It is part of our role as health professionals to ensure our patients get the care they need to improve and maintain healthy bodies. Obviously the number one rule of Remedial Massage Therapists and Just Knead It is DO NOT OVER TREAT. However, if we are not telling our patients exactly when to rebook because we are worried about what they will say, we are not doing our job. In this post learn skills and tools to improve your rebooking skills.
Initial Physical Assessment
Not only is this important from a treatment perspective, it can help to establish yourself as an expert.
The physical assessment allows you to come back at the end of the sessions and reassess. See where there have been gains and also discuss areas that still need improvement in further sessions if necessary.
Verbal Cues in the massage that can lead to getting people to think more about maintenance care and long term health.
Phrases and questions like - "You could really benefit from more regular treatment to avoid these injuries from occurring." "How often do you get massages?"
Are you doing any stretching/ triggering at home?
Talk the client through what is going on with their body as you are treating
'this loosened up well but still needs more work...'
'we have made progress here but there is still more work to be done...
5 minute summary at the end of the massage
With 5 minutes to go in the massage start talking about what has gone well, what still needs work, where to go from here. Give your patient a specific time frame to come back to see you. i.e. 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks, 4 weeks.
Use phrases like:
'I'd recommend come back within (timeframe) otherwise you run the risk of losing some of the improvements that you have made today'
You've made good progress today but this will tighten up again in (timeframe) I think you should rebook again in (insert timeframe)
Use assertive language - Saying 2 to 3 weeks instead of an exact time frame is not specific enough and is not assertive language. You want to be direct.
'See how you go (the devil words!). You want to be giving them clear instructions on what they need to do.
Use the reassessment to identify what has worked and what areas still need more treatment.
After the massage come out and tell reception when they need to rebook.
This can take the pressure off you to rebook if you are not feeling comfortable.
The receptionist will ask the question - when did your therapist tell you to rebook? Do you want to make that appointment now? If you don't help them out by telling them, they can't help you to rebook.
Phrases to use when rebooking at the front desk
Ask how they are feeling, have a quick chat about it.
Be assertive 'I think you should come back in (insert the specific time period), 1 weeks, 2 weeks, 4 weeks.
I am getting relatively busy so it would be worth booking in advance. You can always cancel it later.
I have appointments next week on (says days you're free) Don't give them a choice to give you a yes or no answer i.e. do you want to book back in.
Don't chicken out and ask if they just want to be book in online. Some will and you'll get to know the clients of your who operate in this manner. However as a common rule always ask if they want to rebook back in and avoid using the phrase 'or do you want to book in online?' Don't give them the option!
People like a plan of attack. Giving them a clear plan with a timeframe to come back can help to reassure of the next steps.
If we are not rebooking our clients they will often leave it too long between treatments and go backwards in their improvements.
Most people will need a massage within 4 - 6 weeks to loosen up, maintain range of movement and/ or have someone assess their body to pick up possible areas that could become an issue in time. (Maintenance Massage)
You still treating as part of a business and need to remain financially viable to ensure you can keep the clinic in operation (this is to never be at the expense of the quality or over servicing for the sake of profit).