FINDING THE RIGHT THERAPIST FOR YOU
Massage is not a one size fits all form of therapy, different therapists will offer different modalities and also specialise in different forms of treatment. So how can you find the right one for your particular issue?
Find a therapist that has your best interests at heart.
A good therapist will have your interests at the core of their treatment and the number of treatments you need, they want to help improve your condition and provide you with the tools to eventually continue your journey away from the clinic! A good therapist will not insist you see them each week, every week with no end in sight when it is not necessary and not helping you. At Freerange Massage, I will always refer on should I think another type of therapy (physio, osteo, chiro) will get you better results.
Make sure your therapist develops a treatment plan with you
The plan needs to be one that you are happy and committed to follow through with. A plan will enable your therapist to provide you with the best treatment for your condition as well as gauging its effectiveness. It will also provide you with a guide on how long you will require treatment for. The plan should include how many sessions they expect you will require and what you will need to do away from the clinic in order for your treatment to be successful. At Freerange Massage you will leave with homework - exercises to do, a recommendation of supplements which may help assist with pain management, referrals to other therapists should I feel it will compliment our treatment and get you better results or ways you can get the most from your massage such as applying a heat pack or drinking plenty of water.
Does your therapist communicate with you?
Do they listen to your concerns and answer your questions? Do they inform you of what they are doing and why? I find good communication between therapist, and patient helps build trust as well as educating you about your condition and how best to help it. I always try to explain in the best way for the client to understand what I am doing and why. I also ask for feedback on the treatment as my philosophy is that it does not have to be excruciating to make change.
Go with a recommendation – if I find a good therapist I tell people about them. Word of mouth is a great tool when searching for a good health practitioner. Most of my clients come via a referral either from other practitioners or clients, it gives my new clients confidence that they will get the same level of service.
Check out what additional training your therapist has - Remedial Massage Therapists are required to study 12 - 18 months, its not just a weekend course. The course is anatomy intense giving us a great understanding of your body and the conditions causing you pain. But a good therapist will continue to enhance their knowledge with additional courses and education, in fact; it's mandatory for membership to each of the relevant associations. Once graduating, many therapists go on to further studies. I have spent 18 months at university, but a significant amount of my knowledge comes from participating in relevant and up-to-date courses along with my own regular research and reading. I love getting tough clinical cases; they motivate me to keep my knowledge up to date.
Don’t be afraid to see different therapists for different conditions, or to compliment what another therapist may be doing. I have a patient who sees me for a shoulder-related problem, and an osteopath for a lumbar disc related issue. I also see people who might have a physio that provides them with mostly exercise/rehabilitation based appointments; they then see me to provide them with some more hands-on manual therapy.