Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

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Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby pear2apple on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:24 pm

Hi
About 4 weeks ago I got my first job as a therapist, at a place that has received mixed attentions on this forum. On Tuesday I was let go from said job. Now I would like to poll all of you on areas that may or may not have caused me some issues, and get all of your feedback. Please let me know if you are a client or therapist in your response. Thank you.

Therapists:
1. How much talk and what kind of talk, do you engage your client in before and after the massage? Would you say you ask the client anything beyond "how are you?" Do you keep the pre/post massage talk extremely formal and professional, or do you at times delve into personal topics such as home life or weekend plans?

2. During the massage, do you talk? Do you ask questions NOT pertaining to the therapy or relaxation you are giving? Do you start the chatter or do you wait for the client to speak and judging by what the say, decide yes, they want a conversation? And if you decide they don't want a conversation, how do you proceed?

3. If someone asks for more pressure, and lets say you're giving all you got, whats your response? How do clients take it? Are they disappointed? Do you never see them again? Have you gotten complaints over it?

4. Have you ever asked a client for constructive criticism to the type of massage you are giving? Or would that be considered odd or unprofessional?

5. When it comes to draping, do you "diaper" the client? And what do you do when clients refuse to spread their legs even an inch? Do you spread their ankles for them?

6. What is your response when a client says a certain muscle hurts, and you don't know how to help it feel better?


Clients:
1. Pre-massage, do you prefer the therapist to ask you questions that are not related to the massage you are about to receive? Beyond "how are you", how do you feel about being asked your plans for the day or say if you're going out to eat at a nearby restaurant?

2. Post-massage, what do you want to hear from the therapist? Suggestions for when you should return? Ideas to help yourself at home?

3. During the massage, do you prefer the therapist to chatter away whether or not you have started the conversation? If you are there mainly for relaxation, do you WANT to be talked to? Or do you prefer a quiet environment?

4. If you want to talk during the massage, do you want questions about your life or do you prefer to start the Q&A and I'll just answer and follow suit?

5. During the massage, do you like to receive stretches to the neck, knees, legs, etc? And would you like to be informed of this before the therapist performs it?


OK, I think thats it. Thanks for any and all feedback!
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby JasonE on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:36 pm

I am sometimes an MT, and sometimes a client. My answers are below your questions.

pear2apple wrote:Hi
About 4 weeks ago I got my first job as a therapist, at a place that has received mixed attentions on this forum. On Tuesday I was let go from said job. Now I would like to poll all of you on areas that may or may not have caused me some issues, and get all of your feedback. Please let me know if you are a client or therapist in your response. Thank you.

Therapists:
1. How much talk and what kind of talk, do you engage your client in before and after the massage? Would you say you ask the client anything beyond "how are you?" Do you keep the pre/post massage talk extremely formal and professional, or do you at times delve into personal topics such as home life or weekend plans?
For new clients, I do a very thorough intake, which sometimes gets into personal stuff. For returning clients, I always do an intake, but sometimes it is a little abbreviated. If a client has previously shared something personal with me (a vacation or special event or whatever), I may ask a question about it so they know I remember. I do this because I like my clients and that's one of the ways I show I care. To me, a thorough intake often requires 10-15 minutes, sometimes more.

2. During the massage, do you talk? Do you ask questions NOT pertaining to the therapy or relaxation you are giving? Do you start the chatter or do you wait for the client to speak and judging by what the say, decide yes, they want a conversation? And if you decide they don't want a conversation, how do you proceed?
This depends on the client. I always let clients take the lead... if they become quiet, I shut up and just check in now and then as appropriate. If their eyes stay open, I might check in more frequently. Sometimes I ask an innocuous question expecting a one-word response, and the client opens up to share a long, detailed personal story with me. Some clients just like to chatter throughout the session, so I keep up my end of the conversation. If I want them to settle down and be quiet, I have some ways to make this happen.

3. If someone asks for more pressure, and lets say you're giving all you got, whats your response? How do clients take it? Are they disappointed? Do you never see them again? Have you gotten complaints over it?
The error is in how you have set expectations with the client about the session prior to starting the massage. If you don't know their preferences, you should have learned that by talking to them. If they expect bone-deep and painful, you need to address that before they get on the table. I can do bone-deep, but I dislike it because I don't think it works half as well, so I educate clients BEFORE the massage that I will proceed cautiously and use techniques and pressure in a less-painful way that still gets "deep" results. This setting of expectations has prevented MANY complaints, and I have won many converts to my less-painful-but-still-effective approach. Until I learned to set their expectations prior to the massage, I had disappointed clients, complaints, and all the other preventable fallout that results from not doing a decent intake.

4. Have you ever asked a client for constructive criticism to the type of massage you are giving? Or would that be considered odd or unprofessional?
I have learned a trick from my partner Kelly - she always asks if there is something that client has experienced in massages that they don't like. I am developing this habit, and it's illuminating. It has prevented me from irritating many people, and I record their responses in their permanent file so I don't have to ask again in the future. I often tell clients that they can't hurt my feelings, and that I want them to tell me about pain or if something is bugging them. This occasionally results in feedback that helps me adjust a session to be much more effective for them. I consider it unprofessional to NOT seek feedback from one's clients.

