Massage & Bodywork

November/December 2009

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CHECK OUT MASSAGEANDBODYWORK.COM FOR ADDITIONAL RESPONSES TO THIS ISSUE'S QUESTION. Listening and remembering something every client has told me about themselves— something physical, emotional, or personal. It could be the smallest detail of a story or a fact about them, and I make an effort to mention it on the next visit. They come to find I am sincere and I care. It could be their 5-year-old is entering elementary school for the first time, their cat ran away, or they just lost 40 pounds. Clients have recognized this quality and appreciate the attention I give them. The first few minutes of a massage, when you are listening, can be as important as the trigger point in the right rhomboid that needs to be tended to. You might not remember every point that was spoken, but remember something significant. It makes a difference. MaryBeth Glian Buffalo, New York One thing that has made me a better massage therapist is receiving regular massage treatment. It's like taking a class. Not only am I caring for myself and learning new techniques, I also experience the client's perspective. 1. How comfortable is the table and face cradle, for example? 2. If my sinuses are acting up, I can only lay prone for a half hour. The bolster under my knees, when supine, affects my circulation and my legs fall asleep. I'm very healthy, so this may really affect someone who is less so. 3. Is it time for new sheets; have I been too chatty lately with my regular clients; and have I really heard my clients' responses when asked how they're feeling or what needs focus this session? How do other MTs handle client issues like no-shows, tardiness, or raising rates? What CEUs are they taking and what has worked lately to gain new clients? Their room decor, office design, and location are always interesting to see in comparison, as well. Having a massage session from another MT helps me to review and fine-tune my own procedures, professionalism, and perspective. ROBIN BYLER THOMAS TUCSON, ARIZONA Listening to my clients. Each of them has a unique vocabulary to describe their condition. In learning that vocabulary, I gain insight into their condition, as well gaining new or better ways to help other clients. DAVID KOERNER HIROSHIMA, JAPAN One class I took after school has given my massage business the highest client success rating yet. The class is called Vibro-muscular Harmonization Technique (VHT). It is taught across the country by Jock Ruddock. It is an amazing technique and my clients love it. Continuing education classes are out there by the hundreds, but finding one that truly makes you a better massage therapist is hard to find. My clients are so happy we found VHT, and so am I. This technique, added to my massage basics, has made me significantly better at satisfying my clients on the massage table. PAULA CABLE LIBERTY HILL, TEXAS There is one thing I did out of necessity not long after graduation that has, to this day, made me a better MT—I slowed down. Being the enthusiastic new therapist I was, I now realize I wanted to do too much back then. As I began my first job in a chiropractic office, my intention to help was there, but my real-world massage skills and business sense were still blooming. So, after learning the hard way about overworking by volunteering at a marathon one day, then having to work the next, I had no choice but to slow down my massage pace. I told myself that if I didn't have time to massage the entire back it was OK; if I could only focus on the neck it was OK. I really listened to and appreciated the calming ocean waves and serene strings playing in the background a little more than normal. Funny thing was, that was the first day that every single client left exceptionally overjoyed from their massages. Every person just raved about how wonderful they felt. I, too, felt joy and relief, knowing that I didn't have to conquer every single adhesion all at once. Sometimes, for the sake of our body, mind, and soul, we must simply make the time to just slow down. REINA POLANCO LA PUENTE, CALIFORNIA To be a better MT, one must show to yourself that you love your profession. Having this kind of attitude will make you interested in performing therapy to your clients. Showing tender, loving care can also help connect with your colleagues on massageprofessionals.com 31

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