I love sharing information with clients and peers, but please don't listen to a word I say. Instead, if something resonates with you? Then happily check it out, first, to see if it's right for you.
Know Before You Go
In New York State, massage therapists must be licensed by the same board that licenses doctors, nurses, and physical therapists. You can check the status of any NY massage therapist by going to this link: www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm
Because there are licensing standards, all NY therapists are trained in most massage modalities, including but not limited to: Swedish, Neuromuscular, Deep or Connective Tissue, Shiatsu, etc. Although trained in all regulated modalities, massage therapists in practice tend to gravitate toward those that work for them, usually integrating multiple styles. What matters is not the method, but the practitioner. Are they going to be attentive to your spoken needs and do they have the skills to address your body's specific issues? You don't want to see a therapist whose primary skill is sports injuries if you are a sensitive diabetic, for example. If you are ADD/ADHD and talking relaxes you, you don't want to hire a therapist that insists on silence, and so on.
New York licensed massage therapists have studied a variety of diseases and medical conditions because some are contraindicated for massage and others require from minor to major adjustments in how the therapist orchestrates your massage session. For more information about the areas of study required for a massage license, visit: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mt/
If you have any health condition or disability, be sure to inform your therapist so that you know whether they are equipped to help you or not.
Some therapists have a variety of clientele, some choose to specialize by working perhaps only with dancers or athletes, and some may choose to work with specific medical conditions or illnesses. There is nothing wrong with this: Massage therapy is very intimate and requires an intense amount of trust. Just as you would want to feel comfortable with your chosen therapist, you would want a therapist who is comfortable with your health or physical circumstances.
Massage therapists are required by law to respect both your privacy and modesty. Unless you will be fully clothed during the session, you must be given privacy while changing and you must be covered with a sheet or a towel for the entire session. Only the segment of the body that is actively being worked on will be briefly uncovered.
Traditional massage therapists generally work with the client unclothed and under a sheet. This not only helps the therapist to better know what is going on within your musculoskeletal tissues but allows them to work with oils and lotions. If a client is not comfortable being disrobed, the therapist should be able to accommodate you clothed. If for any reason this is a concern for you, please ask before you go. One of the most common questions is whether to leave underwear on or remove them: The choice is yours; your comfort is of the utmost importance.
If your intended massage therapist is not comfortable with any of your (legal) requests, then I advise that you find another therapist.
Massage therapists are not sex therapists. Sexual activity of any kind between a massage therapist and their client is illegal.
Directories and Resources
There are three national, professional organizations in the United States that have trusted therapist locator services, or directories. Through them, you should be able to find a qualified therapist wherever you are. Be sure, though, to do an internet search for private practitioners offering "massage therapy" or "therapeutic massage" who may only be listed through their own business website, like Paula's Body Shop. You can still check their licensing or certification through state or local resources. Please note that licensing and certification requirements vary from state to state and quality or usefulness of the locator services also varies:
For a deeper exploration of massage therapy and the connection to health and scientific research, please visit:
Originally published: 2004. Date of last update appears at the top of article.
Solutions to everyday stress involve identifying where we are emotionally unhappy and then taking action to correct or curb the circumstances involved, and that means finding out what’s at the root of a given problem, before seeking solutions. I love this kind of problem-solving and happily share for those seeking similar unique yet ubiquitous solutions. Consequently, the topics here may vary within health, lifestyle, and work/business.
Su, M, W, Th, 12-8 by appointment
Located on Manhattan's Upper West Side in Manhattan Valley
203 W 108th St
New York, NY 10025
No sales or marketing calls.
Prevention, Pain Management, Pain Solutions, Rehabilitation, Special Needs, Body as Instrument (Singers, Dancers, Athletes, Brainiacs, etc.), Stress Reduction, Anti-aging, Sports, Geriatric, Prenatal, etc.
The word massage denotes Paula's Fasciae Therapy (connective tissue therapy) which integrates and innovates based on: Swedish medical massage, Neuromuscular therapy, Trigger point therapy, Acupressure, Shiatsu, various vibrational therapies: Massage cupping by machine, Tok Sen, gentle Gua sha, and BioSyntonie.
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