What to Look For When Searching for A Massage Therapist

How to Find a qualified massage therapist

Finding a massage therapist who works well with athletes can take time and effort. There is a wide range of techniques, levels of experience, prices, varying personalities, and most of all, let’s be honest, you are lying in various states of undress that may make you feel uncomfortable in the wrong setting.

To help you out, we went straight to the source and contacted our trusted massage therapist to understand better where to begin in your search for your massage therapist and answer the often feared concept of clothing. Lori Padgett, LMT, has been our go-to massage therapist in Tallahassee for the past five years. She has helped many of our coaches rehab after injuries and kept many athletes functioning at incredibly high levels.


As coaches with in-depth knowledge of physiology and anatomy, we are big on our massage therapist’s understanding of the science behind massage. Due to the highly technical nature of massage therapy, we wondered if there is an accreditation that stands above all others and would be an excellent place to begin your search. Lori informed us there is no specific accreditation to look for but stated that she “stresses the importance of the continuing education classes that a massage therapist has taken.” This continuing education is an excellent indicator of a professional continually trying to improve their craft.


Each of our coaches and many of our athletes have mentioned the wide range of costs for massage therapists they have experienced over the years, with varying inconsistencies in the outcomes. So much so that we began to believe you didn’t always “pay for what you get.” From Lori’s perspective, “many therapists do not know their worth, or they become afraid because they don’t want to lose their clients by raising their rate.” The theory that “you pay for what you get” may not always be true; she did state that she believes “based on the amount of CEUs and experience,” a massage therapist has does justify a massage therapist to have higher rates. 


The often and even more feared question is, “Do I have to be naked for my massage?” For some, there is not a second thought about disrobing and hoping underneath the massage sheet; for others, it is a very nerve-wracking experience and leads to a great deal of confusion about what is common. “It is best for you to feel comfortable and be able to relax, so if that means you have your underwear on, that is what you should do,” says Padgett.  Added tension makes it harder for your massage therapist to do their job correctly, ultimately decreasing the results and the quality of your massage. At the end of the day, as athletes, we are in a massage for results. So, disrobe to your level of comfort and ease your concerns.


As you are looking for a massage therapist, Lori does want our athletes to know these key details:

  • It is important to share as much as possible. The client information helps to know when you are hurting, what hurts and what your history may have created.

  • Listening and asking open-ended questions about your health and injury history are skills your massage therapist must possess. The in-depth knowledge they can attain will give them insight into what to do.

  • Communicate with your massage therapist. This communication can be as simple as you prefer it to be quieter during your massage, you do/don’t like the bed to be heated, or even if pressure is too light/hard.

  • You should begin to feel improvement within three sessions.

  • Do the homework (self-care)



If you live in the Tallahassee area and are searching for a massage therapist, Lori may be the fit for you! You may contact her at 850.274.7947