For the most interesting aspects of massage therapy for the therapist is the ongoing evolution of the general public to the idea of massage therapy. In the massage bodywork world it is spoken of almost like you are “dating” your clients. Buy this will mean that clients must get to know us before they ever need us to get a vibe for who we are as professionals in order to consider taking the lead in contacting us. Once the client takes a step to get to the point of contacting us we must then begin to build trust with a potential new client similar to someone getting to know you on a date.
And as many people know part of building a relationship is taking opportunities to earn each others trust. This is something that many professions have to deal with in the healthcare system some are more culturally accepted than others. The criminal element in almost every society has taken advantage of the massage therapy person profession in order to create a cultural code of prostitution. Massage therapy and bodywork has been perhaps one of its greatest victims. Criminals have created a culture in many areas of the world that make people body fall break even with professional massage therapist because of the sexual undertone they haven't planted in the culture. The element of honesty and building trust becomes all the more difficult in our profession so we are constantly looking for ways to build trust and to give people very clear messages that we are very willing to earn their trust for a legitimate healthcare reasons.
There's also a secondary aspect of honesty which is the honesty of doing good professional business that promotes the profession. There is definitely an aspect to some parts of the United States including Minnesota where the laws and regulations regarding the profession are lacking (actually necessary) because self regulation of the industry is very difficult. Simple regulations about the splitting or incentivizing pricing levels and even something as simple as medical record keeping our not yet standardized in Minnesota and several other locations around the United States. There must also be some honesty here as well regarding the marketability of massage therapy as it compares itself to the general marketplace. Mini massage businesses and spice is similar practices to other industries to capture control and disseminate customer information for marketing purposes this can be everything from returning your email addresses to send spam emails to making phone calls to those individuals who have not come in for regular appointments. These practices have gone a long ways towards making the industry look not only intermittent service also intimate and it's ability to market to you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or relentless in some cases. Private therapist like myself take a different approach as a matter fact is considered a marketing point not to contact customers in between appointments and less deemed necessary and not adding them to marking less which would flood their inboxes with spam or feel their mailboxes with crap.
I have taken the view that I treat people the way I would like to be treated and that means that my time and my information is valuable and so I try to practice at in my business as well. Being honest means providing an accurate and fair impression of yourself when people look at your marketing materials including your website. I try to make sure that the information I provide is fair or reasonable and honest if I was looking at that site for the first time or to any other marketing materials that have been given to me or that I was looking for. I also try and do that with pricing policies and appointments and policies as well how would I feel if the business confronted me with an unfair pricing system contract or agreement of which they did not earn my business they contracted my business. It has been my philosophy to offer a simple straightforward approach with many options available that not only show respect for the clients but also for their privacy.
I have talked to a number of consultants about my policies regarding private information and marketability avenues including collecting and using the personal information that is provided to me. I have seen in my years as a therapist that many people supply false information in order to prevent unwanted marketing materials. I can understand his concern if people are willing to take the first step to come in for an appointment or to at least speak with me I hope that they will dish and only provide me fair and honest information with the understanding that when I looked him in the eye and promised them at their information will never be used for marketing purposes that they believe me. Is necessary for me to be honest with the clients to tell them exactly what the information will be used for most often people find to be very simple and transparent and that is to keep them well and should I need to contact them for any reason reasonable.
So how can I earn the trust of someone who may not necessarily trust me upon their first contact with me in a way that is professional and ethical. I try and ask every client to be very honest with me to provide feedback throughout their session and even after their session so that I can perform a service better for them. There is a colloquialism here in Minnesota that really is not productive and that is to not be honest in order to not hurt someone's feelings. Even if they are just fed it to satisfied with their service and many times avoid confrontation simply by not being honest about their thoughts about their services. I believe it to be absolutely essential that people remember they are paying for a service for my qualified professional and in doing so their feedback honest feedback is absolutely necessary it would be no different than going to a medical doctor.
I honestly believe in that regard burning someone's business comes from getting the honest feedback and then showing people your understanding and listen to them by doing what they are asking if it all possible. This is where it gets interesting in that new therapist think that they are to follow the body and what it wants and not to be concerned with the demands of the client prior to the start of the session in other words what they tell you about their concerns you ignore them and follow the body. This I believe is a tremendous mistake on the part of the therapists someone is paying for service if you need to stay in an area of the body longer or use a little bit different method than what you had previously discussed it as an opportunity to educate the client and let them make a decision there for building trust. Too often over the years I've been a therapist if I heard people say that they asked for focus in an area or a particular type of massage and that is not what they received and after hearing the description of what it was and what happen I can tell you that the therapist was inclined not to explain themselves not to educate and just to expect the clients to listen to them and trust them implicitly because they got on the table. Customer service 101 is to listen understand and take action and then I believe it is one of the greatest tools I have in order to make the best session possible.
I would consider this one of the most insightful entries I have ever made and faraway one of the most revealing about the industry itself. Whether it is your first session or your 500 your honesty matters and if you have someone it was a trained professional they should listen to you and if they don't call them out on it or go on another “date” with someone else because maybe you might find out that another professional therapist could be the right one for you.