Those who have never received a professional massage may be in for an awkward surprise when arriving for an appointment. In nearly every decent-sized city in America, there are dozens of businesses which offer massage services. Some are reputable establishments devoted to healing, relaxation, and well-being. Others, unfortunately, are sleazy establishments which are morally equivalent to brothels and strip clubs.
While an experienced massage client can easily tell which massage establishments are legitimate, someone who has never before received a massage can easily be confused. This article will offer some tips for finding out whether or not a massage business is legitimate.
1. Don’t be mislead by the wording. While some people may see an ad for “exotic massage” and think of Ayurvedic, Shiatsu, or Lomi Lomi forms of massage (all of which are legitimate, and all of which might be described as exotic), others will think of a sleazy type of establishment. Unfortunately, “exotic” massage is no different than “erotic” massage when it comes to advertising, which is how most prostitutes practice their craft without fear of legal repercussions.
2. Pay attention to the picture. Have you ever seen a billboard advertising massage and wondered whether or not the business was legitimate? One easy way to tell is by looking at the picture on the billboard. Real massage therapists don’t go around putting pictures of themselves on billboards or in ads. Instead, these ads will usually show a happy and relaxed client (most often female) wearing a fluffy white robe. If you see a billboard or ad with a head shot of a pretty young woman with a “come hither” expression on her face, you should have serious doubts about that establishment’s professional credentials.
3. Are the massage practitioners wearing uniforms? Most professional massage therapists wear uniforms or dress like professionals. If you have booked a massage and your practitioner comes out wearing a miniskirt and high heels, well you might end up getting more than you bargained for.
4. Ask for credentials. One reason why it is sometimes difficult to tell if a massage business is legitimate is because laws and regulations vary from state to state. In some states, massage therapists need to be licensed or certified. In other states, they do not. According to NaturalHealers.com (which is a wonderful resource for massage information), 37 states, along with the District of Columbia, regulate the practice of massage therapy. This means that 13 states do not! To be safe, always ask for a practitioner’s credentials. If your therapist has NCETMB (National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork) or NCETM (National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage) credentials, you can rest assured that you will be receiving a professional massage.
5. “Private parts”. Under no circumstance will a professional massage therapist touch a client’s genital areas, even if specifically asked to do so by a client. This is actually one major fear expressed by those who are interested in getting a massage but are reluctant to do so out of modesty. If this is a concern, there is no need to worry; professional massage therapists will not require a client to do anything which may make the client uncomfortable. After all, a massage therapist can only perform his or her job if the client is at ease, comfortable, and relaxed.
By following these five tips, you can be sure that you will get the professional level and quality of service you expect when booking an appointment for a massage.