5. When it comes to draping, do you "diaper" the client? And what do you do when clients refuse to spread their legs even an inch? Do you spread their ankles for them? I don't use diaper draping very often, but it works well enough. In general, most of my clients prefer to have just one leg exposed at a time. Very few clients have a problem with me moving their leg if I do it professionally and confidently. If they are very rigid, I can fold back the blanket and slide just the sheet under their ankle, then up to their thigh. At no time will I engage in tug-of-war with a client's limb. If necessary, I can work through the sheet and still get good results.

6. What is your response when a client says a certain muscle hurts, and you don't know how to help it feel better?
I record the information and do the best I can with what I know. The source of the problem is rarely located at the site where they feel their pain. If they are complaining about "knots in my rhomboids", I know that 99% of the time I will need to work their pecs to resolve the problem. After the session, I look up the anatomy, study the condition, consider alternate explanations for what they were feeling, think about what I would differently next time, etc. Every year I feel embarassed about how little I knew last year. If you are studying and learning, you will too.

Clients:
1. Pre-massage, do you prefer the therapist to ask you questions that are not related to the massage you are about to receive? Beyond "how are you", how do you feel about being asked your plans for the day or say if you're going out to eat at a nearby restaurant?
I don't mind a therapist being friendly and showing interest in me as a person, but the massage part of our conversation better be longer and much more detailed than our restaurant conversation.

2. Post-massage, what do you want to hear from the therapist? Suggestions for when you should return? Ideas to help yourself at home?
I want my MT to tell me something about my tissue response(s) to the work, how I might be able to improve upon it, and their recommendations about followup care. If they don't give me any concrete suggestions besides "Drink lots of water!", they have lost me.

3. During the massage, do you prefer the therapist to chatter away whether or not you have started the conversation? If you are there mainly for relaxation, do you WANT to be talked to? Or do you prefer a quiet environment?
If I'm zoning out, shut up unless you need feedback or want me to actively participate in what's happening. If I feel chatty, try to keep up. If you aren't sure what my preferences are, ASK ME. I hate it when MTs rely on guesswork and guess WRONG. Whether you are psychic or not, JUST ASK ME AND I'LL TELL YOU MY PREFERENCES. You asking shows that you want my feedback, and it will be a LOT more detailed and accurate than your intuition.

4. If you want to talk during the massage, do you want questions about your life or do you prefer to start the Q&A and I'll just answer and follow suit?
If I change the topic, go with me. Don't interrogate me. Give me a little open-ended question and see what I do with it. If I use very few words, I'm probably not feeling talkative. If I ramble on about it for 5 minutes, I'm probably feeling chatty - try to keep up. If I become quiet, shut up unless you have a very good reason not to.

5. During the massage, do you like to receive stretches to the neck, knees, legs, etc? And would you like to be informed of this before the therapist performs it?
I enjoy stretching if you know what you are doing. Passive static stretches sometimes feel nice but now irritate me because I know they are essentially useless for therapeutic purposes. If I have something that contraindicates stretching, I will be furious if you stretch it anyway. If you can make various stretches flow into your work seamlessly, I don't care if you tell me beforehand or not. If you are choppy and sloppy, I would prefer that you give me warning before doing any stretches. Mostly I prefer that you really be knowledgeable about stretching before using it in a session.


OK, I think thats it. Thanks for any and all feedback!
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby Taoist on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:42 pm

My answers to these questions are basically the same as Jason's. I do like his idea of asking clients if there are specific things they don't like in massages. I've done that once or twice with people who actively complain about previous massages they've had but it's far from being a habit.

As a therapist I will engage a little conversation if the client starts it out of politeness, but not too much. I've had a lot of seemingly benign conversations turn too personal too fast. It's easier to keep it to a minimum than to go back to silence or only massage-related discussion, making the situation awkward sometimes. As a client I rarely initiate conversation with my therapist that isn't related to the session and hate when therapists insist on small talk.

Sometimes I like stretches and when I want them I'll request them. Otherwise I like them to be kept on a smaller scale, no lifting my leg up off the table and getting a sheet-wedgie! Ugh..
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby akashafive on Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:50 am

pear2apple wrote:
Therapists:
1. How much talk and what kind of talk, do you engage your client in before and after the massage? Would you say you ask the client anything beyond "how are you?" Do you keep the pre/post massage talk extremely formal and professional, or do you at times delve into personal topics such as home life or weekend plans?

For new and regular clients I always begin and end with a discussion. I ask how they have been recently, or since there last session. If they have any new issues, then I try to find out if they have been doing anything new at work or home. Afterward, I ask how they feel and discuss with them the different areas I noticed that had knots or TP's, etc. I never discuss their plans unless they bring it up and it may have an effect on their trouble areas, and then just give suggestions for while they are away.

2. During the massage, do you talk? Do you ask questions NOT pertaining to the therapy or relaxation you are giving? Do you start the chatter or do you wait for the client to speak and judging by what the say, decide yes, they want a conversation? And if you decide they don't want a conversation, how do you proceed?

I will only talk to ask about things like tender areas and to remind them to give me feedback if I think they aren't. If they start talking I will keep up with responses, but only if it pertains to their session/body. If it gets personal, I keep my responses short and general, or ask them something about the area I am working to change the subject.

3. If someone asks for more pressure, and lets say you're giving all you got, whats your response? How do clients take it? Are they disappointed? Do you never see them again? Have you gotten complaints over it?

