Let's define "really good". It's a subjective experience, different for different people. But I have some suggestions that should help you get a really good massage. So, once you decide you want or need massage therapy, how do you get a "really good one"?
First, and most importantly, are you getting this therapy for pain, relaxation, stress or all three? Your massage therapist has to know. The therapist should discern this information through questioing but just in case that doesnt happen, you make it clear. Once the objective of the session is known, the therapist will work to make it happen.
This is critical becuase more and more people are receiving massage for pain managment and sore muscles. That means therapists are working MORE on treating pain and working LESS on relaxation and stress reduction. The manual techniques used for pain can differ from techniques used for relaxation. So knowing the objective is extremly important.
Second, Get your therapist to hit the spots just right! Be specific. That means, just the right location, angle, pressure and just the right technique. Sounds complicated but it's really not given you have supplied some background to the therapist. Give detailed information about the location of any pain, tenderness or soreness. Talk about any movement difficulties. Use body speak words like "tweaking", "shooting", "catching", "burning," or any other colorful descriptive term that helps deeply describe what you are feeling. Thats' important. If you say, "it hurts", we know it does, but when you say "it feels like PIN PRICK" we do better. Why is this? Well, because you just supplied me with the proper tools for the job. Hey - you don't use a screwdriver or plunger to remove a "pin pricker"!
Third, get your therapist to spend the right amount of time on all the right places. Time manangement is a huge part of a session. You can tell your therapist to focus on a particular area. You can also ask how much time is needed on that area once the therapist has begun the session and had a chance to assess it. The therapist should then be able to advise you on how the time should be spent. But just know, you can always redirect that advice if you so desire. Point here: If there's nothing out of whack, move on!
Next, ask your therapist for "the plan". A good therapist should give you the plan after the consulation. If there's no plan then your session may or may not be a really good one. A plan is necessary because it brings together all of my previous sugestions and packages them up into a really nice focused session.
If you have no areas of focus and you just want to experience a relaxing sesson then please say any of these: "please give me the best session ever." " I want to relax. "I am the canvas, you are the artist" Yeah, therapists love that one. I guarnatee, you will get "a fantastic one" if you say that.
Happy drooling. :)