To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Spa News: Extend Clients’ Bliss Between Sessions,” by Cherie Sohnen-Moe, in the July 2011 issue. Article summary: Clients receive massage for many reasons, ranging from stress reduction to injury rehabilitation to pure pampering. Regardless of the reasons clients step into your treatment room, it’s nice when they leave with that “Ahhhhhh” feeling. You can extend that feeling of bliss by sending clients home with spa products.

by Michael Cohen

We all know making clients feel you really care is key to generating a successful practice and improving your everyday clinic experience. After all, if you can empower your clients to help themselves, you create more independent and capable clients who will refer other clients.

Retailing quality self-care products sends exactly this message while ethically improving your income stream. Get clients to use self-care tools and you can even save your hands.

In fact, retailing quality self-care products says a lot to your clients about the kind of practitioner you are: First, it says you believe in empowering your clients to help themselves, vs. keeping them coming for endless care, which translates to really caring about their wellness. Second, it says you are up to date with the latest research in mind-body medicine, research that shows the enhanced mind-body connectivity that naturally occurs when clients engage in self-care.

Put these together, and it’s easy to see why today’s educated health care consumer is going to flock to this type of practitioner. The days of endless, passive treatments are over. Today, clients and society at large are after empowerment.

Let’s also talk about your hands. We all get achy fingers, wrists and forearms from practice. What about giving your clients self-care tools they can use to release their own myofascial tightness? Not only will they feel better, you will save your hands because clients will be looser when they come back to see you.

The big picture here is that the self-healing movement will only continue to grow over time because it works with little or no side effects; the process itself generates healing responses that simply do not occur when clients are passive recipients of care; and it creates a greater mind-body connectivity and awareness in clients that empowers them.

I highly recommend you sell self-care product—but only after you have personally used and evaluated them, for two reasons.

First, clients will ask why you recommended something. They trust your experience because they trust you, so make sure you can thoroughly back up your recommendations. Nothing puts a more sour taste in a client’s mouth than trying a product his massage therapist recommended and finding it did not do what the therapist said it would.

Second, the subtle aspects of using a product only emerge after time, and your clients rely on you to fast track them into more effective techniques. After all you are the expert.

Selling quality self-care products says a lot about your ethics, beliefs and clinical knowledge. Use retail sales to take your practice and clinical experience higher.

Michael A. Cohen, D.C., is a 20-year practicing chiropractic acupuncturist in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and an ongoing guest lecturer at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College on Mind-Body healing research. He developed the Acuball self-healing tool ( for muscle and joint pain relief. The ball is used by health practitioners, hospitals and professional athletes.