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What do you look for in a massage


lisaschles
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What makes a good massage? I'm talkingaboutthe minute you walk in the door to the moment you walk out. I have had massages that have been fantastic but the therapist has not been too friendly, or the lighting isn't right, or there was no parking outside! I will start massaging soon in my practice in Cape Town and I would really like to hear from all of you, what is it that makes a treatment special and leaves you feeling fantastic!...

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InTouch
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

lisaschles, I this is a much deeper question than it seems, especially if you spread the question wide and include the entire process not just the massage.

For me, if I simplify, its all about being treated with care and respect as an individual. I have had massages where the technique was phenomenal, but I felt completely disconnected from the massage - I was just another client - not ME. Give me less than perfect technique but a therapist who is connected to the ME under his/her handsany day.

Again this for me extends to the whole process, for example I could live with less than perfect lighting if the therapist recognised that this was an issue toME and offered some suggestions on how to make it better for ME. It may be that for 90% of their clients its not a problem - but if it is for ME then I want a therapist who is sensitive enough to notice, and is open, creative and flexibleenough to try and make it better for ME.

Massage and touch are by definition an intensely personal experience - a good massage is one that recognises that from before you walk through the door to a follow-up phone-call a few days afterwards.

An interesting observation I just made (which is why I so like HP) - I just wrote me-me-me.Irealise that Iwant a massage that gives me license to be 100% selfish - and I am naturally unselfish - so it has to do it in a way that makes me comfortable in taking/receivingthat. Achieve that with a reasonable degree of competence and I will feel fantastic - both physically and mentally.

Hope that helps

InTouch

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lisaschles
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

Hi InTouch,

Yes thank you this does help. There are indeed alot of 'ME's in your post! But you are absolutely right. When I do Reiki treatments I want my client to feel totally nurtured and pampered and for them to experience total 'Me' time, so I will carry this over into my massage treatments.
So thank you, I appreciate your reply!

Lisa

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ace88
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

ORIGINAL: lisaschles

What makes a good massage? I'm talkingaboutthe minute you walk in the door to the moment you walk out. I have had massages that have been fantastic but the therapist has not been too friendly, or the lighting isn't right, or there was no parking outside! I will start massaging soon in my practice in Cape Town and I would really like to hear from all of you, what is it that makes a treatment special and leaves you feeling fantastic!...

This is a GREAT question. I'll list a bunch of things.

1. The massage is thorough. I am an athlete, so I've had all types of hamstring, quad, shoulder, adductor, and glute injuries. Some of these things I've been almost embarrassed to bring up, but I've had therapists skip over essential areas. I also have functional dyspepsia, a digestive disorder, so I like to be asked if I want abdominal massage, which I enjoy and helps relax my stomach. If the therapist appears afraid to massage parts of your body (other than privates, obviously), I won't go to that therapist.

2. Private location. When I go to get a massage, I really just want to relax and get away. The problem with having a massage at a gym or YMCA is when you have to walk through a bunch of people you might know to get there. I don't like really to run into other clients or people I know when getting a massage. I'd prefer the office to be separate so you don't have to talk to and walk through a bunch of people to get there.

3. Massage is not rushed. I like when the therapist asks what problems you are having and genuinely seems to care about you. Believe meclients are not stupid - we can tell when you are just collecting a paycheck and pushing us out the door. Therapists that cut your time short defintely will get the axe. And clients can tell if you are listening when they mention a problem. I've had therapists where you tell them what is wrong but they just perform their same routine.

4. Room is not too light. Obviously, having a room too dark can be creepy for the therapist, but I do feel having it darker makes the client feel less exposed and helps them relax more, in general.

5. Therapist doesn't break contact too often. There is nothing more aggravating that having a therapist pull away to get some lotion, perform two or three strokes, and then stop to get more lotion again, then walk to the other side of the table, then switch CD's, then take a phone call. If you keep breaking physical contact with the client constantly, the massage won't be relaxing and the client will get annoyed.

6. Give clients the benefit of the doubt. If a client feels like the therapist doesn't completely trust them or feels like they have to worry about what they might say, they won't come back. Obviously if a client makes sexual remarks or inappropriate remarks, they should be asked to leave, but clients don't want someone who is obsessed with the idea that the client might be a perv or something.....During massages, people relax, and sometimes even say things perhaps the wrong way or not the way they meant them...

7. A good sense of humor helps.

8. The therapist uses enough lotion. I don't like massages where the therapist skimps on lotion, because then I can feel the friction rubbing against me and I don't tend to relax as much.

9. The therapist is ON TIME! Therapists who cancel on clients at the last minute, particularily that day, are incosiderate, unless it is an emergency. I recently had a therapist schedule me for 9AM and she didn't show up until 9:10AM, and the door was locked! Thankfully, I waited, but she was lucky I didn't leave, or I would have been upset.

10. Obviously privacy must be respected. One time I was getting changed an

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Russell
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

This is an interesting thread and I believe its down to the individual. I'm not a massage therapist but havehad regular massages for the past 10years. What i look for is ultimate relaxation. However, this involves a number of things. Firstly, for me, the relationship with the therapist is important. Having had massages from the same therapist for more than 8 years, I found it difficult to relax with a new therapist recently. I have found different therapists attitudes to massaging (men in particular) differs immensely and i appreciate why. My relationship with my previous therapist lead to there being no barriers, awkwardness or discomfort and she even knew how to heat and light the room to suit me.
For me, i just want to know i can lay there, do absolutely nothing and receive my massage uninterupted.

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Innerpeace
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

Hi Ace
Thankyou for posting your views on this thread,I read them all with interest. You mention quite a few things there which will be helpful to any new therapists just starting out. One thing you mentioned , about the therapist moving away from client to apply more oil made me think! I keep my oil close at hand but it made me wonder if when applying the oil any therapists apply it all over the body in one go rather than apply to each body part when getting around to massaging it (Hmmm....never thought of doing it that way .) would be interesting to hear if anyone does use this method.

love and peace

Innerpeace

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ace88
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

ORIGINAL: Innerpeace

Hi Ace
Thankyou for posting your views on this thread,I read them all with interest. You mention quite a few things there which will be helpful to any new therapists just starting out. One thing you mentioned , about the therapist moving away from client to apply more oil made me think! I keep my oil close at hand but it made me wonder if when applying the oil any therapists apply it all over the body in one go rather than apply to each body part when getting around to massaging it (Hmmm....never thought of doing it that way .) would be interesting to hear if anyone does use this method.

love and peace

Innerpeace

Hi inner peace. You may even be able to get more lotion while keeping one hand on the client, if the lotion is close by. One time though I had a therapist who literally took two or three strokes, got more lotion, two or three more strokes, got more lotion. It was an hour massage but it felt like about 30 minutes. It causes the massage not to flow when you constantly must move from one end of the table to the other, have to change the music, have to take a phone call...the point I guess is, to maximize the amount of time in an hour that you are massaging the person...that is what I mean by not breaking contact. I hope my whole list helps...but I am sure it is different for different clients.

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Innerpeace
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

Hi Ace
I understand where your coming from . I would be very annoyed if someone kept breaking contact too. I'm a firm believer in always placing one hand on the client when moving round the body the only time i do break contact is when applying oil but its only for a second as i have it right by my side and i put enough on there to not have to reapply on that body part . I also use make sure i have a cd playing that lasts at least 60 mins when doing a full body routine as again i feel it important not to be leaving my client unattended for any given time once routine has started. I would never dream of answering a phone call during a treatment and always have my answer machine kick in ( my phone is always left out of earshot too so as not to interrupt the session.
once again thanks for your comments

Innerpeace x

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Soar
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

What makes a good massage? I'm talking about the minute you walk in the door to the moment you walk out.

Ihave found this very interesting both as a client and as a practitioner

I agree with what has been said already and I would include the ambiance when I go to a treatment.

I have twice in the last year not gone back for a treatment because the therapy room was grubby , not dirty but tired and untidy and I could hear the reception phone ringing all through my treatment which was irritating. As well as good therapistI need a room that it clean fresh set up properly with a few added treats like flowers , aroma etc
I think of massage as a treat andfor £35 I want it to be special
The treatments I had were very good and one of the therapists asked me to say honestly what i thought of the place so i told her and she said thats it , you're right it is dingy here and I am leaving! she did leave and set up at home which was much nicer than the clinic!

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ace88
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

ORIGINAL: Soar

What makes a good massage? I'm talking about the minute you walk in the door to the moment you walk out.

Ihave found this very interesting both as a client and as a practitioner

I agree with what has been said already and I would include the ambiance when I go to a treatment.

I have twice in the last year not gone back for a treatment because the therapy room was grubby , not dirty but tired and untidy and I could hear the reception phone ringing all through my treatment which was irritating. As well as good therapistI need a room that it clean fresh set up properly with a few added treats like flowers , aroma etc
I think of massage as a treat andfor £35 I want it to be special
The treatments I had were very good and one of the therapists asked me to say honestly what i thought of the place so i told her and she said thats it , you're right it is dingy here and I am leaving! she did leave and set up at home which was much nicer than the clinic!

