5 Basics to Look for in a Massage Therapist:
A state massage license for the individual therapist (not just the "office" or "school")
Knowledge & experience in the modality you need (example: Deep Tissue, Cranial Sacral, Sports Massage, etc)
A clean & professional facility, somewhere you feel safe and comfortable with good parking & lighting
Affiliation with a professional massage association, like the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association)
Professionalism displayed by their phone message, website or business card
Finding a massage therapist who has all of these basic requirements doesn't at all guarantee that they have any skill or can offer the effectiveness you are looking for. Often, it takes several tries to find a good therapist. Ask for personal referrals. This is always the most reliable way to find a good massage therapist.
You may need to see a potential massage therapist's facility or office before making a decision. Some therapists have animals, or they listen to music that isn't relaxing for you. If you are sensitive to smells, animal dander, music, body odor, or cleanliness, I suggest getting a personal referral to a therapist or meeting the therapist in person before you book a massage appointment.
There are so many different styles of massage therapists or "bodyworkers" and each one is unique and loved by their clientelle. Finding the match for you is the trick.
If you are looking for Deep Tissue or Sports Massage, look for a strong massage therapist, possibly also an athlete. Likewise, if you are looking for relaxation & stress relief, look for a therapist who is calm & peaceful.
Sometimes, you can pick a massage therapist based on the name of their business or the way their website is designed. Pick the one that you would have picked as "your business name or website."
Massage therapy is very personal. Trust is most important. You are in a room alone with your massage therapist for an hour or more at a time, and through the years, you can get to know eachother very well.
Ultimately, it may take several tries before you find the perfect massage therapist for you. Have fun finding one in the meantime!!
Use these links to help:
American Massage Therapy Association has a "Find a Massage Therapist" link that can be helpful.
New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics has a "Find a Graduate" link that we have also found helpful.
Finding a Massage Therapist Out of State
Don't live in Albuquerque?
How can you find a good Massage Therapist?
There are many options when finding and working with a new massage therapist. I am often asked how to find a therapist out of state, and here is a list of the basic requirements I look for when searching for a massage therapist myself: