The emergence of Thai and Chinese massage places in Sydney, over the last decade, has been both interesting and slightly annoying for massage therapists like myself.
Coming from me this could be seen as sour grapes…but read on and decide for yourself.
I’ve been told my experts not to worry and that we both just cater to different markets? Theoretically yes, however I know plenty of people who’ve gone to the local Westfield Chinese outlet when they wake up with neck pain ‘because it’s convenient’. I even know of somebody with a diagnosed disc injury who regularly gets a Thai massage!
Don’t get me wrong I love a good Thai massage, used to get one to unwind on the occasional Sunday. It was painful and bloody relaxing. But my fiancé and I treated ourselves recently to one and I came out of there frustrated and bothered. It started out ok…. on my feet….YESSS but by the time she was at the top of my legs I was starting to feel frustrated. In the end I don’t think one muscle was focused on for the purpose of releasing a sore point, the whole thing felt like formula and was plain disappointing.
So what’s the problem?
It comes down to what’s a massage I suppose, much like what’s food? In other words does a meal from a burger chain compare with a home cooked lamb roast with a pile of fresh oven baked vegetables? Are you getting the same value?
An educated and caring masseur sums up your history, asks you questions, wants to get to know you and your body. The good therapist then forms a plan in their mind of what they need to prioritise, what they want to change and what advice you might need. We even make an assessment on your current stress levels which influences pressures and techniques we may use. We know where (nearly all) muscles are. Where they begin and end, how muscles and joints interact.
And you know who we are; we have bios and reviews. You know we’ve spent time and money educating ourselves. To keep industry accreditation we have to continue education and declare that to relevant bodies annually.
How do you know what you’re getting at these places?
I know we’re not saving lives but it really bothers me & it should you. Because it’s your body (and frankly money) we’re talking about here. I feel like it’s a privilege to work with your body and hopefully help you, to some extent, with your health. We also like to think we might have some sort of (dare I say relationship)… rapport with our clients. I should say, in the interests of objectivity, I don’t know if these places are accredited or the masseurs formally trained. The lack of any offer of a receipt may or may not tell us something.
What I can guarantee, is this.
A good masseur should (I know I do) care every time. Their goal should be to offer you 100% effort, care and quality. Although it will cost more is a dollar sense, man you get a lot of bang for your buck!