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Sandy J. Austin, CMT
Choosing a Massage Therapist
SANCTUS Therapeutic Massage & Bodyworks, LLC

Choosing a Massage Therapist

You've decided that you want to make an appointment for a massage, but you are not sure what to do next. Your first thought should be the reason you want a massage. This is important because massage has become more and more specialized. Not all massage therapists practice the same type of massage.

Your back, shoulders and hands hurt from too many hours working on the computer. Now that you know why you want a massage, you need to decide what type of massage to get.

Swedish Massage

The most common and recognizable type of massage is the Swedish massage. This is a full body massage using oils and lotion. The therapist uses long rhythmic gliding strokes to create length in the muscle tissue and circular kneading strokes to provide space and oxygen to the muscles and joints. These strokes may be combined with gentle stretching, rocking and vibration to provide a deeply relaxing experience,

Deep Tissue Massage

If you want pain relief, than you need a deep tissue massage. Deep tissue is used for the deeper issues in the body, whether through repetitive tasks at work, sports related injuries or chronic conditions. The therapist focuses on a specific muscle group or joint and uses various methods to warm the muscles. The therapist then applies gentle pressure sinking into the tissue with the forearms, hands or elbows to soften and relax the restricted areas of the muscle or tendon. This method need not be painful and generally requires the client's participation through breathing and gentle stretching of the limbs as work progresses.

Now that you have chosen what type of massage you want, it is important that you use a certified massage therapist. There are two organizations that can guide you when choosing a massage therapist, the American Massage Therapy Association, www.amtamassage.org and Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, www.abmp.com. Both organizations can provide useful information and locations of certified massage therapists.

Take time before your session begins to discuss with your massage therapist what results you are wishing to achieve with the therapy. Remember, this is your massage therapy session, so relax and enjoy it.

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