Happy Massage Therapy Awareness Week! What? You didn’t get us anything? That’s okay; in fact, we have some things for YOU in the form of “I bet you didn’t know” facts about massage therapy, as well as a few false notions we’d like to debunk. Many professions have their common misunderstandings or misconceptions tied to them, and massage therapy is no exception. In fact, we have A LOT. And what better time than National Massage Therapy Awareness Week to talk about them?
Need some clarity?
- Massage therapist or masseuse/masseur? NOT the same thing, although it technically is. Confused? You’re not the only one. This one is tricky, because, by definition, a masseuse or masseur is simply one who performs massages professionally. However, there is a ton of discrepancy between that simple, innocent-sounding definition, and the reality of society’s image of the title. (Think of all the seedy “massage” places you’ve seen in various parts of town.) Massage therapists, by contrast, are professionals who have achieved licensure in massage through hours of school and practice. The massage practiced by therapists will focus on healing muscles and joints in a very deliberate, educated way. If you want a massage, that’s what we (HIGHLY) recommend.
- A massage is a massage is a massage? Nope. That’s like saying that all beer is the same. Or all movies. Or all tacos. Massage can, and should, be very specific to your needs and your requests. Within the normal options of sports massage, prenatal massage, deep tissue, or trigger point, there are endless personalized customizations that can be made, just for you.
- Your massage therapist can read your body, but not your mind. So while we are very good at discovering sore, tight spots that you didn’t even know you had, and while we can often tell if your neck pain stems from your hands, or that your feet are actually responsible for your hip problems, that’s where our telepathic abilities end. We can’t read whether you’re too hot, situated uncomfortably, or prefer to chat it up during your appointment. Are your calves extra-sensitive today? Or are you in the mood for extra time spent focused on your feet (ummm, as if that isn’t always)? Speak up and let us know. It’s a common misconception that once the massage therapist gets started, he or she are “in the zone” and shouldn’t be interrupted. Quite the contrary, you should most definitely let your therapist know. This is your massage, not ours. We want you to be satisfied, and to get the very most out of your massage.
And in case you were wondering . . .
- Last year there were an estimated 350,000 massage therapists and massage school students in the US. Spread across the country evenly, that makes 7,000 per state, or 18 per city.
- During a 12-month period ending last year, an estimated 18 percent of American adults had received a massage at least once.
- Today’s massage therapists are predominantly female (86 percent), and have a median age of 45 years old.
For National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, and every week, we aim to spread the word on just how valuable we can be for your wellness, and how valuable our clients are to us.