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Massage Today
November, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 11

When is the Best Time to Ask for a Re-Booking?

By Irene Diamond, RT

The best time to tell the client they should return for more sessions with you is actually before you even have the initial session. Considering almost all of your clients will be coming to see you for a particular reason, problem to solve, situation to manage or "issue" they want you to look at, you can be reasonably assured they will most probably not have that reason or problem solved after only one session, no matter how good we are as clinicians.

So, what my therapists and I find works the best to easily get them to re-book with you (and it also makes sense to them) is to advise them in advance what you anticipate their therapy plan should be. If you wait until during the session to discuss their need to return, it may get a little muddled and cross boundaries, with you coming across as both a salesperson and therapist. If you wait until after the session, as they're checking out, they are hopefully seeing some great, positive results already, so it might be hard for them to see the value of needing continued sessions with you at that point.

We always try to start with an accelerated package, but you should start with what you feel is best for your client. You could say something like: "I've found that the clients I work with who have the same sort of back pain as you have, see the best results when they schedule an initial evaluation with me and then four sessions within a 10-day time frame" (or whatever the case is for you).

re-booking - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark When you advise them in advance, there are no surprises for your client as to what YOU clinically believe to be the best therapy plan for them. When you are direct like this, you are being responsible and truly helping them reach their clinical goals. (For those of you who follow my teachings, this falls under the "Advisor, Not Order-Taker Role.")

Once your client is in front of you at their first session, you of, course, do a more thorough assessment of their condition, needs and their goals to determine if, in fact, they do need to see you again. From there, you design your therapy plan for them. It might turn out they don't need to see you again; but those cases are very rare. I teach a concept of "Four Phases of Care – RoadMap to Wellness." In clinics, most often a client presents at the Suffering or Corrective phase. In a spa environment, it is at the Corrective or Maintenance Phase. Either way, they can benefit from continued care based on their case.

Think of any other "maintenance" service you personally use to help you see ONE VISIT IS NOT ENOUGH: car wash, oil change, hair cut, dental cleaning, carpet cleaning, tree trimming, pool maintenance, mani-pedi ... all services people use on a regular basis. If your car only got tuned up once every few years, it probably wouldn't run well. It is not crazy for you to invite your clients to get on a maintenance plan with you. They just need to be told how often you want them to come back!

To read other posts from our expert panel, visit the WIBB blog at

Irene Diamond, RT, is the founder of the rehabilitation technique, Active Myofascial Therapy ~ The Diamond Method and creator of Successful Massage, the world-wide online resource for massage therapists. Irene is honored to be inducted into the Massage World Hall of Fame in 2013 for recognition of and www.SuccessfulMassageTherapist. Irene's next Active Myofascial Therapy seminar will be held August 2012 and therapists can register at You can also find tips from Irene by visiting the Women In Business Blog at


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