Massage Therapists who Do Specialty Work: Important Questions to Ask
So now your looking for someone to help you out of your pain you have had for a while. Who do you go see to help you get out of pain? I will give you the same advice from my orthopedic doctor, who had retired when I was ready to get my shoulder surgically repaired:
“Go to someone who works on this particular part of the body at least 3 times a week.”
The same goes for massage. You can open up the yellow pages and see most massage therapists will list either “deep tissue” or “sport massage.” What does that tell you as a consumer? Nothing whatsoever.
Just to give you an idea, every massage school in America teaches a basic “deep tissue” and pre- and post- sports massage techniques to each student that attends. Maybe the therapist has taken an additional weekend seminar or two, but it still doesn’t tell you if he or she can help you with your problem.
Is there one particular technique that is better then another one for a particular type of injury? The answer is no. I’m sure almost every therapist will say that their particular technique is the best. Any technique will work with 85-90% of clients who come in. You as a client should not care what kind of technique a therapist is using. It is like the rubber chicken therapy. What you haven’t heard of the rubber chicken therapy for pain relief? It goes like this: Clients don’t care what you do to get them out of pain as long as you get them out of pain like you told them you would. Sometimes it takes more then one technique to get you out of pain. That's the importance of massage.
Look in the yellow pages under massage therapy and most therapists will list the technique they use such as “deep tissue” or “precision neuromuscular” or “soft tissue release”. So what does this mean to you? To be honest almost nothing, It tells you that he/she spent some time studying that particular technique, but it still doesn’t tell you if it will get you out of pain.
So what do you look for then going back to what my doctor told me. Ask how often do they work with that particular issue each week. Myself I work on Hip/Lower Back and Shoulder Issues. I know I can help a professional baseball pitcher, football defensive back, hockey player or anyone else with those issues quite quickly. The more specialized the therapist is with a particular part of the body the quicker you will see results and the less money overall you will spend getting out of pain. A therapist friend of mine in Florida charges $120.00 for a 15 minute session and as he tells clients. “I only charge you $10.00 dollars for what I do, the rest of my fee is for what I know.”
Ask your possible therapist these questions: How long have you been a massage therapist? You want someone with at least 5 years of experience. How much professional seminar time did you spend studying and working on that particular part of the body? A 24-hour weekend seminar is not enough. Who did you study with or under? How many years have you been specializing in that body part? Why do you specialize in that body part to help heal and get out of pain? This to me is very important, why were they called to that particular body part or region. Do chiropractors send patients to you? Have you had issues with this particular area of your own body? Most therapists who have specialized in one area of the body almost always have had past problems with that area themselves.
If you get answers like: I do sports massage, deep tissue or I work on athletes, ask them, what about specifically this part of the body and how many times a week does a client come with that particular issue to you? How quickly have you gotten other clients out of this type of pain? Do you work with chronic pain issues of this body part or just new injuries?
You need both knowledge and experience in your therapist in order to get out of pain quickly and have it be long lasting. Muscles move bones and if the muscles are not moving the bones properly, pain will occur, until the muscles are released and allowed to move bones properly.
You will have to call around and ask those pointed questions to find someone who is skilled enough to help you. You may find them working out of their home or in a massage center. But you will be paying more for their experience and knowledge and it will be so worth it to your body, mind and wallet. You will pay more for a session, but much less money overall to get out of pain.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and if your not comfortable with the answers you’re getting, then call someone else. Yes you might have to travel some distance to see someone who is experienced and knowledgeable with the issues your suffering with, but it will be worth it to you. People have traveled from around the country to where I live to be worked on by me to help their body, mind and spirit heal. And I would travel far to be worked on by therapists I know because of their experience with a particular issue.