Each person that you work with in your massage therapy career becomes a teacher. If you listen with your ears, eyes and heart, your clients can teach you a lot! Here are a few things your clients can teach you:
Trust: Being honest with your client promotes trust. Trust develops in the therapeutic relationship based on respect, understanding and encouraging your client to actively participate in their healing and well-being.
Simplicity: Keeping it simple is often what most clients want. Equipment can be simple. Some clients may not be able to tolerate a massage table or chair because of pain or mobility issues. Equipment may consist simply of pillows, towels and a footstool. A regular chair may work best for some types of massage. Always be prepared with several alternatives to a table massage.
Communication: The need for communication. Be open with clients. Sometimes a client requests a particular type of massage when, in fact, it may not be the best indicated therapy for their condition. It is important to be comfortable saying no to such requests, while planning with the client to try a workable alternative.
Touch: Human touch is important to everyone, whether they believe it or not. People who live alone may suffer from isolation, loneliness and a lack of human touch. A compassionate human touch reminds clients of their worth, fosters self-care and restores a sense of well-being.
Comfort: Help your client feel comfortable during the massage. This will also in turn increase your own comfort level. You can do this by enhancing the atmosphere in your massage area, as well as working on your interactions with your client before, during and after the massage.
Understanding: Understand each other. You can do this by learning how to actually listen. Attentive listening means to listen with your heart. You then learn to be authentic and respond from your heart. This will help you to truly connect on a deeper level of understanding with clients.
Time: Time is valuable to everyone. Use time wisely for the best results. That means taking extra time for the most ailing areas of the client’s body. Focusing on these specific areas will help the client to meet their specific goals. In addition, keep in mind that too long of a massage may actually be detrimental to a person with a sensitive body.
Answers: Answer the client’s questions confidently using your specialized knowledge and skills. Stay informed about conditions that can be treated through massage, as well as the latest techniques that may help.