People seek massage therapy for a variety of reasons, but finding a massage therapist that meets your needs can be challenging. To get the most out of your sessions, there are a lot of aspects to consider. Some may be very important to you while others are not so important. If you’re looking to find a new massage therapist, here are a few things to think about while on your search.
Find A Licensed Massage Therapist
First of all, make sure they are licensed! If you are looking for therapeutic massage, you’ll want to make sure your therapist is licensed. This will help to ensure that you receive a safe and effective therapeutic massage. Massage licensure requirements vary from state to state, but in North Carolina licensed massage therapists are required to:
- Complete 500 hours of undergraduate education at a certified massage school
- Complete 80 hours of hands-on practicum supervised by the massage school
- Pass the state board exam for massage therapy (MBLEx for North Carolina)
- Submit fingerprints and a criminal background check to the state board
- Complete 24 hours of continuing education every 2 years
Verifying the current status of a massage therapist’s license in North Carolina can be done in less than a minute. Simply visit the massage therapy license verification page on the state board’s website and enter the appropriate information. In a matter of seconds, you can verify their current licensure and see if they have any notes about the status of their license.
Do You Need A Specialized Massage Therapist?
The requirements above are just the bare minimum for becoming a licensed massage therapist in North Carolina. But quite often, people are seeking massage therapy to address a specific issue. For many it’s pain relief, so they may be interested in clinical or deep tissue massage. Others may be athletes and need a massage therapist that can help with performance in their given sport. These people will want to look for a sports massage therapist. Other areas of specialization within massage therapy include lymphatic massage, pregnancy massage, hot stone massage, trigger point therapy, Thai massage, geriatric massage, infant massage, and a loooong list of other specialities.
You will most likely find massage therapists that have experience in many of these areas and perhaps specialize in a few. The truth of the matter is that many of these specialities overlap, but you should be aware that they exist and there is most likely a massage therapist nearby with a skill set uniquely suited to your needs.
Find A “Great” Massage Therapist!
Granted…what constitutes “great” can be highly subjective, especially depending on your needs and preferences, but quality is definitely important. So how do you measure quality? One question I get asked occasionally is “How long have you been a massage therapist“, which I assume is an attempt to gauge quality. While there may be some correlation between experience and quality, it is certainly not completely reliable. There are plenty of great massage therapists with relatively little experience and unfortunately also mediocre therapists who have been practicing for a long time.
So what is a more appropriate way to gauge quality? Feedback from other humans! This can be in the form of online reviews from Google or Yelp. Or it could be as simple as asking friends, family, and colleagues. Or perhaps other health professionals like your doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist. Regardless of where you get your massage therapist reviews, you will want to get specific feedback about the client’s experience. This will also help to give you insight into the therapist’s approach, studio, and professionalism.
Find An Available Massage Therapist
What good is a massage therapist if they’re not available when you need them? This usually isn’t the first thought when looking for a massage therapist but unfortunately it is a problem I’ve heard from clients time and time again. They had a massage therapist they liked but either the therapist only worked a few days a week and scheduling was inconvenient, it took days to schedule an appointment with several rounds of phone-tag or emails, or just getting to the therapist’s studio was a hassle.
- Hours – Find a massage therapist that has business hours that work with your schedule.
- Online Booking – Stop spending your time trying to book an appointment and just do it! Find a massage therapist with online booking.
- Location – Is their studio in a convenient location? Is it nearby? How is the traffic? Do they have designated parking
Our practice located just north of downtown Asheville with designated, off-street parking. All the convenience of a central location without the hassle of traffic or paid parking. Our business days are Tuesday through Saturday and include some early evening sessions as well. Massage therapy should be accessible and we don’t want your schedule to be a limiting factor. And yes….of course we have online booking! You shouldn’t have to wait just because we’re in session.
Last But Not Least…How Much Is It?
Whether this is generally your first or last thought when considering a massage therapist, the cost will come up at some point. The cost of massage therapy can vary widely depending on all of the issues addressed above. Here in Asheville, I’ve seen everything from $33/hr all the way to $90/hr. While the old saying “you get what you pay for” is often true, sometimes it’s not. Carefully consider all the points above when evaluating the cost of massage and the value you derive from it.
We strive to provide exceptional value and price our services accordingly. When you consider all the quality and convenience that comes along with that, we think you’ll find us pretty awesome too! 😉
Find A Massage Therapist You Feel Comfortable With
Ultimately, there can be a lot of things to consider when looking for a massage therapist. Some of the considerations above may be extremely important to some people, but not others. So despite all the practical elements covered here, find a massage therapist that you feel comfortable with. Choosing a massage therapist can, and should, be a personal decision as well as a practical one. But most importantly, GO GET A MASSAGE! 🙂
Our bodies are the only ones we get, so treat them well.