KATIE KARN, LMT, CST, CBIS
Katie can be reached at email@example.com
If you’ve ever had a massage or are considering trying it, you may not know where to start or what questions to ask.
Choosing the right massage therapist is much like choosing the healthcare provider, you’ll want to be sure your massage therapist is ethical, trustworthy, reputable, knowledgeable, and in line with your plans for fitness and health. There are many massage therapists to choose from, so it can be confusing and challenging to choose the right one.
It’s important to have a comfortable relationship with your massage therapist, and here at Apex we work hard to maintain a comfortable environment for our clients.
We suggest you consider asking the following questions before you get a massage with someone new.
What kind of massage education does your therapist have?
You want to be sure your massage therapist has attended an officially recognized, accredited massage school or massage program. Not all massage therapy education is created equal, and this is a good way to determine if your selected therapist has the background needed to help you achieve your healthcare goals.
Are they licensed or certified?
It is important to know and understand the licensing and/or certifications your massage therapist may or may not have. In the state of North Dakota, massage therapists are required by law to be licensed. This ensures that the LMT (or Licensed Massage Therapist) you visit has had a basic education in massage techniques (750+hours), has passed a nationally recognized exam, (should be posted in the office) and complies with standards of sanitation, communicable disease control, and ethics.
Certain states, for example, Minnesota, do not have standards the same as North Dakota, so it is especially important to ask about your therapist’s credentials to make sure they meet the standards of needs you have as a client. If someone is not licensed but certified, be sure to ask what specific education they have and make sure their certification is not just a city permit after attending a weekend course. You want to make sure if you have any special conditions/considerations your therapist has the knowledge to help you and not hurt you.
There are even some conditions that are contraindicated for massage-meaning you shouldn’t have massage performed. This is where proper education is key.
How many years have they been practicing professional massage?
And if they have extra letters behind their name, what do they mean/stand for? Most of the time if you have these letters like LMT, CST, LDT-it means they have studied further and received an extra certification in a specific bodywork modality like CST (craniosacral therapy) or LDT (Lymphatic Drainage Technique). This shows extra effort, time, and dedication your therapist has devoted to learning, perfecting, and being tested on new skills. And ask about them! They are usually quite proud of their accomplishments.
Why are they using a specific motion or movement?
Most LMTs LOVE to talk about their work. They are passionate about it and sometimes we don’t know if you just want to zen out and relax or if you want to know what/why we are performing something some way. We may geek out on you a little bit as we explain how the knee bone is connected to the ankle bone. We are happy to explain what we’re doing and why. Please don’t ever be afraid to ask a question during your session.
Is there such a thing as too much pressure, or should I take as much as I can stand?
Yes. A therapeutic massage can at times be intense, but it should never be painful. A painful massage is counterproductive.
Should I tell my massage therapist if I liked something or didn’t like something about their last treatment?
ABSOLUTELY! Like any good relationship, Communication is key. Your therapist may need to spend the first few minutes talking through certain things you are going through or what you want them to focus on, it’s important for them to use their best techniques. But it’s also up to you to be sure to communicate that to them in order to get their best work and get you feeling better.
Here at Apex, we pride ourselves in having the best Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) in the business. People who are dedicated to learning, growing and above all, helping in any way we can.
We may not know it all, but we may know someone or something else that may help. We want to connect you to valuable people in our community and above all, get you feeling your best!
KATIE KARN, LMT, CST, CBIS