No, I don't do infant massage but the look on this baby's face reminded me of the 3 happy clients I had this morning.
What is it that we need to do to make all of our clients this pleased with their massages? Let me tell you about the ones I had this morning.
My first client this morning is a regular client who started coming in to me about 4-5 months ago. What makes her a happy massage client? The fact that I listened to her from the first time she contacted me. Frozen shoulder is not pretty and the treatment plan is not one that many massage clients would enjoy. There is pain, there are trigger points and there are "stuck" muscles that don't want to do what they were meant to do any more. I have done some NAT training and I have had frozen shoulder, medically called adhesive capsulitis, so I am familiar with the symptoms, the pain and the long, slow process of healing. This client knows that I understand and that I care about her getting better and back to being able to use her arms. We have been working at this a long time - every week! What made this morning different was that I have one client today who had scheduled at hot stone massage. Without knowing it that one client made each of my other clients massages different today. In order to help my first client to loosen up a little faster this morning, I got out a couple hot stones and used them on her back. Her comment was, "Wow, how are your hands so warm this morning!" She hadn't realized that I had gone to get the stones. When I told her what I had done she said how good that felt. I know that the warmth helped her muscles relax just a bit faster this morning.
My second client this morning was also a regular who had just come in for what we call a Stress Buster Massage. It is a 40 minute head, neck shoulders, back and arms massage mainly for those folks who sit in front of a computer all day. But she had also been to the dentist before her massage and has trouble relaxing on my table normally. When she was having trouble letting go for me to work on her neck, she made the comment that she must really be uptight since she didn't even realize that she wasn't relaxing and even mentioned that the dentist had to tell her to relax her tongue earlier. My comment was "I think I can fix that!" So again to the stone roaster and 2 more stones came out! She loved it! Used those two on her neck and then 2 more on her back before I ended her massage. And guest what, before she left I verified the date and time of her next appointment and she said, "Could we make that a hot stone?" Absolutely! Another happy client!
So my third and last client of the morning had actually scheduled the hot stone massage because he wanted to be a little more relaxed before traveling later today. So it was his first hot stone massage and didn't know what to expect. He normally has a Deep Tissue Massage with lots of Sports Massage type stretches since he swims every day at the gym. He was concerned that the stone massage would be able to address his normal issues and help him relax. As I started working on the backs of his legs he commented that he hoped the stones and heat would relax his back as well as it was doing on his legs. I assured him that it would! He was quite pleased with his first time stone massage and left the office with that "stoned" look that many client get after their first Hot Stone Massage. The third happy client.
So how do you make your massage clients love you? Listen to them, be responsive to what is going on with them during the massage and give them what they have asked for that is therapeutic and meets there rehabilitative needs. I believe with massage and my clients as I do with all things in the Golden Rule. Do as you would have done to you.
Paula J Kaprocki, LMT
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist with thoughts, aspirations and opinions - much like any other person on the planet!