Of all the things a client can say to me I believe that “I trust you” holds the most value. Those three words resonate with me on a deep level. Yet they can have entirely different meanings from each client that utters them. Regardless, I value them just the same.
Trust by definition is “the reliability, truth, ability, and strength of someone or something.” (As defined by dictionary.com.) What a powerful statement!
An unbelievable amount of trust goes into each encounter we, as your massage therapist, have with a client. Here are a few areas where this trust is placed:
The intake form.
Before your first massage, you are asked to fill out a client intake form. Personal information is gathered for your therapist to use in assessing the most appropriate treatment for your needs. Not only are the basics of your name, address, and phone number asked, but we also ask about your health history, current medical conditions, and medications. That information will be discussed with you, as our client, and no one else. We won’t sell your address, or broadcast any information we gather to another client.
In most cases, you are asked to disrobe to the level of your comfort. My clients trust that their space will be respected during their whole treatment. I have had situations where I may need to do a stretch or place a limb in a position that may risk exposing part of your body. I will let you know when this may happen and ask your permission.
This is where the majority of trust is placed and various areas it applies:
- My knowledge of anatomy and physiology as it applies to massage therapy.
- My knowledge of the appropriate treatment to meet your needs.
- My knowledge of the proper way to apply a particular modality.
- My knowledge of contraindications for massage therapy and when it is appropriate to not apply a particular technique.
- My ability to connect with your body and know what your limits for treatment are.
You are trusting that I am working within my scope of practice (truth), my skill set (ability), and within your boundaries (reliability). No posing here. I don’t fake credentials, knowledge, or skills. If I don’t know something, I will let you know!
There may be times when I am trying one way to address an issue you are having. If I think something else may be more appropriate, I will let you know. Sometimes this is because I have just learned a new way to approach a situation. It’s so new, that it may seem different or unusual. I love that usually when I am explaining this, a client will go with it almost immediately with the words, “I trust you”.
People pay a variety of ways. Cash, check, and credit, we accept it all. We also sell gift certificates and packages. Clients trust that their payment methods will not be compromised. They also trust that when the purchase a gift certificate or package there will be accurate record keeping. Some clients are so trusting they don’t even request a package punch card. Regardless, it is my responsibility to keep up with the accounting and provide the services that were paid for.
For me, I know that most levels of trust is earned and not given freely. When my clients place their trust in me I know that they understand and know that I have no intention of doing harm. I would also like to believe that clients understand trust is important to their massage treatment being successful.
What is the most important way you need to trust your massage therapist?
#12 in the 31 in August blogging challenge. My rope may be fraying, but I’ve tied a big ‘ole knot and I’m hanging on!