissue massage. Fortunately, a few simple rules should lead you to a wise decision.
1. Look for the license. Make sure your therapist is licensed or certified in your state before you get on the table. If you don’t see the license, ask.
2. In addition, find out what deep tissue training the therapist has received, either in massage school or through certification in techniques such as neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release or integration, trigger point therapy, or Rolfing. How many hours of training did the therapist receive in the specific technique?
3. Keep an eye out for testimonials from the therapist’s current or previous clients. They may indicate what type of experience you’re likely to receive.
4. Make certain the therapist is clear about what you should expect from your treatment. You are in charge of your body! A good therapist will review your problems with you and suggest solutions before the session begins.
5. Ask about the therapist’s deep tissue philosophy. Does the therapist believe that pushing through pain is the best option in a massage? Does he or she communicate during a treatment session?
Here are a few suggestions for getting the most out of your treatment once you decided on a therapist.
1. Make sure your therapist keeps communication with you open. For example, your therapist should guide you through deep breathing techniques during the session, especially when working on tender or painful areas of your body.
2. Be honest. Your therapist will ask you to be clear if the treatment becomes uncomfortable; don’t hesitate to do so. In addition, a quality therapist will be sensitive to signs of squirming, flinching, or hand clenching during deep tissue techniques.
3. Make sure you rest after receiving a deep tissue massage. If you go straight to strenuous activity or heavy lifting, you risk injury.
4. Finally, follow any post-session instructions your therapist offers. These may include stretches, icing or heat and are designed to extend the benefits of your massage well beyond your time on the table.
If you follow these simple rules, you maximize your chance for a great deep tissue massage. You could be amazed at the results.