Are You a Good Client?


I am a Colorado Registered Massage Therapist, and President of the largest association of massage and bodywork professionals in the United States. I have friends and acquaintances who assume that with my credentials I receive massage therapy on a weekly, if not daily basis.

I don’t. As a consumer of massage therapy, I am probably considered a high-frequency user; my intent is to receive between 20–30 one-hour massage sessions this year. But like many humans, my best laid-plans don’t always come to fruition. I also would like to weigh 8–10 pounds less, and get more sleep each night. Sometimes, we can’t always get what we want.

In the past couple weeks, I behaved a lot like an uninformed potential client. I went running, and (long story short) I strained my glute/lower back/hamstring/calf/ankle/foot/shoe.  I immediately thought, “Ow.” I then thought, “I need some bodywork.” My schedule wouldn’t allow a massage until this week, but I did realize how I was behaving like so many clients that we sometimes criticize—I was broken and needed “fixing.”

I blather on most days about the cumulative benefits of regular massage and bodywork. You’ve probably seen and heard my monologues in person or on video. Why did I wait until a problem occurred? Well, it wasn’t that long ago that I got a massage (18 days). For the record: I don’t immediately re-book because I need to review my schedule (that’s justifiable, right?!). But my new goal is to make scheduling the next session my priority, rather than a workaround.

How often are you committing to regular massage therapy? Is it a priority? I’ll put it bluntly—are you a hypocrite? Are you recommending work you don’t use regularly yourself?

Mick said it best: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.”

13 thoughts on “Are You a Good Client?

  1. Yes , I agree! the thing is I like the kind of treatment i give… my good friends that did massage in town have moved away. So for me it is finding someone I will feel I am receiving the kind of treatment i want… taking time to checking out new participates for my self!

  2. I try not to go longer than two weeks between massages. I’d be on drugs if I didn’t get massage on a regular basis.

  3. It is hard for me as massage therapist to get a massage regularly or more than i wanted because the therapist that i want does not seem to fit my schedule. I work at the clinic and not all LMT knows how to massage my body. I am picky and I know how I want my body to be work on…

  4. I get a massage every other Thurs. night – It is in my schedule – I trade with another therapist – One week it is her turn, next is mine. It is a high priority for me!

  5. I try to go as much as my free-time and wallet will allow…sometimes I get two a week,sometimes 2 a month…if I have a crazy schedule and I can’t get a massage,I make sure to do extra self-care and epsom salt baths. I feel regular massage helps me not get burned out .

  6. My husband and I are both massage therapists, and well, you know how that goes after a full day of work! “Oh honey, I’m to tired to give you a massage tonight. What we’re doing now is trading with other massage therapists so that we have a massage every other week. This is great because you network, and you receive varied work! Then when we’re able to massage each other at home, it’s cake! A win-win situation!

  7. As an LMP on a reeeaaaaalllly tight budget, i get about 1 massage every 2-3 months. Unfortunatly, my current employer doesnt pay for our massages and the other LMPs i work with dont like to trade for some reason…
    So yeah, i try and shoot for once a month but sometimes that just doesnt happen.

  8. It’s hard for me to find a good massage. The quality of massage school programs is LOW. There are thousands massage therapists and only a few are good. I my massages for relaxation only. For rehab/aches and pains/issues I have a wonderful PT and DO who take care od me. I am a sports massage therapist myself with 2000 + hours of education in US and abroad and my standards are very high. I do not get regular “therapeutic” massages because most “massage theorists” do not know how to give one. The title “therapist” must be deserved and with the quality in the local massage schools it is not. Sorry for being slightly off topic.

  9. I am a recent graduate and have not received a massage since graduating. I think about it often, but my massage practice is my business and my business is barely getting started. Once I have funds, I must dedicate at least enough to get one massage per month. It is not only healthy, but it is also good to reinforce the feedback loop of touch memory.

    I do think that it is easy to fall into a role that is therapist and not coming along side. When we walk as we tell those who come to us, it is like we walk with them. :)

  10. Thanks for the reminder… I used to trade regularly with a couple of good friends and after an extended illness last year got out of the loop… Just thinking about getting massage sounds wonderful~ which means it’s definitely time :) And I agree with the comments above… it can be hard finding a great therapist~ The ones that are, are real gems :) Knowledge and technique are only part of it… quality of touch, intention, presence & energy are equally important~ This is such great work! So grateful to have found it…

  11. I have gone through many different phases in my life, but try to receive some type of hands on work weekly. I usually achieve every other week, which I feel pretty good about it. I am currently trying to find someone to take over a part of my practice, so am trying many different therapists and am struggling with the realization that I’m very picky. :)

    I did have a colleague come and train my husband many, many years ago, and he has taken a beginners course, so he offers me help when I need it. I find it essential to walk my talk with my clients.

  12. I feel fortunate that there are a number of good MT’s in my area. In the beginning, I relentlessly pursued trades with other MT’s (I would even call people I didn’t know – and offer to go first, of course) and was fortunate to find a several that were willing to let this “newbie” practice and gave exellent bodywork in return. It also set the stage for several new freindships and valuable peer support. I still seek out trades with my favorites but try to find someone new every couple of months too. I try to get a massage every week. It is so worth the effort and the other MT’s I trade with seem to think so too. And the mentoring side is priceless. I wouldn’t be where I am without the people who helped me…so I try to return the favor by trading with “newbies” when I can.

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