Get a recommendation from someone you trust. Finding a therapist from the phone book (good luck finding a phone book!), or from Google may end in disaster. There are loads of shonky ‘massage’ therapists out there. At best, you’ll waste your money. At worst, you’ll be offered a handjob. Or maybe that’s a good outcome, who are we to judge?
Book with a remedial massage therapist or myotherapist if you’re looking for treatment of a musculoskeletal condition (think back or neck pain, shoulder tension, sports injuries, knee pain). Both of these types of therapists have some serious qualifications in anatomy and physiology and by the time they set out in practice have spent hundreds of hours kneading and soothing the life back into human bodies.
Check when booking that your treatment will be covered by your health insurance policy, if you have one. Remedial massage and myotherapy are covered under most ‘extras’ policies. If the clinic you are visiting has HICAPS, you can claim your rebate on the spot and just pay the difference. Yeehah!
Communicate with your massage therapist. If you’d like to relax without any chit-chat, say so before you jump on the table. If you’d prefer to be distracted by a bit of jibber-jabber, let them know. Tell them what hurts and which areas you’d like massaged. Be open to having them work on areas outside of where you think the problem is coming from. The human body is a sophisticated and complex instrument, and these guys are familiar with all its crazy connections. If you’re unsure as to why the therapist is working on your hip when you have a knee problem, ask! They’ll usually love an opportunity to explain these things to you – it’s their passion.
Let your therapist know when their pressure is too hard, too soft or just right. They’re not mind-readers… though they are well-versed at reading the squirms of your body as you try to wriggle away from them if they go too deep. If they miss a cue like this, do speak up. No one likes to come away from a massage session looking like they’ve gone ten rounds with Mike.
Wear nice undies, seriously. Thank me later. It’s hard to relax when you’re wondering if anything important is poking through your embarrassing old-underpant-crotch-hole.