"How Do I Tell People What I Do?" Language for Massage and Bodywork Therapists

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This question recently came up during our weekly Bodywork Project Office Hours Call, where participants have a chance to ask questions and get direct feedback both from me and the other members of the group.

It’s such a good question!

This particular student was getting ready to reach out to meet with other professionals in her area, and she practices a hybrid of several modalities to create a unique experience for each of her clients.

The problem was that she wasn’t sure how to communicate what the heck it was that she did during sessions.

Whether you’re speaking to clients or to potential clients at a networking event, the most important thing you can do is to mirror them by speaking their language.

If a client comes to you and tells you that their energy is off and their heart chakra feels closed, you need to be able to communicate in that language. They will connect with you when you speak about how your modality can open chakras or shift energy.

You don't want to respond by giving them a run-down of the cellular components of fascia and how that might be contributing to the feeling of being closed off in their thoracic inlet.

They'll tune you out, and not get the most from your work together because you're not meeting them where they are.

If you’re speaking with other professionals, it’s the same idea. Ask questions first — find out what type of work they do, but also who they enjoy working with and what their dreams are for their practice.

Then, you can meet them where they are and really connect, using language that will make sense to them.

If you meet someone at a networking event, and she tells you that she loves working with people with headaches because her work releases tension in the shoulders, mirror that back by talking about the physical aspects of the work you do. If you create a connection, you can always expand on that and explain the energetic side of your work as you continue to talk.

Most folks are somewhere in the middle -- they may be interested in both anatomy and energy, as it pertains to the issues they're struggling with and the work that they do.

And one more tip when you’re networking, especially with other bodyworkers — please remember that we are all colleagues.

We all deserve respect and kindness. Every modality can help people — none is “better” than any other, and there are plenty of clients to go around. Together, we can all lift one another up!

Focus on connecting and being fully present, rather than on impressing, and you’ll begin to not only enjoy networking, but you’ll see more results.

If you'd like to learn more about the steps you can take to build your massage or bodywork practice, take the Bodyworker Clarity Quiz. You’ll receive a Quickstart Guide to help you along your journey. You can do this!