Since tradition times, humanity has had some awareness of the healing and restorative powers of massage. From simple kneading to work the knots out of muscles made sore and tired in the heat of battle to more luxurious forms of massage performed for royals and nobles alike in the baths and spas of old kingdoms, various types of massage therapy have always played some part in our collective history. Of course, the massage therapist has had, in one form or another, a history as long as the discipline itself. For that reason, finding a qualified massage therapist has always been an essential part of receiving effective massage treatments.
The qualifications to look for
In those aforementioned ancient times, choosing a good massage therapist was probably not that difficult – particularly since they were no doubt housed in or near the palace and good homes of the people they regularly served. In modern times, however, finding a qualified massage therapist entails sifting through dozens and sometimes hundreds of advertised specialists, depending upon the area in which you live. So what are the qualifications of a good massage therapist? The general rule is that any therapist should have at least a couple hundred training hours under his or her belt, and in highly competitive areas that number may be closer to 1,000. Most cities require registration of one form or another, which provides you with an easy method for complaint if your therapy is unsatisfactory for any reason.
Forget the word masseuse
When evaluating any massage therapist, be wary of anyone who uses the term masseuse to describe their profession. The modern name is the massage therapist, and the only people who use the term masseuse (or masseur) are practitioners whose services extend to unique forms of bodily contact. This is one case where a rose by any other name may not smell as sweet!
Know what you want
Before you even attempt to choose the right massage therapist for your needs, you should do a little research to find which type of massage you want. While many people automatically assume that every therapist is capable of providing quality messages using any chosen discipline, the truth is that most want to specialize in one form or another. If you are looking for a Watsu massage – or any other kind of massage, be sure to check the preferred disciplines of any potential massage therapist candidate.
Many areas have organizations devoted to the profession that can help you to identify the various practitioners in your city. One advantage to utilizing these groups in your quest is that their members have usually agreed to be governed by particular rules of ethics and conduct, and must meet standards of practice set by the organization.
Like any other purchase of services, you want to take the time to do your homework on the subject. Don’t be afraid to conduct impromptu interviews of any potential candidate, asking them questions about their training, preferred disciplines, and organizational memberships. Reputable massage therapist professionals will not hesitate to answer any questions you ask cheerfully.