How to Approach the Impatient Massage Client

Clients come to us in all kinds of states, and that can lead to not just potentially awkward situations, but sincere opportunities for you, as a massage therapist, to earn deeper trust from your clients by showing professional empathy and concern while maintaining a responsive, high level of care.  Impatience on the part of the client is one such chance. You know what I mean: while you’re asking them questions about whether there are any areas of their body where they are experiencing pain or discomfort and would like some extra focus, they are literally tapping their fingers on their knee, sighing aloud, and saying with their body language, “Skip all this talk. Let’s just get on the massage table.”

So, what do you do?  We massage therapists are wired to please.  So, many of us will sense the frustration and cut the intake short to go ahead and meet the client’s unspoken wish by getting them right onto the table.  A more effective approach would be to continue to hold to your intention to provide the best session by continuing with a thorough intake, while also taking a moment to directly address the client’s impatience.  Try asking something like, “I see you tapping your fingers. Are you concerned about us getting enough time on the table?” You can then reassure them, “Please don’t worry. We’re still going to get the full 60 (or 90) minutes.”  Stand firm in your intention and show them how it serves them by adding, “It is important for me to ask you a few more questions because it helps me give you the massage that best meets your needs.”

While the natural temptation may be to just succumb to the client’s impatient energy and rush them right onto the table, when you politely and professionally share your intention to understand their goals better, it will earn you their trust. They will come to respect your practice as a place where their needs matter and are attended to, which increases the likelihood that they will seek your services again.

One thought on “How to Approach the Impatient Massage Client

  1. Sophie Maupu

    I graduated from Massage school in 1993 in Florida. I worked in many spas for many years until I decided to go freelance in 2006 since the pay was frozen until then and my rent was tripled in price!!…. And I no longer make a living doing massage nowadays as it is such a competitive market nowadays everybody offers massage, licensed or not, just o meet both ends financially!
    I am spending all my money in the high rent anywhere I go, there is no escape from it!
    Massage envy and all these Franchise massage businesses took all the pieces of massage pie! Greedy bastards!!:(
    Now that they offer $39 a massage and pay the therapist $17/hour (I used to be paid $25/hour in 1995! And my rent was only $500 back then!), I can’t compete in the game.
    I am looking for another career otherwise I will end up broke and homeless.
    That’s the reality in a massage therapist life nowadays.


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