A good massage can release physical and emotional tension and help you live a pain-free daily life. Registered massage therapists can support the health goals of all ages, from birth to seniors.
There are plenty of massage therapy clinics to choose from in Vancouver. Choosing the right one for you depends on a variety of factors. Here are our tips on choosing the best massage therapist for you or your family.
But first, why would you need a massage therapist?
A registered massage therapist can help with both physical and emotional healing. Massage therapy helps with the following:
- Pain caused by muscle tension
- General body soreness or muscle stiffness after a sport or activity
- Calming stress and anxiety
An RMT can help improve your overall mobility and well-being and boost athletic performance. Massaging your body can loosen tight muscles, tendons, and joints.
Many also find a massage an excellent time to relax, which helps with stress and anxiety relief. Massages help your body release cortisol (the stress hormone) by up to 31% during treatment.
1. Why do you need a massage therapist?
Next, your choice of massage therapist will depend on what you need. You likely need support in one of three areas:
- Unwinding: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or experiencing anxiety, a massage can help you “reboot” your mind, body, and spirit. You might benefit from a detox massage, hot stone massage, pain relief massage, or ear candling.
- Rejuvenation: Rejuvenation massages support a woman’s health, whether you’re trying to conceive, are pregnant, or struggling with menstrual pain. Specialized massage therapists can provide massages to increase fertility, prenatal massages to support your body through the changes it goes through growing a baby, and menstrual massage to help you find relief from menstrual pains and cramping.
- Restorative: Massage can help enhance mobility performance and promote healing as either preventative care or post-injury support. Active individuals injured by a sport or accident can help with your rehabilitation and pain management. Other active individuals who want to enhance their athletic performance, professionally or recreationally, can get massage treatments to maintain a healthy body and mobility.
Once you know what type of massage you likely need, you can look for massage therapists near you who offer these services.
2. What are their qualifications?
Did you know that massage therapy is a regulated profession in BC? Registered Massage Therapists must complete a two-year massage therapy program, including supervised practical training. They must also pass their exams, be certified in CPR and First Aid Level C, and pass a background check.
If you’re interested in specialized massages, such as pregnancy massages, they may need additional training or experience. Ask any prospective RMTs how many hours they’ve logged overall or in a specific area if you’re interested in that to gauge their expertise.
You can check with the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia to confirm the status of any registered massage therapist practicing in the province.
3. Can they do an assessment?
Everyone will receive a unique treatment plan based on primary pain concerns. Some may require weekly appointments, while others only need monthly appointments. When you book your initial consultation with a potential massage therapist, ask them about their recommended treatment plan for the best results. This will help determine if that practitioner has the availability to be your therapist throughout your full treatment.
4. Where are they located, and what’s their availability?
A common struggle in Vancouver is finding a massage therapist who has the availability you need without a month-long waiting list to get an appointment. Look for clinics with opening hours that meet your schedule and call to ask about how far in advance you can make an appointment. Some only allow you to book one month ahead, and others have longer booking windows.
5. Do they do direct billing?
RMT treatments are covered in whole or part by many health plans. For your convenience, many will bill your appointments directly to your health plan provider, so you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket. When you book, share the details of your health plan so we can confirm your coverage amounts and any maximums.
6. Can they refer to other natural health providers?
Massage therapy doesn’t always fix the root cause of pain or ailment, but as part of an integrated treatment plan can have great benefits. Your RMT may need to refer you to other practitioners like Chiropractors, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners, or naturopaths for a more comprehensive treatment plan. Ask if they have a trusted network of in-house or trusted practitioners in your community, should you need it.
7. Do they provide aftercare instructions?
Getting a great massage is only as good as your home maintenance of your body. Ask your massage therapist if they will provide aftercare or home care tips and guidance. They can likely show you stretches or movements you can do at home to support your body between treatments.
For example, if your primary pain concerns are stiff neck and shoulders due to sitting at a computer all day, they can recommend stretches you can do throughout the day to help release tension. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, they can loosen your muscles during your appointment and show you how to do foot and ankle stretches at home.
Looking for a great massage in downtown Vancouver?
Oceana Massage is located on West Pender in Downtown Vancouver and has openings for new massage clients now. Our team specializes in stress relief massage, prenatal massage, and rehabilitation massage.
Oceana Massage provides award-winning massage treatments catered to the physical ailments of our clients while also considering their mental, emotional and spiritual needs. From treatments that range from deep tissue to aromatherapy to prenatal to rehabilitation, it’s our mission to provide you with the utmost in quality care that encourages rest, relaxation and healing.
Allow your body to feel free again. Book an appointment with a member of our team today.