I had this problem a lot when I first started. I would say that I would try to go deeper, but I probably couldn't do much more pressure, and yes they were disappointed. I made sure they didn't come back TO ME, by referring them to another LMT I knew did deeper techniques. I also made it a point to let every one I worked with know that I did NOT do "deep tissue" if requested, and would inform each client before the session of my techniques so they did not expect the stereotypical "deep" work (because I would still get clients asking for relaxation but get on the table and tell me "it's OK to go harder, you can't hurt me!" :roll: . I describe how my work reaches the deeper lying muscles without the discomfort.

4. Have you ever asked a client for constructive criticism to the type of massage you are giving? Or would that be considered odd or unprofessional?

I ask this a lot with my new clients. I find they are the ones least likely to tell me if they need something changed during the session, so I like to give them the chance afterward by explaining that every client is different and I try to use their feedback to improve my techniques for future sessions. I'm sure they think it's a little odd, but they always look at least a little appreciative that I seem to value their opinions so much.

5. When it comes to draping, do you "diaper" the client? And what do you do when clients refuse to spread their legs even an inch? Do you spread their ankles for them?

When I was in school, we were taught using large towels on top and a flat sheet underneath. Many of the draping techniques we learned involved wrapping and tucking the towels and sheets around limbs and yes, the diaper happened too. I was fine with it in school and actually pretty proficient in getting everything to stay put my first try. This worked great for the different medical massage techniques we worked on then, but I found very quickly that in most settings, it can be unexpected and little unsettling to a client. Sheets seem much easier to work with and tuck just as easily. If I need to spread the legs while prone, I flex the knee keeping the thigh draped, and gently bounce the leg holding the ankle and move the leg between bounces. Supine, I'll un-drape up to the knee and lift and move the leg holding the ankle and under the knee. Never had a client say something or move back. I keep my moves firm, confident, and precise. I think it helps the client be reassured that you are a professional and know what you are doing. If they don't/won't move, I don't push it. I may ask if they feel stiff in their joint (arthritis can really limit ROM), but otherwise I just work with what I can reach.

6. What is your response when a client says a certain muscle hurts, and you don't know how to help it feel better?

I will palpate the area on their direction (it's not always the muscle they think it is), and ask when/how they noticed it and what they've been doing recently. If it doesn't present as an acute injury, I'll try lots of different techniques on it to see if any feel good to the client and stick with those that do (xfiber friction, stretching, MFR, tapotement, compression, etc.). If none seem to help, I'll recommend they try to not over use it and keep an eye on it, try ice or bath and give some stretches if it seems appropriate. And of course I recommend they ask their doctor if it doesn't seem to improve, or gets worse.



Hope this helps! :)
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby pear2apple on Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:43 am

Thank you! Your responses have been enlightening, without a doubt!

I have been wondering if my quietness during a massage was the reason some people weren't clicking with me. But if they do not start a discussion first, I am not going to start chatting away and bothering someone. I personally do not enjoy the therapist to ask about my personal life without discussing my therapeutic needs first. I will roll right into my life if I feel comfortable doing so. Maybe I am still right about this with my previous job...

I should have said, beyond intake information, do you hold conversations. Because I did of course look at the intake form, however unthorough it was, and try to go off that. I guess, I'm in need for myself of my own thorough forms. Are any located on this forum, and which section should I look under? I'll need to make up my own forms for my own practice and I want them to be pretty thorough. I always tried to remember to ask the type of pressure they preferred and what areas I would be working on as well. Sometimes (if things were running late for whatever reason), I asked the problem area then instructed them to undress and get on the table, then came back in and discussed the treatment and pressure desired. I only had a total 60mins from one client to another, so I didn't have time to have more than a 5mins conversation before and after each massage, even that would be cutting it too tight to change my sheets and grab my next client.

Thats a really good idea to educate clients beforehand that "deep" isn't always the best method, so maybe I should include that. I physically cannot do deep tissue, nor do I know the techniques involved right now. Maybe I'll take a class later, but I would prefer a lighter if still deeper method.

I think I'm going to start asking feedback post-massage. Thanks!

By diaper draping, I did mean just one leg at once. Sorry! I'm having draping issues, I'm totally aware of the issue and trying my best. I tend to pull the sheet and "tuck" it under their thigh. Sometimes people refuse to spread a little, so I just don't know what to do and typically ended up missing most of their thigh, and trying to go over the sheet.


So you think I should ask the client if they feel like talking? How would you even phrase that? I think it may come off as rude or forceful.

Therapists, if a client asks how much you make, whats your response? One woman asked how much I got paid and for lack of a better response I told her I didn't know! I must have sounded like an idiot but I'd rather sounded clueless than give out that type of none-of-her-business information! I never know how to respond to that, especially when in certain settings I believe it is appropriate to tip the therapist, and I think tipping should equal not only the experience/talent of the therapist but also the price per massage in reference to what the therapist actually receives. I don't know, tipping is a touchy subject.

How much time do you have scheduled between clients?
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby Taoist on Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:24 am

If you're looking for intake form layouts, I recommend the Sohnen-Moe website (click here for a list of free forms). You can either print them off directly or modify them for your use.
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby akashafive on Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:34 am

pear2apple wrote:
Therapists, if a client asks how much you make, whats your response?

