You may not know this about me but for most of the 80’s I was a corporate suit. And In business, you learn early the value of networking. I am by nature shy and found large group meetings of strangers intimidating. (Pretty sure I’m not the only one) Since I was in marketing and marketing is mainly about research – that’s what I did. Guess what I discovered….. The number one topic people like to explore, discuss, and discover about is themselves. (It wasn’t a big shock to me either) So I forgot about networking and learned how to connect. All these years later, I’m still building on those same skills.
How does this translate to the treatment room? In addition to bodywork, I am committed to finding ways that encourage the client to discover more about themselves. In fact, I recently certified in chakra readings by Alexandria Brighton for just that reason, and clients have been eating it up. I can also accomplish this by educating my clients on, for example - common gait pattern distortions, so they can explore on their own if they are exhibiting any. No matter what system I am using, I keep it within my scope of practice, make sure the information is simple, basic, and authentic, and most of all, it supports a positive experience.
I am not interested in just being my client’s massage therapist; I want to be part of their wellness team. One of the ways I accomplish this is by listening and acting in response. There are generally three aspects that influence wellbeing: personal health, financial health (not my arena), and family/relationships. So I note anything appropriate that a client has voiced concern over. I tap into my vast library of resources and make them available for their use. This can be as simple as emailing yoga poses, upcoming workshops, stretches, or a smoothie recipe that I love, etc. Sometimes I show them a self-care massage technique that they can use for themselves or a child in sports. One of my favorite things is providing samples of aromatherapy synergies. For example, BIOTONE has a large assortment that can accommodate any number of concerns. All these actions say the same thing: I heard you, and I care about your wellbeing beyond just the treatment room.
Let’s face it, things trend. I love providing Spa parties, but after 20 years, I am retiring them from my menu. I am, however, replacing it with Wellness Soirées. There are a lot of similarities between the two, including the therapeutic spa treatments. The real difference is the inclusion of self-care education. Today’s client wants experiences that enhance their wellbeing and target real concerns: muscle & joint health, anti-aging, stress relief, and wellness. This trend has been gradually taking hold in the Resort spa arena, but I believe it translates to all settings, including salons and therapy offices. This year I am also implementing a Wellness guild where clients are invited to attend intimate events to experience express spa treatments while learning about self-care skills, including aromatherapy. Attendees will receive certificates for a featured spa enhancement on their massages that month and discounts on self-care tools/products. I will be inviting other wellness-based businesses to participate as we progress.
I will be going over this concept in detail in my classes at the 2015 World Massage Festival this summer. So if you’re interested don’t miss it:
Athletic Massage: Working with the aging active adult
AromaSensory: Conducting Spa Parties and Open House Events
AromaSensory: Integrating Aromatherapy into Your Treatment Room