- Karen Stoner, LMT
Massage Tips and Trivia: Always discuss your goals for your massage with your therapist
"Always discuss with your Massage Therapist the goals you want to achieve with your massage"
Massage Therapists are usually pretty good with figuring out where you have areas of tightness or tension, however we are not mind readers. Everyone comes to massage with a different purpose or intention, and the therapist can't always determine what that intention is unless you tell them. If there is an obvious issue that's one thing, but sometimes we see things that our clients don't realize and we can zoom in on that if the client doesn't disclose why they are there. For example, if someone walks in with a limp, the therapist will likely work on focusing on what is causing the limp, working intensely on the legs, hips, low back, etc, but if the client didn't realize they were limping and really only wanted to come in to relax and zone out, they aren't getting what they wanted out of the massage and they end up leaving frustrated.
This is why it is important to discuss what you want to get out of the massage with your Massage Therapist before you start. Many therapists do have some sort of intake form or will do a verbal Q&A before a massage session to get a feel for why the client is in for a massage, and ask about any areas of issue or what the client wants to work on. This is where good client-therapist communication is very important. The client shouldn't hold back or be afraid that if they tell the therapist something, they will judge them or not do what they really want, and likewise, the therapist should listen and ask follow-up questions if needed to make sure that the massage is tailored to what the client needs, wants, and expects.
Massage can be used for many things. From simple relaxation and taking time for self-care to get away from the world, to fixing or rehabilitating an injury, to simple maintenance of keeping the position you sit at work from turning into a real injury or issue. There are a lot of reasons that people come in to get a massage, and even with the same person who comes regularly, the reason may change from session to session. Open communication is a must to make sure that the goals and expectations of the client are executed and met by the Massage Therapist to the best of each of their abilities.