Great point about the noise level. I recently went to a massage that was at a YMCA/gym. I had to walk through a bunch of weightlifters in a weightlifting room to get to the massage room. Everyone saw me go in, hopefully, no one knew me there. Well I get in the room, and there is no music, and I can overhear sports on the TV. Now, I am a HUGE sports fan but NOT duringa massage. Plus, you could hear voices outside the room. Not exactly the most relaxing atmosphere...and add that the therapist talked the whole time.....when I really wanted to relax....not good.

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SCORPIO
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

Hi,
What i look for in a massage is
1: Therapist Male or female isn't prudish
2: Good Personal hygiene(Some wear far too much scent)
3: Using different types of techniques.
4: Temperature of room
5: Leaving thinking that was money well spent

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bexx
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

[:@]Hi I read this thread a few weeks and was going to reply and then thought that I would wait until I had had a more recent massage. Anyway today was the day. I had been given some vouchers for a local gym/beauty place and so I thought I would treat myself to a massage - I had to pay extra on top of the voucher. Anyway I went for a "stress away" massage for £42 for 60 mins. I have to say that I was not impressed. The room was cold and at the end of the treatment my feet were freezing. She did turn the air conditiioning off but it was cold. I thought it was supposed to be a full body but I didn't get my abdomen or my glutes done - or face. The floor wasn't particularly clean and the bin was overflowing and I could HEAR the PHONE and chatting all through the treatment. I have a varicous vein (small) on my leg but she basically just did effleurage on that one.

I don't know - maybe I am being too critical but I definitely didn't feel very relaxed at the end and to be honest I felt short changed. It wasn't worth the £42 and makes me think that I should put my prices up!

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Alan D
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

I agree with the replies from Ace88, Scorpio and Bexx; and personally I disagree with Soar‘s priorities. A friend of mine recently treated herself to a very expensive massage at a well-known spa chain. She said that it was a waste of time and money: it had all the luxury trimmings (nice soft towels, soft lighting, background music) but the actual massage was so gentle and timid that it was completely ineffective: she felt that she had been ‘polished’ rather than massaged.

Personally I would far rather have an effective treatment in a ‘spartan’ clinic than an ineffective treatment in a luxury clinic. Three reasons why I have booked a massage in the past have been:
1) to reduce discomfort in the trapezius/rhomboid area (probably caused by too much computer work)
2) to reduce minor lower back pain
3) to reduce discomfort in the legs after completing a marathon or half-marathon

So one thing which I look for in a massage is an adequate consultation beforehand: I want the therapist to be able to deal with any specific problems which I have, not just go through her ITEC/VTCT routine on ‘autopilot’ as some therapists seem to do. The massage needs to be deep enough to be effective, and the therapist needs to be able to treat the appropriate areas effectively. For example, if I have asked for work on my lower back, the therapist needs to be willing to work on the upper gluteal area and the quadratus lumborum. If I have tight quadriceps or hamstring muscles, the therapist needs to be able to treat the whole length of the muscles in question.

Alan

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bexx
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

Hey AlanD - at least your friend got nice fluffy towels!! I think that the ones she used on me yesterday had gone through the washing machine too many times to mention - talk about threadbare!!

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Alan D
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

As a postscript to my earlier comment about an ineffective massage at a 'well-known spa chain', I was interested to read the following (from an article by Alice Miles) in Saturday's Times:

"Champneys could do with an influx of east European or Chinese masseurs who know how to do more than tickle your back and call it a massage. Spa staff look and act bored."


I think that this helps confirm a point we have discussed on earlier threads - ie that as far as massage is concerned, a high price is not a guarantee of quality !

Alan

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hemelgirl
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

A friend of mine was actually training at Champneys and left because it was inadequate - another friend of mine went on a day course there and the first thing she was shown was how to do a FULL body massage in half an hour!

For me it is not just the actual massage which dictates if it is a good treatment or not

To be greeted in a polite but friendly manner and to have the therapist introduce her/himself is a good start and cleanliness of the salon or therapy room is a given.

When I am working I have always just had a shower and never wear perfume, especially when doing an aromatherapy massage, how can you get the benefit of the aroma if you cant smell it over the therapists perfume.

