Archive for the ‘TIPS FOR CLIENTS’ Category

This seems to be the ever ending dilemma of whether you should tip your therapist or not. It’s really a simple question to answer. It all depends on what type of service you are receiving. Usually in a spa environment it is expected for the client is to tip the therapist. In a medical setting when you are paying insurance tipping is not necessary. When uncertain do not be afraid to ask if gratuity is customary for that business. If service is satisfactory a tip may be in order.
In my business tipping is not necessary but appreciated. It is your choice to give gratuity or not. It should never be opposed or enforced in any establishment.
Sometimes the client does not know gratuity etiquette. The client may assume the gratuity is included in the service fee. Another reason could be the client may only afford the service but not the tip. They might be embarrassed because of the lack of funds for the tip. No explanation is ever needed in why you can not give one. If you received exceptional service, in lieu of a tip you can schedule another session or refer friends and family out to the therapist. I personally would rather for you to be a returning client. Save the tip for your next session.
When paying for your massage session by credit card, my processing company will give you options to leave a tip. This is normal procedure with all credit card companies. It gives you options to choose to tip or not.  The choice is yours to do so or not.
Gratitude is an exchange of energy. It manifests in many ways for both the client and the therapist. I am always grateful of the returning client. In appreciation I give up to 15 minutes to frequent clients (when I am not booked back to back in sessions). I give this freely. I do not expect anything in return for the extra session time nor a tip. It is my gratitude to you for selecting me as your massage therapist.
Suzan Walker, LMT
Connective Integration Massage Therapy
3100 West Arkansas Lane
Suite 108
Arlington, Texas 76016

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“Is it best to take a shower before getting a massage?”

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My answer is always yes if you meet the criteria:

If you do any type of construction, outside work or exercise you will need to take a shower before seeing a massage therapist. Debris such as dirt clings to the skin and may scratch you when massage strokes are applied. A hot bath or shower will open up pores, relax and help loosen the fascia and muscles. Exfoliating the skin with a cotton washcloth, loofah or Agate cloth will help increase circulation while removing dead skin cells.

I have no shower facilities at my office so you will need to take one before seeing me. 

For the ladies:

“I’m a bit embarrassed but I haven’t shaved my legs. Is it ok to still schedule my appointment for a massage?

As I always stress never allow hair stubble (hairy legs) deter you from getting your regular massage maintenance.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me if you shave or not. By not shaving your legs it will never take away from the quality of your massage session.

Have a question about massage therapy?

If you have any massage related questions, please feel free to ask them and I will answer them.

Suzan Walker, LMT

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Do you want a cheap, ineffective and rushed massage session? Would you rather prefer a high quality, effective massage? My business always caters to those that need and require the best in massage therapy.

I never have had a issue with competition nor my prices because my business is entirely different from the rest. Keep on reading and you’ll see why.

If you feel the price of my massage is too much for you, please consider the following:

1. First time client’s receive a free consult over the phone. I prepare a verbal health assessment before and after the massage session. Last but not least you will receive a unrushed and uninterrupted massage session. If you have a certain muscle or medical condition, I research it. This helps me to prepare before working on you. I have been known to learn specific techniques for clients that may have special needs.

2. Quality oils, lotions, and aromatherapy only! Absolutely nothing toxic nor low quality goes on your skin that may cause a reaction. I use pain relief cream called “Relief,” arnica gel (for bruising and stiffness) and white flower oil ( for stuffy noses, congestion.) I have over 20 essential oils and can make a propriety blend for you. Nothing but the best for my clients. Most of the products I use are organic and come from reliable suppliers.

3. I provide homework, follow-up care, a free trigger point therapy ball and instructions on how to maintain your massage. I want you to be a informed client and be proactive in your health care. I will show you how to use the trigger point ball before you leave. If necessary I will show you how to perform stretches on yourself. Plus, I give you bottled water after your session. No charge for water in my business.

