When you think about your sessions, does the “therapeutic” part end when the client gets off the table?
The therapeutic part of your session starts with the intake, not when you put your hands on the client. The intake is where you begin interacting with the client as your therapeutic professional self. Asking questions, gaining clarity, and most importantly planning the session. What, therapeutically, are you going to do to help the client achieve their goals today?
The hands-on part of the session is an education for you and the client about what the body can do and will accept.
Then we get to the end of the therapeutic session — after they get off the table — where you talk with the client about what you learned in the session from their body, how they experienced your professional therapeutic work, and where the client goes from here. Depending on the goals they came in with and what *they* learned about their body during the session, that can play out several ways:
* Goals met, no more sessions
* Goals met, self-care / homework suggested
* Goals met and client would like to do this again. Offer to book session today as a convenience so client doesn’t have to remember it when they get home
* Discovering that the goals can’t be met in one session, discuss how to move forward with more massage sessions. Offer, as a convenience, to book those sessions today to ensure the client gets what they need when they need it
* Discovering goals can’t be met by you, refer to another practitioner (MT, chiro, PT, dentist, MD, etc.)
Notice that in NONE OF THESE did I suggest that “MT realizes they could make more money off this client so they push re-booking”. Because re-booking, when done professionally and from within a therapeutic relationship, isn’t about you making more $$$$$$. It’s about you doing what you’ve been doing since they walked in the door — giving them your best professional attention and advice, which may include more sessions to achieve their therapeutic goals OR as an act of hospitality.
QUIT talking about re-booking as an activity focused on your profits. QUIT thinking about it as a way to grow your income. HONOR it as the necessary wrap-up of your professional therapeutic responsibilities to your client and as an act of hospitality-based customer service.