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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 83 BAD BLOOD Some clients love to talk. Sometimes, they talk too much or rouse controversial topics that can be really unsettling if you share different views. It's often hard to navigate what issues might be divisive enough to send someone away, especially when you've built a history together. Yet, in some situations you cannot avoid the inevitable demise of having different enough views, beliefs, or life practices to say you might be better off apart. While most therapists minimize conversations that might provoke anxiety in their clients, such as politics and religion, some expand on the practice of minimal conversation even further. For example, during an initial visit explaining the policy of peace and tranquility, where you, as the provider, would like to provide such an atmosphere to your clients, also encourage recipients to enter your space with limited talking and focus on meditation or their intention that day. If there is a particular client that has a history of sparking conversation, sharing with them a new "peace of body and mind" technique you're adapting to your practice by keeping centered and focused together in a time of quiet might invite them to silence their inner voice during your sessions. Still, there are times when we are left in an uneasy situation or ended a conversation on a less than positive note. In those cases, it is best to always make the first attempt to talk with your client within a day or two after their session. Making sure there are no hard feelings or misunderstandings, or even offering apologies when necessary, can show your humility and integrity. JUST BECAUSE Who knows why some of your most reliable clients choose to work with another massage therapist—whether it is for just a session, or two, or permanently. Sometimes, you can give a particular client everything they have requested and it still isn't enough to sustain their business. In those situations, "just because" is enough to suffice. Worrying about something or someone you simply cannot change or understand can do little to benefit either of you in the long run. It's usually best to accept and move on rather than dwell on unchangeable circumstances. Clients in the service industries and massage profession can be fickle. If you ask 20 different providers the key to client retention, you could get 20 different responses. Each of us has a unique, valuable approach in our practice that attracts our regulars. Whether it is in our technique, general demeanor, or selection of services or products, we stand out enough to draw repeat business, allowing our profession to flourish. Clients who weave in and out of our office—some forever faithful, others not so much—are bound to cross our thresholds. What is most important to learn from these clients is, did you give them your best? Could you have done all that was possible to prevent losing their business now or in the future? If the answers to both of these questions are yes, take a deep breath of acceptance and move on. If not, take an inventory of self- evaluation. Often, those who upset us most are subtle reflections of ourselves in some way. While the saying "cheaters never prosper" may apply in some cases, consider taking such a quote with a more positive spin, as in this Chinese proverb: "He who has never been cheated, cannot be a good businessman." Tera Johnson-Swartz has been a licensed therapist for nearly 10 years and is based out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Studying under some of the top health-care practitioners in the country, she has developed techniques specifically beneficial for pain relief, discomfort, and overall well- being. Beyond massage, Johnson-Swartz is a freelance writer, independent childbirth and lactation educator, health educator, and fitness instructor. C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 83

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