How Do You Close Your Sessions?

By Brandon Twyford
[Tips for Today]

Ask any seasoned massage therapist and they’ll tell you the end of the hands-on part of a session is much more than simply telling the client the session is over. It’s an opportunity to bring closure to the work, to positively frame the experience, and end on a soothing note that makes the client want to come back for more. Once you’ve developed your own closing ritual, it can also be a way to personalize your service and make yourself stand out from the crowd of cookie-cutter massages.

We asked some MTs on staff at ABMP what their closing rituals are. Do you see any similarities to your own? Do any inspire you to put your own twist on them and incorporate them into your own sessions? Let us know! Drop us an email at

I gently place my hands on the chakra point at the forehead, then down to the chest and solar plexus, above and below the navel, a light effleurage over the stomach, and touch the hips, knees, and ankle joints on the way down, finally anchoring at the K1 acupressure point on the bottom of the feet (basically right in the middle of the sole). Then, I remove the bolster, thank clients for our time together, encourage them to take their time as they get off the table, and let them know I’ll be outside when they’re ready.

I like to close a session with slow, rhythmic, alternating compression down the medial aspect of the lower legs, transitioning to alternating thumb pressure along the medial aspect of the feet to a thumb and index fingerhold on each of the big toes. This is a soothing way to ground clients after a session. For repeat clients, it becomes a reassuring closing ritual that gently signifies the end of the session.

In my standard massage session, I try to always save time to end with a short scalp massage. Then, I compress the body, making my way down to the feet where I touch and hold the feet in order to ground the client. I take a deep breath, holding the feet, and brush the energy off my hands. I bring my palms together, exhaling between them. I end the session by saying, “Thank you [client’s first name].”

I heat a damp towel and wrap it on the client's face as a final touch. If the client is open to it, I sprinkle some essential oil on the towel for a little aromatherapy treatment. This is an idea I borrowed from another massage therapist, because when I received it, I loved it! The great part of this, too, is that clients can use the scented towel to dab off any excess massage oil before putting their clothes back on.