As I begin my 20th year as a Licensed Massage Therapist, I've decided that, over the next 3 to 5 years, I will begin reducing the amount of clients that I can help each week.
Many massage therapists leave the profession before their five-year anniversary, mainly from not specializing (leading to a small clientele) or failing to take care of his or her health & fitness or having unresolved injuries that make massage therapy too difficult to provide.
Since I began my massage therapy career and started learning the best ways to help my clients, the demand for the service I provide has been increasing each year, which I have been thankful for. But with an unfortunate genetic tendency for arthritic joints that has started to manifest after the many years of overuse, I will have to limit my availability to only the clients whom I can describe as my "Ideal Clients."
For the most part, I have "given a pass" to clients over the years who have done things that an Ideal Client would never do. The fact that I won't be able to help as many clients as I have been means that I can no longer help those non-Ideal Clients.
What exactly is an Ideal Client?
Each person who offers services to the public has his or her own definition of the Ideal Client. After providing massage therapy to thousands of clients (many of whom I would consider "Ideal"), I have found that a percentage of clients are more difficult to work with or make my work more challenging than it needs to be. So I will not be able to provide service to clients who do not meet my definition of an Ideal Client.
Are you an Ideal Client?
My Ideal Client is someone that I look forward to seeing, that I find rewarding to be able to help with my massage therapy, and who appreciates the effort that I give to help them. To be more specific, based on the thousands of clients I've provided massage therapy to, below is a list of that of characteristics that make up
my Ideal Client. However, it is not necessary to meet every one of these characteristics to schedule massage sessions with me.
An Ideal Client...
understands the value of prevention and has regularly scheduled massage
as opposed to always waiting until the last-minute when the pain gets real bad, then scheduling
regularly arrives for his or her appointment 5 to 10 minutes before its start time (and no earlier than that, since that can rush the therapist and shorten a needed break)
has a personal reminder system (e.g., phone calendar app, paper calendar) so he or she will not miss
an appointment if not reminded
schedules most appointments at least 24 hours before the desired start time (ideally, multiple weeks before that)
notifies the therapist at least 24 hours in advance if he or she needs to cancel or reschedule an appointment
is late for an appointment no more than once out of every 20 appointments
texts or calls as soon as it's obvious that he or she will not be on time for an appointment (however, emergencies can
happen and cause a last-minute change, but emergencies aren't often)
follows recommendations given to him or her regarding activities to do and not do between appointments
is comfortable with the therapist's selection of soft instrumental music
is comfortable with a room temperature between 71 and 75 degrees (including the use of heated mattress pad and/or
doesn't start conversations about political or religious topics
doesn't require a "special" setup for the massage table or massage room that 95% of other clients do not require
doesn't wear excessive perfume/cologne
doesn't arrive to massage appointment with wet hair (which soaks through
sheet to table padding and negatively affects the
next client's massage)
I do have quite a few regular clients who can check off every one of those characteristics, making them my top Ideal Clients. And as difficult as it may be to believe, I have clients who can only check off one of those characteristics--those are
the clients who are too far from Ideal and will no longer be able to schedule massage therapy with me.
If you are currently or not currently a client of mine, but can check off most of the characteristics above, feel free to contact me to schedule your appointment!
Northrup, LMT, CHC
Got any questions? E-mail me at Howard@HowardNorthrup.com