Knowing what's best for you
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
“Please take your clothes off and lie down between the sheets face-down. I’ll be back in just a moment, and we will then start your massage.” This tends to be the most common phrase whenever we go to receive a massage, but how did we get there? Why is it we start almost 95% of the time with a face-down treatment, when receiving a massage? Do they not want to see us, do they not want us to see them, is the practitioner just used to starting like this because they have settled in their ways or is it a strategic decision to prove maximum results? This is a question you need to ask yourself to determine the quality of your massage practitioner.
If you had tightness in your thigh and this was enough of a reason to bring you in for a massage, then you wouldn’t want the massage practitioner to work for 50 out of 60 minutes on your back. It really should be common sense, yet we don’t always get what we wanted. It’s better to have a newly licensed massage therapist over an experienced person working without formal training or a license. That and in most of the United States it is illegal to work without a license.
To have your massage practitioner ask you a few questions before they start is very important to you, your safety and wellbeing. Aside from not getting a massage that would provide specific relief do they know about your previous injuries, what you're allergic to and any medicines you are taking? Let’s take a moment and look at how your massage practitioner not knowing these issues can cause a problem.
Allergies, not everyone might have them, but for those who do, being exposed to what they are allergic to can be very uncomfortable, a medical emergency or in some cases lead to death. As an example, you or a person you love could have an allergy to latex or almonds/nuts and don’t realize you are about to be exposed to your allergies. Almond oil & latex gloves are tools that might be found in any random room where massage is performed, and can give a significant allergic reaction if the massage practitioner is not aware.
No two injuries were created equal, that along with everyone’s body being different, means your massage practitioner has to know what’s going on with regards to your injury history. As an example, if you recently suffered a broken bone, or have osteoporosis, then some types of massage shouldn’t be done. Just because in this state the bones are weaker & more fragile. In theory, you could have a little low-pressure massage to improve your circulation, but deep pressure can break the bones during treatment. If your bone breaks in the wrong place, you could damage your muscles or worse yet, an organ, which could lead to injuries or in some cases death.
An experienced massage therapist should try to vary the experience based on the needs of the person. This is why a little communication (whether you're in a spa, medical office or more casual setting) is so important. Spas are not set up to take extensive notes, but even then your massage practitioner should know the essential things about you to maintain & improve your wellbeing.
If your momma, significant other, or loved one can give you a massage with their untrained hands as a labor of love at home, then why pay someone who doesn’t know you, and doesn’t have the training, education or desire to make you better. Pay for the professional who knows and cares. At least your loved one will know your allergies, and injury history while having the same knowledge as an unlicensed massage practitioner. You wouldn’t take your car to be repaired or maintained by a loved one who doesn’t have experience, so why do that with your body? You can replace your car anytime you want while the body you have is for your lifetime, so treat yourself with the highest standards you can. Love yourself, love your body and find a practitioner who is going to take the time to know every important detail related to you.