One of the biggest fears I am continually hearing Massage Therapists voice is the fear of losing their massage patients. Most therapists tell me that they can’t seem to retain their patients for longer than one or two massages and they see this as the reason that their massage practice never seems to flourish.
They’re right! Getting massage patients to return again and again and again is one of the biggest keys in building a thriving practice yet most Massage Therapists don’t know how to do this. Why? Well first off it’s not your fault. Massage school focuses on the techniques that you need to be capable of physically helping everyone that enters your practice but it usually never addresses how to keep them coming back after they ‘feel’ better.
Most massage patients come to you when they are feeling sore, achy, and stressed out. They know you can help them with that and you certainly can and do. What they don’t understand is that after you’ve relieved them of their symptoms, they STILL need you.
You see, most people who get a massage from you are looking for immediate relief and they think that once they ‘feel’ better that everything is back to normal. They haven’t been educated on the REAL benefits of massage therapy. These benefits are possibly one of the world’s best-kept secrets. It is not good for you, your patients or Massage Therapy as a profession.
Your job is not only to give your patients the magic of your touch, but it is also to educate them about the health benefits that they are receiving every time they get a massage. You need to be an expert in your field and inform every one of your massage patients every time they see you.
When you educate your massage patients, you are showing them why your services are so much more than a ‘feel good’ event. You are elevating your status as an expert in your field, and you’re promoting not only your massage practice but massage therapy as a profession. You explain how to use massage equipment such as massage chairs and how to tell the difference between Japanese massage chairs and one that made in China. All of these things can help launch your massage therapy practice to the next level which means higher satisfaction from your therapy patients and a bigger bank account for you.
There are many things that massage therapy does for your patients but to get you started and fuel your patient education mindset here are just eight of those benefits off the top of my head:
- Massage Therapy is known to help move the body’s lymph fluid which in return detoxifies the body. The lymph system is a stagnant one, and it needs the motion to help move it out of the body. Exercise is one way to do that, but Massage Therapy is an excellent way to help it along.
- Massage Therapy increases oxygen levels and helps the body heal itself. As you massage a patient, you are improving the body’s blood flow, and in return, you are raising their oxygen levels, improving their energy, and helping their body to heal.
- Massage Therapy provides relief for sore, achy muscles. By massaging the body, you are helping the body to release tenseness caused by stress, overuse, injury, and intense exercise.
- Massage Therapy lowers blood pressure. The mere action of massaging someone produces a relaxation response that signals the body to slow down and rest. This little ‘feel good’ experience will lower your patient’s blood pressure making them healthier than when they walked through your door.
- Massage Therapy stimulates the body’s immune system. By getting your patient’s blood flowing, raising their oxygen levels, helping their lymph system to detoxify and lowering their blood pressure among other things you are signally the immune system to be able to be it’s absolute best.
- Massage Therapy relieves anxiety, stress, and pain. I don’t think I need to say any more about that.
- Massage Therapy reduces withdrawal symptoms for people trying to quit smoking. When people are relaxed and feeling good like when they get a massage from you, it makes it much easier to stick with their convictions to quit. Also, the reactions produced in the body by getting a massage releases ‘feel good’ chemicals that help relieve the anxiety and stress caused by withdrawal symptoms.
- Massage Therapy increases self-esteem. When your patients get a massage from you, they feel cared for, and that feeling transmits to higher self-esteem for themselves. You can check this out from Mayo Clinic.
And these are just a few of the benefits that your massage has on your patients. But here’s the problem, most people ‘treat themselves to a massage’. That’s usually the exact words I hear them say ‘One day I’ll treat myself to a massage.’ They think of getting a massage as a treat and something that you do on vacations as part of a ‘luxury’ that they give to themselves. It is why they don’t come back to you again and again. It’s not that they don’t enjoy your massage. It’s that they think it’s something that they treat themselves to not something that their body needs.
The sad fact is that your patients don’t know all the great stuff that massage does for their body and their overall health. They don’t know that it’s something that they should regularly do just like exercising and eating right. They don’t know these things because nobody ever told them – so they feel like they couldn’t possibly ‘treat’ themselves to regular massages.
It’s not just as simple as telling them all the facts though. If you spend the hour talking about all the benefits of massage, you will bore yourself and your patients, and they still won’t come back. That’s because they don’t need the education you got in school, they need to be educated on an emotional level. That’s an entirely different skill that I’ll cover in another post, but most massage patients are not being taught that way. As a result, they don’t become regular patients. It’s that simple. The frustrated therapists try to fix it by talking more about the benefits of massage or worse; they start selling products because they don’t think people want regular massages.
You can change all that because you are the massage expert in your community and every time your patients get a massage from you they are getting healthier and stronger as well. Learn the skills to educate them on an emotional level about what you’re doing for their health.
When you start educating your patients this way you’ll start seeing them make the time and effort to get regular massages from you. They’ll also pay, plus refer in friends and family. All of this translates to you having a thriving Massage Therapy practice that not only takes care of the people in your community but also takes care of you and your family.