4. Upon your request, I will follow-up with you the next day by phone to make sure everything is fine. I care about you. I want to make sure you are better before you came in to see me.

5. If you have questions you can always contact me. If I do not have a answer to your question, I will find the answer. If I cannot help you, I will refer you out to additional specialists such as a doctor, chiropractor or another massage therapist. I want to make sure that you deserve the best in your health care regiment.

6. What a wonderful way to reward frequent clients than with a free birthday massage? Regular clients receive a free one-hour massage for their birthday month.

7. If time allows, additional minutes may be applied to your session free of charge.

8. Complementary hot stones and warm foot booties provided per request. A warm massage table with plenty of cushioning for your comfort. A Boiance face rest cushion is used to reduce sinus pressure while you are prone. I have a variety of bolsters such as a breast bolster for comfort. Warm compresses and hot towels for your session to freshen the skin. I use hot or cold pack for your session, too.

Ask yourself, would most massage therapists or establishments take the time to work with you in the way I would?

After reviewing, why would you not schedule a massage with me? Please consider what you are receiving from me not be priceless?

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Friends dont let friends

I just want to reiterate my no show and cancellation policy for all returning clients and possible new clients. Apparently there have been some boundary issues that I need to address.

For my business to run smoothly I need to be on a schedule.

Please respect my time and I shall in return respect yours. When you schedule a appointment in advance make sure that you put it on your calendar. I send out reminders 24 hours in advance so no excuses!

If you are bad at keeping advance appointments, please do not make one in advance.  You can always call for same day service. That’s what most clients do anyway.

Cancellation policy: You must provide a 24-hour notice if you decide to cancel. That means exactly 24 hour turn around from which your appointment was scheduled. Calling me or texting on the same day is no longer acceptable. Exceptions apply if a family emergency occurs or if you are ill. I will give you a few days to reschedule your appointment. If I do not hear back from you in mater of days I will bill you for the session missed.

No Show Clients: Clients that forget their scheduled appointment will now be billed for the session missed. No exceptions. I held that appointment time specifically for you. I cannot get someone at the last minute to take your place.

Chronic Late Arrivals: If you are more than five minutes late, time will be docked from your session.

Late arrivals will no longer have the option of rescheduling. If you are more than 15 minutes late you may take the rest of your scheduled time or you will be billed for the full session.

I want to make certain you get 100% of your session time yet I also want to honor the person that is scheduled behind you, too. I do my best to make certain everyone’s session begins on time.

Please note: If I do not not have anyone scheduled after you and if you are not frequently late I won’t dock your time. Traffic happens and I understand that. Call me if you are running late and I will make concessions. It is greatly appreciate it. If permitted, I can rework my appointment book and wiggle in some extra time. I cannot do this if you do not give me notice. I have others that need to book appointments too. I need to know when I can schedule the next possible client.

New Clients: Arrive ten minutes early to fill out paper work and discuss your medical history. To save a little time, you may print and fill out paper work before hand by going to the web site to retrieve those forms. You appointment time begins on the hour you requested.

By showing up extremely late constantly, canceling your appointment at the last minute or by not showing to your appointment tells me you are not ready to work with me. Not only are you cheating yourself but you are cheating others out of valuable time and energy, too. How can you take care of anyone if you cannot take care of yourself? Keep that in mind when you neglect your health routine.

When you are ready to work with me you are more than welcome to give me a call. Sorry, I do not need client’s that do not respect my time by no showing, arriving extremely late or constantly canceling appointments. Please contact someone else for services.

I am aware things do happen. I am willing to work with you but you have to work with me, too. Life happens but your actions not only affect you they affect others as well. I am setting time aside for you that is uninterrupted and 100% focus is on you. Just remember to tell yourself that you are valuable and that a massage is necessary for your health and well-being. You truly deserve it! Never think otherwise.

Cell phones are not permitted in the massage room while a massage is in session. Cell phones are extremely disruptive to the energy flow of the session.

