I’ve had a lot of massage treatments over the last couple of decades. Some of them were before I trained as an RMT when I was a professional dancer and had no money but most happened later. I have occasionally been blown away by my experience but mostly not. Granted, I’m very particular and I know that but you should be too. I read a blog post recently by another therapist on just this topic and it got me thinking about my past experiences as a client and what I would have changed. Here’s what I came up with:

  • There was no assessment or intake form
  • Therapist didn’t ask me any questions
  • Therapist talked too much and I couldn’t relax
  • Therapist never checked in regarding pressure or comfort
  • Pressure too deep
  • Pressure too light
  • Therapist acknowledged my request for a pressure change but didn’t follow through
  • Room too cold
  • Room too hot
  • Room too noisy (traffic outside or other clients/therapists outside the door)
  • Music too loud
  • Music too soft
  • Disliked musical choices (I have a pet peeve about tweeting birds and babbling brooks!)
  • Therapist didn’t do what I asked for (I’m really picky about this one!)
  • Room too bright
  • Room was dirty
  • Therapist used scent without asking
  • Therapist was not registered and obviously didn’t know what they were doing
  • Not enough pillows
  • Table was very uncomfortable/hard
  • Face cradle didn’t adjust
  • Too much massage oil – left feeling greasy
  • Not enough massage oil – left feeling bruised
  • Therapist’s tummy pressed forcefully into my head while he massaged my back
  • Draping was insecure leaving me feeling exposed
  • Therapist had intense body odour
  • Therapist’s fingernails were long and scratched me repeatedly
  • Therapist gossiped or spoke negatively about other clients/therapists

Most of the issues I came up with could have been resolved easily if I’d spoken up. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t. That’s on me. Others were clearly out of the therapist’s control. I think part of me feels that the best massages happen intuitively and my comments almost dispel the magic of the experience. The reality, though, is that most of those therapists would happily have adapted their treatments if they were aware of my needs.

I’m sure I’ve given my fair share of sub-par treatments, hopefully only at the beginning of my career as opposed to now. I also realize that I’m very particular about my needs and choices as a client. I know what I like and I won’t accept less than that so now, I always speak up and I encourage you to do the same.

If I’m hurting you, tell me and I’ll change my technique. If you’re uncomfortable, cold, hot, need another pillow or a towel to cover your eyes let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to make your experience a positive one. If I continually miss the one spot between your shoulder blades that brought you to my door, tell me! It’s up to me to create an environment where you feel comfortable speaking up and I hope I’m doing that but I can only go so far and although I do feel at times that I can instinctively tell what a client’s body is telling me sometimes words are just more precise.

So don’t be shy. Speak up and know that I welcome any and ALL feedback. I won’t be offended. I’ll be grateful. The clearer the picture I have of what you need the more easily I’ll be able to produce it. I’ll become a better therapist and you’ll get the best treatment possible. It’s a win-win!!

Enough said. I hope to see you soon!!



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