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choosing a massage therapist

In the UK, for the most part massage therapy is governed by common law so there’s very little legislation relating specifically massage. There's also a vast array of courses available for practitioners, of varying standards, so if you’re looking to find a new holistic massage therapist these factors can sometimes make choosing the right person tricky. 

Over the years, Sharmila and I have both been lucky enough to receive massages, both good and bad, from lots of different therapists, in a variety of places, practicing many different styles of massage and bodywork. We’ve really done our homework. By combining our experience, knowledge and training we’ve put together some pointers to help you to choose your massage therapist.

Get a recommendation
Firstly, don’t be put off by the website. We were lucky, as I had previous experience in the design industry, but this often isn’t the case. I know many fantastic therapists who don’t even have a website but they continue to provide really high-quality treatments and have built many long-standing relationships with lots of very happy clients. Personal recommendation goes a very long way, so ask around. You’ll be surprised how many therapists there are working from home or clinics locally, as well as the places you’ll find online. 

Foot massageCheck out their experience
There’s a huge range of massage courses available so if you can find an experienced therapist with good reviews and an MTI (Massage Training Institute) qualification that’s always a good start. The MTI Diploma in Holistic Massage is equivalent to an NVQ Level 4 qualification and is made up of 300 hours of guided learning with an additional 60 hours of Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology alongside 80 hours of practical massage techniques. There’s also 25 hours of massage theory and practice management.

With such an in-depth course you can soon see why MTI trained Holistic Massage therapists are able to offer more to clients than therapists who may have simply been taught a sequence of massage movements to be performed on clients regardless of their personal needs or medical history. 

As a registered MTI therapist it’s also a requirement that we undertake regular supervision and CPD. While MTI continues to champion the industry and lead the way in Holistic Massage it makes sense to look for an MTI registered therapist. You can search the MTI website for massage therapists in your area.

CNHC (Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council) is an industry body created to protect the needs of the client and exists to reassure members of the public that all therapists on its register have met appropriate minimum standards of training and professionalism. GPs who refer patients for complementary therapies must direct them to the CNHC register, so membership of this organisation, alongside MTI will demonstrate a certain level of commitment by the therapist.

Have a chat
We won’t bite! Just pick up the phone. If you’re looking for an appointment with a new massage therapist then they’ll usually be keen to have a chat with you first. A good therapist will be able to answer any questions you may have and chat through any initial concerns or queries. You may want to book a treatment there and then or leave it until you’ve spoken to a couple of therapists. Either way, it’s good to talk and get a feel for the therapist before you book your appointment. Remember though, the nature of our profession means we’ll often have our phones switched off so please be patient about calling back or leaving a message. Experienced and committed therapists love talking to clients and helping them and so will always be happy to talk on the phone in advance of an initial treatment. 

POSTED: by Sam Lacey on Monday July 09 2012

TAGS: cnhc, complementary therapy, holistic massage, massage therapist, massage therapy, massage training, mti,

what is holistic massage?

Holistic massage is a totally client centred treatment that considers emotional as well as physical needs.

There are massages, and then there are massages. Sam’s treatments actually do you good as well as make you feel good.

Clare, Bristol