February 07, 2011

10 Things I Want My Clients to Speak Up About

As the owner of Mending Hands Massage Therapy, I strive to be as client centered as possible.

It works even better when my clients feel open to communicate with me! Some of these topics can be considered a little silly or have just flown under the radar. Well, I'm going throw my top ten out on the table!

10 Things I Want My Clients to Speak Up About

1. How Do You Want Your Time Spent: If you are coming for a 60 min session and know that your back, shoulder and neck tensions are the reason you booked the session in the first place - Let me know! Spending your session time on the places that you want to feel the most relief can lead to a very specific and effective treatment. I would rather you leave feeling like you had a successful massage than feeling like you've had a general session. Plus,  if you leave your massage with your top pains taken care of, your whole body will thank you!

2. What Is Your Medical History: Our bodies hold our history. If you broke your arm when you were 6 years old while you were riding your bike down a hill, the muscles in your hands, arms and shoulders will have been affected and changed. Information like this can help me look for other tensions your body may have created out of protection or compensation. It can also explain any issues you might have with posture or flexibility. It's also important for you to tell me if you have any kind of medical conditions. As a health practitioner, I was trained to understand how massage can affect people who live with diabetes, cardiovascular issues, muscular pathologies as well as structural issues. Furthermore, if you have any ailments that I am not familiar with - your uniqueness gives me a chance to research and learn something new!

3. How Are You Feeling Today: I want to know if you are feeling a little stuffed up or if you had a tension headache at lunchtime. I also care if you are feeling flustered about the subway getting here or if you are at a point in your pregnancy that your sense of smell has become a superpower.  I believe that one of the most important aspects of a good massage is to respect the energy that is being brought into the room with you. 

4. Do You Need To Go To The Bathroom: I've tried to make a habit of asking my clients if they need to use the loo before a session. I have a robe available to clients if they need to skip to the restroom during a session (yes, this is very common - especially for a 90 min pre-natal session!) Taking two minutes to go to the restroom before your massage can make all the difference between squirming through your last 20 minutes and being able to enjoy every second of it. 

5. Do You Have Any Areas To Avoid: I try to ask all my clients "Is there anywhere you don't want me to work?" More often than not -  this is the first time they have been asked that question and sometimes they even laugh. What's important is that they all respond with something. Sometimes it is a simple "I really don't like my head worked on" or "My feet are really really ticklish".  Information a client might not think to tell me unless I ask. 

6. How Is The Temperature: We massage therapists are actively working and moving while you are relaxing on the table - having various aspects of your body being undraped and draped again. Speak up if you get cold! It's easy to add an extra blankets. I have a table warmer that can be adjusted to your liking. On the flip side - if you are burning up, by all means we can turn the table warmer off!

7. How Is The Pressure: This is a big one. I like to ask my clients for a general idea of the pressure they want  before we begin. I also make it clear I know people like deeper pressure in some places but not others. I love deep work in my upper back, shoulders, hands and feet. But can be a total pansy when it comes to sacrum work. So stay in touch about pressure as we go! If you want me to lighten up some places and dig into others, telling me will only make every session more tailored to your needs.

8. What Did You Like About the Session: A majority of my clients have had massages before. I encourage them to not only let me know what they loved about our session (making sure I incorporate it every time we work) but to also let me know if there are other techniques they loved  while working with other therapists. Most of the time they are styles or tools I have been trained in that can easily be added to make sure they get their best massage!

9. What Might You Like Different For Next Time: Maybe you don't want hot towels  or would prefer some music that doesn't sound like Enya. If you let me know, then I can make those changes.  I've also had clients tell me at the end of the massage that they loved the stretches. By telling me that - I can do more stretches in the next appointment or suggest that they would enjoy a stretching session add on. 

10: How Often Do You Want To Come For A Massage:  I have a lot of clients ask me how often do I think they should come for a session. The most obvious answer is: As much as possible! Realistically, I respond to them based on their individual needs and goals with massage. The other side of the coin is - how often do you want to receive a massage? I can nerd out all day about the endless healthful ways massage is helping my clients with stress, anxiety, sports performance, aches, pains and injury recovery. The better question for a client to think about is - how often do I want to invest in feeling better?

1 comment:

  1. I love the better question.

    Sometimes I feel like I'm being completely self-indulgent by getting regular massages but when I think about how often I worry and internalize things, I realize it's a worthwhile investment.


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