What makes a great massage?


As a massage seeker it can be quite a task to find a massage therapist who gives you a massage exactly as you like it. It’s not as simple as judging your experience on just the massage – many environmental, time, location and personality factors are also pivotal to you choosing a therapist who becomes your tried and trusted. From 15 years’ experience being a client, massage therapist, therapist trainer and manager, I’m going to try to explain what I look for when I recruit for The Massage Centre and for my personal therapy.

Sometimes it can become a matter of luck when we find our regular massage therapist. The pain or tension we experience becomes so bad that one day that we google Massage in Chiswick and found the first available appointment – anywhere, anytime will do…….. Sometimes they did a decent job and you go on to see them for years to come. Other times we’re not so lucky. We can feel poked and prodded, misunderstood, the pain feels worse or we feel that we have been churned in and out, paying good money and wasting valuable time.
We’re going to look at some of the key components that help to make your treatment an enjoyable and valuable experience.

Relationship:There’s an old saying that says we buy from people that we like. Some people are very likeable - you trust them, feel safe in their presence and you have confidence in their abilities. When your massage therapist looks the part, welcomes you with openness and a smile, you’re already half way there. It’s essential that an environment of feeling safe and trust is established before you’re expected to un-robe and then relax in the presence of someone you’ve never met before. A skilled therapist learns to adapt their approach in order to lead their client at the pace required to give the client the best possible outcome.

Understanding: To feel understood by someone can be quite liberating in itself. Often, we first go for a massage when we have stiff neck and shoulders or our lower back hurts. A great therapist has the ability to ask the type of questions that effortlessly reveals how your symptom feels, it’s location and what actions lead to discomfort. They can also help you to associate the symptom to triggers that brought it on in the first place – gardening stooping, sitting in an air conditioning draft or periods of work stress and family conflict. Understanding brings clarity, clearly knowing what your treatment will involve, managing the expectations of the outcome you desire and feeling confident that your therapist is on the same page and will give you the treatment you came for. London can be a busy, fast paced city to live in and an understanding massage therapist will know the strains that career, mortgages, family life and travel can have on the human body.

Intuitive treatment: Have you ever marvelled how a talented massage therapist seems to know exactly where to press and for hold long to hold for? They have an in-build radar to search and find your sore spots and bring instant relief. Great massage therapists learn from their own bodies and those of their previous clients to follow a common trail of pressure points that are active in most people’s muscles to pin point areas needing relief. After a great treatment, you’ll feel a greater balance in your body, more relaxed and body confident. Quality massage usually feels good or relieving while you receive it and the positive effects received tend to last for a period of time afterwards.

Education:  It’s difficult to find a massage therapist who is able to give an intuitive treatment and educate you as to your body condition and how you’re responding to treatment at the same time. There is a process of a neurological connection between the brain and body tissues and massage stimulates the re-education of the soft tissues and leads to better function. Something similar to the re-booting of a computer. It’s empowering to be made aware of where your body is at, what needs attention and a potential plan as to how far you can take your body using massage therapy. As human beings we crave feedback – am I doing okay? A good massage therapist lets you know this.

Your advocate: As we have discussed there is more to a massage treatment than just the hands on manipulation of muscles. It is important to know that your therapist has your back – they’re not afraid to advise you if you would benefit from further treatment or if they feel you need to change course. You’ll know when your needs are their priority from the support, language, advice and care that your therapist offers. Your therapist shares an interest in your life and you look forward to seeing them on your next scheduled visit.

Professional: As with any professional, a committed therapist learns what it takes to be at their best. We all crave consistency. In a World that offers inconsistency we hinge our hopes on the things in life that we can depend upon. Great therapists usually have a structure that they follow to enable them to perform at their best. Their own self-care, life balance and business organisation become the foundation stone for delivering highly effective and valuable treatments to their clients. They take responsibility for organising your next appointment before you leave the clinic to enable you to receive treatment at a convenient time and at an optimal frequency to support you in life, work and play.

At The Massage Centre in Chiswick, we take our time to recruit the best therapists and coach them on being their best. You’re not guaranteed to find your perfect massage therapist here on your first go but you are guaranteed that we will do our best to match you with the best therapist. We also aren’t afraid to let you know if we don’t have a suitable therapist. All our therapists are unique but they also all have attributes and qualities that separate them from the majority of massage therapists in London. If you’d like a particular outcome from your treatment, give us a call and we will endeavour to match you up with a massage therapist who can deliver you the experience you’re looking for.
Fran Kehoe


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