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Holistic Wealth

By Sharon Desjarlais, CC

About the Columnist
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Make Your Sessions Indispensable

Have you ever had a client say she can't afford a session, only to rave about her European vacation? Or show off her new handbag and matching pumps?

It's frustrating, right? Especially when you consider the priceless benefits of having a relaxed nervous system, flexible fascia, cerebrospinal fluid that's flowing unimpeded, and a brain and spinal cord that are functioning at peak performance.

The truth is, your therapy has the capacity to improve every aspect of your client's life. You know that. The problem is, your client doesn't. So instead of considering your sessions a necessity, she sees them as something she'll try to fit in if she can. Fortunately, there's a way to position your therapy at the top of your client's to-do list where it rightfully belongs. It all starts at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Make Your Sessions Indispensable - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Take it From Maslow

Originally proposed by Abraham Maslow in a 1943 paper called  A Theory of Human Motivation, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs — presented in the shape of a pyramid — theorized that people are compelled to satisfy their needs in a certain order.

They start at the bottom of the pyramid, making sure they're covered with the basics, like food, water, warmth, rest, safety and security. Then, as they feel more secure, they work their way up the pyramid until they get to self-actualization at the top.

So, what does that have to do with your therapy? Plenty, when you consider this: If you talk about your work in vague or conceptual terms, your client won't understand how it addresses her most critical needs.

Relaxation, peace-of-mind, the well-being of body, mind and spirit — that's all well and good. But if you want her to consider your sessions indispensable, you need to connect the dots between your hands-on help and her needs toward the bottom of the Maslow Pyramid.

How? Here's an exercise: Off the top of your head, jot down all the results your clients get from your therapy. Consider these:

  • Less pain
  • Less stress
  • Flexible body
  • Flexible mind
  • Ability to breathe deeply
  • Ability to sleep soundly

Connecting the Dots

When you're done, ask yourself this: How do these results impact my clients' businesses or careers — and their ability to generate a healthy income? And how do those results improve their relationships and future potential?

Once you're crystal clear on how much your work contributes to your clients' day-to-day security and well-being, give yourself permission to be bold when you communicate about your work.

Talk about how increased flexibility of the body leads to increased flexibility of the mind — and the capability to think fast on your feet in all kinds of critical situations. Or how being able to sleep well at night has a proven effect on your ability to grow a more meaningful career. And even a more lucrative financial future.

When you connect the dots between getting regular bodywork and your client's stability in every other aspect of her life, that's when your work becomes indispensable. And when it does? You'll be the one raving about your European vacation.


  • McLeod S. "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." Simply Psychology, 2016.
  • "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." Wikipedia, 2017.
  • Huffington, A. The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. New York: Harmony, 2016.
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