Anatomy of a Lackluster Massage

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Anatomy of a Lackluster Massage

Postby drea543 on Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:53 pm

Show up a little late. Have wrinkled white sheets (not a deal breaker but noticeable). Do an oral intake (also not a deal breaker). Investigate pressure points instead of massaging. Chat. Use an unanchored, crinkly, throwaway, cradle cover. End a little early. Attempt to reenter room three minutes after "massage" has ended. Don't offer water.


Side Note: I was looking for a backup MT. My regular therapist is amazing and this massage made me appreciate her even more.
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Re: Anatomy of a Lackluster Massage

Postby GreenDragonfly on Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:49 am

drea543 wrote:Show up a little late. Have wrinkled white sheets (not a deal breaker but noticeable). Do an oral intake (also not a deal breaker). Investigate pressure points instead of massaging. Chat. Use an unanchored, crinkly, throwaway, cradle cover. End a little early. Attempt to reenter room three minutes after "massage" has ended. Don't offer water.


Side Note: I was looking for a backup MT. My regular therapist is amazing and this massage made me appreciate her even more.


Just stumbled across this post a little late...

I can understand being disappointed in the massage. I don't think that wrinkled sheets would bother me much, but I don't care for the disposable cradle cover. I suppose it could be that they had some kind of cradle cover 'emergency' and ran out of real cloth ones.

I use both a written and oral intake. At one place that I work we only do an oral intake. For the setting I'm in, it works fine (most of the time). I also do investigate and feel the body before just diving in. I do this no matter what the person is seeing me for. I like to get an overall feel and sense of any overt holding patterns, tight areas or even areas that seem looser compared to other parts of the body. This helps me and it gets the client used to my touch before we officially "begin". It's all part of the session.

I don't ever end early unless the client needs to, and I don't come back into the room without knocking. 3 minutes isn't really that long to wait. Seems a bit rushed. Did you speak to the therapist about any of this? What type of place was this (a spa, health club, chiro office..?) how did you find this person and what kind of questions did you ask if any? Just wondering because you may have had an opportunity to pick up on things before the session if you had a pre visit interview even if it was only over the phone.
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Re: Anatomy of a Lackluster Massage

Postby drea543 on Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:12 pm

Thanks for the feedback and input; it's very much appreciated.

When I decided to start getting massages on a regular basis, I used Google and Yelp. Your response is an eye-opener because I've basically read the info on different therapists' websites or on local review sites and decided to try someone out. So, I didn't ask any questions of the "lackluster" therapist and I didn't say anything after the massage since I thought that I would just move on and try someone else. The therapist, by the way, works in a chiro's office...

I can see that I lucked out with my current and regular therapist because I called her after noticing a sign advertising massage (outside of a gym) and decided to try her but I never asked her any questions either. I thought what she had written in her bio was sincere, noticed that she did several modalities and went with that...

I'm a bit of an introvert so I don't even know how comfortable I would feel during a pre visit interview and I'm not entirely sure of what the most important questions are to ask.

As much as I like my current therapist, if I had known how noisy the gym can get (and I go to a gym so I don't know what I was thinking), I might never have tried her out because of the setting but I'm glad that I did...
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Re: Anatomy of a Lackluster Massage

Postby GreenDragonfly on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:38 pm

drea543 wrote:Thanks for the feedback and input; it's very much appreciated.

When I decided to start getting massages on a regular basis, I used Google and Yelp. Your response is an eye-opener because I've basically read the info on different therapists' websites or on local review sites and decided to try someone out. So, I didn't ask any questions of the "lackluster" therapist and I didn't say anything after the massage since I thought that I would just move on and try someone else. The therapist, by the way, works in a chiro's office...


If you're not planning on going back, you probably won't want to take the time to let the chiro or therapist know your feelings. I'm not entirely sure I would give feedback later if I wasn't going back either AND/or if I wasn't looking for a refund. :undecided:

drea543 wrote:I can see that I lucked out with my current and regular therapist because I called her after noticing a sign advertising massage (outside of a gym) and decided to try her but I never asked her any questions either. I thought what she had written in her bio was sincere, noticed that she did several modalities and went with that...


Lucked out, sort of... if you have something in mind that you want, and you don't communicate it somehow to the person you are getting your massage from - it can be a guessing game. I tell my clients that I'm pretty good at massage, not so good at mind reading! :smt005 I'm just being funny, not making fun of you :altwink: Seriously, if you aren't communicating well because the therapist isn't asking you questions and/or you aren't saying what it is you are looking to achieve, it IS lucky that you got what you wanted with your current therapist.

drea543 wrote:I'm a bit of an introvert so I don't even know how comfortable I would feel during a pre visit interview and I'm not entirely sure of what the most important questions are to ask.


The pre-visit talk doesn't have to include all kinds of private information. We can take it down to the basics: I ask questions like this:
allergies? yes/no, Injuries, surgeries, illness, medication in the past, present, recent? Currently under the care of a physician? What is the reason for your visit today? Where would you like to focus? Looking for full body relaxation or specific work or combo? What is your experience with massage? Regularly receive massage? What type? What do you love about what your therapist does? What do you not like? Areas to avoid? what type of work do you do? Do you work out? How often? What does your workout consist of typically?

You get the point. Once I get to know someone, I don't ask ALL those questions anymore. The medical ones, I always check in with because these things change as do their needs for what they want on any particular day. Also, by talking like this, I have found that people get the idea that they need to TELL ME THINGS in order for me to know what they want so they can get the best session with me.


As for questions to ask a new therapist you can ask them how long they've been working professionally as an MT, what type of schooling they received (what modalities they practice the most and weather they are certified in those modalities *If there is a certification for it) what types of issues they see in clients that they tend to have success with. What type of work they most like doing - relaxation, sports massage, reflexology..If you are on the phone you can ask about the setting and it's noise level also. You should tell the therapist anything that might help them give you a better session - if you tend to get too hot or cold, not to talk unless they need to ask you something relating to the session, type of music, areas you don't like touched and/or typical pressure you enjoy (although this is relative, I still ask) fragrances? Yes or no, areas you would MOST like worked... things like that.


drea543 wrote:As much as I like my current therapist, if I had known how noisy the gym can get (and I go to a gym so I don't know what I was thinking), I might never have tried her out because of the setting but I'm glad that I did...


At first I thought you said NOSY, as in gossip! But, that happens too... yes, one of the places I work is in a gym and it can get a little loud. We occasionally have the sound of mechanical equipment in the background so I just made a good playlist of songs to keep at just the right level to drown it out, plus I run a fan so there's the white noise to assist. It works pretty good!
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Re: Anatomy of a Lackluster Massage

Postby drea543 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:55 pm

A clarification: I didn’t ask the “gym” MT any questions over the phone when I made the first appointment with her but she did ask me questions at the time of the appointment including what I wanted out of the session. She still checks in before each session and also asks me if I have any questions.

I really like your possible question to pose to a therapist about what type of work they most like doing. Also, I would ask about setting/noise too now.

I think, before, that I also assumed that if someone had been working as an MT for a long time that they would be a good therapist which is, of course, not necessarily true as with the therapist who worked at the chiro’s office.

I’ve thought about questions that I would now ask. In addition to inquiring about the above mentioned topics, I’d also ask what days and hours the therapist works and if they have online scheduling or scheduling by email…
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