Last week we shared our 5 little massage tips that make a big difference blog. In that post we gave insight on explaining your treatment routine, the significance of face comfort and cradle options, the essentiality of asking your clients before using oils, discussing the right carrier oil for your client and the importance of treatment room temperature. If you’d like to read that blog click here.
Now we continue our little tips segment with 5 more massage tips that we feel make a big difference when giving a massage.
Massage tips N°6
Securing stray hairs
This might seem like a weird one, but it’s so common, and so under-addressed that I just had to bring it up. That is, what to do when you’re mid-massage and you find your clients stray hairs in and amongst the oil? Here’s what not to do: Carry on massaging and ignore the stringy hair that’s coming along for the ride.
Here’s what you should do: Gently stop the massage and get a clean tissue. Secure that hair with the tissue and put it aside whilst telling your client what you’re doing. Carry on with the massage as before.
All you need: A box of tissues nearby.
Massage Tips N°7
You’ve learned the basics of how to properly towel drape during a massage, but it always pays off to go the extra mile. This is not an issue when you are giving a massage in the summer time, say, out by the poolside or in a hot cabana, for in those instances the client may prefer less draping to avoid overheating. However, especially during cold months, you must always drape mindfully, leaving no skin exposed that doesn’t need to be.
Especially with the feet, swaddle those babies up as if they were newly born, and never leave a foot exposed if you’re not working on it. I like to have an extra towel or even better, fleece material to wrap them up in double-layers. Nice and toasty. Nobody will be catching a cold on my table!
Massage Tips N°8
Relaxing spa music, I think, is quite lovely during a massage. However, not everybody is of the same opinion. It’s a good idea to have a selection of chill music from gentle tinkling lullaby-style to calming indian bansuri, bassy zen tracks and even uplifting folk instrumentals. When adding any music to your treatment, remember:
- Always ask the client first if they’d like to listen to some music. You can put it on as you’re setting-up so they get accustomed to it.
- Before selecting your tracks, make sure you have listened to them from start to finish to ensure they are not too repetitive, don’t have any major noise-level variations and are appropriate.
- Before beginning the treatment, ask your client if the volume is ok, or if they would like you to adjust it.
You may encounter a few instances where clients want to play their own music, which is great, because they know just what they like. Don’t be surprised if they go with some interesting choices. My massage professor once told me of a client she had who was a heavy-metal fanatic. That was an interesting treatment to say the least. But hey! It’s whatever works for them. If scream-o music is what helps them to relax, then cater to that.
Massage Tips N°9
- It gives an impression. How do you choose to present yourself?
- If you are comfortable, work will be a better experience. Choose comfort over anything else.
- If your shoes are noisy, for instance, or your shirt is not tucked-in, this could interfere with the treatment by disturbing the client.
A semi-uniformed look gives a relaxed but professional image, though hippy/bohemian-casual is also fitting. It all depends on who you are, where you work and what you find comfortable. As for accessories, you should be wearing absolutely no jewellery that could possibly come into contact with the client at any point. The amount of practitioners I’ve seen who leave their wedding and engagement rings on. Basta! Take them off! That goes for the client too. Respectfully ask them to remove as much jewellery as they can. Sometimes they don’t want to, which is alright, it’s their choice so just work around it.
Massage Tips N°10
Even though some love to believe us Massage Therapists are clairvoyant, we’re really not. I remember one teacher in particular who told us we should be able to “feel” exactly how much pressure the client requires. This is a bit ridiculous and it’s best not to assume. Here’s how to get the pressure right every time:
- Within the first two minutes of starting a massage, after you’ve warmed the area with strokes of effleurage, ask the client if the pressure is okay.
- If you’re presented with a tight muscle, you know it needs some extra TLC, but everybody feels tension differently. Some may want you to use major pressure, while others feel a lot of soreness and will not be able to tolerate much pressure at all.
- If you’re dealing with a new client and you’re unsure of what they can handle, simply ask as you go. Communicate every so often throughout the treatment so you know what feels good to them. The benefit of having return-clients is each time you visit them, the more in-tune you’ll both become.
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