I was taken aback the first time I got asked this, too. However I realized that since I was working at a wellness center at the time, they probably wanted to know if I was only taking home a small %, or something more decent so they could try to leave a tip they felt comfortable with. A lot of people are aware that many places pay a small % and expect the tips to make up for it. I was an IC so I simply told the customer that I was self employed and paid a percent to the center as rent. I never wanted them to feel it was necessary to tip. Had I been an employee, I might have responded with a quick "I make about a third (or a half, or whatever) of the service fee, but I'm getting a lot of experience working here, and I get to meet so many different people!" My purpose would be to answer their question but put the emphasis on my work and not my pay. If they are just asking for tip purposes, they can form their own theory from that. You could respond politely "May I ask why you are interested?" If they are just being nosy, well I'd just thank them for their interest, but say you prefer not to discuss your pay. They could always ask the desk staff what they'd suggest as a tip, too.

How much time do you have scheduled between clients?

I never leave less than 30 minutes. With new clients, I like to spend extra time talking with them about their health history, goals and the session so it can actually mean an hour before and/or after the session!
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby pear2apple on Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:39 am

Taoist wrote:If you're looking for intake form layouts, I recommend the Sohnen-Moe website (click here for a list of free forms). You can either print them off directly or modify them for your use.


Wow, thank you! A good list here!

akashafive wrote:
pear2apple wrote:How much time do you have scheduled between clients?

I never leave less than 30 minutes. With new clients, I like to spend extra time talking with them about their health history, goals and the session so it can actually mean an hour before and/or after the session!


30mins seems like awhile, but I think it makes more sense. Thank you!
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby pueppi on Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:52 am

pear2apple wrote: I'm having draping issues, I'm totally aware of the issue and trying my best. I tend to pull the sheet and "tuck" it under their thigh. Sometimes people refuse to spread a little, so I just don't know what to do and typically ended up missing most of their thigh, and trying to go over the sheet.


I don't have a lot of time to answer all of your list right now, but this stuck out at me, so I'll add it now.

If a client "refuses" to spread their legs, I wouldn't push it. However, I also don't ask them to spread their legs apart if they are too close for me to work. I just put my hand under the leg and spread it out a "little", if it appears they are anxious and I don't know them - "moderate", if they are a client I know and it looks like they were just tired and didn't think about it - "regular", if it is a client I know and I know what they like is a lot of thigh work.

Look at the leg just like the arm. If you move the arm, you can move the leg. I drape with one tuck at medial mid-thigh only and wrap a little of the sheet around the sole of the foot (client prone) to make them feel safe and secure. Believe it or not, it works. Have someone drape like this on you and you'll see what I mean. I will also keep the foot covered in this same style if the client is supine, unless it is a male who is hot natured or someone who is really tall and that causes the drape to be to short for the supine foot. I can easily work under the sheet like this with the legs close together or far apart. I don't have to work over the sheet at all, as I have a huge moveable flap of sheet to work under that won't constrain me. I can even work the entire leg, up the glutes and the lower back, all the way to the thoracics, shoulders and back down an arm this way.

If the inner thighs are touching, I am generally going to just ignore that area (depending on how I have moved the legs).

I also drape in other ways, to accomodate what I want to do. For example, if I don't know the client well and feel they may be nervous, or it doesn't feel "right", I may drape tighter. If I know a client really well and we have made it part of their protocol, I may undrape a whole half of their body, with just a tuck at the medial inner thigh and keep their gluteal cleft covered. If they are cold natured, I may crank up the table warmer and work most of the massage under the sheet or in small segments, with those smaller segments undraped while still doing the longer strokes under the loose sheet. It all depends. But, the above draping paragraph I wrote is most common.


Also, consider posting anything you have personal questions about in the "Private Forum". It's a good place to let down your hair without feeling like the whole world can look in on your private conversation. We're happy to help.


03/27/11 -edited for at least one typo
Last edited by pueppi on Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby pear2apple on Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:42 am

@pueppi

Thank you for the draping info! I know how important it is that the client feels secure and I'm trying very hard to make sure I do that. Any new techniques that might help are always nice to know!
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby drea543 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:08 pm

1). I don’t mind if the therapist asks a question that is not related to massage.

2). If the therapist finds something amiss or tight, I want to know. Otherwise, I don’t need really need to hear anything.

3). I prefer a quiet environment but I don’t mind talking a little. I had one therapist who chatted incessantly. It was my first time going to her and I think she was nervous; it was definitely not a relaxing experience. Another therapist let me know that she didn’t talk much during massages which was fine with me.

4). See three.

5). I don’t dislike receiving stretches but…I’d like to know before the therapist does any stretching.
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby Taoist on Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:40 am

drea543 wrote:5). I don’t dislike receiving stretches but…I’d like to know before the therapist does any stretching.

I like the point you make here with this answer.
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby jyoti on Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:59 pm

pear2apple wrote:Hi
About 4 weeks ago I got my first job as a therapist, at a place that has received mixed attentions on this forum. On Tuesday I was let go from said job. Now I would like to poll all of you on areas that may or may not have caused me some issues, and get all of your feedback. Please let me know if you are a client or therapist in your response. Thank you.


:( I'm sorry that happened to you.

Therapists:
1. How much talk and what kind of talk, do you engage your client in before and after the massage? Would you say you ask the client anything beyond "how are you?" Do you keep the pre/post massage talk extremely formal and professional, or do you at times delve into personal topics such as home life or weekend plans?


