One of the best ways to satisfy clients is by tailoring each massage therapy or bodywork session to the particular needs of the person on your table. The client who feels as if his or her presenting issues truly were taken into account and accommodated by the hands-on practitioner is more likely to come back—and tell a friend.

Of course, it is far easier to fall back on a dependable session routine, getting into a groove that seems to suit most clients just fine. However, it’s important to remember that the goal of good bodywork is to improve the well-being of each person who enters your practice. Putting in the effort to go the extra mile will help you reach that goal again and again, and it should boost your bottom line as well, not to mention your pride in a job well done.

There are quite a few ways to customize a massage to meet a specific client’s needs, and most of them are not too difficult. It only requires a bit of forethought to have the correct tools on hand for various situations.

One wonderful—and fairly simple—way to tailor a massage therapy or bodywork session is with different kinds of massage creams. This means searching out, purchasing and stocking up on a wide range of massage creams that can meet a wide range of client needs.

For example, if one person walks through your door complaining of high stress and difficulty sleeping or even relaxing, you may want to reach for the massage cream that’s infused with lavender essential oil, as this aroma has been shown in scientific studies to induce relaxation.

Be sure to inform your client that you have a massage cream that should help her meet her goals, so that she can feel even more pampered as she relaxes into your skilled hands-on healing.

Another scenario might be a client with extremely dry skin, which could apply to many people in the winter time or in regions with little humidity. For such situations, it’s a good idea to stock up on a massage cream that doubles as a rich moisturizer, so the client will leave your session room not only feeling blissed, but also with smooth, glowing skin.

Again, don’t be shy about telling clients you have a massage cream that should hydrate their skin for hours, as most people will be glad to know about the added benefits they receive during their time on your table. In fact, if you happen to sell products in your massage practice, this also can be a great way to make a sale without trying too hard.

One more example of how massage creams can give clients that extra cared-for feeling involves those clients who come in with painfully sore muscles. Perhaps they went snowboarding for the first time two days ago, just got back from a 10-day hiking trip or began working out with a trainer.

Whatever the reason, these are the clients who present with muscles so sore they can barely handle any pressure. In such cases, it’s incredibly soothing to apply a massage cream that contains a pain-relieving ingredient, such as arnica or menthol.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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