We have all heard this phrase, right? How many of us reeeeally follow it though?
How many of us have gotten an invitation to an event or party that required an RSVP that we just never responded to because we really didn’t want to go? Or have you ever said “I’ll call you when I get there!”, only to leave the person on the other end wondering? We have all done it. Too afraid to speak up or just too lazy to respond. So when we DO speak up or “over” communicate” we think to ourselves “They are going to think I am so annoying…”.
When it comes to massage therapy, communication REALLY is key. Let me explain why in a good “as it happens” type of order.
You contact us to make an appointment
Let us (briefly) know why you are requesting an appointment. Whether it’s via phone, text or email, it’s never a bad idea to let us know what’s going on. “Hey Marcy, it’s Julie, I woke this morning and can’t turn my neck, anything available soon?”. This let’s us know you have something acute going on rather than “Hey Marcy, it’s Julie, just wanted to get on the books for April, let me know what you have in the coming weeks..”. See the difference? Even if we don’t have anything right away, if we get a cancellation we know you need something sooner than later or vice versa.
The consult portion of your appointment
We take these moments as you take your coat and shoes off, getting settled in, to let us know what’s going on with you & your body. It may sound “old”, but it’s actually a great idea to write down the things that have been bothering you. Sound funny? I, myself, have a hamstring injury that only bothers me WHEN I run. Other than at that time, my legs are pain free. So, in my own consultation, I mentioned the obvious upper back and neck stuff but totally forgot to mention my hammy! By the time my therapist made her way to my legs, with not much time to spare, I remembered my poor forgotten hamstring!! Giving us this information, also gives us pieces to your puzzle, so to speak. Many times we hear ” My right shoulder, hips, and right ankle have been such a bear..”. This let’s us know that you have something major happening on your right side. It also gives us the opportunity, while you’re still fully clothed to check out your postural imbalances (wether we tell you we are doing so or not!!)
This is YOUR time to speak up! Do you want us to work on an isolated area of concern? For us to “fix” that ailment and be done? Or, spend most of the time on your shoulder, but end with some time on my hands”. This is your time! Speak up for what you want out of it.
You lay on our massage table
Let us know if there is something you don’t like. If it’s within our control, we will fix it. Temperature not right? We can almost always turn our table warmers off or up, we can take away or add blankets or turn a fan on. If the room is too bright we can rest a towel over your eyes or simply dim the lights. If the music is off putting or just down right annoying, we can change that too! We try to play music that will be relaxing to most, but maybe you are just not most! That’s ok! We stream our music so we can play most any kind of music. (Requested are always considered, however, we will not play anything too fast or heavy as that too can have a negative impact on you!)
It’s not always no pain, no gain! Especially if you are new to, or haven’t had massage therapy in quite awhile. Please tell us if our pressure is too much or not enough. We have a pretty good idea, but sometimes need clarification. My deep tissue massage may be your idea of relaxation or the other way around.
I once had a middle aged woman who came in for the 1st time and INSISTED on a deep tissue massage. It’s all she talked about, refused anything less. I started with what I would call a light touch or “warming up the tissue” as we say in the shop. She almost went through my sky light! It was far too much even thought hat’s what she requested and thought she wanted. (I have used a deeper touch on a 93 year old man FYI!) This woman said “WOW… That is way too much for me!!”. Guess what? That’s okay! I adjusted an d we moved on. The moral of the story is, she spoke up.
Why lay there for an hour in agony or worse baby touch if it’s not up to par for you? It’s like when my niece plays with my hair. It feels ok but that’s not what I want to happen for an hour of paid time on the table. Or maybe you want your calf worked on, but a specific spot is killing you. Let me know when I am palpating that I am near or on the point of reference. Again, most times as a trained therapist we can tell but speak up, it never hurts to be sure we are on the same page.
While on that note; I want to add, sometimes we as therapists find trigger points, fascial restrictions or “knots” that you may not even know existed. Be vocal but also be open minded. The body is a whole and everything is connected. Sometimes we may need to feel our way around to see what may be the cause or affect of the problem.
Please, by all means, let us know what you felt or currently feel. Feelings of light headed-ness or dizziness can occur. Let us know and we can find you a comfy seat in our waiting area with some water while you get your bearings straight. Post massage is a great opportunity to mention ” I had no idea I loved getting my feet rubbed so much!” or ” I got so stuffed up while I was lying on my stomach, I think I need my nose spray next time”. We often note these things for your next visit.
Take in to account these 5 steps of communication with your massage therapist. Never be too shy to speak up. This is your time and money, and well, YOU DESERVE IT! We want you to be happy and to leave feeling better than when you came in!
In Health & Hilarity,
Marcy Kozsey, LMT
Marcy has been a licensed massage therapist in the State of Ohio since 2005.