Uncovering the myths of massage therapy

A massage should be relaxing, comforting or rejuvenating to the body and mind.

by Brian Hampson — 

Massage has enormous potential to do a body good, if you are in the right hands. But it is essential to understand the facts and fiction regarding a good massage.

A massage should be relaxing, comforting or rejuvenating to the body and mind. But with recent reports of abuse and an influx of mediocre massage studios churning clients through a revolving door, many people seeking the benefits of massage are leery to get under the sheet.

Here are some ways to make sure you are signing on for a quality massage:

  • Get what you pay for. Many day spa salons and salons book massages every hour on the hour, so consequently, massage sessions are not as long as advertised. This common practice allows the minutes to be shaved down to make time for the next appointment. When a client is paying on average $50-$100 for an hour-long massage, every minute should be devoted to that massage.
  • Communication is the key to a positive experience. Be sure you know the difference between the types of massages offered. Many therapists are unable to assess the client’s unique needs and will simply give a basic massage without regard to what the client really desires or requests.
  • Be aware of how the massage you requested should feel. Should a deep tissue massage be very painful? What are the differences between therapeutic and deep tissue massages? If you leave feeling worse than when you came in, you definitely did not get the massage you deserved.
  • Alternate therapies are available. If you are still uncomfortable with the idea of receiving a massage, most therapists also can provide full reflexology sessions, working exclusively on a client’s feet as an alternative to a full-body massage.

Massage therapists who are concerned about the good of the entire industry often offer information, advice and services that others don’t. A good therapist will truly listen to and understand their client’s needs, and do whatever it takes to make sure the client has the best experience possible.


Brian Hampson is a licensed massage therapist and owner of Body Symmetry. Along with day spa clientele, he also accepts personal injury cases with authorization. 480-315-8100.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 3, June/July 2007.

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