Why Proper Communication is of Paramount Importance When Working With a Client


Like most professions, communication is key in either co-worker or client relations. Massage therapy is one which is not exempt.


As most all massage therapists will suggest, the art of massage is not just about relaxation and inducing a feeling of zen. It’s about rectifying issues the client faces in muscle and joint soreness. Communication is an art as well, and mastering it will ensure clients return for more.


“Imagine you are in the middle of a massage session. The music is soft, the light is low, your client is breathing peacefully, and suddenly she says, ‘My doctor says I have blood clots in my legs, but it’s OK—he says I should get massage to improve my circulation’; or, ‘Oh yeah, I have a new rash I meant to ask you about. What do you think it is?’ These types of comments reflect the fact massage isn’t just for healthy people anymore,” writes Ruth Werner, who is a retired massage therapist and author of A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology and Disease Handbook for Massage Therapists.


Werner’s Three-Step Conversation Tactic For Proper Client Communication


1. States the observation


“Since your accident, you have some numbness in your foot. You don’t remember if your doctor has given you any information about this.”


2. States concern


“I am concerned about this, because massaging a numb area could cause damage you wouldn’t even know about until later. And without knowing what’s causing the numbness, it’s just not safe for me to work deeply here.”


3. States the choices


“For this session, I’m going to very gently include your foot in the massage, and before you come see me again, please get some information from your doctor about what’s going on. Then, next time, I can give you a massage that might make some real differences for you.”


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