The spring season finds you busy with lots of house cleaning, summer brings family vacations and packing and planning, the fall brings back-to-school time, and the winter wields the hustle and bustle of the holiday season – so no matter what time of year it is, it’s hard to find a time when you’re able to slow down and breathe a bit. Finding a massage therapist to literally work the stress out of your body is a great way to incorporate an extra hour of solitude and relaxation into your already busy week or lifestyle.
Before you pick a specific massage therapist, it helps to become familiar with different forms of massage. For instance, are you looking for a calm, relaxing massage? You may try a full-body Swedish massage. If your body has chronic muscle pain that’s more severe in nature, you’re probably better trying a deep tissue massage. A Shiatsu massage lies somewhere in the middle, with firm, but relaxing pressure, that improves your body’s flow of energy.
Once you’ve determined the most appealing type of massage, you can start looking for a massage therapist. Try a source such as massagenetwork.com to search for local massage therapists, whether you’re in a large city such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or Allentown, or any smaller cities as well. Once you begin looking into specific massage therapists, don’t be afraid to ask about their training and background to make certain the therapist you choose has good experience. While most of the states in America have regulations in place regarding massage therapy, Pennsylvania has passed licensing laws, but has not yet implemented them. Massage therapists are generally required to have 600 hours of training in Pennsylvania, and other local requirements can apply. Find out how much training your massage therapist has, and if they’ve been certified by taking the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. If so, also find out if they’ve retained their certification by completing continuing education courses over the years (many states require 12-24 hours every two years or so). If you’d like additional information on your therapist’s experience and training, you can look into massage therapy programs at schools such as the Pennsylvania Institute of Massage Therapy, the Central Pennsylvania School of Massage, and the National Academy of Massage Therapy and Healing Sciences, in order to find out what your therapist has studied.
Massages in Pennsylvania will average for about $70-$85 per hour, and you can also expect to pay more for additional features such as a scented massage with aromatherapy oils, extra treatments such as reflexology, or extra for a longer session. However, if you’re on a budget, many clinics offer lower prices for their newest clients, in addition to lower rates for members. Starting out with a simple foot or hand massage, for rates closer to the $20-$30 range for a 20-30 minute session may also be a great way to start introducing a calming practice into your life, for a lower strain on your budget.