As a client how do I choose the right type of massage for me?
In the past we may have gone for a massage and it may not be what we were looking for. Either we wanted to relax and the therapist dug their elbows in our back and on the other hand we may have wanted deep work and the therapist gave a more relaxation massage with too light of a pressure. However, it does not have to be that way. Understanding our goals, expectations of the massage and communicating with our massage therapist plays a key role in meeting our expectations and having a wonderful session that is enjoyable.
Here are some tips to choosing the right massage you:
- Know your goals
We are all looking for something different from a massage. Hence it is key to ask yourself what are you specifically looking to get out of the treatment. Are you looking for pain relief in a particular area of your body (i.e. sore neck and shoulders), treatment for a medical condition such as nerve pain or carpal tunnel, or are you just looking for some stress relief or just want to enjoy the simple yummy-ness of getting a massage.
Different modalities of massage aim to achieve different results and outcomes, so knowing what your goals are in advance will ensure that you choose the right massage for you. For instance, if you are an athlete, you may be interested in seeing someone who is trained in dealing with injuries or reducing recovery time so you can perform better. Or, if you are wanting to reduce the swelling in the ankle from a fall you may want to see some trained in reducing the swelling with lymphatic massage. That leads us to the next point.
- Learn about the various modalities that are available
Generally we think of massage as massage! However, there are numerous massage methods available and massage therapist go for further trainings. Learning about the types of massages available may help you determine the best technique/modality that will meet your massage goals.
If your goal is relaxation a deep tissue massage will not be the massage for you. A Swedish relaxation/light massage would be a good fit. However, if you are looking for specific work such as reducing soreness, pain or releasing tension in a area, then perhaps choose a deep-tissue, myofascial release, or other therapeutic techniques that are aimed at reducing hypertonic (tight) muscles would be good.
However, we also have to know our bodies and deep pressure may not feel good and in that case a Swedish/light massage may still be a great fit in loosening up the muscles. Tender point, Cupping, Meridian massage are also a great way to relieve the muscle tension, pain, moving the energy and stagnation build up in the muscle body.
Craniosacral and Visceral manipulation is another modality in massage that is highly effective in working with the brain and organs. Recovery from a Concussion can be aided with Craniosacral work.
Keep in mind, massage may be more effective and efficient when it comes to relieving pain and reducing tension along with other practices like, Acupuncture, Physiotherapy and many more.
- Communicate with your Therapist
Once you know what your goals are and the type of method that you would like to try, decide what your preferences are when actually getting the session. Have a conversation with your therapist about the different massages available and which one will be good in achieving the results.
For the therapist it is important to know what your goals are and also have your consent to try the different types of modality!
- The only real way to know is to try
Go with the massage you resonate with and sometimes just try it for a session. I have had clients who never tried meridian massage and now find it as their favorite massage!