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Q&A With the Massage Nerd

Today’s blog post is a brief Q&A with our resident massage expert and self-described Massage Nerd, Ryan Hoyme. Ryan’s been in the massage business for a long time, and he’s built decades of experience and knowledge. We sat down with Ryan to talk about some common motivations to get massage therapy and some tips for getting started.

1. How long have you been working in massage therapy? What is your specialty? What is your current work like?

My name is Ryan Hoyme, but I’m also known as the Massage Nerd, and I’ve been a massage therapist for 17 years. I first started working for other massage businesses, but after a couple years, I started my own business. What really made my career blossom was in 2001, when I started teaching massage therapy. I did that for 11 years, and in-between my teaching career, I started the largest massage information website: MassageNerd.com I currently see about 4-5 clients a week, and the rest of my time I run MassageNerd.com and work for other companies as a Director of Social Media.

2. What are some of the most common reasons for seeking massage therapy?

Poor posture is one of the biggest contributors to neck and back pain. It’s important to maintain good posture because you may be paying for it later in life. I also see many clients with pain from work related injuries. Most clients I have seen over my career are coming in due to neck and back injuries.

3. How do I know if I need massage therapy? What are some common signs?

Typically, any pain that you have for more than 7 days needs to be checked out. If it is severe, you should first go to your Doctor; if it’s somewhat manageable, you could see a massage therapist. Usually massage is one of the last steps in a client’s recovery, because they would typically go see a Doctor, then other healthcare professionals if that didn’t work for them. Most massage therapy is not covered by insurance, so people will typically pay out of their own pocket.

4. Do you approach different pain with different techniques, or tools? How might a massage for an injury differ from a basic relaxation massage?

I always approach pain with different massage techniques. Even if two of my clients both have carpal tunnel syndrome, their symptoms might be different and the location of the pain might also be different. When a client comes in with pain, you always want to ask them how much time do they want spend on the injured area. Some of my clients want a general relaxation massage, and then focus 10-20 minutes on the injured area.

5. Are there any warning signs for inexperienced or ineffectual massage therapists? Any signs that they are experienced and knowledgeable?

The biggest complaint I hear from clients is that the therapist didn’t listen to their requests. If a client wants specific time on a certain area, then the massage therapist need to respect that. A great therapist will also check-in with you a few times during the massage to ask you about the pressure and other questions, too.

6. Now that I have found a massage therapist, what types of massage I should be getting? What information should I have prepared for my massage therapist on my first visit?

It’s very important to know what you want, and to ask a lot of questions. Most massage therapists offer many different modalities, and it’s important that you ask them what would be good for you. Be prepared with information about your needs, injuries (if you have them), and reasons for seeking therapy.

7. How much should a massage session cost?

This varies depending on your location, but typically it’s around $60 an hour for going to a massage business. If you are going to someone’s house, you might pay $5-$10 less, because they don’t have the huge overhead the concrete massage business has. If you are having the therapist come to your house, you can expect to pay $20+ more per hour.

8. How should I feel after my massage (pain relief, relaxed shoulders, etc.)?

If it’s your first massage, you can feel relaxed and a little drowsy afterwards. It all depends on how your body reacts to it. Sometimes you can expect to feel a little sore for 1-2 days afterwards, and have some pain relief soon afterwards.

9. How often do you recommend scheduling therapy? Does this depend on type of pain, stress, or injury?

For maintenance massage, it’s every 4-6 weeks. If you have an injury, you could expect to come in 1-2 times a week until you get it under control.

10. Thank you for talking to us!

Thank you very much for asking me to be part of this.
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