BEFORE THE CLIENT ARRIVES
1. Most massages are scheduled over the phone.
2. Ask for a phone number when a first time client calls and schedules an appointment.
3. Call the client at home if he/she is 15 minutes late.
4. Ask a first time client to come 10-15 minutes early to fill out a health form.
5. Arrive at least 30-60 minutes before first appointment.
6. Be aware of why the client is seeking massage.
7. Does the answering machine cut their calls off?
8. Have caller I.D.
9. If you have a receptionist, they have to be kept up to date as to your schedule, etc.
10. Return all calls within a few hours.
11. Calls should never go unanswered over night.
12. Make sure you have time in your schedule to return calls.
13. Be prepared to describe your service: what type of work do you do, what are your fees, what is your cancellation policy?
14. Start an information card on the client so you can have some information on them when
they come in for their appointment, what are they contacting you about, what is their physical complaint, who referred them?
15. Take your change out of you pockets before you start a massage.
16. Take off your jewelry from your fingers and wrists before the client arrives.
17. Set-up a regular treatment time for repeat customers example> save 2:00 on Thurs for them exclusively.
18. If you are not on time, you don’t get paid and you could loose that client.
19. Answer the phone in a professional manner.
20. What is your attitude today?
21. If you smoke, do it at least one hour before you give a massage.
22. Supply yourself with a variety of bolsters, pillows and towels so you're ready for anything.
23. Give the client a 24-hour notice if you are going to cancel and ask the client to also give you a 24-hour notice if they need to cancel or change their appointment.
24. Schedule at least 15-30 minutes in between massages.
25. Be aware of how you breath and body smells (onion and garlic are a therapists worst friend).
26. Don’t use perfume or any scents on your body.
27. Check your appearance.
28. Check the temperature of the room at least 30 minutes before the first client arrives, between 68 to 75 degrees is average.
29. Dress professional, but not too professional.
30. Have an extra set of clothes, incase you get oil stains on your clothes.
31. Don’t wear cloths that make noise when you move.
32. Check and see if you have enough supplies before you start the day.
33. Cut, clean and trim your nails daily.
34. Wash your hands before and after each client.
35. Smell your oil from time to time they can go bad.
36. Have your place of business clean and clear from clutter.
37. If you have to cancel an appointment after 24-hour notice, give them a discount the next time they come in or give it to them free.
38. Some places only reserve appointments with a credit card, then you can charge them if they don’t show up.
39. Use about 300 IU’s of vitamin E per pint of oil to make your massage oils last longer.
40. Clean and check your equipment daily.
41. You might have to call certain clients if they have a habit of being late or forgetting.
42. Use a pencil when taking appointments, because some will cancel and then you can erase and have the spot open for another client.
43. Put your hair up, if you have long hair.
44. Be aware of first impressions, and how you come across.
45. Keep pillows and blankets close by your table.
46. Introduce yourself when new clients arrive for their appointments with a firm, friendly handshake.
ARRIVAL OF THE CLIENT
47. Inform them that you are their massage therapist.
48. Ask the client what name they would prefer to be called.
49. Have the client fill out a health form and go over it with the client before you start the massage.
50. Spend at least 5-10 minutes going over the health form with a new client
51. Do you listen closely to their concerns/ health intake answers?
52. Take notes on what they are telling you.
53. Ask the client if he/she wants to use the restroom before they get undressed.
54. What is the clients current stress level?
55. Warm your hands up before giving a massage.
56. Ask the client if they bruise easy.
57. What are the reasons you are getting a massage?
58. Stretch before and after a massage.
59. Tell the first time client what a full-body massage entails and even if they had massages before, it might be different than the full body massage you give.
60. Ask the client if they have any current physical conditions?
61. Respect the areas that the client doesn’t want you to work.
62. Ask the client to undress to their comfort level and to get under the sheets, also if they leave their bra on, ask them if it’s o.k. To un-hook the bra and hook it back up when you move to another area.
63. Give the client a place to put their jewelry and clothes.
64. Put up a shield when you have a negative client.
65. Be careful of scents; let the client smell the oils first.
66. Ask the client what kind oil they want you to use.
67. Ask your client if he/she wants to use the bathroom before you start the massage.
68. Turn off the ringer if you are the only one there.
69. After the client filled out the health form, ask more questions, there is usually more to the story.
70. You have the right to refuse a client (but keep a record of it on file).
71. The client has the right to refuse a massage from you.
72. Ask them if they want to start face up or face down.
73. Give the client what he/she wants, not what you think is best for the client.
74. Ask the client what areas do you want me to concentrate on.
75. What happened since your last massage (If they ever had one)?
76. If you think the client shouldn’t receive a massage, ask for a written o.k. from their doctor.
77. If they have an injury, ask them how they got it.
78. Ask the client about their body mechanics.
79. About how long of time do you want me to spend for each area you want massaged?
80. Always knock and ask if they are ready before you go into your massage room.
81. Avoid massage immediately after the client has eaten a meal.
82. Have the client sign a client’s bill of rights and keep it in their file.
83. If a health professional says one thing, don’t contradict their statement.
84. If a client has a disease and you don’t know what it is, ask them (They are the expert).
85. Adjust your table height, it depends on the size of the client and what kind of massage you are doing.
86. If a client comes in again, always ask them how they did after their last massage with you.
87. Don’t tell the client all the hours you have free, ask them what time works out better for them.
88. Play only relaxing music, unless you and the client are the only one’s there and then you can give the client the option on what they would like to hear.
