Create your ideal treatment environment. Consider the techniques you will use and the types of clients you hope to attract. In relaxation-oriented businesses, images of the outdoors are often used to help clients feel connected to nature. Clinical massage businesses benefit from medical charts and images that allow clients to see and understand the structures involved in their soft-tissue condition.
Lighting & Sound play an important part in setting the tone of your treatment. Consider Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps and Sound Machines.
Dimmer switches are ideal for treatment rooms. Lights can be made bright for cleaning or sanitizing equipment, adjusted to a medium setting for the health intake consultation, and turned down for the massage. Several pools of soft, diffused light or diffused natural light are more relaxing than one bright light in a corner or a room that’s too dark. Avoid candles because open flames are a safety hazard and they can pollute the air, especially when used in small rooms. Consider Natural Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps instead. Read about the Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt in our articles section.
Wall decorations can promote the image of the business, make a soothing impression on the client. Charts and anatomical charts can be functional as well as beautiful. Be sure to include a stylish mirror to offer the client a place to freshen up at the end of the session. Mirrors also allows the therapist to check his body mechanics during the session.
Decorative items on shelves, side tables, and windowsills help create interest and define the room’s—and therapist’s—style. A relaxation business using an all-natural theme might display shells, nonblooming plants (to avoid allergies), or unique stones. An orthopedic business might feature anatomical models of the body. Rattan baskets, bamboo, and Japanese river stones might adorn an Eastern bodywork business. Items can be functional as well as decorative. For example, one ayurvedic bodywork therapist has different types of Bhutanese, Indian, and Nepalese bells and chimes on display. They are beautiful to look at, but also sound lovely when she rings one to signal the beginning and end of the session.
Sound and Music
The auditory environment is important because it sets the tone for the session and helps to mask outside noise. Consider the flooring: a tile or wood floor may cause echoes that are annoying or distracting.
The wrong sort of music may be irritating to the client, while the right music can evoke strong feelings and beneficial physiological changes in the client. Research shows that music decreases anxiety, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure, even when the person is actively stressed.1 In a single session of music therapy delivered to hospice patients with chronic pain conditions, music decreased the participants’ overall levels of pain and increased their physical comfort.2 Research also shows that the positive physiological benefits of music are increased when clients can choose their own music.3 It is a good idea to have a variety of musical styles available and to ask clients about their musical preferences during the consultation. Clients can also be encouraged to bring their own appropriate music for the session.
A small snack following a session provides an opportunity for the client to wake up and come back to “real life” before venturing back out into the busy world. It doesn’t have to be elaborate—it can be as simple as a cup of green tea after the massage or a complementary chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Similarly, a sports massage therapist may serve a sports drink at the postevent massage. In the summer, clients may leave their treatment with a colorful popsicle to remind them that massage is fun. Fresh, filtered water should be provided before, during, and after the session. Food and drink should be simple, manageable, and individually packaged for safety, but focus on the intention of the offering: to welcome, to nourish on a spiritual level, and to show appreciation, care, and thoughtfulness.