• Jan Baker

7 things to consider when choosing a massage therapist

Today, I want to take you through 7 things to consider when choosing a therapist. How do you know the therapist is going to be the right person for you? How can you minimise your fear of choosing the "wrong" one and wasting your money?

1. Check their industry qualifications.

Nobody wants to be treated by someone who isn't qualified, especially in an industry that has little formal regulation yet. Are their qualifications clearly displayed on their business page or website, or at their premises? Do you know if their qualification covers what you're asking them to treat? For example, with Aromatherapy, does the therapist have an actual separate qualification in the discipline or are they stating they can do Aromatherapy massage, but in fact, all they have is a beauty therapy diploma, where they teach you how to use a few oils for a "relaxing massage"? There's an important distinction here because essential oils are very powerful and need to be used with care and by specialists, especially if they are treating you medically. Do they make sure they do a consultation with you, even if it's only verbal, to check that the treatment you are going to receive is suitable? Do they have a certificate demonstrating their study in physiology and anatomy that you could see if you asked them? Knowing how the body works is key to using massage and aromatherapy essential oils in particular, correctly. These are some of the questions to ask when considering choosing your therapist.

2. Do they have a regularly updated business page and website?

A website in particular is where you should find further information about your therapist and the services they offer. Do they have an on-line booking facility or are they just "winging" it in terms of offering appointments? Do they have a privacy policy for the data they are required to keep on you? Have they paid their GDPR annual subscription registration fee? Do they have a cancellation and/or no show policy with clear terms and conditions on the website for booking or is this posted regularly on their business page? Most of these things you should find somewhere on their website if you look closely enough, and any therapist should be able to confirm all of these things if asked.

3. Can you find client reviews easily?

Client reviews are very important because they are confirmation from actual clients about what the service is like. What percentage of reviews are positive? Do they have any reviews for the type of treatment you're looking for? If not, is there a clear way of contacting the therapist to request more information if you need it? Client reviews are important because they come from the client and not the therapist.

4. Do they have public liability insurance?

The therapist should have public liability insurance to cover the extremely rare incidence that something may goes wrong. Is this clearly displayed on their website or at their premises? This is your guarantee that they are suitably insured to work on you. If they don't have this, they are not insured to treat you!

5. Do they have any other social media platforms?

Are these also updated regularly? Do they blog? Do they have any "information" platforms not just a business page, where they give advice, demonstrate their expertise, give tips or post offers? If they're active on other social media, or have alternative pages, it gives you plenty of opportunity to see what they are posting across a wider range of platforms, and it can give you a good feel for whether the therapist is right for you. Does the therapist state anywhere on their posts that they are happy for you to contact them for a "meet and look around" appointment if you would like to go in person before you book? This may be an option if you're still unsure and would like more confirmation before you book.

6. Media

Are there any pictures of the premises on the website or business page? Is there a picture of the therapist? How easily can you find out if your therapist is female or male if this is one of your concerns? Are there any videos you can watch? Seeing someone on video will give you a much better idea about whether this is someone you want to entrust your treatment to. It will also give you an indication of their approachability, and you can see for yourself, the treatment area and facilities.

7. Pricing

Does the therapist have a clear price list for standard treatments and is this easy to find? Does the therapist post their prices on their business page or website, or do they have a price list on display at their premises? Does it tell you what's included as standard?

Always be wary of a "too good to be true" offer. When you are booking an appointment with a therapist, you are not just booking a half an hour of treatment. You are also booking their expertise, their time, often at premises which they have to pay for, and using their equipment and resources. It takes many months for someone to qualify properly, and equipment and resources are not cheap to buy, even at wholesale prices. So when someone offers out a heavily discounted deal, ask yourself why they are doing this. Is it because they have no clients? And if so, why not?

A good therapist will happily confirm or provide all of the information above, so don't be afraid to ask.

As always, take care & stay safe!

Jan x

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