“Cell Phone Policy: No more cell phones allowed in the treatment room. Your cell phone must be on silent. Your work, children or anything else can wait for one hour. Calls and text messaging interrupts the eb and flow of the session. Sometimes a cell phone can cause undo stress causing your muscles to tense up. This is your time to focus on you. Not anyone else.”

Please understand I am a one person business. I work very hard for what I do. I cannot feed my family, pay my rent, liability, insurance, CEU classes and certification if you do not show up to your appointment.

Thank you for understanding and I do appreciate your business.

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“Why do I need to fill out a client intake form for?”

Massage therapy falls under medical guidelines of the State of Texas. The state requires all medical professionals keep records of all medical paperwork with clients.

The state requires the forms to have the following:

1. Name
2. Address
3. Phone number
4. Birth date
5. What massage techniques are being used
6. Medical history
7. Client/therapist release

Client intake forms are necessary for both client and therapist. By filling out the forms this insures your contact information is up-to-date, as well as your medical information. I need to know if you are able to receive a massage with no medical contraindications. It is an required for a new clients to fill out the form. It does not matter if you scheduled a office visit or an out call appointment. I could care less if you are a high profile professional, a celebrity or just an average Joe. (For the love of Pete, fill out the paper work so you can get a massage!)

If your form is not filled out correctly or you refuse to fill out a form, a massage will not take place. Not only could you be placing your health at risk but you are placing my business at risk by not disclosing your medical health. There are many contradictions for massage therapy and can be found here.

Why should you stress over simple paper work that you fill out for another other medical professional? You have to fill out the necessary paperwork for doctors, dentists, nutritionists, chiropractors or any other medical professional. Why should a massage therapist be any different?

I am more than willing to fill out your paperwork for you if you are unable to. Ask and I am more obliged to do so. Sometimes we forget previous medical conditions. I always make notes each session so that is not a issue. Sometimes by touching certain muscles or areas of the body you can remember old injuries and surgeries.

By filling out the form, this helps keep track of your progress and what is required by the state. Just like any medical professional we must keep notes on your session for insurance purposes too. If the state was to audit me I could be fined by not having clients information on file.

For those that would like sessions notes: Session notes are available to both new and old clients. You must put in a request for these notes and I will provide session notes within 24 hours.

Your medical and personal information is protected by HIPPA. You will not be solicited nor will your information be shared or sold. On another note, you will not be contacted unless you have verbally ask edor have written it on your form to be contacted. If you schedule your appointment online or asked to be kept up-to-date on my services, expect a email. You do not want to be contacted by email? Don’t put down your email address on your form. It’s that simple.

If you go to a therapist that does not require you to fill out a form or a release, it’s a pretty good indication that person is not following the law or they are not licensed.

Thank you for understanding.

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For new clients that are redeeming gift certificates:

Please book your appointment at least 24 hours in advanced. Sometimes same day service is not available for new clients due to my schedule. Not only do I provide office appointment but I perform out call and doula services too.

My schedule is on a first come first served basis. You may call the office at anytime. If I have same day availability I can place you on the schedule.

By scheduling your appointment ahead of time, it ensures you have that time scheduled especially for you. It is your time to relax and enjoy your massage. I send out reminders via email and by text a day before your scheduled session. To ensure you do not miss your allotted time please put it on your calendar. By arriving a ten minutes early this helps reduce rushing and stress. This time is set aside to become familiar with me. This time is necessary to fill out paper work before the session begins. If you need a little extra time on paper work, you may go to my web site to find the forms. Your time begins on the hour you requested. Depending on my schedule late arrivals may have time deducted from their appointment time.

Thank you for understanding.

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You get what you pay for

I receive daily calls asking this same question…

This is always the first question that a possible client ask, “how much do you charge?”
The question you should be asking what type of massage the massage therapist provides or specializes in, how many years have they been in business business and are they qualified to perform the work on you or a loved one.

