30/04/2021 by Michael Fink, CMT
The Importance of Client Feedback
If you’re reading this, chances are you know the value of a truly great massage. Especially on hard days or during periods of stress or pain, we all look forward to the physical and emotional benefits you can get from a massage.
But what can you do if your massage isn’t quite cutting it? When your massage is “fine,” but just not what you’re needing?
You might feel like you’ve been shortchanged the relief you were hoping to find, whether that be because you’re eliminating stress, treating symptoms of chronic pain, or letting go of physical stiffness or pain.
Or: what if your massage is absolutely fantastic, and you’d love for every session to be just as helpful in alleviating your aches, pains, and woes?
Perhaps you’re a runner, and a certain technique is really relieving the tension in your IT band. Isn’t that just as important to share with your massage therapist so they can continue to implement that into future massages?
I can’t stress enough how important your feedback as a client can be in order to deliver you a stellar massage every time. I never want to let a session go by without you feeling like you’ve gotten the massage you need and deserve. And the best way to get that perfect massage? Communication and feedback!
By now you’ve probably noticed that during your massage I check in with you from time to time about all sorts of different things: the temperature of the room, the pressure I’m using, how you are feeling.
This is because I want to know what’s working for you and what isn’t. It’s my way of opening up the line of communication so you can share what you need. So if something feels great? I’d love to know!
Learning what works for you helps me figure out exactly what your preferences are. The more communicative you are with me about what works best for your body in a session, the easier it is for me to personalize a massage to your needs and preferences.
So when you share with me the things you like about your massage session? I know to continue to implement those techniques and provide you with the kind of massage you’re seeking.
Just like I want to know what feels great, I also want you to feel safe sharing what I can do better. What’s right for some people isn’t right for everyone. We all have different opinions, preferences, and feelings, and that’s what makes us unique individuals.
And your feedback is the best way for me to discover if there are things you didn’t like so that moving forward, we can figure out together how to arrive at your perfect massage.
You are not going to hurt my feelings! In the same way that sharing what you like helps me focus your massage towards the things that work for your body, sharing what doesn’t feel comfortable to you gives me more information about what is best for you.
How You Can Help
So what’s the best way to open up the line of communication with me, so you get the best massage for you? I want you to share.
Don’t assume I always know best: You know your own body better than anyone else, so if something is uncomfortable, tell me! While I am a trained professional, you are the foremost expert on your body and what feels right and what doesn’t.
Yes, I know how to find specific tight or sore areas, and I know numerous techniques to release tension in those areas. But what I don’t know is exactly how you are feeling on the table.So trust yourself as the expert you are on how you are feeling, and know that it’s safe to communicate those thoughts with me!
When to Share
Start before you get on the table: You don’t have to wait until you are on the table to tell me what you need. During the first few moments of our time together, and on your intake form, you can tell me how you’re feeling.
That lets me know where I should focus my work that day and how best to treat you. Maybe you’re sore from a long run the day before, or maybe you’re experiencing a flare-up of chronic pain. Let me know right away, and keep the communication flowing during the massage too.
Say something right away: If you’re not happy about how the massage is going, you don’t have to wait to see if things improve. No massage therapist worth their weight in salt will be offended if you ask for more pressure or less pressure, or for something else to change. In fact, we love it!
I got into the business of massage therapy to help make people’s lives better. I want to know right away if something is bothering you, because relieving pain and releasing stress is my life’s work!
Be specific: We’re a team. The more specific you are with me, the easier it is for me to figure out what you’re looking for and provide exactly the massage you’ve been wanting.
Maybe you want me to use a little more pressure or a little less pressure. You can always say something like, “Can you deepen the pressure one or two notches? That feels better, but you can still drop one notch deeper? That’s great!”
This lets me know exactly what you are wanting - from wanting more pressure to the exact amount, and then when things feel just right.
The bottom line? I want your feedback, so I can provide you with the best possible massage, every single time. After all, my objective is always to make you feel as well as possible.
It’s why you’re seeking a massage, and it’s why I went into the massage therapy business in the first place!! Massage can be a major pillar of your wellness plan if you and I have a clear, open, and honest line of communication.