Hi, my name is Jennifer and I love massages. I love them so much that my husband knows the way to my heart is with a long, glorious foot massage. I would be completely happy if the only presents I ever received were gift certificates for professional massage. Being a regular massage connoisseur, let me give the massage professionals out there some advice on how you can keep me happy and coming back.

 

Pick appropriate music. Something calming yet not too “out there”.  How about asking your clients for their musical preference? _(Seriously, if I have to listen to one more Enya song or the magical flutes of Zanzibar…) _The music should be played at a moderate volume. It should be loud enough to help distract your clients from all of the other thoughts in their head they are trying to escape. No louder.

 

Set a comfortable room temperature. No one wants to be lying still without clothes in a room with a temperature reminiscent of the North Pole. By the same token, no one wants to be sweating like a wooly mammoth in Miami.  I realize that you’re doing all the work and may be working up a sweat. You want it cooler and I want it warmer.  The most comfortable sessions I’ve experienced have been with tables that have heating pads and flannel sheets and a room temperature that’s pleasantly cool.  Everyone’s happy and I feel cozy the entire time.

 

Communicate with the client. Maybe your client is a regular, or maybe it’s their first time. Either way, you need to communicate with them about what to expect. Maybe they have some strange phobia of people touching their toes; that would be a helpful thing to know before you find out the hard way. On the flip side, there is no need to give a dissertation about what you are doing during the massage. The idea is to provide a relaxing experience, not a lecture.  And listen. Listen carefully. Take notes if you need to. If I tell you that my neck and shoulders are really bothering me, please don’t spend the bulk of the session working on my legs and lower back. If you want to know the number one reason I start looking for another massage therapist, this is it.

 

Keep your baggage at home. Your client most likely is not your mother or your psychiatrist; do not tell them all about how upset you are that your boyfriend dumped you or you feel like your dog doesn’t love you anymore. Keep the conversation about the client and always professional.

 

Mind your odor. Not just body odor, because most people are smart enough to wear deodorant if they are going to be that close to people all day. You probably should also avoid smoking in enclosed spaces or eating garlic bread or onion rings right before a client arrives. Also be mindful of how your room smells.  I have allergies and react to all kinds of things.  The best smell is no smell.  No perfume, no after shave, no incense, just clean and simple. A little aromatherapy is fine, but make sure it’s very subtle please.  Beyond odor, control your sweat. Being sweated on gives me the heeby-jeebies.

 

Making appointments is a hassle. Why can’t more massage therapists allow their clients to check their availability and book online? It’s so disappointing when I have to stop seeing a really gifted therapist just because making an appointment is so time consuming and frustrating.  I mean really, how much sense does it make to endure more frustration when the solution I’m seeking is stress reduction!?

 

Now, take an honest look at yourself, the space you work in, and the full experience you offer customers like me.

I’ve experienced all of these issues (and more) and have moved on to other massage therapists as a result.  It’s rare to find a massage therapist who “gets it” and can consistently offer me the full professional experience I’m looking for while still being a warm, compassionate and friendly soul and I’ll keep coming back for more, and more, and more!\ \ \ * * *

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