How to Properly Set the Tone for Massage Sessions

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So, how do you start your massage session?  Not your intake, but the part of the massage where you’re actually making contact with the client’s body.  A lot of great therapists will come back into the massage room, walk right up to the table, and just begin their routine.  They might start with effleurage, the nice relaxing gliding technique.  Or, they might start with something called petrissage, the kneading technique.

As wonderful ...

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Music in the Massage Room

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Now, we all know massage, itself, calms the nervous system through the power of our tactile sense, the sense of touch. Many massage therapists also use aromatherapy, applying or diffusing essential oils, because smell can be another way to help shift somebody into a healthier state. But what about sound? Music involves yet another sense, the auditory sense. It’s important to know that while, for some of us, it’s just ...

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How to Approach the Impatient Massage Client

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Clients come to us in all kinds of states, and that can lead to not just potentially awkward situations, but sincere opportunities for you, as a massage therapist, to earn deeper trust from your clients by showing professional empathy and concern while maintaining a responsive, high level of care.  Impatience on the part of the client is one such chance. You know what I mean: while you’re asking them ...

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Boney landmarks can be the most delicious part of a massage

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Massage is for more than just the muscles. The skin, the fascia, and the lymphatic system are all affected, as well. Even the “boney landmarks” of the body—the knees, elbows, and the little knobs around the ankles benefit from, and can contribute to, a satisfying and relaxing massage experience. During a recent massage session, the therapist was working along the muscles of my lower leg. ...

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Dealing with Negative Massage Clients

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Have you ever had a client who walks into the massage room with you and won’t even look up? They’re like a dark, stormy cloud. You can tell that something’s going on, but you don’t know what it is. Maybe they’re upset. Maybe they’re mad. Maybe they’re mad at someone else. Maybe they’re mad at you.

So, what do you do?  It can be tempting to try to ignore that dark cloud, ...

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To glute or not to glute… that is the question

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Body modesty is always an issue, given that our clients quite literally bare all when they are in our care.  This can lead to a question for some therapists around the matter of whether a typical massage session should include work on the glutes (a.k.a. the muscles of your hiney).’

This group, which includes Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, and Gluteus Minimus, are actually some of the hardest-working muscles in the body. ...

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Drama Queen Massage Clients

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We all need to be listened to, but sometimes, that need can actually obscure communications. Take care not to be misled when a client gets carried away responding to your intake questions. Massage sessions typically begin with a question from the therapist to the client along the lines of “What would you like to work on today?” or “What brings you in today?” or one of my favorites, “Are ...

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Communicating With Massage Clients About Myofascial Release

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Unique and specific techniques, like myofascial release, can greatly enhance the therapeutic benefit of your work on your clients, but when using them, it’s important to consider, and appropriately set, the client’s expectations for the session. Myofascial release is a wonderful way to create space for muscles to relax. Tension in muscles can sometimes be caused by the layer of membrane, called fascia, that surrounds the muscle group, which can be adhesed ...

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Finding the Right Massage Speed

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We’ve all heard from clients the occasional horror stories of their having been “brutalized” in a session with another massage therapist in which techniques were used that were so deep as to be painful and leave them bruised. Some of us may have even experienced that type of massage ourselves. How does that happen?

While clients do have different levels of sensitivity to pressure and it’s always important to check in ...

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Don’t Let Your Massage Techniques Go Stale

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I’ve noticed a ‘narrowing syndrome’ that sometimes develops among experienced massage therapists. When you first go to massage school, you learn all sorts of techniques which are new and exciting, and you try them all on your clients. Then, as you practice and become increasingly more confident, you find that a certain set of techniques emerge as your favorites. You develop a level of comfort and expertise with them, and you ...

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