How to Choose a Therapist

How do you choose a massage therapist? Some people research and use referrals and reviews from friends, concierges, locals, online sites and other health care professionals; some choose based upon the specialty (modality) in which the therapist excels and is competent (for example, pregnancy massage); some go for the prestige factor (“I was at the Mandarin Oriental Spa the other day for my treatment…..”); some go for price and either take the cheapest session available, or the most expensive (mistakenly associating price with quality); and a few go for the age, looks and sex appeal of the therapist.

Why choose me? The quick answer is choice. Your choice and your right to exercise your voice and your preferences to customize your treatment session without extra add-on fees or costs. Compare and contracts where spas/salons and I differ regarding music, aromatherapy, time, cost, cremes, linens, refreshments, treatments and environment.

Music: I offer over 100 different CDs for your listening pleasure or you can bring your iPOD (or other device or CD) to listen to your own selections. Most salons and spas NEVER give you a choice on music or even ask if you care.  Music YOU can relax to is part of the integrative experience I offer.

Aromatherapy: I offer over 60 different essential oils to scent the face cradle; what helps YOU to relax? Most salons and spas NEVER give you a choice on aromatherapy or even ask if you care, and if they do, you can bet that they want you to pay an extra fee for that privilege.

Time: I offer full 30, 60 or 90 minute sessions. That’s actual time on the table; if you are at a salon or spa, check your watch – that ‘hour’ session was most likely 50 minutes. Also, I take the time to speak with you and listen before the session; we establish a relationship based upon you describing your perception of your aches, pains, activity, injuries and/or issues. I prefer to build a rapport vs. filling out forms. And finally, I don’t push you out the door.

Salons and spas, for all their comfort and amenities, are more like a fast food restaurant than a fine dining establishment: they exist for quick turnover and five minutes after you are out the door another client is on the table (and the therapist usually doesn’t even have time to pee). I allow myself 30-60 minutes between clients, so I am rested, re-energized, and refreshed for your appointment.

Cost: Compare prices and if you care about getting more value and more attention for your bodywork dollar, you will choose an independent practitioner such as myself. To identify other independent therapists, select RESOURCES from the header bar and click on Other Independent Local Massage Therapists.

Cremes: I avoid heavy oils and exclusively use Biotone cremes. I offer you a choice of six different products:  Pure Touch organic unscented, Advanced Therapy hypoallergenic sensitive skin formula, Dual-Purpose arnica and ivy extract, Muscle and Joint Relief glucosamine, arnica, bosellia and devil’s claw, Herbal Select chamomile/lavender, or Healthy Benefits pomegranate/green tea antioxidant rich formula. In addition, I offer you a choice of seven different facial cremes and also peppermint foot lotion – if you would like to add these to your session – at no extra charge. Most salons and spas NEVER give you a choice on cremes or even ask if you care, and if they do, you can bet that they want you to pay an extra fee for that privilege.

Linens: Most salons and spas do a good job with their linens, but some do not. You want the sheets you lay upon to be fresh and clean, not rancid with the smell of old oil or ‘pilled’ from overuse. And you want the face cradle cover to be cotton, soft and wrap around. If they’re using paper towels or pillowcases, both of which slip and fall, you’re not getting your money’s worth.

Refreshments: I offer either room temperature Poland Spring bottled spring water (individually disposable plastic water bottles are not as environmentally friendly as a water cooler, but they are cleaner) or the choice of cold still or sparkling seltzer water (plain, lemon, lime, or cranberry-lime).

Environment: My massage table is extra wide, extra padded and the face cradle is extremely comfortable. There is a heating pad underneath if you get chilled and I have hand warmers too. My treatment room reflects my tastes, professionalism, and aspirations. It is light, bright, colorful, peaceful and welcoming.


Treatments: This is an area of choice where spas and salons excel; they offer male and female therapists, the opportunity for dual appointments at the same time and the option of widely varying treatments from wraps to hot stone to Mayan abdominal massage. I offer only deep tissue, pressure point and stretching massage.

In summary, I believe in choice. Why pay for something you don’t want?