The way a session of massage therapy or bodywork unfolds typically depends on the client and his or her needs and goals for the appointment. Of course, the nature of the session also will depend on the practitioner and what skills or techniques he or she has to offer each client.

Many successful massage therapists and bodyworkers have learned to master a handful of modalities they find useful in their practice among a variety of clients. This way, they can offer most clients what they want and need when they come through the door of their practice for an appointment.

It is important to remember, however, that although your hands-on skills and techniques are the foundation for your practice and for achieving client satisfaction, there are other means of helping clients get the results they are seeking in the session room. These are the details that can help enhance your own hands-on work and further each client’s satisfaction with the session.

For example, you will want to make sure your massage table provides optimal comfort and ease of access for every client, if possible. You also want to ensure that the linens you use on the table feel good against each client’s skin and offer the perfect amount of warmth or cool, depending on the weather and the client’s own body temperature.

Another factor is the music playing in your massage therapy or bodywork room, and the volume at which you play that music. Any sounds in the session room should be adding to the relaxation experience, never detracting from it. Finding out what your client does or does not like in the session room is simply a matter of asking him or her.

Massage cream also can play a big role in providing the means to help clients achieve their desired results during and after an appointment. First of all, the right massage cream can noticeably improve your own ability to perform certain hands-on techniques, thereby improving the effect of those techniques on the client as well.

If you usually do quite a bit of deep-tissue work, for instance, having a massage cream on hand that provides the right amount of friction or “stick” will help you work the aching muscles of your clients with greater ease and comfort. The key here is to take your time in finding the right kind of massage cream for the modalities you most often practice. This may mean finding more than one type of massage cream, especially if you practice more than one type of hands-on technique. Fortunately, massage cream in general does tend to provide a nice combination of both friction and glide, so you may be able to find one massage cream that does it all in the session room.

Another thought to consider when it comes to providing every client with an incredible session is choosing massage creams made especially for certain areas of the body, such as the face or the feet. Doing so can add value to your sessions and make all your clients feel particularly pampered.

Brandi Schlossberg

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