Joseph E. Samuels, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

Massage Therapy

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine



I would like to acknowledge all of the massage therapist in Citrus, Marion and Hernando counties who have worked with me over the past 19 years as well as all the other excellent massage therapist out there.  Your hard work and dedication to the field of massage therapy is very much needed in today’s society and I would like to personally acknowledge and thank each one of you for the compassionate work you do every day.  Having been Nationally Certified for 25 years during my own carrier as a massage therapist, I thoroughly understand the benefit of incorporating massage therapy into our health care.

There are over 150 licensed massage therapists in Citrus County alone to choose from.  Many have been massage therapists for a long time and are very respectable.  I also recommend trying several different licensed massage therapists so you can find one you really like.  Although all massage therapists have the same basic level of education when they first graduate from school, every massage therapist is also an individual and will develop in their own way.

Every licensed massage therapist in the State of Florida starts out with the same basic level of education, either a 500 hour or 750 hour course in massage and bodywork.  After that a licensed massage therapist will take continuing education classes on different techniques every two years.  If a licensed massage therapist has been in practice for 2 years, they have accumulated a little more knowledge and experience than when they 1st graduated from school.  If a licensed massage therapist has been in practice for 20 years, they have accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience.  As with anything, the longer someone practices, the better they become.

I was recently asked by a representative of a Florida State massage school to give a few examples in this article of what to look for and what to avoid when choosing a licensed massage therapist.  Listed below are a few important notes to be aware of.

  1. A well-educated massage therapist will always establish good communication with you right from the start. They will help you work through sensitive areas and will always lighten up on pressure if an area becomes too painful.

Always avoid a massage therapist who uses the term “no pain, no gain” or causes significant pain during the massage.  If this happens to you, tell them to take their hands off of you immediately and leave.  There will always be 1 or 2 bad apples in every profession and this is a clear example of a massage therapist who does not know what they are doing.  This incorrect behavior is rare and is usually seen in a massage therapist who is in their 1st few years of practice.

  1. A well-educated massage therapist will always know several different massage techniques. They will do their best to educate you on each technique so that you can make a choice that will best suite your needs.

Always avoid a massage therapist who tries to convince you that their technique is better than anyone else’s or they make a statement like I am more than just a massage therapist because I have this certificate.  This arrogant behavior is very unprofessional and should always be avoided.  Massage therapy has literally been used for thousands of years.  Over that span of time, hundreds of different techniques have been created.  The fact is “there is no such thing as the best technique”.

  1. A well-educated massage therapist will always recommend you see your physician before receiving a massage if you have an injury due to trauma or if you have other medical concerns. This is very important because only a physician can diagnose you.  If your massage therapist would like you to obtain a prescription from a physician before they start working with you or you are not sure if it would be safe to receive a massage, you can contact my office and I will evaluate you.

Always avoid a massage therapist who tries to diagnose you.   A massage therapist does not have the education to diagnose and this behavior is illegal.

Here at Citrus Alternative Medicine we are dedicated to education and we have over 40 years of clinical knowledge and experience in the field of massage therapy.