Top Ten Holistic Tips for Therapists

Tip 1: Drinking Water

This is the tip that most people have heard of but usually don’t understand the reasoning behind it.

How many times have you struggled to get your client to drink more water after their treatment! They may have excuses like I don’t like water, or I forget to drink or even I don’t want to drink more in case it makes me need to visit the bathroom more!

I have heard all of these and more but over time I have educated my clients and struck a barter with them!

We know how beneficial water is because we hear it everywhere but do we really KNOW the benefits. How many times has your client complained of feeling heady after a treatment?

This is a classic dehydration response as the body kicks out toxins that have been sitting in the body for, in some cases years! We often need far more water than we realise and if you can educate your client about this response then they will come back to you rather than just think oh I felt awful after that treatment, not sure I’d have another!

As a Therapist how many times have you lost concentration and felt hugely fatigued during your working shift?

Therapists are often working back to back performing vigorous and physical treatments so treat your work column like the gym and keep hydrated. You wouldn’t dream of doing a workout without water to hand!

I often feel sleepy in the late morning or afternoon and it suddenly dawns on me that I haven’t drunk a thing as I have rushed from treatment to treatment!

If you are hydrated you will be able to concentrate for longer, feel more energised and function better physically. This may then equate to you having the energy to perform not just good treatments but truly exquisite treatments as you are completely able to focus. Keep a bottle of water at hand in your treatment room if allowed or when fetching water for your client make sure you take a couple of sips yourself!

With regard to your clients I have formulated a little spiel that helps clients to buy into water! I explain that they will get far more from their treatment making it more cost effective as well as physically effective. I explain that once we have initiated the detox / cleansing effect, water will aid its removal. This prevents the toxins from settling in the body/muscles which is what caused their achy muscles/ joints in the first place.

Clients want effects fast. Dehydrated joints, muscles and tissues can lead to them not functioning as well, usually motivating the client to work with you. It is unrealistic to expect a client who hates water to dutifully guzzle the recommended 2 litres per day, but they can start out by adding a glass a day. You can then build on this by a taking small bottle to work, which will soon have them feeling much better, thus their treatment and homecare advice proves invaluable!

As for you, well you are now able to perform more efficiently i.e. keeping to time, being alert to clients’ needs. This in turn will lead to repeat business and possibly even more sales targets met as you have energy, motivation and a flexible body for a change. This will help you to understand why clients seek your treatments in the first place - phew, water - it truly is amazing!

Tip 2: Posture

We all know that as Therapists we should have fabulous posture to promote our treatments and industry but how many of you can truly say that you don’t slump or hunch whist performing that pedicure, massage or body treatment?

As Therapists we have a duty to look after ourselves if we want to have a long and prosperous career! I know many Therapists that burn out within a couple of years of leaving college, feeling very down that they no longer are following their beauty/holistic dream.

Indeed at 27 I did exactly that and had to have emergency spinal surgery after performing back to back massages and treatments in massively busy London salons and spas. I absolutely didn’t see it coming and only wish that I had some real posture education within my therapy training.

Luckily I educated myself over many years and realised that as our work is so intense we must therefore be fit to perform.

It dawned on me that as I slumped over my client I a) couldn’t breathe properly as my lungs were squashed b) had sluggish digestion, again due to slouching and c) was putting massive strain on my back, neck & shoulders. How ironic as I was supposed to be helping banish these very issues from my client! 

With education I realised the importance of using the whole of my body to work and take the strain of my work. I cannot express the importance of gaining advanced skills especially if you are performing lots of massage or nail work. Correct posture and ergonomic furniture are vital; we are at work more than we are at home and you may feel fine now but get to 30, 40, 50 and you will have wear and tear issues so it is definitely prevention rather than cure!

With regards to your clients I cannot express enough the importance of adding postural analysis to your skills. Learn a few simple posture techniques to pass on to your client; they will thank you for your care and reward you with their custom by spreading the word about how good you are. You can even give them “at your desk tips” to overcome repetitive strain injuries.

If you work in a gym, you could grab one of the personal trainers to help you understand posture better. Why not get a little buzz group of Therapists at the hotel gym when it is quiet; massage the personal trainers’ egos as you wring them out of info!

If you are working in Nails make sure you invest in a decent nail station rather than working over the couch. You may find you or the client are over reaching causing painful shoulders to you both!

If you are in Electrolysis or Pedicure/ Reflexology, rehearse your layout i.e chair/couch height and make a real effort to ensure you are working with your whole body to avoid the awkward angles you may find yourself in!

Tip 3: Breath & breathe!

Again here is one for you and your client! Learn some basic breathing techniques that you can pass on to your client to deepen their relaxation experience but also help to energise you as you work. How many times do you find yourself concentrating so hard on your massage or manicure only to find that you are barely breathing and starting to feel really woozy and achy?

