If you're trying to come up with a thoughtful gift for a birthday or other occasion, consider giving a gift certificate for a massage. If you know someone who is stressed out or who suffers from chronic pain, they might appreciate the relief and relaxation they can experience with a massage. Here's why massage therapy is a good gift for just about everyone, including you.

The Therapist Follows Your Instructions

A massage therapist doesn't do anything you don't want them to do. If you have back pain, you might worry a massage will make your pain worse. A therapist might help reduce your pain, but if you don't feel comfortable with them working on your back, they'll follow your lead.

The Therapist Ensures Your Comfort

The therapist also adapts to your reaction to different types of massage. Some people like firm and aggressive movements, but you might prefer gentle sweeping movements. The therapist works with you so the massage is enjoyable.

In other situations, a doctor might order massage treatments that break up scar tissue, and those might cause some discomfort, but when you're taking a massage for relaxation, it's important the massage techniques feel comfortable.

The Experience Can Help You Relax

Practically everyone enjoys a relaxing experience. Your therapist might play gentle music, dim the lights, and use an aromatherapy candle during your treatment. The therapist might also place hot stones on your back to help you relax.

If you want a massage or want to gift a massage for the purposes of relaxation, let the therapist know so they can use techniques that cause tension to flow from your muscles. This can rejuvenate your mood and also help with muscle pain caused by tension. You may find you feel pampered and refreshed after a relaxing massage.

If you'd rather take a shorter massage, you might get a chair massage so the therapist can work on your upper back or a foot massage. If you have problems with tired and achy feet, you might enjoy a massage that works only on your feet.

If you've never had a massage before, you might be hooked after you've had your first one. If you want to pamper yourself, you might consider a relaxing massage once a week. If you want to try therapeutic massage therapy for pain relief or other medical problems, you'll probably get the most benefit from a series of massages that help your muscles or tendons heal over time.

Massage therapy is suitable for almost everyone, but your therapist may ask about your medical history and goals for the massage to ensure you're a good candidate for the massage and that it can be given safely.

To learn more about massage therapy, contact a local masseuse.