Every field has its own language or lingo, and massage is no different. We all know about the importance of genuinely inviting feedback during massage. You can further connect with and engage your clients by empowering them with the appropriate vocabulary to comfortably and confidently give you actionable feedback. Shared vocabulary is what makes communication work. Rather than leave them stumbling for phrasing like,
“uh, the place that hurts is kind of y’know, down underneath where you’re working, I guess. Uh, could you push a little harder?”
A more effective method is establishing comfortable vocabulary for your client. You can let them know to tell you to go “deeper” or “lighter” so that they know how to convey their preferences. This can be done ahead of time, as part of your invitation for feedback, and it can be reinforced during the session as you mirror what you heard, by simply replying
“Oh, so you’d like me to go deeper here.”
One more thing you can do to really take your feedback to the next level is to invite your clients to speak up not only when things don’t feel comfortable, but also when what you’re doing is getting great results. You could say,
“Of course I want you to let me know if anything is uncomfortable, but please know that I’d also love to hear if anything’s really working for you. This really helps me to adapt my style and technique to what is most effective for you.”
You can say this either during the session or afterward. With the right words and an open invitation, your clients will be delighted to know that they can now have dialogue with you about the session and will grow in their appreciation of you for caring enough to connect with and educate them.