On the first visit, I kept things pretty clinical, just because I had a lot of clinical stuff to say :) I consulted with each person about problem areas and then I would explain which areas we would work to help relieve the symptoms. (Sometimes areas we'd be addressing would be different than where the discomfort manifested, so if that was the case, I briefly explained the connection.) I found that it was this first-visit education that helped set the stage for trust and to be able to "do whatever you need to do" later on. Other verbal formalities included things like how much pressure was too much and to let me know if ANYTHING needed to be adjusted in terms of room temp, hot stone temp, oils, music, lighting, pressure, etc.

After that first visit, though, I did a mixture of both (clinical and small-talk), depending. I kinda went with my gut to see if they were the type who would appreciate a little small talk or just keep it strictly clinical. Most were fine with small talk - it allowed for a closer, more trusting relationship (from their point-of-view).

2. During the massage, do you talk? Do you ask questions NOT pertaining to the therapy or relaxation you are giving? Do you start the chatter or do you wait for the client to speak and judging by what the say, decide yes, they want a conversation? And if you decide they don't want a conversation, how do you proceed?


The clients called the shots on that one, almost exclusively. (With the exception of the first visit, as I checked in with them a bit more often until I knew they felt comfortable speaking up.) After that, if a client initiated the conversation, I'd answer back. If they seemed the talkative type, or like talking was part of the therapy (for some, it is!) then we could get pretty chatty. But that was after we'd been through a few appts together and I knew that this was OK. One of the biggest complaints I hear in general is how people would prefer it if their therapist wouldn't talk all the time - with this in mind, if they were quiet, I took that as a sign to be quiet myself, save for a few sporadic pressure/technique check-ins.

3. If someone asks for more pressure, and lets say you're giving all you got, whats your response? How do clients take it? Are they disappointed? Do you never see them again? Have you gotten complaints over it?


Don't beat yourself up over this one. There's a big variety of people out there. At one extreme, you've got some really strange people who actually derive some sort of power/pleasure from knowing their LMT is working really hard. It's not real common, but I'm sure most of us have had that happen at least once. I know I have. Don't give into that [email protected] No one client is worth injuring yourself and yes, you can permanently injure yourself in a single session.

Another scenario is where some peoples' nervous systems are all screwed up. Pressure/pain is largely a neurological perception. Yep, that's right. Some people perceive more than others. Many peoples' nervous systems get all wonky due to stress (any type) or whatever. If you're seriously digging into someone's tissue and they're still complaining that they don't feel anything/enough, seriously consider a referral out (or at least co-supervision) to/by a neurologist (medical or chiropractic - both fields have talented neurology specialists) that can evaluate this, because it goes undetected in lots of people and it's often a sign of something fairly wrong.

Now, if you just haven't built up your strength yet and you truly aren't giving enough pressure, don't beat yourself up over that either. It happens. Some people can simply take more pressure (even if they DON'T have any unknown neuro issues) and it's important to realize that none of us, no matter how good we are or how long we've been doing this, are going to please everyone. Chalk it up and say, "it wasn't a good fit" and go forward.

If it happens frequently, you may want to consider taking additional courses in deep tissue therapies or medical massage protocols to hone the skill of targeting a tissue and addressing it very directly and thoroughly. Make sure there is emphasis on good body mechanics because a problem giving enough pressure is often more of a body mechanics/physics issue than it is strength. Many small people with not much strength give superb deep tissue work simply because they know how to utilize the laws of physics to their advantage. So this may work well for you.

4. Have you ever asked a client for constructive criticism to the type of massage you are giving? Or would that be considered odd or unprofessional?


I haven't (at least, not that I remember), but I don't think it would necessarily be a bad thing. I do know that in my intro spiels with clients I would tell them that if they have ANY suggestions/comments/feedback, that I welcome it! I told them I don't take anything personally but that it's helpful in order to help me help THEM. I think they appreciated that. Maybe they thought it was weird. I don't know. Either way, I don't sweat it, because even if they DID think it was weird, hey - I'm just going an extra step to help them make the most of their experience and serve them the best way I know how. Can't argue with that :)

5. When it comes to draping, do you "diaper" the client? And what do you do when clients refuse to spread their legs even an inch? Do you spread their ankles for them?


Eh, I've done it both ways - diaper and not. The only time I do massage therapy now is if I step in and fill in for our LMT at our clinic, and when I do, I diaper drape if it's an unclothed massage. (I say this because I often work through clothes - we now own a chiropractic/functional medicine clinic, so it's a lot more clinical/medical massage now, although there still is some relaxation thrown in there :) )

Back when I had more of a massage therapy-only practice, I went back and forth between diaper draping my clients and not.

I pretty much ALWAYS just moved the client where I wanted them, though. I did so slowly, gently, and with confidence, making sure that their modesty is absolutely 100% secure at all times. But then yeah, I moved their leg or arm around so that I could use my own body mechanics to my advantage. Nobody cared. In fact, they tried to help. LOL :)

6. What is your response when a client says a certain muscle hurts, and you don't know how to help it feel better?


Just do your best. You could say, "you know, I haven't dealt with a case like this in a while - let me do what I can and I'll review my notes from my last similar case" or something. LOL I do that every day now - people ask me questions I have no clue. I'll say, "I don't know. But I'll find out and email you tomorrow". I know that's more about verbal questions/info and not so much about muscle work that needs to be done that day because you have your client in front of you :) So yeah, do the best you can and say you'll give yourself a refresher tonight. Or, just do your very best and simply ask for feedback - "is that hitting the spot?" or "is that what you had in mind?" Those questions worked pretty well for me.

