Customized Massages Are Magical
A horse is a horse of course – until you find one with a horn and call it a unicorn, that is.
A unicorn is unique in a mystical kind of way. A flowing rainbow mane and a glistening white body with a glittery tail set it apart from even the greatest of thoroughbreds. It is a mythical creature that has never been seen. Or has it?
Now, compare a massage therapy session to this image.
A massage is a massage of course – until you find one specifically tailored to your unique needs that sets it apart from even the best spas in the world, that is.
Like a unicorn, a clinical massage therapy session that targets your individual specifications is hard to find. Or is it?
Not at Therapeutic Kneads. It starts with a disciplined, one-of-a-kind, five-part system.
How we create customized massages
1. Assessing and documenting client needs
Anyone who is going to manipulate your soft tissue, move blood and lymphatic fluids, or stretch your body should know a little something about your medical history and current complaints. What if you have allergies to almond oil? What if you are diabetic or have heart/circulatory issues? Did you know that massage can temporarily increase blood pressure, then ultimately lower it by the end of the treatment? What if you’ve had spinal surgery or have a prosthetic device?
Caution should not be thrown to the wind.
Massage therapists (MTs) may be intuitive, but they are not mind readers. It’s important to remember that there can be contradictions in receiving a massage.
For example, if you have had a recent injury, infection, or surgery, you may need to wait or get a doctor to approve treatment. High risk pregnancies, skin conditions or open wounds/sores can also alter what your MT can or cannot do.
An MT wants to focus on your health goals without causing any harm. Even though MT’s are not often viewed as healthcare workers, they carry the same professional liability risk that any other licensed professional has. They have a duty to keep you safe. Take the time to have a conversation with your MT before each session.
If an MT does not inquire about your current health and preferences, be cautious about jumping on their table. You are at their mercy and, at best, they would be guessing about what you want or just doing their “routine” massage.
2. Creating a custom treatment plan
You are unlike anyone else in the world. Why would you settle for the standard treatment when you deserve to get something that is specifically designed your present needs?
Most clients ask for deep tissue because they think that to fix something fast, you must go in and dig it out. Not so. Soft tissue is like a precious car engine. It needs to warm up before you speed down the highway. If an LMT buries their elbows into your muscles without properly warming the tissues and increasing circulation, you may end up bruised, sore, or even injured.
Everyone, even athletes, seniors, and soccer moms, has different needs in massage therapy. Therefore, the approach must be geared toward that end. That means your MT should be adjusting technique, pace, pressure, movement, and flow to achieve what is best for you.
In addition, treatment from week to week may differ. As your body changes with massage therapy, so too, do your needs and health goals.
3. Implementing the plan with a team of trained and licensed massage therapists
If you and 9 others were asked to paint a sunset, all the pictures would result in a beautiful piece of art, yet all 10 paintings would look different.
In this same vein, no two massage therapists are alike. Their approaches may be different, but the results are the same: increased flexibility and decreased pain and stress.
Many sports celebrities and athletes have a team of experts at their disposal. Just think if you had two to three massage therapists in one location that could work with you on your schedule and at your convenience.
Some trainers have different specialties and skills, but others may not be available when the need arises. Building trust with multiple therapists allows you to customize each treatment based on your current needs. Three brains and three pairs of hands expand your options.
When the LMTs take detailed notes and communicate with their team members about your history, challenges, preferences, and past treatments, you get continuity with different skill sets that result in a multi-dimensional approach.
4. Monitoring client progress, recommending after-care, and refining treatment plans
The treatment goes beyond the 60 minutes you are in the room.
A good LMT will recommend things you can do at home to maintain the benefits of your massage. Using a massage tool, foam rolling, a pillow consultation, or soaking in a magnesium bath would extend the life of the massage and help your progress toward your health goals.
It should be more than a transaction. Much like physical therapy, you have homework that will reinforce muscle memory and enhance the healing process. Your feedback is important for making modifications to the treatment going forward. It is a two-way relationship, a give and take that helps to get results.
5. Adapting to ever-evolving health and lifestyle needs
You are always changing and evolving. Your body is not the same it was a month ago or a year ago. Every massage session should reflect the present state of your health.
Balance can be restored when each treatment is tailored to the needs at that moment. You may even want to consider chiropractic, acupuncture, or a new exercise regime.
There is no cookie-cutter treatment because there is nothing routine about your body. Having a trusted LMT on your healthcare team is just one way you can continue to address life’s challenges and your body’s changes.
Do not settle for a thoroughbred. Go find your unicorn. The results of a drug-free, preventive health plan will transform your lifestyle, slow the aging process, and improve your quality of life. That is truly magical!