Given the choice between a male and female massage therapist with similar skills, most people will choose to go to a female. Have you have ever thought about getting a massage from a male? There are some benefits that you may not have considered, so give these ideas some thought. There are exceptions to the generalizations I discuss.
My main point here is this – don’t let the gender of the therapist be the deciding factor of whom you get your massage from. Men and women go to the same schools and get the same education, go through the same licensing procedure, and must obey the same laws and ethical principles. Their skills, not gender, will determine the quality of massage you get.
Some people prefer male therapists, thinking they may be stronger.
When I talk to people about their massage experience at other places, the top complaint is that the therapist didn’t use enough pressure. They left feeling like they didn’t get enough out of their massage when it was over.
If you take an average man and woman, generally the man is stronger. There are techniques for using more pressure when needed that anyone can use, and I have had great massages from women who don’t appear to be very strong. Strength lets me use a firmer pressure that feels like a regular massage movement, and not like digging in with an elbow.
I also have touch as well as strength. Just because I can use a lot of pressure doesn’t mean I will on every part of your body all of the time. I will use the pressure necessary to help you. You shouldn’t be in pain during your massage and be sore for days after.
I can do a 90 minute deep tissue massage without tiring out at the end. Concerned that your massage is just after I’ve done a 90 minute deep tissue massage? Have no fear, I will be able to give you what you need in your massage too.
Some people prefer male therapists, thinking they understand pain from activity.
Again generally, men do more physical things. We move furniture and refrigerators. We shovel snow, dig holes, chop firewood, carry heavy things, play basketball, and other very strenuous activities. This is not to say that women can’t, don’t, or shouldn’t do any of these, but usually men do them more.
If you are sore from something like this, I have a good understanding of how you feel. I have had that sore spot in my lower back so I know what feels good and what will help it.
Of course, the opposite is true. I can read and talk to people about pain from pregnancy or wearing heels, but since I haven’t experienced it I can’t completely understand. I do a lot of research and discuss how things feel with people, but if a female therapist is a better fit for you because of an issue like this that they understand better, then you may be better off working with her.
Men have to be very good.
There is a bias against male massage therapists. People wonder about the motives of a male therapist – are they a creep or a pervert, or worse? Looking for cheap thrills? They wonder if they can trust a man to massage them without anything more happening.
I experience this on occasion. Somebody calls for an appointment and we get a time set up. Then they ask if there is a female therapist. When I say no, some just hang up and some say they will get back to me – which they never do.
I understand some people have had something happen to them in their history that would make getting a massage from a male difficult and unproductive. If going to a woman is best for them, I’m all for that.
Since I’m fighting an uphill battle from the start, I have to be very good at everything I do. I have to provide top-notch customer service, make sure the draping is always right, and give you an exceptional massage experience. I am continually adding to my education and trying new things to improve your massage.
I have to treat people professionally but also in a friendly and caring manner. I need to make you comfortable and put your mind at ease and allow you to wear whatever you want in your massage. I want you to come back and recommend me to your friends and family, so I must leave no doubt at all that I can be trusted and I know what I am doing – and that it’s worth trying me out.
I’m not asking for sympathy here – just some understanding. Do some checking and find answers to your questions. You may find that you get better results from a male. What other advantages have you noticed? Let me know in the comments below.
Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio. Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com