Massage Therapists Listen with their Hands and their Heart
You hold the ability within you, as a licensed massage therapist, to bring more relaxation to the lives of others. You have the ability and skill to provide others with reduced pain and stress, better sleep, greater mobility and more.
The connection you have with your client may happen quickly, or it may take weeks, months or years to build. Yet, the connection between your hands, your knowledge and the client’s needs is always present. True client connection is in recognizing who you are as a therapist and respecting who your client is as a person. It is up to you, as the therapist within the therapeutic relationship to work with the client to create the best plan of care.
With some clients, connection is easy – you just “click.”
The client comes in for their session, introductions are made, pleasantries exchanged, and as you go through intake and session planning, there is a connection with the client. Understanding is present – of them, their symptoms or conditions and how to help them. Clarity and communication between the two of you is clear and flows naturally. There is a nice comfort level present between you, and there is just an easy and light sense of rapport.
These are the clients you feel energized by before, during and after the session. These are the clients you look forward to re-booking. These are the clients you feel most at ease with, and who feel most at ease with you. Occasionally, these are the clients you just seem to know how to help. They are the clients who leave great reviews on your website and social media pages. And they often are the clients who just keep coming back, and who refer new clients to you.
With some clients, you just don’t click…
Then there are the clients you may feel a little uneasy with or anxious about. The connection is more difficult. Communication isn’t always clear, despite how much you do to explain modalities, ask about preferences, or speak with clarity. Your pressure seems always to be too light or too deep. You never seem to hit the spots they feel need attention. These clients strain the connection with requests for more blankets, water, a fan, the heat/air turned up or down… you name it. And, you rarely know during or after a session if anything you did during treatment actually helped your client to feel better or if anything you did actually met their expectations and goals for the massage session.
These are the clients you do not feel energized from at all. They leave you tired, drained and perhaps feeling achy and hurting yourself. You may not wish to rebook them. You may think that it would have been better if they had not come in for a session at all. At least, not for a session with you.
But then you remember… “Unconditional Positive Regard”
Unconditional positive regard means accepting and respecting others as they are, without judging or evaluating why they are how they are. It means treating each client that comes in like you will the next client that comes in, and doing your best to just give them all you can professionally in your interactions. It means providing each client with the same concern, empathy, respect and skill as you would all your other clients.
Each person is different. Each body is unique. And the personalities, pathologies, and ideologies for each and every client will be varied. Sometimes you will find these variances within each client themselves from visit to visit, and certainly you will see it from one client to the next.
Although client connection may be challenging, you must remember that the therapeutic touch you provide is making a change, no matter how significant or miniscule. Even if that change is only in your client’s perception that someone is trying to help them relax or feel better – that there is someone who really does care.
As their massage therapist, you may be the only person they have available to talk to about their issues, to discuss their day with. You may be the only person in the world who touches them. You may be the only one they have who actually listens to what they are experiencing and feeling.
Be the Change Your Client Needs
When you focus your goals on doing your best to provide your best to your clients, you are being the change that your clients need. Whether that change means trying new approaches, scheduling less time or more time, referring your client out to someone new, or just changing your outlook on what you can provide to your client. Your skills, compassion, understanding and time are your foundation for every client connection.
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Train for a career you’ll love. Massage therapy training in north Georgia. Ellijay is home to the top-rated massage school in Georgia.*
* The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards governs and administers the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam. The national average for passing the test is 66%. The state average is 62%. CHAI School of Massage graduates have a pass rate of 91%!