Thanks to presenting at the World Massage Festival, I have had a great month both personally and professionally. I taught a little, learned a lot, and enjoyed Karaoke night - answering the age old question “What happens when massage therapists are away from their tables?” The WMF has consistently proven itself to be great for networking, fun and inspiration. If you haven’t made one yet, I highly recommend it.
One of the classes I taught was AromaSensory: Integrating Aromatherapy into Your Treatment Room. Essential oils are experiencing a renaissance; there is an unprecedented amount of information and suppliers out there. Here is my dilemma: most of the training is not designed for professionals who need to adhere to a scope of practice. It can be a slippery slope from incorporating aromatherapy as a therapeutic modality that supports client’s wellness goals and enhances their experience; to selling oils that promise to “cure and heal”. It’s important for our profession not to lose sight of this in our enthusiasm.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from discovering how rewarding it is to add essential oils to enhance each and every massage session. I have dedicated myself to sharing creative and effective ways to incorporate it appropriately. On that note, I want to thank the experienced therapists in my class who collaborated with me during discussions. We appreciate that there is more than one path to the mountain top and we were able to agree on the basics. The process was inspiring. I’m sharing one of the class hand outs in the hopes of inspiring you:
Creating Customs Unique to Your Practice by Utilizing the Dual Sensations of Aroma and Sensory:
Offer an herbal tea or spa water on first contact. Provide healthy snack options in case clients are rushing to fit you in. Moroccan inspiration: Almonds, dates, mint tea. Make sure the waiting room provides opportunities for clients to decompress.
Turn your consultation into an adventure by allowing your clients an opportunity to choose the combination of restorative oils that will be used in their session
Create a Comforting Connection
Begin your treatment with a signature move that will become familiar to your client’s body and prepare them for a rejuvenating wellness experience
Mind, Body and Skin
When choosing product options, take the opportunity to enhance the mind/ body experience with benefits for the client’s skin.
Reserve a few moments at the end of your session to check for any opportunities to further nurture the client. Rough elbows; smeared makeup; or flat hair and do your best to help rectify it.
Revitalizing Finishing Touch
No matter what the protocols to be employed, finish with a reviving hand massage. It allows you to collect client feedback on the session and helps prepare them to leave the table.
Fare Thee Well Tradition
After re-booking and payment, offer a scented warm towel or cool spritz that will leave the client with a lasting memory of their experience.
In all three classes I presented, I showed ways for therapists to use aromatherapy as a treatment ally. Thanks to Biotone everyone got a chance to play with different essential oils and bases that were appropriate for the class. (I like to work with the Biotone offerings since I know it’s a company dedicated to the massage therapist’s success). There was tons of inspiration playing with all the options. We even had some outside people who followed their nose and left with some custom blending.