Massage & Bodywork


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 133

Praise is the expression of approval or admiration, while criticism is defined as faultfinding or censure. Neither praise nor criticism helps people make positive changes that improve their performance. Instead, egos are stroked or feelings are bruised, causing an unsafe and unbalanced learning environment. These suggestions will ensure your feedback focuses solely on performance: 1. Check In Ask yourself, "Am I ready to give feedback based on my observations with specific suggestions for changes? Do I have any motivations for giving feedback other than to help my classmate/colleague improve?" If you feel ready to give good feedback, proceed. If you don't, take some time to reflect on your feelings and write out your feedback. Then, check what you have written against the rest of the criteria on this list. 2. Respond Quickly Give feedback as soon as you notice a behavior that needs correcting. If a stroke feels too light, alert your therapist during the stroke by saying something like, "Would you deepen the pressure one or two notches? Yes, that feels deeper, but you can still drop one notch deeper. Now you've got it!" 3. Be Consistent Sometimes the behavior improves and then the unwanted behavior reappears. Give feedback repeatedly to ensure your therapist makes the necessary change. For example, "The pressure feels too light again. Good! Now the stroke is deep enough." 4. Stay Descriptive Describe what you observed or felt directly without the need to praise or criticize. For example, "When you undraped my leg, it felt as if you were holding the sheet at an angle that might expose me. Can you hold the sheet lower so I don't feel a draft?" If you go into praising mode by saying something like, "I know you are really good at draping—and I probably don't know what I'm talking about—but it felt a little bit like you were exposing me during the leg drape," you devalue your own feelings. If you go into criticizing mode by saying something like, "Your draping skills are bad. You 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 . 39 always expose me when I'm your client and I can never feel safe with you," your feedback might cause hurt feelings or be rejected by your therapist altogether. 5. Focus on Improvement Explain the impact of the behavior on your experience and suggest specific changes that would improve your experience as a client. For example: "It feels like you are cutting the stroke short on my thigh. What if you took the stroke all the way up and around my greater trochanter instead? That would feel relaxing and fluid to me. Yes! That's it! That feels so much better!" 6. Respond to Change When the therapist changes her stroke or adjusts the behavior based on your feedback, respond to the change with reinforcing statements like, "Yes, that feels better," or "You're on the right track, but slow down just a little bit more. Yes! That's perfect!" 7. Find Balance Give balanced, overall feedback on massage exchanges by providing information both on what worked and what didn't work. Avoid giving feedback on only one or the other. 8. Be Specific Remember vague feedback is not helpful. If you say, "That was great," it is as useless as saying, "That was terrible." Give descriptive, specific feedback that can help your therapist improve his or her techniques. For example, "What I really liked was the way you transitioned your strokes from my back through my gluteal muscles and then down my legs. It was soothing, and felt like it helped me to connect all of my body. The area that seems to need improvement is the variety of strokes you use. I felt effleurage and friction with your forearm, but you never used petrissage, tapotement, vibration, or range of motion. I would have enjoyed the friction more if you had used different application methods. It would have been great to feel circular friction down my erector muscles, and linear friction on my hamstrings."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Massage & Bodywork - JULY | AUGUST 2016