Why Chose One Massage Therapist Instead Of Another?
Why chose one massage therapist instead of another? How does one know which massage therapist to contact, and to schedule an appointment with?
The main reasons are likely to be:
2) Convenience (location, ease of scheduling, hours of operation, payments)
Let's look at these.
The training massage therapists go through can vary a bit as far as number of academic/clinical hours and types of techniques.
Some massage therapists offer only massage therapy sessions. Some, such as myself, specialize in related techniques and do very little full massage therapy sessions, choosing instead to incorporate massage techniques into sessions that include a variety of other techniques. Some massage therapists primarily offer massage therapy sessions but may include bits of other techniques into their massage sessions.
Some massage therapists who offer cupping may have taken one 24 hour cupping course, and others may have taken closer to 100 hours of training in cupping techniques.
Some massage therapists specialize in sports massage. Some specialize in "shoulder work", or work only with women.
And so on.
If a massage therapist has a website, they should list information about their trainings/certifications.
Location, ease of scheduling, hours of operation, and accepted forms of payment contribute to the sense of convenience a client may experience around the logistics of scheduling their appointments.
Some clients want their massage therapist to be located on a particular public transportation route; some clients will drive, and want parking that is easy and right outside the door. Some clients want to be receiving their session within 15 minutes of leaving work, others prefer the location be close to their home.
Many clients prefer to be able to schedule their appointments online, and some prefer to schedule very "last minute".
Some clients prefer to have their massage therapy treatment at 9:00 p.m., others prefer to schedule at noon; some on weekdays, and some on weekends.
Some clients want to pay online when they schedule their appointment. Some prefer automatic payments be charged to their accounts once a month. Some prefer to write checks at the time of their session.
Even within a 30 minute drive, prices for a massage therapy session can vary quite a bit.
The lowest fee does not always indicate the worst massage therapist, nor does the highest fee indicate the best therapist.
Many therapists set their fees high so they can regularly offer discounts/specials/packages and not "lose" any money.
Fees may reflect how long a therapist has been in practice.
Sometimes fees reflect a therapist's commitment to be accessible to students and those with lower incomes.
Also, some therapists only offer 60 minute sessions. Some offer 60 and 90 minute sessions.
In my practice: I have been a licensed massage therapist since 1985. In therapeutic bodywork, I was originally trained in therapeutic muscular therapy, and early on began adding various types of energy work to my trainings. I began studying Zero Balancing in detail in 1992, and became certified in Zero Balancing in 1998.
I took my first course in movement analysis in 1973, and my first specific course in experiential anatomy in 1991, with someone who had studied with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. I became a certified Embodyoga teacher (200 hours, Patty Townsend, rooted in Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen's work) in 2007.
I have continued to study Zero Balancing and have assisted at Zero Balancing trainings. I have studied a variety of fascial release techniques, and a number of other various techniques.
I have 60 years training in movement, and 50 in "body-mind" techniques. I have studied Zoga, a movement therapy closely matched with fascial release work, and after many years of studying with people who studied with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, I am so please to have finally began to study with Bonnie herself a few years ago.
My practice is divided into 3 main areas: therapeutic bodywork, movement, and stress reduction (please see pages on my website for more information). My sessions of therapeutic bodywork are heavily influenced by my movement and other trainings.
For therapeutic bodywork, I specialize in what I call Dynamic Rebalancing, which is a combination of techniques that include primarily Zero Balancing and fascial release therapies, often with some soft tissue manipulation (which is a form of massage), and also draws from my many years experiences in various movement trainings/teaching. The client remains clothed for our sessions, and no oils/lotions are used (Usually I do offer full massage therapy sessions, but while I am still on my way to a full recovery post injuries to my shoulders, arms, and hands, I do not).
I do not "specialize" in specific areas of the body (i.e. "shoulders"' or "knees" or "feet"). To me, everything in the body is connected. Have I successfully resolved shoulder, knee, foot issues that clients bring me? Yes, I have.
Although my office is not located on a public transportation line ( a 25 minute walk from the bus-line), there is ample parking close to the entrance.
When a new client contacts me, I want to speak with them by phone before scheduling their appointment. I want to find out what their expectations/hopes are for a session. I also want to find out a bit about their history and why they are seeking treatment, and see if we would be a "good fit" to work together. I want to be able to help determine what length sessions might be best for them (Right now, I offer session lengths of 30, 45, 60, and 75 minutes. I have, based upon client needs, offered 15 minute sessions.), and then we can proceed to schedule their appointment based upon our overlapping availability.
When I schedule clients I also take into account the other types of sessions I will have that day/week.
These are some of the reasons I do not offer online scheduling.
My hours of operation are based upon a number of factors. I only have a few appointment slots on weekday evenings, and they are usually taken by regular clients.
Most of my available appointment times are weekdays during the day. I do sometimes have appointment slots available on Saturday mornings, and occasionally can schedule appointments later in the day on Saturdays, or on Sundays.
I do my best to match a client's availability.
I accept cash, personal checks, Venmo, or Paypal. I do not accept any credit cards, nor online payments.
Right now, I offer 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute sessions (at some point, I may again add sessions of 90 and 105 minutes).
For a variety of reasons, a shorter session might be more appropriate for a certain person at a certain time.
One reason I offer 30 and 45 minute sessions is in the hope of making sessions financially accessible to more people.
I am open to speaking with someone about how to make sessions more financially accessible.
I do not offer "monthly club payments" (when a client pays a set monthly fee, usually $10-$20 less than the regular cost for a 60 minute session, and that amount gets charged to the client's account whether they come for their session that month or not. Sometimes the unused sessions can be "rolled over").
I set my fees to balance what I feel is a fair and accessible charge for my skills, experience, and trainings. I do not set them high in order to offer discounts.
I am always happy to talk with prospective/current clients about the trainings/experience I have, and to answer questions about how I may be able to help them.