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how to ask a massage therapist how to get the massage you want

How to ask your therapist to give you the massage your body needs

Open communication with your therapist is the best way to get the massage your body needs. Here are the best ways you can communicate with your massage therapist.

All I know is that I am in pain. Can my massage therapist still figure out what’s wrong?

A good therapist will ask follow-up questions to determine how to approach your problem. And after they have begun working on your muscles for a few minutes, they will have a clearer picture of what is going on with your body as a whole.

Heather said, “I will ask a follow-up question about an activity they’ve done or a position they sleep in. And then when someone tells me, ‘I just drove 37 hours,’ or, ‘I sleep on a couch with an arm hanging off the side and it always falls asleep,’ then I can address the areas that would be affected by those things.”

When should I let my massage therapist know if they’re using too little or too much pressure?

In the first few minutes of your massage, your therapist is warming up your muscle tissues before working harder on your problem areas.

If five minutes have passed and you don’t feel like the pressure is firm enough, then ask for more pressure to be used. Your therapist will also check in with you a couple times to see if they are using the right amount of pressure.

When you book your massage with us, you’re giving us your first clue about the amount of pressure you want in your massage.

  • If you booked a Relaxation massage (or Swedish Massage), that tells us your goal is relaxation. (No surprises there!) We’ll use less pressure and will focus on the body as a whole.
  • If you booked a Therapeutic massage, then we know you want a firmer touch and that you have specific issues you want us to address. We’ll use a range of pressure from light to deep. Of course if you add Deep Tissue, we know you really want us to dig in and take care of your complaints.

What if it’s too much pressure?

Andrea said, “The pressure is too much if you notice you’re holding your breath or if you feel the need to pull away from the pressure. Let your therapist know right away so they can adjust and not cause you pain. You won’t hurt their feelings.”

Why is my therapist focusing on a part of my body I didn’t mention to them?

When one area of your body is strained or feels pain, it will affect other parts of your body. Your pain in your shoulder may be caused by a problem somewhere else.

If you work at a computer and feel mid-back pain, it is because your shoulders are likely pulled forward and your pectoral (chest) muscles are too tight. Your therapist may work the front of your neck and pec muscles to relieve the pain or strain that is pulling on your back.

Can I ask my therapist to revisit an area? What if I don’t feel like I’ve gotten enough relief from my pain?

Yes, you can ask your therapist to revisit an area. Just say, “can you continue working on that area?” Or “Can you pay more attention to my IT band?” Don’t be shy—mention this sooner instead of in the final few minutes of the massage. Our schedules are usually booked solid, so it’s not common practice to extend a 45 minute massage into a 60 minute massage.

If you have a lot of areas (like 5 or 6) you want special emphasis on, we will do our best to get to them. But with that many areas of concern, you would receive more relief in two sessions so there is time to adequately address them.

Can I ask my therapist questions about why they’re using a specific motion or movement?

Absolutely! We may geek out on you a little bit as we explain how the knee bone is connected to the ankle bone. We are happy to explain what we’re doing and why. Please don’t ever be afraid to ask a question during your session.

So….I just need to ask my questions and communicate if I am uncomfortable?


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