The Ideal Massage Session

What clients really want

By Darren Buford

ABMP recently conducted its National Consumer Survey and asked massage clients how their last session could have been better. We found the results enlightening and useful! Here are some ways for you to address their feedback.  


24% want longer sessions

 Tip: Be sure to offer your clients the ability to extend sessions beyond 60 minutes (and come up with an enticing pricing option to do so!). If your clients only have time for a traditional 60-minute massage, be sure to complete the intake and get to the actual massage as soon as professionally possible (i.e., limit the chitchat). 

19%  want more (or less) intensity 

Tip: Communicate carefully and frequently with clients to find out what kind of pressure they like (and don’t like). Checking in before, during, and after sessions can help keep you on target with each client’s wishes.


14%  want a more   comfortable environment

Tip:Creating a professional setting is critical. Become the client. Experience a massage in your own space to get a sense of what your clients see, hear, smell, and feel.   

8% want to benefit more from sessions

 Tip: Explain that the benefits of massage are cumulative and how establishing a regular bodywork regimen as preventive care can help manage their overall health. And, of course, ask clients to rebook their appointments!

Some Final Thoughts


Clients also reported they want better communication and therapists who are flexible in their scheduling, who are confident but not all-knowing, and who display state licensure or certification (don’t you feel more confident when your physician displays her credentials?).  

Statistics courtesy of Harstad Strategic Research, January 2013.Some Final Thoughts

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