1. Go to a massage therapist that someone recommended to you. Find out about someone who does a great job, and go to them.
2. Tell that person that you heard they were awesome, and that you're excited to meet them. (This is flattering and gives an expectation for the therapist to live up to. "Oh you heard I'm amazing, well then I better be amazing 'cause I don't want to disappoint!")
3. When the massage begins, make some small talk. Ask the massage therapist a couple of questions about her life, her day, her family, why she decided to do massage therapy. Sometimes, they go an entire day with little to no conversation. Asking questions makes anyone feel important and cared for and interesting. Make your therapist feel good and he or she will be more inclined to make you feel good.
4. Don't feel obligated to talk the entire session. Relax. Your therapist wants you to relax as well. But, occasionally, say something like, "Wow, this feels great". Or "Thank you so much this is just what I needed." The encouragement will spur your therapist on to continuing to work hard, because you are, in fact, enjoying it.
5. When the therapist asks you, "How is the pressure?" Don't respond with "fine". "Fine" is about as vague as it gets. Be specific. For example: "It feels great, but you could probably use a little more pressure in my lower back, if you're able".
6. If the therapist is hurting you or has found a sensitive spot, don't say "ow!" or decide to just grin and bare it. Say something like, "The spot you're working on right now is tender, could you maybe use a little less pressure?" Your therapist wants you to enjoy the session, they aren't interested in hurting you, and you won't hurt their feelings when you say the pressure is too much.
7. Say thank you when your time is finished.
8. Leave a tip. Ok this needs an explanation. Tipping is completely unnecessary. It is not expected. It is not frowned upon if you don't. But if you want to get the best possible massage and you want your succeeding massages to be amazing as well, leave a tip. Your therapist will remember it. Really, they will. and when you come back, they will want to do a good enough job to be rewarded the same way as before. It's a sad truth. I try to put as much equal effort as I can into every massage, but there is just something about the people who regularly tip me that makes me try harder for them. I wish it wasn't so, but it is the truth. Again, it is unnecessary to tip, but this is a blog about getting the best massage you possibly can.
9. Tell others who work at that location that you enjoyed your massage. If it's at a Chiropractors office, tell the Doctor you had a great experience. If it's at a salon, tell the receptionist. If the therapist knows you're telling other people about his/her work, she will again be more inclined to do a great job every time he/she sees you.
So. There you have it :-) I hope that you are able to get a massage and that they help you to have a great experience. I love what I do, and I hope that this will help someone who reads it to get the absolute most out of every massage.