October 3, 2015

What makes a good massage? Well, that is a good question. Is it the right pressure? How about the time spent on needed areas? Is it the therapist? Or maybe it is the fact that you are relaxed and out of pain when it is over?

These are all good questions, and it seems like all I can do is ask questions. But what makes a good session is something that is different to each individual. And every person that receives a massage has different things that they look for. Some like deep pressure, others not so deep. Some like conversation, others like silence. So, I guess the only approach I can take is to tell you what I think a good session consists of, and you can take that and compare it to your own likes.

Obviously, the first impression is the most important. In that, I like the therapist to be pleasant. I look for the space to be calming. I expect them to spend some time with me to see what exactly is going on, to get a good idea on how to work and what needs special attention. I look for them to have (or suggest) a plan that will be the best for me.

On the table, I want them to be quiet unless they have specific questions or concerns. I expect the massage itself to be firm, not too deep, not too light. Of course, I expect that to change in certain areas that need working out. If I ask for more pressure, I expect them to give it. If they are beating on me too hard, I expect them to ease off if I ask. Basically, I expect their touch to be competent and knowledgeable.

I expect them to work all parts of the body from back to glutes to legs to shoulders to abdominals (abs) in a non-sexual manner (excluding genitals of course). After all, every part of the body has important muscles in it, and those muscles connect to all other muscles. To work one muscle group and not another does not make sense. For instance, the glutes (buttocks) are a major part of the low back. If there are low back problems, these muscles need to be worked. The ab muscles are a key part of the core of your being. All too many people don't do them.

When the session is over, I expect to have a few minutes with the therapist to offer feedback and see if they have suggestions.

I guess for me, the mark of a good session is that I am not rushed in and out, that sufficient time is taken to make sure they do what is needed. I like to feel like the therapist cares about me as a person, and that shows not only in their attitude, but in their work. That for me is what makes a good massage. It is what we try to give because our passion for doing this makes us.

What makes a good massage for you?