This week alone I have massaged clients with the following;
- Broken Back following a car accident with metal pins in the neck and thoracic spine.
- Gastric Band in the abdomen.
- Sports Injury
- Repetitive Strain
This reads like a GP’s list right,,?
The truth is that more and more people realise that massage should be part of the prescription as I’m on a mission to promote massage as a necessity and not a luxurious pampering treat!
The next truth is that this is a usual day for a Massage Therapist and we have to be able to adapt to the ever changing needs of a client in a given moment.
One of the things I love about my work is the evolving physical consultation that takes place after the written format, and how a client expects you to treat in one way, yet you treat another. I take all the client says in a consultation as symptoms and I try to discover the cause and work the body in that way as I want to achieve results that last for them. I always unearth something they had forgotten to mention purely because it’s not until they lay down that they remember their history – an accident, a trauma, an injury or better still an ache they had accepted and got used to having, forgetting what it’s like not to have it!
So are massage therapists equipped to help clients with such a variety of ailments..? The question is do they have the anatomical knowledge to understand how the body reacts to trauma and how it goes on to ripple through the body like a domino? Do they have the massage tools to comfortably treat a client in these situations?
It is within a week like this that I feel so thankful to be inquisitive enough to ask more questions to better understand how an ailment affects that person. I am thankful that I have an interest in learning A&P and have been taught by John Holman, creator of the Hydrotherm system who quite simply developed a massage tool that enables me to offer comfort to those with such ailments listed above. As I reflect on my week I wonder what would I have done without these things in place, would I turn clients away or would I ‘rub and pray’ (a famous John quote!).
I write this blog to evoke a thought for massage therapists, are you ready for every client that walks through your doors? Now I have some tips to make you feel ready…
- Consult prior to the session via phone or email
- Ask how the client feels that very day they are in for treatment regardless of their full consultation
- Begin your massage with the ‘elephant in the room’ otherwise the client is unable to switch off from discomfort
- Be mindful to observe what their body responds to, what trigger points are the most effective and always check in with how long the body settles into its new aligned position.
- Spend the time the body needs you to spend on specific areas, don’t go through the motions of a routine
- Book out time rather than dictate a back, neck & shoulder or full body massage so you can tailor the session
- Follow up with a review of what you found – I do this via email
- Care about the long term result, not the one off ‘feel good’ approach
These 8 points should shake up your practice, increase your results and improve client loyalty in the first instance. There’s more you can do and I’ll share it in my next Customer Service blog.
Massage with meaning, with purpose and endeavour to achieve freedom in movement and fluidity for everyone you treat!