89. Songs containing lyrics about lovemaking or instrumental music that sounds seductive will give mixed messages about the intention of your massage session, and about massage, in general.
90. Your body language speaks louder than words.
91. Check to make sure your room is clean while the client is filling out the health form.
92. Explain where to place their head.
93. What type of massage do you want (explain each style)?
94. One way to begin any session consists of taking a few seconds to take inventory of your whole self.
95. Assume nothing, and expect clients to assume nothing, especially if they are new to
massage and/or to you.
96. Refrain from commenting about matters such as weight gain or loss, attractiveness, beauty, and other appearance issues, especially when the client is on the table.
97. Don’t count the time they are filling out the health form, dressing and undressing in the time they paid for.
98. When a client comes in for a ½ hour massage, offer to massage the back and another area of the body.
99. Have the client sign an informed consent.
100. Measure the table height with your palm, knuckles and fingers.
101. *If you have a larger client, lower the table.
102. *If you are going to perform a deep-tissue massage, lower the table.
103. *If you are going to give a relaxing massage, raise the table.
104. *If you have a smaller client, raise the table.
105. Ask the client these questions…
Location-where is the pain
Intensity-on a scale of 1-10 how bad is the pain (10 being the worst)
Duration-how long does the pain last
Frequency-how often does the pain come
Onset-how does the pain start
What aggravates it-at home, work, play, sitting or standing ect.
What are your symptoms
Relieving-what helps the symptoms
DURING THE TREATMENT
106. To test essential oils, place a little in their auxiliary area and wait a minute.
107. Touch the client with the sheet on, so they can get use to your touch.
108. If a client has contacts, don’t massage around the eyes.
109. Look for any open cuts before you start.
110. Let the client know about bruises, moles or any other thing that isn’t supposed to be on their body.
111. Never comment about a client’s body size or any tattoos.
112. Try not to use any oil on the client’s face.
113. If you start hurting during a massage, stretch that area of un-comfort (you can still do this while giving a massage).
114. Bolster under knees when supine and under ankles when prone.
115. Don't over massage an area.
116. Avoid heavy, rapid, or jarring movements that might convey a fear of injury to the client.
117. Never do heavy stroking against the flow of the venous blood supply.
118. If the client is obese, it may be necessary to apply massage with more strength, but not to the point of discomfort.
119. Only massage a muscle that is relaxed.
120. Do not over or under lubricate the client.
121. Massage on the opposite side that you're working on when your doing friction.
122. Never apply massage so vigorously as to cause fatigue in the client.
123. Guys can have an erection on the table, but if they do more to it, stop the session.
124. Not everyone wants a face massage.
125. Massage is an art as well as a science.
126. The client is your canvas and you are the artist.
127. Come to a point between normal and fast, then between normal and slow for giving deep-tissue.
128. If someone comes in with hairy back, arms or legs, use more oil so you don’t rip their hair out.
129. Release can come about in many ways: shaking, moving, yawning, sighing, crying, groan, yelling, and screaming.
130. During the massage, verbally inform the client when you are moving to more vulnerable areas, such as the anterior neck, medial thigh and abdomen.
131. If nothing feels good to the client with hairy arms, legs, back & chest; massage with the grain of the hair.
132. Always make sure the lotion or oil is warm before you place it on the client.
133. If a guy has a 5 o’clock shadow, use more circular friction on the face.
134. Notice how the skin feels.
135. Inform the client when your work gets deeper, and check in to see if it is tolerable.
136. Inform the client five minutes before the massage is to end, and ask them if they would like you to move your focus to an area that may need more attention (within reason).
137. Be sure to tell them that they are in control of the session and that their feedback is important to the session.
138. Be present at all times for the client (Try not to think about anything else during the treatment).
139. Learn to turn your thoughts off and listen to the client’s words and body.
140. Verbally inform the client when you are about to rest your own body on the table.
141. Don't surprise the client with a sudden touch.
142. Perform tapotement only after explaining what it is and obtaining the client's permission.
143. Some clients will state, “You can go as deep as you like, you won’t hurt me” (Don’t believe the hype).
144. Try to simulate the massage techniques the same on each side of the body
145. Work general to specific and then back to general area.
146. Take out the bolster before you have the client turn and put it back once the client is comfortable.
147. Use proper draping techniques.
148. The clients pulse, respirations & blood pressure are decreased during the massage.
149. The client might get colder because of the body slowing down have extra blankets in room for warmth.
150. Have a fan in the room if you get too hot (But have it directed straight).
151. Wear loose natural fiber clothes so you don’t sweat as much.
152. Have a rhythm with your massage.
153. Conform your hands to the client’s body.
154. Invent your own techniques.
155. Wash your hands if you are going from their feet to their face.
156. Use a technique at least 3 times in a row.
157. Try to keep both of your hands on the client most of the time.
158. Only talk if the client wants to talk if they are quiet doesn’t initiate a conversation.
159. Have the client use a pain scale when using deep tissue techniques.
160. Watch the client’s body and breathing pattern, because it might be too deep if they tense up or hold their breath.
161. Use caution when using your elbows, they are lethal weapons.
162. If you are going to go over the scheduled time, let the client know and don’t charge them anything more, unless they ask for more time.