Breath balances the nervous system therefore you can use your breath to give yourself time to assess your posture as you work and encourage your client to release their tight shoulder, buttock, jaw muscles! By getting your client relaxed first you will find the muscles much easier to get into!

Tip 4: Become your own life coach

I often find that I have a run of clients that have anxiety issues, confidence problems, repetitive strain or hormonal imbalances. This is part of being a Therapist, but rather than just feeling unsure of how to help your client you can do masses of research. Always have a portfolio of Therapists you can refer your clients to - again they will be thrilled with your knowledge and care.

As you listen to your clients do you sometimes find yourself mirroring their issues? This is completely normal; we as Therapists are only human after all. What I would suggest is be preventative rather than curative, so whether you struggle with lack of energy, imbalanced emotions, physical issues or hormonal ups and downs then don’t be afraid to seek help yourself. Your practice will become stronger and your career longevity will thank you for it!

Tip 5: Time out!

As a Therapist how often do you have treatments? Be honest! I know dozens of Therapists that come up with ridiculous excuses for not having a decent therapy routine in place for themselves!

It is simple: if you are going to give away so much energy on a daily basis then your battery will run out - your bucket will be full and no longer able to contain itself - FACT!

Lack of time, money etc are not good enough excuses for you to not have regular therapy! Besides you can then advise your client on how fab the latest new treatment at your spa is!

Tip 6: Decent Sleep

You will come across this one with clients a lot but may also struggle to sleep well yourself after several hefty days working in the Spa in a row.

I have had the most bizarre dreams over the years as I haven’t wound down from work properly including getting to work and the wax-pot being broken, with my first client being a wax client; the couch collapsing with the client still on it or trying to run several client columns as other therapists have called in sick. Hilarious in the light of day but terrifying when you wake from the horror of it in the night!

It is vital that you give yourself the sleep you need to reflect the hard work you put in. Try a meditation or relaxation class to help switch off your mind. You will again sound like a real pro when you are giving your client advice and they will feel so reassured to know they are not the only person to have barmy work dreams!

Tip 7: Fall in love with beauty all over again!

Get together with some fellow Therapists and swap treatments. Be the client again; wallow in how good the treatment feels. Also try applying treatments you don’t feel so confident in and listen to the feedback from your pretend clients!

As a Massage Therapist you may love your new lash extensions or glossy nails and as a Manicurist enjoy the feeling of how calm & relaxed you feel after your facial or massage. As a Facialist enjoy connecting to how great your body feels after a body scrub/wrap! Finish up your session with some healthy juices & snacks to help you feel uber healthy, reenergised & raring to sell new treatments to your clients! Not only will your clients love your enthusiasm but so will your Spa Manager!

Tip 8: Get into your head!

Feel headachy, got blocked sinuses, have a sore neck, skin condition, sensitive scalp or dry hair? It is really important not only to look the part but to feel it as a Therapist too. There is something supremely sacred about face and scalp treatments; they have so much versatility so indulge in an Indian head massage, a facial or some specific facial massage techniques that will address your heavy head. Leave full of clarity, energy and again much more willing and able to help your clients to leave these types of issue at the door too!

Tip 9: Nutrition

As a Therapist it should come naturally to be interested in eating well and nutrition may have been included in your original training. Sadly, too many of us bolt our shop bought sandwich in 5 minutes between clients. Make the effort to bring in homemade lunches a few days a week and keep one day for the treats. Also save one day to be uber-healthy, eating and drinking lots of healthy juices or broths, helping your energy to be sustained far longer.

I bet you could get a few of you at work together to do this and really encourage each other. Again your client will benefit from your energy and in time even your nutrition knowledge!

Tip 10: Get moving and be a wellness example!

Being knowledgeable will not only bring more repeat business to you but will help you live the real Spa and wellbeing lifestyle. How many Therapists do you know who roll into work half-hungover, smoke or follow a poor diet resulting in functioning with little energy.

Try to join a few wellbeing classes so you really get into the holistic zone. This WILL amplify your treatments as you will naturally become more holistic in your treatments and you will also be able to reassure and encourage your client on their own healthy path and journey. This is exceptionally true if you work in a spa or hotel resort- be the holistic leader!

We have talked about relaxing workshops such as Yoga and Meditation, but it is also important to stay fit as a Therapist. Venture off your sofa and out of your comfort zone and get to a zumba class, boxercise, gym, running, swimming – you get the message!

By upping your heart rate your energy will soar and all those niggling little aches and pains will melt away. You will soon find yourself selling the benefits of personal training to your client as they often need a little gentle encouragement and who else would they trust but their amazing Therapist who is living the dream!


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