Thinking about training to become a massage therapist, but not sure what type of massage therapist you want to become?
Massage therapy covers a wide range of techniques and results for your clients and it’s important to be clear about the outcomes you can achieve. I often see posts asking for recommendations for massage therapists but there are so many questions to ask to be able to make good suggestions.
One of the questions we ask as a therapist is ‘what would you like to achieve by having a massage?’
Often your client will just say they want to feel better, (touch feels nice of course!) but often they will have a specific goal. Perhaps they have stiff shoulders from a desk job or are exhausted due to having young children and little sleep. Maybe they are aching and tired because they are suffering from the symptoms of menopause or another hormonal imbalance. Or maybe they have been a little too energic in their new exercise regime and now those muscles they haven’t used for a while are screaming for some TLC.
We always have a consultation with our client before we begin any treatment. This is an opportunity to assess any potential injuries and look at lifestyle factors or postural deviations that are contributing to their discomfort. These may need specific muscle work.
We also need to ascertain if the client has any preferences as to where and when their treatment will take place. If your client works full time, then they will appreciate evening or weekend appointments.
What about location? Some clients do not like the idea of visiting a salon at home and prefer a clinic setting. Others may wish you to visit their home so they can relax and not drive afterward. However, the massage will only be as relaxing as their surroundings. Being interrupted by children and pets will not enable them to relax fully. You may also find that you don’t have sufficient room for your couch, harsh lighting or a room that isn’t very warm. All these factors need to be considered as they will reflect on your client’s overall experience and therefore the service, they feel you are providing.
For clients who have emotional disturbances, the use of essential oils can be used to create a mindful and meditative treatment that targets the nervous system and relaxes both the mind and body.
For clients who have stiffness or are recovering from injury, a trigger point massage with very targeted manipulation may be more important to them than scented oils and soft music.
Often you may just be asked to make them ‘feel better’ and just having some me time, where they can enjoy an hour of gentle movements and light pressure will be all that they need to switch off and leave feeling rejuvenated.
Your client may be having a massage for the first time, so it is important to reassure them. Let them know in advance what to wear for a particular treatment, which clothes they will need to remove to be able to massage them effectively, and how you will ask them to move around at certain times, so they know what to expect.
If you would like to treat those who are less mobile or in a setting where there is no need to undress, an Indian head massage can be the perfect option. You could also train in more specialist techniques to treat those who are pregnant, menopausal, are receiving cancer therapy or end-of-life care.
At Phoenix, we offer a range of massage training. These include the City and Guilds Level 3, Swedish massage, Indian head massage, trigger point, hot stone, massage using pre-blended aromatherapy oils, massage to support pregnancy, and Cancer Touch Therapy.
If you would like to offer your clients something different from the usual head or body massage then the Mian Dui and Mian Shenti rituals use different techniques from the Eastern and Western world including lymphatic drainage, facial acupressure, crystals, and a gua sha.
Our training mixes in-person hands-on training with learning in your own time at home. We also include Zoom calls, so you are supported for the whole of your journey to becoming a therapist.
Our small groups of no more than 6 therapists enable you to gain the skills, knowledge, and behaviors to become a ‘thinking therapist’ who can deliver a bespoke treatment for the client you have on your couch. So next time someone asks for a recommendation for a therapist you know you can be top of that list.
For more information and to start your learning journey through our Discover Complementary Therapies programme