HG:)

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New Age London
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

I always go for a massage that can help the parts of me that need it. As long as the massage therapist is good and friendly and the place is clean, I'm happy.

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poppyfields
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

I think a massage is a whole package a little bit like paying for an expensive meal:

for a meal I look at:
1. the ambience and setting (lighting, music)
2. the greeting and seating
3. the menu (yum!)
4. the service
5. how the dish is served by the waiter
6. what the food looks like
7. what the food smells like
8. finally, how the food tastes

Put that in massage terms,
1.the lighting, the temperature,
2. the greeting,
3. the fluffy towels, how the couchis set up and the treatment room
4. plinky-plonky music on repeat
5. a varying treatment with an interested therapist,
6. something a bit different like scented steamed towels to refresh the feet,
7. the quality and quantity of the treatment
8. not feeling unhurried.
9. and feeling that you are the most important client in the World!

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Bonnieno1
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

Hi
When I have a massage a full body massage, I expect the room to be peaceful and calm with soft relaxing music andloweredlighting. The therapist should be friendly and interested.To ask me at intervals if the pressure is correct, to light orif too deep, can hurt, this is what make me feel welcomed. I also when having an aromatherapy massage, I expect my head and face massaged too! It is also good to be asked what Essential Oils I would like, or if she is preparing some for me to let me have a sniff to see if I like the aroma. That is what I expect to be a good massage.

Regards!

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zbert
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

I agree with most of what's said here... when I go to a massage I want to close my eyes, relax, and not have anything intrude other than touch. The worst is when the therapist breaks contact often for oil (or overly adjusting draping), followed by the massage by numbers in which the sequences have no regard for where I may need more massage... (i.e., not all bits need the same amount of attention!).

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steveh9
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

It depends...if i'm just feeling a little stressed I look for a completely relaxing massage so that when I leave I am feeling a bit refreshed and relaxed. If there are some specific areas that are bothering me I hope they can be removed or reduced. My therapist seems to sense if I want to talk a bit or not at all. The room is not brightly lit, there is music playing and it is clean. The worst part is when it is over and you know yo have to get up off of the table - it is so calming and relaxing I could just fall to sleep there!!

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pjay
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

Ok, howoften dopeople go for massage's for well being? stress reflief? Muscle Tension Relief? Lymphatic Drainage?
Im training for the VTCT Swedish Massage at my local college, i have to say it is an excellent course and the tutor is outstanding.

What i would expect from my massage at a clinic or any establishmentis the usual, low lighting, some music on in the background, warmish temperature, but i think these things should be a given.

I would expect the therapist to never take thier hands of! Unless moving from one part of the body to the other when toweling and untoweling parts of the body, a proffessional massage therapist surelyshould not be taking thier hands of there clienthalf way through, say a back massage,unless there is a fire or the roof fell in, i thought this was rule No.1 of No No's.

I agree with the people who said they would want a massage therapist to be interested in the client and change the routine for each person, after all, who's the massage for, its your job!

Up until recently i alwaysviewed massage as being mainly for Muscle Tension Relief, Stress Relief andnot 'well being' on its own, though well being is feeling relaxed, becoming destressed and getting the feeling ofhaving atreatment and feeling good about yourself. Then, I had a massagefrom one of my class mates and half way through the massagei started to get tingly spine and a real sense of 'well being', a kind of overwhelming sensation of feeling good. Ive been to about 4 massage therapist's in Beauty Salons and id never felt this before, it was always agood massagebut never special, the massages always seemed clinical and robotic.

Now, whenever i go for a massage or when i give a massage, i will always look for this feeling of 'well being' first and the muscle tension relief second.
But how is the 'sense of wellbeing' acheived, is it a number of all the above reason's or is the quality of touch by the therapist?

I would expect a therapist to be able to adapt there routine, if i went into a therapist and said 'im on a business trip for a few days and i would like a massage but i want to feel refreshed when i leave the treatment room' i would hope they could use less of the slow flat movements for the quicker choppier ones.

How many therapist's have regular massage's from other therapist's so that they dont forget what its like to be a client?

Sorry, there are probably more questions in here than what i would want from a massage, but the questions are really what i would want from my therapist and massage.

