Build client self-awareness into your spa or massage practice sessions


Being an active participant in your client’s wellness doesn’t stop when clients leave your spa or massage practice at the end of a session. Whether clients are seeking relief through massage from stress, injuries, or chronic conditions, including head and neck pain, back pain, and fibromyalgia, by being an advocate for your client’s well-being, you can provide them with instruction and information to help them manage and mitigate the effects of their condition in-between visits.


Self-care begins with self-awareness, and to that end, you may need to work with your clients to help them understand the source of their problems and why they feel the way they do. For example, many clients are unaware of where they store stress and tension in their bodies. In that situation, have a client stand in front of a mirror before undressing for a session. While the client is looking at themselves, point out postural distortions — this shoulder is high, or this hip rotated – and then ask the client to close their eyes feel the distortion. When the client is on the table, build upon the self-awareness by pointing out tension related to the postural distortions.


When you help clients understand the source of their problem, your massage treatment massage becomes a collaborative process that ultimately is more effective for postural improvement, stretching, strengthening, relaxation, or treating whatever other problem they have.


Helping your clients become self-aware depends on your ability to connect and ‘be present’ with them. Even with the best intentions, it’s sometimes difficult to give every one of your spa or massage practice clients your undivided attention. You may have too much on your mind to give your client your absolute best. While it’s natural to check out from time to time, you don’t want your personal issues to get in the way of maintaining a connection with your clients throughout a session.


One way to stay present is to make sure to focus. If your mind is beginning to wander, bring yourself back to the present. Paying special attention to the physical movements and motions you perform on the client helps to ground you in the present. Also, take deep breaths and focus on your breathing whenever you find it difficult to stay in the now. Your breathing is actually a powerful and yet simple way to keep yourself rooted at the moment.


Teaching your clients about their bodies has lasting positive effects – for them and your ongoing relationship.

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