Finding the right Massage Therapist can be hard.
There's so many personal factors to consider:
price range or budget
your wellness goals
schedule and availability
potential health risks
And there's so many professional factors to consider too:
the therapeutic approach
their education level
professionalism and presentation
value provided in each session
So the "Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist" series is here to help.
* * * This article is on scheduling.
Arguably one of the most important factors when selecting a massage therapist is: does their schedule work with my schedule? And what if it doesn't?
DO WE LINE UP?
Obviously, massage is a service you have to be physically present to receive. So, finding a massage therapist with availability that lines up with your schedule is pretty critical. Here's some aspects to consider:
If your availability is limited...
What are their regular business hours?
Do those hours work for you?
If not, are you willing or able to shuffle things around to give them a try? And if they are the perfect massage therapist for you, are you willing or able to shuffle things around in the short-term, or potentially in the long-term?
And if you DO go through the trouble of shuffling your schedule, make sure that massage therapist doesn't have plans to change up their schedule in the near future. Thus causing the need to coordinate another shuffle.
If your availability is variable...
Does this business have set hours every single week? Month? Season? Or like you, does their schedule shift and change?
Consider that it can be considerably harder to nail down a day and time if BOTH parties have variable hours.
If your availability is flexible...
Do you prefer a specific day and time anyway? Or does it truly doesn't matter what day or time you receive your massage? Many folks prefer same day and time to promote consistency, accountability, and because it's just easier to remember.
Also consider that just because you CAN be flexible, doesn't mean a massage therapist should ever EXPECT you to be. If and when you have other things come up in life, don't hesitate to change up your preferred appointment time.
AND WHAT IF WE DON'T LINE UP?
It can be a real bummer when you find a great massage therapist, and it's difficult or impossible to line up your schedule with theirs. But if they are the perfect fit, it's worth exploring these options:
Determine if there's a near-future change in the works. Often personal or business schedules can change due to seasonal considerations, school years, family emergencies, part-time jobs, or health reasons. If your schedule might change in the near future, it might be worth doing some finagling to make it work in the mean time. Likewise, ask if they have any plans to change their schedule. And again, if there might be a compromise or short term plan you can hatch together until then.
Call on your personal network:
If its parenting responsibilities causing a snag, can you ask another family member, friend, fellow soccer mom, coach, mentor, or babysitter to step up and help you make the time for your needed self-care?
If its job responsibilities, can you explore options with a coworker, supervisor, or client that allow you to come in later, take a longer lunch break, duck out early, or rearrange a standing commitment so you can feel your best?
Ask about wait lists. If your schedule is unpredictable and you tend to schedule at the last minute, but by then your perfect massage therapist is booked solid, ask to be put on their wait list.
Life happens. Other clients will run into snags, need to reschedule, or plain forget. That leaves your massage therapist with a gap in their schedule they'd gladly like to fill. When they have you on standby, it can benefit both parties.
Ask if there's any possibility the massage therapist could accommodate your schedule:
If super early is the only time that works, could they open early for you?
If later in the evening is when you're free, could they stay late for you?
If they're not usually open on a certain day, but you can make it work, can they make it work?
Not all massage therapists are willing to adjust their schedules - they have lives to coordinate too. But some might. Some would be happy to. And so it's worth a kind and simple ask.
* * * Need additional guidance on other factors related to finding your perfect massage therapist? Check the rest of the articles in the series below:
Perfect Massage Therapist Article Series
Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Scheduling Finding Your Perfect Massage Therapist: Location