Effective communication with the client is essential in massage therapy, as students in massage therapy schools will learn. While it’s true that applying the right strokes is chief in massage therapy, effective communication will allow you to find out more about your clients’ specific needs, and tailor your sessions or treatment plans to help them achieve their health goals. Whether you’re conducting an initial or follow-up interview, adequate time must be allotted so you can gather enough information that might affect the therapy’s efficacy.
Before massage. You need to know about any recent injuries, health issues, or sensitivities and allergies your clients may have. For instance, if a client comes to you with bodily pain, help them to be more specific about what they’re feeling. How intense is the pain? How is it limiting their ability to perform daily activities? Is it due to injury or did the pain occur gradually? Asking questions like these will help you get more specific information to plan a therapy session suited to your client’s situation.
During massage. Some clients like to talk during their massage therapy session but many will prefer to relax and keep to themselves. Regardless, you have to ensure they’re completely comfortable. Is the music, lighting, temperature, etc. fine? Ask clients if they feel anything should be adjusted so they can get the most out of the massage therapy.
It is also important to ask if you’re applying the right amount of pressure. Although pressure induces relaxation, you have to ensure that it’s not too strong or too faint. Ask simple questions like “Is the pressure okay”? As a professional you may be expected to know this, but asking for feedback shows that you pay attention to their comfort.
After massage. The end of the session is an ideal time to ask your clients their impressions of the massage session. Has it helped alleviate their pain? Do they feel more relaxed now? The goal is to make them realize the benefits of massage therapy and why they should consider regular appointments. If the clients seem disappointed, probe further to uncover their concern. Moreover, don’t forget to teach them about basic self-care as this shows you’re concerned more about their long term well-being than just your business. Find ways to stay in touch with your clients. If you get information that might be of benefit to them, share it with them to establish a good relationship and encourage loyalty.
Marketing may get clients through your door but effective communication promotes repeat service. A massage therapy school like East West College considers it a crucial component of their curriculum.
Listening to Your Clients, Massage Today
How to Communicate Effectively with Your Massage Clients, MassageMagazine.com