Effective communication is one key to helping consumers better understand how massage therapy can be a part of their health and wellness goals. Make the most of the time you have with your clients, from intake to during the massage session to follow-up appointments.
1. Ask Focused Questions
Sometimes clients might not feel comfortable saying much the first time they come in. You know what information you need to get from new clients, but they do not.
Before the session, ask focused questions that prompt clients to be specific about their expectations of massage. If they’re dealing with pain, ask them to describe how it feels, when they experience it, and how they manage it. Organize this information on an intake form, which you can download here, and use it to tailor your massage to their needs.
2. Listen Actively
Maintain eye contact while your clients speak so they know you’re engaged. Let them take their time. They want to know that you are invested in their well-being. When they finish, summarize what they’ve told verbally and through their intake form. This way they know you understand and it gives them a chance to clarify any information.
3. Check In Periodically
During the session, ask how the pressure feels. Ask if the room temperature is comfortable, if the music volume is OK, or if you can adjust anything else.
Check in multiple times during the session, especially if your client has health issues that might cause discomfort. Frequent check-ins let clients know that you are attentive, and will adjust to provide them better care.
4. Do an Exit Interview
After the session, get your clients’ impressions of the massage by asking them questions related to your discussion during intake. If they came in needing stress relief, ask them if they feel relaxed. Or, if they came in needing to manage pain, ask them to rate their pain post-massage.
Offer them self-care techniques specific to their issue to take home, either verbally or in a brief handout you complied in advance. This lets them know that you value their feedback, and allows you to better cater to their needs next time they come in.
5. Stay in Touch
Find meaningful ways to stay in touch with your clients. Invite them to follow you on social media, or subscribe to your e-newsletter. Post condition-specific information, including new research and management techniques. This lets them know that you care, even from a distance.
For more tips on effective communication, read the original article from the Summer 2014 Massage Therapy Journal here.