Do you actually know the benefits your clients receive from your work? Or are you operating from your imagination?
What if the benefit(s) your clients are reaping are different than what you think they are? Would it change the focus of your session? Would you include different add-ons or maybe offer some resources?
As homework in the fourth module of this year’s Certification program last month, I asked the participants to ask each of their practicum clients to tell them what the number one benefit was that they were getting from their sessions. I’m looking forward to hearing what they discovered next month when they return for the fifth and final module.
In the meantime, I decided to put that same question to my clients last week. Some responses were as I expected, but some were not. And in addition to getting me to re-think my session focuses a little, my question led to some interesting conversations and deepened the therapeutic relationships. My clients were all very touched by my genuine interest in their wellbeing.
Below is what resulted from talking to four regular clients one day last week. I asked for the number one benefit; none could state just one, but they did try to put in order of importance.
My Imagination: increased mobility
#1 body-mind connection/awareness
#2 strengthened nerve stimulation
* This woman arrived in a wheel chair four months ago after having had a stroke that paralyzed her legs. She has gone from that to a walker and now a rollator, so we are seeing great improvement. My imagination was that restoring the ability to walk unaided would be number one.
* I’m not sure yet how my intention will change here, but I have this undeniable sense that it will. Obviously, I will continue to work to stimulate nerve function and strengthen her muscles, but I think there’s more. Not sure what yet.
My Imagination: relaxation
#1 deep relaxation
#2 escape from everyday life
#3 improved sleep
* The first two came as no surprise, but the third did. Now that I know that sleep is an issue, I will add in the endocrine reflexes in addition to the CNS and diaphragm reflexes I have been focusing on.
* I will create an ambient essential oil spray and an essential oil blend she can massage into her feet before closing her eyes for the night.
My Imagination: less pain in hands and feet
#1 quiet mind and relaxed body
#2 elevated mood
#3 improved feeling/less pain in hands and feet
#4 decreased back tension
This client initially came to me because of the hand and foot symptoms she was experiencing as a result of an ongoing chemotherapy regime she must take for the rest of her life. I assumed that what kept her coming back week after week was the positive results we had achieved that now allowed her to resume some of her regular activities. To hear that she placed a greater importance on the quieting of her internal chatter and her mood changes was revealing, and encourages me to share other ways she might raise her mental and emotional sense of well-being between visits.
My Imagination: decreased neck and shoulder pain
#1 “always, always, ALWAYS feel better than when I arrive”
#3 quieted mind and body
* Interesting that she didn’t even mention the chronic neck and shoulder pain of 20 years! Now that she no longer experiences that, she is able to go deeper in her contact with herself and allow her high-strung personality to relax more and more with every session.
* The best part of this interaction though was the increased trust she felt; so much so that she shared a niggling health concern that I think warrants an intervention by someone other than a reflexologist. Although not a big deal in this moment; left unattended, it will be. I’m so glad that we talked about this and that I am able to refer her to someone who can help.
I’m sharing this little exercise with the hope that you may feel inspired to do the same with some of your regulars. This is such an easy way to increase the value of what you are offering. Getting the specifics might just surprise you. If you do decide to try this little experiment, I hope you will share what you learn in the comment section below.
Anne Andrews says
Thanks, Karen. Reading this has inspired me to do the same. I have been thinking about sending my clients a survey but I think asking them personally would be more meaningful. I would be very interested in a marketing workshop for LMT’s and look forward to hearing more info.
Karen Ball says
I agree, Anne, that doing this in person will yield better responses, more useful information, and likely a stronger relationship. Good luck!
Ann crown says
I have been attending a relaxation to help myself and pass on techniques to my reflexology clients – most describe day to day stress is reason for treatment and feeling not guilty taking an hour away from family to totally switch off – something they find difficult to do in their homes – suggest they find a quite place and time 10-15. Mins to concentrate on breathing and unwinding daily if poss – my clients r being encouraged to not talk thro treatment for best results some find just being quiet difficult – work in progress.
Karen Ball says
It almost always seems to come down to how we deal with stressors in our lives, doesn’t it? And yes, we are all still a work in progress!