163. Never talk about other client’s to your client.
164. Don’t chew gum while with a client.
165. Don’t be a counselor.
166. Don’t diagnosis.
167. Don’t intentionally inflict pain.
168. Never have your breath hit the client.
169. Know your muscles, your clients will ask every now and then.
170. Muscles hold memories.
171. Keep your role as a massage therapist when giving a massage, not the role of a friend.
172. Don’t do things above your qualifications.
173. Don’t put your oil bottle on the table or on the floor, only under the table or on a shelf or use a holster.
174. Check into the speed of your massage.
175. It might be just right, but maybe you’re moving on cruise control: just one steady (yawn) speed, perhaps you’re so fast the person may have trouble remembering which finger or foot you just sailed across.
176. Ask for regular feedback from your clients, especially for new clients.
177. Don’t have the massage room totally dark.
178. Massage toward the heart to improve blood circulation and lymph return if possible.
179. In general, massage an area includes; from light to deeper to light.
180. Have the client breathe into the painful area
181. Massage muscles thoroughly: belly of the muscle, origin, tendons & insertion.
182. You can feel the muscles better with your eyes shut.
183. Some clients can tell what kind of mood you are in just by the way your hands feel on them.
184. Ask permission if you need to sit on the table for some techniques.
185. If the client wears underwear during the treatment, never massage under the underwear.
186. Be careful of using candles, you could forget to blow them out when you are finished.
187. Hot packs are for relieving chronic pain, period, cramps etc.
188. Cold packs are for reducing swelling, sprains and headaches.
189. Watch your body language.
190. Use different techniques.
191. Only use Tiger balm or Bio freeze after the treatment and wear gloves to put it on the client.
192. Be aware of the areas that you shouldn’t use deep pressure.
193. Try not to neglect any body part.
194. If you accidentally touch something that you aren’t suppose to, act like nothing happened unless they notice it.
195. If you tell the client to let you know if it’s too painful, they usually won’t.
196. Try not to go under the sheet.
197. Try to use your Fingers, thumb, palm, heel of your palm, knuckle, forearm & elbows as much as possible.
198. Don’t use just a few types of strokes (like effleurage), you will get in a habit of it.
199. Use your hands, fingers, palm, shoulder & quads to support a limb.
200. Tell them to call if they have any questions about anything - the treatment, how they felt that night, how they feel the day after.
AFTER THE TREATMENT
201. Call the client the next day or two and ask for specific feedback regarding the treatment (only if you get their permission).
202. Let the client relax after the massage for a few minutes.
203. Don’t take it personal if a client doesn’t come back or schedule another appointment.
204. Chart when the client is dressing.
205. Greet the client after he/she comes out of the room.
206. Explain to the client that they might be sore for a day or two and that’s common with deep tissue.
207. You are a mandated reporter, if a client wants to harm him self or her self, other people or committed a crime; you have to report it to the proper authorities.
208. Tell the client to drink a lot of water after the massage, clients can also get sick after a massage because all the toxins are broken up and that is why water is a very good idea.
209. Change your sheets every time.
210. When you are ready to remove the sheets, roll the sheets up in a ball (because there might be something that you don’t want to touch on the sheets).
211. Don’t let a pile of dirty sheets sit around.
212. Tell the client to get up slow after the massage.
213. Wash your sheets as soon as you are done using them.
214. Smell the sheets after they are done drying, if they still smell like oil, wash them again.
215. Sometimes a client will feel worse after a massage; sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.
216. Collect the money.
217. Ask the client if they want to schedule another appointment.
218. Recommend stretches (not more than 3 because they will forget).
219. Try not to schedule your clients more than a month in advance; you would have to send reminder cards a week before the appointment (just like a dentist).
220. When a client tells you that they will come back on a regular basis (but they don’t set up an appointment at that time), I’d be rich if they kept their promise.
221. Check if the client forgot anything before they leave.
222. Clean your table and put clean sheets on.
223. Check when your next appointment is coming.
224. Check the answering machine and return all calls.
225. If it’s not written, it didn’t happen.
226. Your memory is limited, so chart after each massage.
227. Keep up with the current codes for billing insurance company’s, because they can and will change.
228. Things you can recommend for the client to do (stretching, exercise, ice/heat packs, change in diet) try alternatives to pain medication (ice /heat packs).
229. Write the appointment on the back of your business card, it’s easier for them to remember when their appointment is and it fills your schedule.
230. If the client complains that you gave them a bruise, ask how their hemoglobin level is, if it’s low, which means that they are more likely to bruise.