The five senses often hold the key to quick stress relief. Turns out that engaging all of the senses, rather than just one, can multiply the benefits. This is so easy to do in a bodywork practice.
- How does your space look? How it looks affects how people feel. Remove clutter. Clutter engages the brain; you want to encourage your clients to disengage from thought, if only for one hour.
- Choose soothing colors, textures and images. Bright colors, mind-engaging art draws the attention first outward and then towards thought.
- Lighting. Provide adequate lighting for pre-session discussions and for your client to disrobe and get dressed following the session. Dim the lights during the hands-on portion of your time together. This subtly distinguishes a separation between the outer and inner worlds. Some clients love to block out all visual contact when receiving; have an eye pillow on hand.
- How are you dressed? Neutral, calming, conservative clothes, or bright, stimulating, eye-catching attire?
- Start with the ambient noise of your office. Reduce disturbing outside noises, using a white noise machine if necessary.
- Choose music (if the client wishes to have) carefully: instrumental, rather than singing; constant rhythm, low volume. Maybe even ask the client to choose.
- How about the tone of your voice?
- Are you inclined to chatter throughout the session, a practice that many clients find disturbing and even resent? Establish beforehand how much conversation the client wants; let her decide.
Olfactory impulses are conveyed to the primary area of the limbic system (visceral brain or the emotional switchboard of the brain) of the cerebral cortex of the brain, where they are interpreted as odor. Because the limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing & hormone balance, fragrances may be one of the fastest and more pleasurable ways to achieve physiological and/or psychological effects on the body.
- Study aromatherapy; incorporate essential oils into your lubrications. Burn candles between sessions to infuse the air (blow out during session; burning candles eats oxygen).
- Remember that your own body odor will have a strong impact on your guest’s experience. Odors such as garlic, onions, perfume, cigarette smoke and strong body odor are not generally well received.
- Offer a hot or iced herbal tea to clients to enjoy while filling out initial forms. Stock your waiting room with seasonal healthy drinks and/or water flavored with fresh mint, fresh fruit and/or cucumber slices.
- A “homeopathic dose” of chocolate is often appreciated following a session!
This is what your clients expect, what they came for! The above-mentioned sensual gifts simply serve to prepare your clients for your skilled and healing touch.
- Use an “airplane approach” when beginning your session. Abrupt contact can put the person’s nervous system on alert; a slow, gradual sinking in will continue your well-thought-out plan to bring your client to a deep state of relaxation.
- Adjust pressure to client’s desire. But that goes without saying, doesn’t it?