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Building Lasting Relationships: The Key to Winning and Retaining Clients

I recently stumbled upon a profound quote in a book that got me thinking:

"If your heart isn't right, no one cares about your skills." 

This simple yet profound statement resonated deeply, especially in my experience with massage therapists and employees.

Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Training

As a business owner, I've had the privilege of working with numerous bodyworkers. Among them, a select few stood out for their technical expertise and something far more valuable – their genuine care and empathy towards their clients.

It's easy to focus solely on acquiring skills and certifications, believing they are the key to success. While technical proficiency distinguishes exceptional massage therapists or bodyworkers, I know many genuinely gifted therapists struggling to keep their books full. They have an amazing knowledge of various massage techniques and understand the human body, its systems, and how they interact. However, they struggle to empathize and connect with clients more deeply.

Clients are not merely transactions but individuals seeking support, guidance, and understanding. This human connection forms the foundation of a lasting therapeutic relationship. 

From my own observations, I've learned that clients can discern when someone is genuinely invested in their well-being. It's not just about going through the motions; it's about showing authentic concern and empathy for their chronic pain and struggles. 

This approach strengthens the therapeutic relationship and significantly impacts client outcomes, leading to more positive results and experiences. Going the extra mile by providing clients with self-care tips or additional resources is an excellent way to show genuine care and empathy towards them. For instance, if a client mentions having trouble sleeping, you could recommend a relaxation technique or a sleep aid that has worked for you or other clients. 

"Going the extra mile" can also be exemplified by assisting clients in finding a stretch or self-care tool that can help alleviate their hip pain between sessions. This level of assistance not only demonstrates that you are actively listening but also shows that you hold a genuine concern for their overall well-being beyond the scheduled session.

When clients feel seen, heard, and valued, they are more likely to trust and remain loyal to their therapist. This trust forms the basis of a solid client-therapist bond that transcends mere skill and expertise. It's about making the client feel safe, understood, and cared for, which cannot be achieved solely through technical proficiency. 

So, success in attracting and retaining clients is more than having technical proficiency. It's about cultivating a compassionate heart that genuinely cares about the welfare of others. As professionals in massage therapy, prioritizing genuine care in your practice can shape the future of this industry.

So, to all massage therapists and bodyworkers, remember that your skills may open doors, but your heart will keep clients coming back for more.

Strive not only to be skilled practitioners but also compassionate caregivers who make a meaningful difference in the lives of those you serve. In doing so, you'll build lasting relationships with your massage clients and embark on a journey of personal growth and fulfillment in your massage therapy profession.


Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Instructor

Julie Marciniak, the author of this article, owns Bull City Soles Massage & Bodywork Studio in Durham, NC, a specialized barefoot massage and bodywork center. She is a seasoned massage therapist and Advanced Certified Rolfer® with 32 years of experience. 

For the past 17 years, she has also been an Ashiatsu barefoot massage instructor for the Center for Barefoot Massage, sharing her knowledge and passion with aspiring barefoot massage therapists.

If you are looking for another tool to transform and extend your bodywork career, look no further! Check our barefoot massage training schedule at NC Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Training Center.  


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