Educating Massage Clients is one of the best ways to create awareness and acceptance about massage. The recent Al Gore scandal with a massage therapist in Oregon and the women on “The View” making comments about the situation really shows what massage therapists really need to be doing – educating clients.
Sidebar on The View incident:
Al Gore accused of bad behavior with a massage therapist
(to see some of the news stories I posted them on my other website)
The View makes comments– Youtube. “massage always has the potential to go wrong”. “Nothing good happens after the first hour in a massage.”
I think the problem though is in the word educating. Education is not talking at people telling them about massage, about what you can do and why they should get a massage. The root word of Education is educare, which means to “draw out.” To educate, therefore, means to draw out something that fundamentally is already there. In the process of education, you actually become aware of yourself. In most of our standard examples of education like in public schools and in massage school it becomes just a memorizing of information and a regurgitation of that information. It isn’t education.
To educate clients and potential clients it is more about building a relationship with them. It is about setting aside your own agendas to even get a massage appointment and showing a real interest in them. It begins with asking people questions to find out their needs. Then if you find that their needs match what you have to offer you can then easily talk about what massage can do for them.
I have heard a few massage therapists say things like ” I have sent many letters over the years to doctors and others trying to educate them and it didn’t work.” While I don’t know for sure what was in the letters I would guess that it wasn’t educating and it was more about them. It might have been more along the lines of presenting information that the recipient wasn’t interested in.
To educate others you need to forget what you know about massage – all the big terms, the name of the muscles and things like that. The ‘Curse of Knowledge” from Chip and Dan Heaths Book “Made to Stick” says:
Once we know something it is hard to imagine what it is like to not know it. Our knowledge has cursed us. And it becomes difficult for us to share our knowledge with others, because we can’t really create our listeners state of mind.
After reading the response by the AMTA I started thinking that it wasn’t educating the people on The View.
What would you say to the people on The View if you were there on the panel at the time of the discussion?