My definition of clinical success is twofold:
1. What brings clients back again and again. This means you need only a handful of clients to build a successful and stable business.
2. What helps clients find ease and success in their lives. This means that we must address more therapeutic issues than just muscle length.
It is natural when we begin our Massage career to want “more techniques”. However, if you look around the Massage profession and the courses that are offered, you might think the whole profession was always “just beginning” – with a new course, a new technique, a new tool. There also seems to be a desire to compete with the medical profession (often driven by the potential for insurance money) but the wisdom in this is questionable. Most therapists I talk to complain bitterly about these insurance companies paying late, and sometimes not even paying at all. This does not make good business sense.
In addition, to build a practice based on “fixing symptoms” means needing to create such a massive footfall through your clinics that you have to become a marketing experts – and often I see the successful therapists running the “marketing machine” for their clinic and having to leave the work in the treatment room to employees. And yet the whole reason for training as a therapist in the first place was the joy of working with clients – seems a bit topsy turvy to me!
The simple truth is that everyone on your street is in desperate need of regular, powerful Massage. The problem is, they don’t know it. The real question then, is “whose job is it to tell them?” As a profession we seem to be telling the public that they can only have a Massage when something goes wrong and needs “fixing”. In my article in Massage Today I explore this a little further.
There are two problems with the current obsession with “fixing” things:
1. It means that our clients have to get ill before they can have our touch
2. It is a purely symptomatic approach to healing
The reason I fell in love with Massage as a therapy was that it allowed my body to unravel itself from its deepest core. In the process I began to understand myself so much better. I grew. Human beings don’t want to be fixed, they want to be evolving and developing and growing. We all seek meaning in life and mostly that is found through our evolution and growth. Just as the snake must shed its skin, so we must “let go and move on”. Massage literally helps us to shed our skin and move on.
The reason Massage is so powerful is that it involves deep and amazing touch. With enough touch, I believe any condition can heal. Anyone who has allowed silent deep touch into their treatment room and
helped their clients to understand this will have witnessed this simple truth. In all our clever complexity, it is as if we cannot see the wood for the trees. Touch heals and deep touch heals deeply. It really is that simple.
Of course clients will turn up for their first session with something that needs fixing. The shoulder may be tight and the back may ache and the headaches won’t go away. Yet the greatest disservice we can do to this client is to just fix everything – until the next time. Then they go away still not understanding a single thing about their body and its immense wisdom. Nor do they understand anything about the power of healing touch to help them transform their lives.
Let’s be clear about this. No one turns up with these problems if they are happy. Something has gone wrong. They stopped listening to themselves and their bodies. They disconnected from their innate purpose in life and went into free fall. A real Massage therapist who understands the ancient healing power of touch catches them and reconnects them. A real Massage therapist understands that the least important part of a human being is their physical state. A real Massage therapist understands P.E.E.M.S.
In ascending order of importance above their physical condition, lies the energetic state of our clients. When this is disrupted, they MUST manifest physical illnesses and problems.This is where Acupuncture, Shiatsu,Tai Chi and Yoga can all bring their great healing benefits to humanity. This is why so many clients say that they feel “in harmony” and “back in balance” again, after receiving a deep and silent Massage treatment. The energy blockages have all been smoothed out.
Above this we have their emotional state. If this is skew, then it MUST disrupt a person’s energy system. When in distress our fuses are literally “blown”. This is the reason for so much emotional release during and after a Massage treatment. Emotions can build up and simply need a release, like a volcano that must erupt. How many clients walk in to the treatment room without any awareness of an emotional issue and are sobbing their hearts out ten minutes later?This is what happens in the presence of deep and healing touch.
Moving up a level we have the mental level. If our minds are confused or disordered in some way, if we are anxious or depressed, then this will have a massive impact on our emotional state. How can we feel calm when we worry about so many things? This is the reason for the power of psychotherapy to unravel the thought processes that harm us. Yet all psychotherapists will tell you that the client will come to their solutions in
their own time and in their own way. We just provide time and support. Massage does this, too. Having a weekly or fortnightly Massage session is so grounding and soothing to the mind. Many psychotherapists that I know are more addicted to Massage than psychotherapy. They understand the psychological power of healing touch.
Finally, we come to the highest level of all which is called the client’s spiritual state. If you turn off at this point then you may have a big problem. By spiritual I mean “living the life you were born for”. By spiritual I mean “living your truth”. By spiritual, I mean “having meaning and purpose beyond yourself”. Without this, the mind, the emotions, the energy and the body will all be disrupted. How can they not be? The beauty of deep and silent Massage is that each person is allowed to walk their own path in this existential land. The simple truth is that NOTHING connects us with our
truth and purpose better than powerful Massage. It is not a religion or a church, but if we are not afraid of its power, touch is profoundly spiritual.
The reason I am a Massage therapist first and foremost is because I know of no other therapy that addresses all five of these “states”. In one glorious smorgasbord of touch, we address the physical, the energetic, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual. Awesome.
So when our client turns up with their tight shoulder, yes I do want to address this area of pain. Mostly I do this by explaining to the client that “where it is, it ain’t and where it ain’t, it is”. This helps them understand why I will Massage large areas of their body seemingly unrelated to the injury or problem. Elsewhere I describe how I use the metaphor of ‘the shrunken suit’ to help clients understand how they can often heal from work in other parts of the body entirely. Once I have this contract for a whole body treatment, we are home and dry and I expect this client to stay with me
until their life is back in balance. Once it is in balance, I expect them to stay with me to support their amazing and miraculous journey of unfolding,
evolution and growth. Until one of us drops dead.
That is what NO HANDS® Massage is all about. Supporting Massage therapists as they grow and evolve into the powerful healers and modern day shamans that our society so desperately needs. We do this in a very simple and grounded way. We do it through the ancient power of healing touch. Deep touch. Touch that applies so much deep and gentle pressure, that sometimes you can hardly breathe for the sheer weight of it. This is what brings clients to your clinic over and over again and this is what builds a waiting list.