Even though the techniques a massage therapist or bodyworker provides to his or her clients are the main reason most people decide to book an appointment, the personality of the practitioner, as it fuses with the modality at hand, can be a big reason clients keep coming back for more. In a way, you are selling your own presence to clients as much as you are selling your massage therapy or bodywork skills.

The stereotype of the massage therapist or bodyworker as a peaceful, holistic person exists for a reason. A large number of people who practice healthy touch do have aspects about them that seem quite peaceful, healthy and whole. These are a few of the personality traits that can keep clients coming back again and again, for simply being in the presence of a person who has some measure of serenity can be relaxing in and of itself.

Of course, every massage therapist and bodyworker is unique, and those aspects of the practitioner that set him or her apart from others can be part of the draw for clients as well. Maybe your clients are so loyal because you always remember what they were telling you about last session, such as a new pet or a child going off to college. On the other hand, they might be grateful for the fact they can relax in peaceful silence during each session, without any pressure to make conversation.

In fact, some of the most successful massage therapists and bodyworkers are those who can, in some ways, sense a client’s mood that day and bring their presence in line with that to support the client in the best way possible.

Regardless of your own personality type, it is important to realize your individual traits do infuse the work you do in your massage therapy or bodywork practice. Certainly this doesn’t mean you share personal parts of your life with your clients, or cross any professional boundaries at all. It simply means your personality is part of your style as a massage therapist or bodyworker.

This is a factor that can and often should be explored and enhanced as you make constant efforts to improve your practice, bring in more clients and keep those clients you already have coming back for more. One of the best ways to extend yourself into the daily work you do is through a surprisingly basic tool of healthy touch—your massage cream.

This is a wonderful place to start weaving your personality into your practice, in essence creating a brand identity clients can associate with you and your hands-on work. The key here is to find a massage cream, or a small handful of massage creams, you feel are in harmony with your personality, which includes your values.

For example, if you feel you have a sunny and bubbly personality, and that’s what keeps your clients coming back, you could experiment with using a massage cream that says “sunny and bubbly” to you, such as one that contains tropical or flowery aromas. At the other end of the spectrum, maybe it’s the quiet sense of peace you provide clients that acts as a magnet for more business. In this case, a massage cream that is free of fragrance, or contains a calming lavender extract, may be a good bet.

–Brandi Schlossberg