Guidelines for Finding a Massage Therapist Post 1

So you have decided to join in on the alternative health craze and want to set up an appointment with a massage therapist. Don’t just choose anyone, you have one task: finding the right massage therapist?

With so many therapists and so many different types of massage, finding a massage therapist can feel like buying a new car. It can be confusing and overwhelming. Do you want a neuromuscular therapist or a Rolfer? Reflexolgist or Swedish Massage Therapist? How do you narrow down your options? I opened the phone book for my city of 70,000 people and counted 56 licensed massage clinics and spas. Many of these establishments employ more than one therapist and offer several combinations of therapies.

Have no fear! Finding a massage therapist who fits your needs is much easier than you may think. Both the Internet and your local yellow pages are sources for finding a massage therapist in your area. Many therapists have personal web pages or advertise in the phone book. Massage consumers also host forums and web pages dedicated to massage therapy.

You can search online or in the phone book and call the first therapist you find. Even if you select a therapist that way, you can follow some of the guidelines below for finding and selecting a massage therapist.

Make sure the therapist is licensed or certified

Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have massage practice laws that require therapists to meet certain education criteria. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. If your state does not have massage practice laws, ask the therapist about his or her training. At the very least, the therapist should have completed a basic massage course.

Get a referral from a professional organization

The American Massage Therapy Association is a professional organization for massage therapists and consumers. Their members must meet certain criteria to join and are required to uphold the AMTA’s Code of Ethics.

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is another professional organization that can refer you to a therapist. The NCBTMB offers a certification program for massage therapists and body workers. Like the AMTA, massage therapists and body workers must meet certain criteria to be certified and must be recertified every four years.

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