Now that I find myself more often on the client/receiving end, I'll answer these too :)

Clients:
1. Pre-massage, do you prefer the therapist to ask you questions that are not related to the massage you are about to receive? Beyond "how are you", how do you feel about being asked your plans for the day or say if you're going out to eat at a nearby restaurant?


Never really thought about it, actually LOL. You'd think I would, being a former full-time LMT, but I don't mind either way.

2. Post-massage, what do you want to hear from the therapist? Suggestions for when you should return? Ideas to help yourself at home?


Sure! All the above. Clients are looking to you as the expert, so feel free to take the reigns. Even if they seem a little taken aback at first at your confidence, that's only because no other LMT has done that for them so far. It'll set you apart and in a good way, as a knowledgeable authority in your field.

The one caveat is, don't come off sales-y, like you're just trying to get them to reschedule. Sheesh, I used to make THAT mistake all the time, and without the self-confidence to back it up. I was new and rather desperate for the business and even though I tried to hide it, it showed. I'm a bad actress LOL. So it's really going to be about headspace - be in the here and now and simply tell the client what they NEED. You can even explain that you don't skimp on care - you don't go overboard, but you're not afraid to tell them what they need. They'll appreciate that. Again, you won't convince everybody. They're going to do what they're going to do, confidence or no confidence. Even if they're not "with you" yet, some will eventually come around. Others never will. Just do your best. It's not like you didn't try; it's up to them to listen :)

3. During the massage, do you prefer the therapist to chatter away whether or not you have started the conversation? If you are there mainly for relaxation, do you WANT to be talked to? Or do you prefer a quiet environment?


I hardly ever go for relaxation [ducks from the stones LOL] - I know I should. I'll probably start sometime. Eek! How's THAT for blasphemy *belly laugh*? When I go, I'm usually hurting. As long as the therapist has his/her mind 100% on what they are doing and they are otherwise in present-time consciousness with their work, I don't mind if they chat or not. Relaxation, though, WHEN I do go :) I'll probably prefer to initiate the conversation - that way I can let it ebb and flow according to my therapeutic needs as a client. For me, sometimes talking IS part of the therapy - and other times I just want to sleep.

4. If you want to talk during the massage, do you want questions about your life or do you prefer to start the Q&A and I'll just answer and follow suit?


This may not be much help, but it depends on my mood - if that makes sense? I could run the gamut.

5. During the massage, do you like to receive stretches to the neck, knees, legs, etc? And would you like to be informed of this before the therapist performs it?


If I'm there for relaxation, probably not. If I'm there for a biomechanical imbalance and discomfort, then yeah, PLEASE DO! :) Always, always, always offer it up as a treatment suggestion before the massage, though - let them know that if they have pain in XYZ region/muscle, that your usual method of successfully dealing with it includes Techniques A, B, and C (C includes a little gentle resisted stretching, for example). And that you get a lot of mileage when all of these things are done in the same visit.

Hope that helps!
Good luck! Everything happens for a reason. I haven't yet known anyone to be let go from some place of employment that didn't eventually end up with a better gig elsewhere.

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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby pueppi on Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:38 pm

I've had this saved for ages, and am just now getting around to finishing my responses. Sorry for taking so long.

I've responded both as a therapist and as a client, since I am known to be both. :)

pear2apple wrote:Therapists:
1. How much talk and what kind of talk, do you engage your client in before and after the massage? Would you say you ask the client anything beyond "how are you?" Do you keep the pre/post massage talk extremely formal and professional, or do you at times delve into personal topics such as home life or weekend plans?


It all depends on the client, but I really never thought I'd be talking as much as I do in a session, when I first went to massage school. I always thought the massage room was a place for silence. It ends up, in my practice, that is not the case. I can easily have a personal conversation with long-time clients. They know me and I know them. We know things about each others families and it works out just fine. There are however, some people that I do not share anything personal with. Also, there are some clients who want to engage in conversation for most of their session, while others want quiet the whole time. It all depends on the person, and also on the day. About a year ago, one of my "talkers" who gets 1½ massage about once every 2-3 weeks and has been a client for about 5 years, just seemed like he needed the quiet. I held the space and the next time he came in, he commented: "Thanks so much for respecting my need for quiet during the last massage. I really appreciate it." And, he went back to his normal "talking" for about the first 20 minutes of his massage, like he normally does. :)

2. During the massage, do you talk? Do you ask questions NOT pertaining to the therapy or relaxation you are giving? Do you start the chatter or do you wait for the client to speak and judging by what the say, decide yes, they want a conversation? And if you decide they don't want a conversation, how do you proceed?

2a. Many times, when I know the client and how they like things done.
2b. Enough times I do. This can depend on the client.
2c. Sometimes I will start. Again, depending on the client.
2d. If they don't want conversation, I just provide massage in a nice, quiet zone.


3. If someone asks for more pressure, and lets say you're giving all you got, whats your response? How do clients take it? Are they disappointed? Do you never see them again? Have you gotten complaints over it?


