As it's nearly Hallowe'en, I thought I'd share a massage horror story with you...
As part of my massage training I had to build this massive portfolio with reflections on the massages we had given and received during the course, and I was looking through this folder the other day whilst I was tidying and cleaning the attic. It's really satisfying now to look through and see how I progressed over the course of a year, as frustrating as it was at times, but the section that caught my eye was about the massages I'd received in that time. The MTI course demands that students receive 10 hours of massage as well as giving, and at least one of these hours has to be from a non-MTI trained therapist. The reasoning behind this is that experiencing as many different massages as possible helps a student therapist to learn about the client experience, and what they want that to be for their clients.
I read my account of a certain received massage and it all came back to me; so here for you all is the worst massage I've ever received...
Now I'm not sitting here typing away and slagging off this therapist/salon for kicks – I'm genuinely not that kind of person to name and shame (also, she never told me what her name was!). I've had plenty of time to think about the experience and the most important things it taught me were:
Clear communication between therapist and client is VITAL to a good client experience. From the moment I walked in the salon I had very little instruction from the therapist and had no idea what the process would be. In my own practice, I try to explain things clearly and answer any questions that are raised in the session. I also like to explain how the session will run at the start so the client is well informed.
Large towels are a must! The towels they used were quite small, and being a tall lady I constantly felt exposed. There is no excuse for towels that don't fully cover a client.
Client comfort is paramount. - the room only just fit the table in with space for the therapist to move round at the head end, and I spent the entire massage with my feet squashed against the wall, which was not comfortable or relaxing. Yes, I am quite tall, but I have seen clients taller than me in my space and there has easily been enough room. She also didn't use any sort of bolsters which left me quite uncomfortable on the table.
The big one – ATTITUDE! All the time I was there, I felt like I was bothering the therapist and that I was interrupting something important. She didn't ask me any questions about my health or medical history, and she didn't make me feel at all welcome. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, people never forget how you make them feel, and if any of my clients felt at all unwelcome, I would be so upset.
There's probably more little details that I've forgotten, and I want to take this back into more positive territory – the reason this was such a valuable experience for me is that I learnt a lot. It taught me a lot about how I want my clients to feel during their massage experience.
Hope you all have a fabulously spooky Hallowe'en!