Are they compassionate? Do they care about your health and well-being? Will they be there after your massage? Will they tell you what you need to do to maintain your massage? Regardless of the amount you pay, if you have a well qualified therapist that shows compassion and is knowledgeable, the massage worth is priceless.

Price should be the last thing on your mind. You are interviewing a possible therapist to work on your body whether it be relaxation or medical. You are interviewing for a possible long-term massage therapist. Trust must be earned from both parties involved. You are allowing someone into your personal space to perform a massage on you. Massage is intimate. Within five minutes of meeting someone, you are giving them your faith and trust that they are knowledgeable in their craft. You want to be as comfortable as possible with the therapist. That is why you interview before the massage takes place.

By someone calling to only inquire about the price of a massage only tells me that you do not care what my business has to offer nor how I can assist in your long-term massage therapy goals or needs. It tells me you are not serious in booking a massage at all. You are wasting your time including mine if price is your only concern.

If you cannot afford the price of a massage I can always work something out with you. There is nothing that cannot be negotiated in life. Remember, I do perform a service for a fee. I am not a commodity nor a product. You will never see me on groupon nor deep discounting my services. I will not send out daily texts or even emails weekly to bother you about specials. I don’t “do” discounts or specials. My personal view of massage therapy is not that way and should never be treat as such in my opinion. I’m not a fly by night business. I have been in business for nearly six years with fourteen years experience in massage therapy and in the healing arts. I’m a professional and that would be a disservice not only to you but to my profession if I treated massage therapy as a product. A question I pose is that would you treat your doctor the way you treat a massage therapist?

Massage is a life long goal for health and well-being. It will assist in all aspects of life. From relaxation to prenatal to muscle injury but not limited to the every day stress of life. Massage helps to better improve your quality of life. It helps increase circulation, breaks up muscle adhesion, reduce trigger point formation, calms the mind, relaxes the muscles and the list goes on and on. Ask me how massage therapy can benefit your condition. I can give you a answer.

If you are on the fence you are more than welcome to review my web site http://www.massageandhealingdfw.com/ to make a informed choice. There is plenty of information to read for your review. You certainly will get what you pay for when you ask questions and are informed about what massage therapy really is all about. It will make you a informed consumer and client. “You are paying for quality not quantity.” Be a client not a customer.

Massage therapy is a partnership involving both client and the therapist. The therapist communicates and works with you in massage therapy goals and needs. It is vital that you do communicate with your therapist.

Please consider all of this before calling any massage therapist.

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Drink plenty of water before and after a massage.

Epsom salt baths can assist in reduction of soreness in the muscles and joints. One cup of Epsom salts to a tub of hot water. Soak for 20 minutes.

When possible, use hot or cold packs. Leave on the body no longer than 20 minutes. Remember if muscles are inflamed or injury occurred within 24 hours, you will need to use cold packs.

Refrain from drinking large amounts of alcohol after your massage.

Rest is necessary in repairing the body so make sure you get plenty of it.

Stretch once in the morning and in the evening. Stretching throughout the day helps too. Make sure to take mini stretch breaks if you have a sedentary occupation. Partnering up with a “stretching buddy” will assist in deeper stretching and motivation to keep on stretching! A foam roller is excellent way to stretch your muscles too.

Use a massage tool such as a Thera Cane, The Knobble or a rubber ball to work out trigger points. You can purchase these items at any sports equipment center or online.

Use a analgesic such as “Relief Cream” to reduce discomfort. Arnica gel to reduce bruising, swelling and stiffness. Ibuprofen is suggested to decrease inflammation and tenderness.
Relief cream, arnica gel or apple cider vinegar are alternatives for those that want to avoid medications or aspirin for pain.

Apple cider vinegar has been known to reduce possible symptoms of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after a massage or workout. Apple cider aides in reduction of water retention, reduces inflammation, removes metabolic waste and eliminates uric acid deposits in the body. Recommendation: Mix 1 to 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to 8 oz of water. Optional: 1 tsp of organic honey to taste. Drink once in the morning and in the evening.

