The holiday season brings a great opportunity for massage therapists and bodyworkers to get creative with marketing themes and session details that should delight clients across the board. One wonderful and effective way to play up the spirit of the holiday season is by incorporating scent into the entire experience at your practice space.

For example, you may wish to purchase several high-quality candles to give a warm glow to the entrance of your massage or bodywork office. Try out various scents and find the ones you like the best—after all, you will be the one smelling these candles throughout the day, along with your clients. In terms of holiday aromas, these could include cranberry and pomegranate, evergreen and citrus, cinnamon and apple, and a number of other scent combinations.

The theme can be carried into your actual practice space as well, with candles lit around the room to offer that soft glow and soothing holiday scent. Once a client is on your table, that’s when another tool of the massage and bodywork trade can come into play to further enhance the total experience: massage cream. The myriad scents available when it comes to purchasing massage cream allow for plenty of imagination, as you create a festive spirit throughout each session.

Of course, the quality of the massage cream you choose should be your first and foremost concern, before you narrow down your choices based on aroma. Be sure the massage creams you’re choosing from offer the correct texture and consistency for the type of massage therapy or bodywork you perform on a regular basis.

Once you have figured out the products that will allow you to offer top-notch touch therapy, then you can begin to sniff out the best holiday scents. You may wish to keep the aromas you choose right on par with the candles lit throughout your office, for a seamless client experience. However, most of these holiday scents should do well when mixed and matched, so if you find several festive aromas you just can’t resist, consider using a tasteful variety during your sessions.

Keep in mind that you know your clients best, and you know what will work well with the type of touch techniques you provide. If you run a more clinical massage or bodywork practice, you may wish to forgo any use of scent in the first place, especially if you have a number of clients on your roster who are sensitive to smell.

It’s also possible to strategically slate appointments for those clients who would enjoy a holiday scented massage or bodywork experience. That way, you could provide these aroma-based sessions in one day, then reserve another day for those clients who do not wish to be exposed to any scents.

If this is the case, consider adding a festive massage option to your bodywork menu for the holiday season. Be sure to describe exactly what this session will entail and how it will differ from other options on your menu.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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