What to ask for when getting a massage

Deborah C. Escalante

Open communication with your therapist is the best way to get the massage your body needs. Here are the best ways you can communicate with your massage therapist.

All I know is that I am in pain. Can my massage therapist still figure out what’s wrong?

A good therapist will ask follow-up questions to determine how to approach your problem. And after they have begun working on your muscles for a few minutes, they will have a clearer picture of what is going on with your body as a whole.

Heather said, “I will ask a follow-up question about an activity they’ve done or a position they sleep in. And then when someone tells me, ‘I just drove 37 hours,’ or, ‘I sleep on a couch with an arm hanging off the side and it always falls asleep,’ then I can address the areas that would be affected by those things.”

When should I let my massage therapist know if they’re using too little or too much pressure?

In the first few minutes of your massage, your therapist is warming up your muscle tissues before working harder on your problem areas.

If five minutes have passed and you don’t feel like the pressure is firm enough, then ask for more pressure to be used. Your therapist will also check in with you a couple times to see if they are using the right amount of pressure.

When you book your massage with us, you’re giving us your first clue about the amount of pressure you want in your massage.

  • If you booked a Relaxation massage (or Swedish Massage), that tells us your goal is relaxation. (No surprises there!) We’ll use less pressure and will focus on the body as a whole.
  • If you booked a Therapeutic massage, then we know you want a firmer touch and that you have specific issues you want us to address. We’ll use a range of pressure from light to deep. Of course if you add Deep Tissue, we know you really want us to dig in and take care of your complaints.

What if it’s too much pressure?

Andrea said, “The pressure is too much if you notice you’re holding your breath or if you feel the need to pull away from the pressure. Let your therapist know right away so they can adjust and not cause you pain. You won’t hurt their feelings.”

Why is my therapist focusing on a part of my body I didn’t mention to them?

When one area of your body is strained or feels pain, it will affect other parts of your body. Your pain in your shoulder may be caused by a problem somewhere else.

If you work at a computer and feel mid-back pain, it is because your shoulders are likely pulled forward and your pectoral (chest) muscles are too tight. Your therapist may work the front of your neck and pec muscles to relieve the pain or strain that is pulling on your back.

Can I ask my therapist to revisit an area? What if I don’t feel like I’ve gotten enough relief from my pain?

Yes, you can ask your therapist to revisit an area. Just say, “can you continue working on that area?” Or “Can you pay more attention to my IT band?” Don’t be shy—mention this sooner instead of in the final few minutes of the massage. Our schedules are usually booked solid, so it’s not common practice to extend a 45 minute massage into a 60 minute massage.

If you have a lot of areas (like 5 or 6) you want special emphasis on, we will do our best to get to them. But with that many areas of concern, you would receive more relief in two sessions so there is time to adequately address them.

Can I ask my therapist questions about why they’re using a specific motion or movement?

Absolutely! We may geek out on you a little bit as we explain how the knee bone is connected to the ankle bone. We are happy to explain what we’re doing and why. Please don’t ever be afraid to ask a question during your session.

So….I just need to ask my questions and communicate if I am uncomfortable?


Massage therapy is a great way to help treat a variety of health issues, including anxiety, nerve pain, soft tissue injuries, and fitness injuries. However, to get the most out of your massage, you want to be sure you find a high-quality massage therapist.

Do you need help finding the best massage therapist for your needs? Keep reading this article for questions you should ask your massage therapist before receiving treatment.

What Can I Expect from Treatment?

An important question that you can ask your massage therapist to improve your massage education is what you can expect from your massage therapy treatment. This can help eliminate any potential stress or anxiety that you feel.

For example, some people do not know that it is normal to have occasional bruising after your treatment, as long as it is not excessive.

The increased circulation that you have after a massage may even lead to a headache. By asking your massage therapist about what you can expect, you will not worry about these small side effects.

How Should I Prepare for Treatment?

Ask your massage therapist what you can do to properly prepare for your treatment.

First, you want to make sure you are hydrated. By drinking a lot of water, your body will be able to eliminate toxins more easily during your treatment.

Take a hot shower before your massage. This can help relax your muscles to give you the best results possible. Some massage therapists also have a sauna or steam room that you can use before your massage that will provide the same benefits.

Finally, arrive at your appointment on time. This will allow you to get signed in, use the bathroom, and fill out any health records that your massage therapist needs from you.

There are also some things that you should avoid before getting a massage. These include sunbathing and drinking alcohol.

What Types of Massages Do You Specialize In?

Ask your massage therapist what types of massage they specialize in. Each type of massage will have different benefits, so you want to be sure you are getting the services that will benefit you most.

For example, you may just want a relaxation massage. Any massage therapist can provide this service, as it simply aims to help you relax your body.

However, if you need more specialized massages, like a sports massage or a deep tissue massage, you will want to be sure they have plenty of expertise offering these services.

Will a Massage Make My Injuries Worse?

If you are visiting a massage therapist to help with an injury, it can be helpful to ask if your massage will make your injuries worse. While many health issues can be treated with a massage, others may worsen.

Talk to your massage therapist about what kind of injury you have so they can help you find the best massage treatment options for you.

Even if you have an injury, your massage therapist may be able to work around this. You can still enjoy a relaxing massage without the worry that your injury will get worse.

However, it is important to realize that you should always stay home from a massage if you are sick. First, you will be in close quarters with your massage therapist and may pass your illness to them.

Additionally, getting a massage in the early stages of your sickness may make your symptoms worse.

How Can We Improve Communication?

Establishing good communication with your massage therapist is key to getting the most out of the treatment. Asking about ways that you can give feedback or ask for adjustments to your treatment is vital to maintaining a good relationship.

For example, if you feel like the massage pressure is too hard or too soft for you, you should be able to ask them to adjust the pressure to help make the massage more enjoyable.

When you learn to communicate your preferences and needs more effectively, you’ll have a greater experience.

Are You Properly Qualified and Licensed?

Finally, you want to be sure you are meeting with a massage therapist that has the proper education, licensing, and certifications. One way you can do this is by asking your massage therapist what massage program they completed.

It is vital that you only work with a licensed massage therapist. This shows that they have passed the requirements necessary to practice massage therapy in your state.

Understanding more about your massage therapist’s education and licensing can help you feel more comfortable while you are getting your massage.

How Long Have You Been Practicing?

You should find a massage therapist that has plenty of experience. To learn more about their experience, ask them how long they have been professionally practicing the different types of massage services they offer.

The more experience your massage therapist has, the better your experience with them will be.

Get the Healing Touch of a Top Massage Therapist!

Finding a massage therapist you can trust is a great way to improve your fitness and other aspects of your health.

However, it may seem intimidating to work with a new massage therapist or to get your first treatment. By asking your massage therapist each of these questions, you can better prepare for your treatment.

Are you looking for a reliable massage therapist that offers mobility help? VIM Fitness can help! We are a gym that offers everything from massage treatment to group classes to corporate wellness.

Check out our blog today to learn more about our massage therapy services or to get other fitness tips to improve your health.

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