It is important to find a massage therapist with the skills you need. Below are some easy steps you can take.
The first thing you should do is set goals for the massage session(s). Are you interested in:
Secondly, think about why you want to see a massage therapist:
Your answers to these questions will help you determine what skills you are looking for in a massage therapist. (You may want to look at the explanation of massage styles in What is Massage Therapy?  )
Many people are most comfortable getting a personal referral from a friend. Sometimes your friend can answer questions about the massage therapist and explain how they benefited from visiting this therapist.
Another great source for referrals is your primary healthcare provider or a medical specialist. They may have a list of massage therapists that have specialized training and experience in techniques that are effective in treating your condition or complaint.
Other sources are professional associations, such as the American Massage Therapy Association  and the Associated Bodywork Massage Professionals . These sites generally check the qualifications of therapists listed.
You can also check out massage schools, local fitness/health clubs, spas, wellness centers, and chiropractic offices.
Consumer should be cautious about selecting a massage therapist based solely on websites, listings in the yellow pages, local magazines, or newspapers. Most advertising venues do not screen for therapists who are self taught, running business illegally, or providing escort and sexual services. It will be up to you to do some homework.
You may want to include or eliminate potential therapists or styles based on personal preferences. For example:
If you don't already have this information, call and ask about:
You should look for a massage therapist who has at least 500 hours of training from a reputable, accredited school. (You can find out if a school is accredited by contacting the school directly.)
If a therapist is nationally certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork  (NCBTMB), he or she has at least 500 hours of training from an accredited school and has passed a written exam.
Another clue that the therapist is qualified is membership in a professional association that has established a certain level of professional preparation to join. These are the American Massage Therapy Association  and the Associated Bodywork Massage Professionals .
If there is any doubt or apprehension on your part, it is always appropriate to clarify the style or techniques that the massage therapist uses and that the service you are booking is a non-sexual massage.
Ask about the fee. Specifically, ask:
Also ask about logistics: