-- Ask, “Are there any areas you don’t want to have massaged, today?”
Clients may be wearing makeup or going out to work or dinner after their session. Some clients cannot have their feet touched at all. This will also help you to make better use of your time if you know you have wiggle-room.
-- Ask, “What kind of pressure do you prefer?”
Remember that pressure is a subjective measurement. Use a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lightest feather-touch and 10 being crushing. Your pressure of 3 might feel like a 7 to your client, or vice versa. This tolerance or preference can also change between sessions.
-- Ask about a bolster and client’s comfort upon entering your space.
My routine after I close my office door to start a session includes turning off one of my lights, giving a client a bolster if requested, and wrapping their feet with warmed towels before I sit at the head of the table (if they’re starting supine). Any lapses or interruptions to the routine can throw off my groove and then I’ll realize I left my lotion on the shelf or missed another step.
-- Get to the client’s focus area within the first 10-20 minutes.
I love to save “the best for last,” but you don’t want your client to sit in a silent panic that you won’t have enough time to give their problem area your focus. It’s okay to...
-- Shake up your routine.
Head-to-toe and toe-to-head is a great framework, but it’s not a cardinal rule. You’re allowed to start a client face-down. With hand sanitizer ready, you could start by working on their feet. Try out new ways of performing the usual strokes (i.e. using a forearm instead of knuckles, etc.).
-- Consolidate strokes and steps of your routine.
If you’re aiming for a relaxing session, minimize turning the client’s head side-to-side or flipping them over frequently. Do one gliding, encompassing motion on each finger or toe. Steps that involve the hairline or anything above it should be done as part of the scalp routine so as to...
-- Minimize or Avoid Getting Lubricant in the Client’s Hair
Clients hate this. Unless they’ve signed up for an Ayurvedic oil treatment, it’s best to have clean, dry hands for scalp work. You might also choose to have a small can of dry shampoo available for freshening up after their session.