Getting a massage can be intimidating. There’s bound to be some sense of vulnerability when lying on a table disrobed, especially for first-time clients. That’s why it’s important to keep clients' feelings in mind during the session and perfect a “bedside manner” that puts them at ease. Having good interpersonal skills is part of it so that clients will open up and discuss their problems – physical or stress-related – so that you can more effectively administer to their needs.
Here are some of the qualities that constitute a good bedside manner:
Know your client
Your “bedside manner” starts with clients as soon as they walk through the door. Ask new clients to fill out a form providing details on their medical history, including allergic reactions and other health-related information. With current clients, take time at the beginning of the session to find out how they are, what problems they may be having, and if there are any areas you should specifically focus on.
Make the session strictly about clients
Make sure when you are talking to clients that you give them your undivided attention. Don’t let others or phone calls or texts interrupt your conversation. You want clients to feel confident you are their primary concern during their time at your spa or massage practice. Also, pay attention to body language. Not all clients will be forthcoming. If a client is fidgeting or unable to make eye contact, it could be a sign they are finding it difficult to discuss something. Try to put them at ease by asking questions and maintaining a calm demeanor.
Keep the communication going
Communication doesn’t stop after you find out the reasons for a client’s visit. During the session, ask how the client feels if you are applying too much or too little pressure, especially in those areas where the client has been experiencing pain or discomfort.
Create a welcoming atmosphere
In addition to maintaining the highest level of cleanliness in your treatment and changing rooms, you also want to create an atmosphere that soothes and helps clients relax. When it comes to background music, find out what clients prefer. You also can add to the ambiance of the room with aromatherapy candles or room sprays that can impact a client’s mood and enhance their sense of well-being.
Maintain the highest level of professionalism
Professionalism starts with your appearance. You want to dress professionally and also keep the jewelry or fragrances you wear at a minimum. Your demeanor should be positive and pleasant and avoid conversations about your personal problems or issues related to work.
The session is always about the client and providing an atmosphere where they feel safe, cared for, and valued. It doesn’t take much to have a bedside manner that conveys your care and concern.