3a. If it's all I've got, I usually tell them that "we're at the maximum in this area" or, "well, I can't go any deeper in this area", or, "this seems to be as deep as the tissue will let me go, here". Or, some other variation.
3b. Most people don't mind, but I work fairly slow and deep anyway.
3c. I think there were a few people along the way who were disappointed, as I use to work deeper when I was younger and less advanced. Those people moved on, or got on board with whatever new techniques I was using. And, really, if they don't like the work I do, I would rather they go to someone else anyway. Otherwise, it is just uncomfortable for the both of us anyway.
3d. I don't recall any complaints. Maybe one person.

4. Have you ever asked a client for constructive criticism to the type of massage you are giving? Or would that be considered odd or unprofessional?

I will tell clients that if they don't like something I am doing (especially clients who have seen a number of therapists over the years), to let me know what they would prefer, or like done differently. I can't really say one way or the other if it would be odd or unprofessional. I think a lot of that would be derived from your individual personality. Some people could pull it off, while others could not.

5. When it comes to draping, do you "diaper" the client? And what do you do when clients refuse to spread their legs even an inch? Do you spread their ankles for them?

I do not diaper drape. I will move a leg, if I need to work on it --- the client usually let's me do this, in a relaxed state. It is very obvious when someone is refusing, even without speaking. so, if a client were to "refuse" to widen their legs, I would leave the legs in place.

6. What is your response when a client says a certain muscle hurts, and you don't know how to help it feel better?

"I'm so sorry your having this pain. We'll do what we can to see if we can help it." And, I have been known to keep it that generic, although the situation has been rare that the client doesn't "feel better" after massage, including specific painful musculature.


Clients:
1. Pre-massage, do you prefer the therapist to ask you questions that are not related to the massage you are about to receive? Beyond "how are you", how do you feel about being asked your plans for the day or say if you're going out to eat at a nearby restaurant?


Pre-massage, I don't mind if the therapist asks me non-massage related questions. It also helps me to get to know the therapist a little better and feel more comfortable with them.

2. Post-massage, what do you want to hear from the therapist? Suggestions for when you should return? Ideas to help yourself at home?

I don't mind, as long as it doesn't sound like they are trying to get me to come back into their office for money's sake. Genuine care is the key to the therapist telling me what they think.

3. During the massage, do you prefer the therapist to chatter away whether or not you have started the conversation? If you are there mainly for relaxation, do you WANT to be talked to? Or do you prefer a quiet environment?

For me, it all depends on the therapist and the day. With deeper work, more talk is usually not an issue for me. With relaxation work, I'd like maybe ten miutes chatter, enough to unwind, and then to be able to go into a trance like state.

4. If you want to talk during the massage, do you want questions about your life or do you prefer to start the Q&A and I'll just answer and follow suit?

Again, this kind of all depends on the dynamic between the client and therapist. Some therapists can pull it off without being annoying. Others, not so much.

5. During the massage, do you like to receive stretches to the neck, knees, legs, etc? And would you like to be informed of this before the therapist performs it?

It's fine for me, if someone performs stretches. I don't need to be informed in advance. --> (But, speaking as a therapist: I do prefer to tell the client what I am going to do pre-massage, just so they won't be wondering... unless it is a long term client who gets pretty-much the same thing most sessions. Then, I will just let them know if I plan to deviate from the norm, and how, when it is appropriate for their case.)
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby LizOmen7 on Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:19 am

Therapists:
1. How much talk and what kind of talk, do you engage your client in before and after the massage? Would you say you ask the client anything beyond "how are you?" Do you keep the pre/post massage talk extremely formal and professional, or do you at times delve into personal topics such as home life or weekend plans?

My consultation is very in depth. I want to know what is going on with their body. In the beginning I keep it very professional. Clients that have been with me for awhile tend to want to know you better as a person and want to know weekend plans. But that conversation happens before or after our session not during.

2. During the massage, do you talk? Do you ask questions NOT pertaining to the therapy or relaxation you are giving? Do you start the chatter or do you wait for the client to speak and judging by what the say, decide yes, they want a conversation? And if you decide they don't want a conversation, how do you proceed?

Sometimes clients want to talk. It is how they relax. In those situations i let them guide the conversation and never talk longer than they are. They only conversation i start is about their body and the massage. sometimes i talk about self care so i dont forget what i want them to do. Plus a no converstaion helps me concentrate more and give a better massage.

3. If someone asks for more pressure, and lets say you're giving all you got, whats your response? How do clients take it? Are they disappointed? Do you never see them again? Have you gotten complaints over it?

I have only had that happen once. and i could have given more pressure but her muscles kept pushing me out and i didnt recommend it. yes they were disappointed and no i never saw her again. That is something you will build over time. Remember that you arent using your hand strength. Its your body weight. and honestly ive gotten more it was too much pressure complaints... even though i tell them to speak up if its too much

4. Have you ever asked a client for constructive criticism to the type of massage you are giving? Or would that be considered odd or unprofessional?

I always say "questions or comments?" at the en.I will have a survey for them to fill out on my website. very few do it.

5. When it comes to draping, do you "diaper" the client? And what do you do when clients refuse to spread their legs even an inch? Do you spread their ankles for them?

I very rarely diaper. Its not necessary unless you have an injury or athlete. Most people find it intrusive. Remember it is their comfort level!

