Massage & Bodywork

May/June 2013

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education classroom to client | PatHology PersPectIves | boDy aWareness | functIonal anatomy | somatIc researcH It's not all about the session Communicate before and after for best results By Anne Williams in the transition from massage school to a professional practice, few things are more rewarding than hands-on work with your first few clients. it's what you worked for in your massage program, and the reason you sought out bodywork in the first place. But in the excitement of those first sessions, it is important to remember that how you communicate before and after the actual session can be as vital to the success of your practice as the quality of your touch. SETTing EXPECTATionS When a client arrives for a massage appointment, make every effort to make the person feel welcome. Shake the client's hand and smile while making eye contact. Show the client to a seat in the reception area and perhaps offer a cup of herbal tea as he fi lls out any necessary paperwork. Orient the client to the treatment area, where the bathroom is located, and any amenities, like a steam room or sauna, the client might use on the next visit. Conduct the intake interview in a friendly manner, taking the opportunity to answer any questions and set expectations—both yours and the client's. The interview is a complex and important process that should accomplish a number of tasks. review policies and procedures. This includes information relating to informed consent, such as the scope of practice for massage and the limitations of massage, as well as cancellation and no-show policies. rule out contraindications. Review the client's completed health-history form. In some cases, you may need more information about a particular condition to rule out contraindications. When you feel you understand the client's medical picture and that massage is not contraindicated, treatment planning begins. understand client expectations. Ask the client to share his expectations for the session. Ask, "What results do you want to achieve?" or "When you leave here today, what do you want your body to feel like?" First-time clients may not know what to expect and may be anxious. A client who has received only one previous massage is likely to expect this massage to be exactly the same as the fi rst. A repeat client may have specific techniques or areas of concern in mind. See what benefits await you. 43

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