As health care costs continue to increase, consumers are looking towards alternative therapies to treat pain and stress. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), 44 percent of adult Americans who received a massage between July 2010 and July 2011 received it for medical or health reasons compared to 35 percent the previous year. However, many consumers still have misconceptions about massage and how to make the most of their experience. It’s to be expected – there’s a sense of vulnerability when it comes to getting a massage, and many are reluctant to seek clarification.
Get the most out of your massage by following these simple tips:
- Speak up! At restaurants, we’re quick to request dressing on the side. At the drycleaners, we’re not afraid to ask for extra starch. Yet when it comes to receiving a customized massage, many consumers are hesitant to ask for what they want. It’s essential to clearly communicate your goals, so don’t be afraid to tell a massage therapist to spend more time on a certain area, or to alter their technique to be more gentle or firm.
- Undress to your comfort level: The customer has free range to undress as much, or as little, as he/she likes. Modesty is always accepted, so if you feel most comfortable in shorts and a T-shirt, wear it!
- Talk….or Don’t: You can chit chat during the treatment or be still, as you choose. The massage therapist will follow your lead.
- Rehydrate: Even though you’re laying still while receiving a massage, your muscles are being worked and they need to recharge. Always drink plenty of water following a massage. An hour-long massage works your muscles similar to that of an hour spent at the gym.
- Tip Appropriately: The general rule of thumb is to tip 15 to 25 percent. If using a coupon or packaged deal, tip on the original price of the massage.