What Makes a Massage Good?
What makes a massage good?
I always feel a bit nervous when a client comes to me because someone else told them that I give a good massage.
How good a massage feels is largely subjective. For some clients, deep pressure feels good. For others, light pressure feels good.
My preferred amount of pressure to use in treatment is medium (another relatively subjective and therefore not entirely useful measure), and I like to describe my style as therapeutic relaxation. Too often massage gets categorized as either “Swedish Relaxation Massage” or “Deep Tissue Therapeutic Massage.” So where does that leave those of us who like something in the middle?
A good massage therapist should take the time to figure out what makes a massage good for you. That being said, booking a massage with any random therapist on the assumption that the therapist will take the time to figure out what makes a massage good for you is a bit of a gamble.
For that reason I recommend that you take the time to read therapist bios before booking a treatment with a new massage therapist. You should be able to tell wether or not a therapist’s style will be a good fit for you by reading their bio. Do you like deep pressure? Look for a therapist who offers deep tissue massage. Do you like to feel completely relaxed during a massage? It is probably best to book a treatment with a therapist who isn’t known for their amazing deep tissue skills.
Keep in mind that many therapists have their own preferences too. For example, I don’t like deep tissue work! In fact, in early 2021 I took a job as a Lymph Drainage Therapist specifically to spend more time treating with light touch.
Although I can modify my massage style to a certain extent based on client preferences, I don’t like to. My happiest clients (and the ones who keep coming back) are the ones who enjoy my authentic style.