Make regular massage appointments to reduce trigger points and negative muscle memory formations.


Place the rubber ball in a tube sock (prevents slipping when working out trigger point). You will need to lean against a wall or lie down on the ball while pressing firmly on the trigger point. You will hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds. To loosen up the muscles you may rotate the ball. You may repeat these steps several times without injuring yourself.

This may take a several attempts to alleviate the trigger point. Just keep trying and it will eventually work itself out. Each time that your press on the trigger point or knot, the body will release natural pain relievers called endorphin’s. When you press in the area, the pain and tenderness should decrease.

Trigger points will be reduced by performing these simple self care steps.

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Muscle StrainClient question: What do you do for muscle spams?

Got a muscle spasm?

A quick solution is to apply pressure with your fist or a rubber ball to the affected muscle by holding pressure to the area for 10 to 15 seconds then repeating several times. The spasm should decrease. You can repeat this step several times until the muscle relaxes. Then apply heat. This is a great solution when you are unable to get to a therapist.

Your muscles could be in spasm due to injury. If the muscles are not inflamed you can apply a warm compress or heating pad to the area. The moist heat will warm up the fascia by releasing the muscle. The heat will sooth the muscle by giving you some relief.

If you are having cramps or a spasm in the feet you could be deficient in magnesium, calcium and potassium. It is another sign your body is dehydrated. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to hydrate your muscles and using a supplement to replenish your electrolytes.

These are just some simple solutions you can do for self care.

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After careful consideration and multiple problems with calls after 9 pm, I decided to end the 24-hour/emergency service as of last year.

My hours of operation are Monday thru Friday, 10 am to 7 pm and Saturday, 10 am. to 4 pm. These are ideal hours for most people. If you would like a later appointment, you must call in advance during business hours. If you are calling after my regular hours of operation, I do screen calls and listen to voice mail. If it is truly an emergency, leave me a message and I will return your call.

All out call sessions must be secured by credit card. Please keep in mind I do not schedule massages past 10 pm. Want to know why? Keep on reading.

I am always honest with my clients as to why I no longer perform late night out calls. I need to take extra precautions for my own safety and well being. One of the reasons is that Yellow Pages has placed every massage therapists in the DFW under keywords “erotic, tantra, sexual and hand jobs.” This places massage therapists in possible danger.

The massage profession is completely different than what it when I first started my out call business nearly six years ago. From personal experience I have had a few very close calls during several late night out calls. I’ve had calls from male clients asking for deep tissue or sports massage. Some claiming that they were in severe pain. Upon arriving, they changed their request to sensual/sexual massage. The client called me to their location under false pretenses. I won’t go into details of what has happened in a few occurrences. I will tell you no amount of money is worth going through the emotional trauma or sexual harassment of some predator getting his jollies off. I love the work I do. I am willing to help anyone that is in pain yet I will not place myself in unsafe circumstances nor tolerate this sort of behavior. Like anyone I do have limits. Anyone that does not understand my reasoning on this issues I prefer not to have you as a client.

This is simply not a rare occurrence. I network with other therapists experiencing similar occupancies. Unfortunately, several LMT’s I know left the massage profession due to the sexual harassment.

Whether you are seeking a professional massage or something sensual, you need to review the web site before calling. This ensures that if you are calling a LMT or a prostitute. There is a difference and it is not appreciated when a LMT receives solicitation for sex. It’s offensive. A LMT is not part of your fantasy. A LMT went to school to study massage therapy, the anatomy and physiology of the human body. We’ve spent hundred if not thousands of hours perfecting our craft. Many of us have spent thousands of dollars each year for specialization course work, CEU’s, licensing, liability insurance and rent each year. A LMT would never jeopardize their license nor their credibility to provide you with sexual services. If they do, they are not a LMT.

Thank you for understanding.

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