Guest Blog Post: Tips on Finding a Massage Therapist or Reiki Practitioner

relaxHave you decided to improve your health and well-being by getting a massage or Reiki session for yourself, but you don’t know where to go from here?  There are tons of wonderful therapists out there, but with so many different massage modalities – not to mention the personal style of individual therapists – the process of finding the right therapist for you can be time consuming and pricey.  Here are some tips to point you in the right direction and help you get the most out of your session!

Decide what you’re comfortable with.  ANY massage or Reiki session can be tailored to your comfort level!  Reiki sessions are done while completely clothed and the client can be sitting up and barely touched.  You can leave as many articles of clothing on as you want during a massage.  If you hate having your feet or face touched, say so!  The therapist will work around your needs.  Or, you can simply ask for scalp, hands, and foot work, and still feel very relaxed and refreshed!

Ask around.  Before randomly searching for a therapist online, ask who your family, friends and co-workers have gone to.

Book only a 30 min session to start.  Before spending money on a full 60 or 90 minute session, start with the shortest length offered – that way, if it’s not quite what you’re looking for, you’re not stuck paying more.  If you’re really enjoying it, you can always ask for more time towards the end of the session – most therapists would be happy to lengthen the session on the spot if their schedule allows!

Know where to look.  Massages at spas will typically focus on a pampered and relaxing experience, while those at a chiropractic office will be geared towards pain management.  (Try a massage after a chiropractic adjustment…they work great together!)  Health centers and private practices will most likely offer a more versatile, customized massage.

Speak to the therapist or practitioner.  If a receptionist answers the phone when you call to make an appointment, describe what you’re looking for in a session (pain relief, emotional balance, etc.) and ask to speak directly to the therapist that they recommend for you.  Then, ask the therapist how long they’ve been practicing – further, describe your intention for getting a treatment, and ask what their approach would be during the session.  You should be able to tell by their responses, and the questions they ask you in return, if they are knowledgeable, personable, and able to provide the treatment you’re looking for. ***When looking for a Reiki practitioner, they must be at Level II of Reiki, and be SURE to ask how much time they took between their Levels I and II training.***  With the gaining popularity of Reiki, some teachers offer Levels I and II training all in one weekend.  There is concern that students’ work who complete Levels I and II within one weekend may not be as good of quality as those who took time to practice in between Levels.  My masters required practitioners to have at least 6 months of practice between levels I and II.

Try a combination session.  Massage & Reiki.  Ahhh…a match made in heaven!  For a truly holistic and balancing experience, find someone who is trained in both and be prepared for a whole new level of relaxation and healing!

Keep communication open.  When you go in for your appointment, remember that the therapist, though skilled, is not a mind reader!  Be sure to speak up if you want more/less pressure, if you’re cold, if the music is distracting, if a technique is painful, etc.  Therapists are happy to meet these requests and it will enhance the session SO much.

Cost effective alternatives.  Some health centers or therapists who are in private practice will charge on a sliding scale.  Your rate is based on your income!  Massage schools often have open clinics where students need people to practice on for free.  Many people who are practicing Reiki Level I need people to work on free of charge.  Some Reiki practitioners charge an “offering” or “donation”.  If you find someone you’d really like to have regular sessions with, but can’t afford to, ask if you can purchase a package of sessions for a lower rate.

Hope these tips help.  Let the relaxation and healing begin!

– Jessica E. // Natural Wellness Professional

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