6. What is your response when a client says a certain muscle hurts, and you don't know how to help it feel better?

I do my best at the time then later look into a way to help them. Talk to another therapist. This board room. Take a new class.
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby LizOmen7 on Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:20 am

When it comes to stretching I am certified in Myofascial release and Thai massage. so if i feel they need it, I do it. However those are the only stretching that i do. I liked the comment that the person want to know if there was going to be stretching.

The biggest complaint from a client is the therapist talking! so you being quite would not be an issue. The next is cleanliness/clutter. I work at a place where the walls dont go up all the way. so i can hear other peoples conversation too. Clients dont like it... so even if they want to talk we tell them to be quite.

I will tell them the percentage. I dont like it when a first time client ask that. If they ask about tipping i say "the average is 20 to 25%. But some people tip less and some people tip more". Which i had to look up an article on that before i felt comfortable with it.

and at the spa we have 15 minutes in between. sometimes i slip in an extra 15 minutes ;)
At home i always give 30 minutes. would rather work a longer day and have more time in between clients.
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby truepeacenik on Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:57 am

Pear2apple, if you hired on at A Particular Purple Corporate Clinic (I did), you will watch a video on how to drape. Do that.
Their definition of diaper drape is different from what I was taught in school.
I've figured out a less invasive way to do a similar pin of the sheet.
At no time, is a PPCC (TM) client to have both legs uncovered above the knee.
So the sumo wrestler look isn't an issue.


To answer the rest, talking about dinner or weekend plans is not something the therapist brings up. It's invasive, and for PPCC, crossing the relationship line from therapist.
Now, if they bring it up, it's fine to wish them well. I do it for my competitive people all the time, and when someone brings up work or family stress.
Just, no details in the public space. A simple, good luck, with everything, or see you when you get back, etc.

Intake: no intake, no results. I open with "what brings you in today, in particular?" Even with regulars, because I have a few who mix local therapy and relaxation, but not in one session.
I ask about what we worked on last, how that's held in the weeks between.
Here is why: I want to know the clients expectations. (If someone isn't really answering, ask exactly that, what are your expectations for today's session?)
Read notes left by previous MTs. Hopefully, your coworkers do good notes. And have legible handwriting.
Watch how your client moves. Sure we have three minutes tops, so use the time they get up from the chair, walk to the room (walk behind) and how they set down their jacket, etc and read that body. What's up, what's down, what's rotated.

Talking in session is set by cleient. If I'm doing something that requires quiet, I say so, however. "I really need to listen to my hands and your skull now."
If they need to babble, I let them, until it is at cross purposes to manual therapy. I'm not a life coach in that room.
I do pay attention to topic that relax, and I'll guide back to those.

Pressure: there's no reason to give it all you've got. Lean, don't push, use appropriate tools and lower the table. Work smart, not hard. Pushing and maxing effort is how clinics burn out therapists.
But, the clinic admin isn't in that room. You are. You are the professional. Own it. Clients generally want therapists who are knowledgeable and set the session. Some see us at PPCC as body servants. Three years in, I don't get those, and if one strays into my room, they do not come back. I don't do what they want, in this case.
Because I'm the therapist, and I know my tools, and no client is going to tell me how to do my job. They tell me the results they want, what feels right/good, and can request more pressure (I change tools and timing to make my pressure feel deeper) :massage:

Feedback: the clinic has a randomized survey, so there's that level. I tell clients to speak up in the moment, and if I feel tensing, or shifting, or whatever, I check in. How is the pressure here? Or "still good?"
Do check in within the first 5-10 min as you finish warm up and start the real pressure level.
I also check in at the next region, say back to legs.

Welcome to the massage world. May you have a long and healthy, productive and lucrative career.
Keep asking. It's how we learn.
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Re: Questionaire for Therapists and Clients!

Postby naturelover7 on Mon May 21, 2018 4:46 pm

1. Pre-massage, do you prefer the therapist to ask you questions that are not related to the massage you are about to receive? Beyond "how are you", how do you feel about being asked your plans for the day or say if you're going out to eat at a nearby restaurant? This is a tough one. Maybe not at first, but it depends on the familiarity and communication you have with the therapist. I'm not offended by it but I can see how asking too many questions may make a client uneasy. But knowing about the emotional state of the client and other things that are going on may help during the massage.

2. Post-massage, what do you want to hear from the therapist? Suggestions for when you should return? Ideas to help yourself at home? I don't like when therapists try too hard to get me to return, or when it feels like too much of a sales pitch. I think the therapists' work should speak for itself. I think it is OK to explain how to rebook and give a suggestion for how often, but don't push too hard.

3. During the massage, do you prefer the therapist to chatter away whether or not you have started the conversation? If you are there mainly for relaxation, do you WANT to be talked to? Or do you prefer a quiet environment? I prefer a quiet environment. Sometimes if face down I might talk the first 5 or so minutes, but that is it. Too much talk prevents relaxation.

4. If you want to talk during the massage, do you want questions about your life or do you prefer to start the Q&A and I'll just answer and follow suit? I am OK with talking about this stuff before or after massage if I have developed trust in the therapist, but not during.

5. During the massage, do you like to receive stretches to the neck, knees, legs, etc? And would you like to be informed of this before the therapist performs it? I have fibromyalgia and hate stretches of my neck. The other stretches, done lightly and gently, are OK.
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