What People Should Know Before Getting Their First Professional Massage

Pair exercises. Massage.Most of us use a specific barber or hairstylist (she always gets those layers just right!), or go to a specific nail salon for our mani-pedis (no place else will do!). Finding the right massage therapist is no different. Such relationships are built on mutual respect and trust and finding the right massage therapist can literally change your life. The folks over at WebMD have put together a list of helpful tips for people booking their first massage.

Thinking of getting a professional massage for the first time? You may have questions before you make the appointment.

Maybe you’re self-conscious about getting undressed in front of a stranger. Or you’re worried that the massage will hurt. Or you’re hoping it will cure a backache you’ve had for years.

To help put you at ease before your first massage, here are frequently asked questions and answers about massage. So stop fretting and just relax — that’s the whole point of getting a massage.

What type of massage should I get?

There are many different styles of massage. The most common is the Swedish massage, which is a whole-body therapeutic massage designed to relax the muscles and joints. Other popular types include deep tissue, shiatsu, hot stone, reflexology, and Thai massage. You may want to choose a specialty, like sports massage or pregnancy massage, if that suits your needs.

How should I choose a practitioner?

If you’re looking for a therapist, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has a locator service on its web site, www.findamassagetherapist.org. Enter your zip code and you get a list of massage therapists who are licensed or certified (depending on the state), along with their specialties and years of experience.

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