1. Comprehensive Intake
I prompt my clients at the very beginning of the session, to start them on the process of thinking about how their body feels and what it may be wanting for treatment. I always reflect back to the client what I've heard them say, to be as clear as possible regarding their session preferences and related issues. I explain to clients how important is for me to trust them, knowing that they speak up about discomforts anytime during the session.
2. Asking for feedback
Even after I have explained the client's responsibility to speak up , I still check in with them many times throughout the session. This gives the client a chance to micro-adjust ,which make the difference between a good and great massage. It is also a way for me to gain feedback and change treatments plan immediately if necessary.
3. Get Massage!
Its sad how common it is for massage therapist, myself included, get massage relatively infrequently. Receiving massage as a massage therapist has the added benefits of (hopefully) learning something that informs your practice. Receiving massage from professionals is one of the best ways for me to learn about my body and new techniques to use with my clients.
4. Incorporate Stretches and Breath Awareness
Thai massage is one of my favorite forms of massage because of the deep tissue mixed with stretching. I always incorporate at least one stretch or traction move in every session. I believe it feels very good for the client, gives them different sensory input to relax the nervous system and is a distinguished experience. Try learning and incorporating at least one stretch safely into your practice. I also am constantly reminding myself to breath. How can I expect the client to breath deeply and soften their tissues, when I am holding or restricting my breath? I also ask my clients to breath and give them verbal and tactile directions to guide them in doing so.
5. Increase your self care
We are holistic health care professionals, which in my understanding implies that we are role models for healthy living. Personally every ounce of sweat that I put into my workouts, my food prep or going to bed early have paid off significantly in my practice. I've have increased stamina while working and have noticed more client bookings. Ultimately health is largely about self acceptance, self love and honoring our perfection as long as we don't give up reaching for our ideals or optimization.
6. Step up your game
If you are not feeling passionate about providing massage for people, please take responsibility at least by asking for support. I recommend continuing education either formally or informally, to boost your inspiration and fulfillment levels. It can be fun to incorporate new things you've learned to experiment with clients and see results. A few last ideas to spruce up your practice are: getting new play lists that you love, fresh flowers for the treatment room and a supply of healthy snack to give to your clients.
7. Join a professional organization!
Being affiliated with a professional massage organization can have many benefits. A renewed sense of
contribution may result from joining and contributing to a professional organization. Often the monthly publications are full of educational and inspiring articles. National massage conventions are great opportunities to meet a lot of massage therapists from diverse places and backgrounds, which can also be inspiring.
8. Stop Talking
We all need empathy of course, but this is your clients' time to receive. The client does not want to hear about your personal life. Many people will pretend to be interested, adding another challenge to getting totally relaxed. It seems natural to use our own experience as a reference to connect with someone else's, However I feel this is an internal process because when we interrupt share our own version of of similar experience, we steal attention from the speaker. Massage is not a time for small talk. Try encouraging the client to bring more awareness to the physical experience. Answering clients' questions and talking about the treatments at hand is entirely different of course.