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rayne1958
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RE: What do you look for in a massage

Hi all, Im new to this site although ive been on the other threads,and im amazed,i am doing swedish massage at the moment,through college,vtct,and enjoying it only 3 weeks to go.
its a basic course and stay with the routine stuff,but i had a feeling that this was not all it was.i have an ifr in reflexology and vtct in ihm, but like the massage more than the other courses,dont ask why,this one i feel that i can go further with.when i am doing a massage the clients always say that it was nice and that they felt relaxed,and this is nice but i always felt that there was more that they should have had by way of treatment other than the 'routine'.
Also if i were having a massage which is not that often now,i would like to be greeted with only me in mind,warm room ambient music,*which prompts me to tell you i purchased a cd today,natural stress relief from the solitudes range(purely because im doing a case study on my next door n and he suffers from stress and has tabs for it,and im trying to get him to relax totally and let go of it all)anyway has anyone else used this music,i listened to it and felt really calm,,it helps bring your heart beat down to a relaxed pace..*explains what she will do after consultation and then ask me if im happy with the plan and to work on the bits that ache the most.i agree i dont want a single noise to disturb my time,if i apply that to my clients, do you think that they would enjoy the massage as much i would.Its nice to know that you are all out there as i was feeling a bit over whelmed with 'what am i going to do with this experience at the end of the course other than expand it and then what.thanks for taking the time to read this.

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Diamonds
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RE: New member

:eek:Hi
I'll be commencing a VTCT Swedish massage course in September. Could any1 advise me on the set text b:eek::eek:k or other invaluable reading2 give me a head start please?

Many thanx 🙂

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Mtbw
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It is a bit strange being an athlete and talking about beauty standard treatment for massage. Why do you need to accent on sports if you require only beauty.
Beauty therapists are trained to skip some areas and have no idea about biomechanics and how to work with injury or prevention. For them if you have pain or ache and muscles are tight in area then they will try to release tension (that is strange coz they need theoretically to be trained to understand why and for what muscle is tight and what will happen if you release them)

In any way, I have a huge doubt that athlete whistling beauty massages for maintainers their pain and muscles.

If for relax then yes!

In general, from your post I am sure you are too far away from understanding about massage except relaxing beauty massage (what isn’t bad at all)

RE: What do you look for in a massage

This is a GREAT question. I'll list a bunch of things.

1. The massage is thorough. I am an athlete, so I've had all types of hamstring, quad, shoulder, adductor, and glute injuries. Some of these things I've been almost embarrassed to bring up, but I've had therapists skip over essential areas. I also have functional dyspepsia, a digestive disorder, so I like to be asked if I want abdominal massage, which I enjoy and helps relax my stomach. If the therapist appears afraid to massage parts of your body (other than privates, obviously), I won't go to that therapist.

2. Private location. When I go to get a massage, I really just want to relax and get away. The problem with having a massage at a gym or YMCA is when you have to walk through a bunch of people you might know to get there. I don't like really to run into other clients or people I know when getting a massage. I'd prefer the office to be separate so you don't have to talk to and walk through a bunch of people to get there.

3. Massage is not rushed. I like when the therapist asks what problems you are having and genuinely seems to care about you. Believe meclients are not stupid - we can tell when you are just collecting a paycheck and pushing us out the door. Therapists that cut your time short defintely will get the axe. And clients can tell if you are listening when they mention a problem. I've had therapists where you tell them what is wrong but they just perform their same routine.

4. Room is not too light. Obviously, having a room too dark can be creepy for the therapist, but I do feel having it darker makes the client feel less exposed and helps them relax more, in general.

5. Therapist doesn't break contact too often. There is nothing more aggravating that having a therapist pull away to get some lotion, perform two or three strokes, and then stop to get more lotion again, then walk to the other side of the table, then switch CD's, then take a phone call. If you keep breaking physical contact with the client constantly, the massage won't be relaxing and the client will get annoyed.

6. Give clients the benefit of the doubt. If a client feels like the therapist doesn't completely trust them or feels like they have to worry about what they might say, they won't come back. Obviously if a client makes sexual remarks or inappropriate remarks, they should be asked to leave, but clients don't want someone who is obsessed with the idea that the client might be a perv or something.....During massages, people relax, and sometimes even say things perhaps the wrong way or not the way they meant them...

7. A good sense of humor helps.

8. The therapist uses enough lotion. I don't like massages where the therapist skimps on lotion, because then I can feel the friction rubbing against me and I don't tend to relax as much.

9. The therapist is ON TIME! Therapists who cancel on clients at the last minute, particularily that day, are incosiderate, unless it is an emergency. I recently had a therapist schedule me for 9AM and she didn't show up until 9:10AM, and the door was locked! Thankfully, I waited, but she was lucky I didn't leave, or I would have been upset.

10. Obviously privacy must be respected. One time I was getting changed an

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