You’ve read the blog posts on what NOT to say to a massage therapist and how NOT to behave during a massage session. You’ve also read and signed the list of client responsibilities at your massage therapist’s office. You’re bound to be on her favorite list if you follow all that advice, right? Wrong. What all of that gets you is “good client” status, which is (quite frankly) where we wish all of our clients were at a minimum. By being on this “good client” list you’ve beat out everyone on the “nothing pleases her (or him)” list, the “dirty &/or smelly” list, the “chronically late” list, and the “unrealistic expectations” list; and believe me that’s saying something.
But I know that you aspire to so much more than that. So here are the top 10 ways to get on your massage therapist’s “Favorite Clients” list:
Ask your therapist if they prefer you to arrive right on time or a few minutes prior to your appointment time (especially if they are a single therapist office with no receptionist). We have many things to do in between appointments and some therapists don’t want their next client arriving before they are completely ready.
Ask your therapist how early is too early to arrive. Every therapist is different – some don’t want you there any more than 5 minutes early whereas others are fine if you arrive 15 minutes early. Please note: just because a massage therapist doesn’t mind you arriving early, doesn’t necessarily mean s/he will start your session early.
Be specific about your pain. Tell your therapist where (what part of your back, arm, leg, etc.), how (does it ache, are there shooting pains, pins and needles, etc), and when it hurts (do certain movements make it hurt more? Do certain positions make it hurt less?). Just by knowing this information, you’re doing better than most. But if you volunteer this information when we ask “what brings you in today?” you will make our day.
Prioritize the areas you want to feel better. If your right shoulder, left hip, and right foot are all bothering you, which one is most important to you? Which is second? Which is least. Please: Respect our status as mere mortals and limit priorities to one for each half hour of time you have booked. (So, that’d be 2 for an hour session, 3 for an hour and a half.)
Referrals. Please take several of your therapist’s business cards and give them to friends and family members who could use a massage. Better yet, give them to people who’s issues are a good fit for the type of work your therapist does.
Write a positive review online. If your therapist is listed on Yelp, Google Places, or a similar site that allows reviews, please post a positive review. You deserve a whole bucket of gold stars if you do this!
Interact with the business profile on Social Media. It’s wonderful to hear you say how much you like our social media posts when you come in for your massage session, but it’s even more wonderful if you “prove it.” If your therapist has a Facebook page for her business of course you should like it; but it would be even better if you would also like, share, or comment on her posts. If your therapist has a Twitter account for her business, please follow her and don’t forget to favorite &/or retweet her tweets. Of course, this is assuming her posts and tweets are interesting or engaging to you – if they’re not, I’m sure she would appreciate knowing WHAT types of things you would like to see her post. *Bonus Points for tagging them in a status update or mentioning them in a tweet.
Do your homework. Your massage therapist can’t be with you 24/7 between appointments to rub out the tension as it begins to accumulate. That’s why she gives you stretches to do between massage sessions. Most people don’t do the recommended stretching. You’ll set yourself far above the rest if you do; it shows that you take responsibility for your own health.
Ask you massage therapist to prioritize your homework. You get busy and life happens. You want to do all of your stretching but some days you really don’t have enough time, especially if your therapist has given you a long list of stretches that you’d benefit from. In that case, it’s best to ask your therapist to prioritize the stretches she has recommended. This will let her know that you really do want to do them, but will give you the guidance you need on your really hectic days.
Book your next session before you leave. This is the easiest way to maintain a regular massage schedule. While you may have the best intentions to call for your next appointment as soon as you get back to the office or get home, a lot can happen in the intervening time that will drive that thought from your mind. The next thing you know, it’s 6 weeks later and you’re in pain. Simply bring your planner/calendar with you to your appointment so you can book your next massage appointment while you’re checking out.
Photo courtesy ABMP
You don’t need to do all 10 in order to make your therapist’s favorite list, but the more you do the higher on the favorite list you’ll go. In all honesty, you probably won’t get discounted prices for being a favorite, but you may get a free add on (aromatherapy, paraffin dip, or some other small service they normally charge more for… maybe). You will definitely get a happy-to-see-you therapist with a big smile and an enthusiastic greeting who can’t wait to help lower your stress and pain levels.