The other day, I watched a clip from the Kelly Rippa Show that demonstrates one of the biggest issues concerning massage business professionalism.
Unfortunately, the clip has since been removed from You Tube. Basically, Mr. Cooper said that he tried out massage therapy a couple times. However, he didn't enjoy his session because the massage therapist "talked the entire time". He felt like they were (and he states) "kneading their problems into his muscles".
What I find most interesting is the general response from the massage community. A few colleagues recognize that Anderson Cooper's remarks are shining a light on some the unprofessional behavior of massage therapists. But most of my colleagues are offended and upset and think his comments were degrading to the massage profession.
Talking Too Much
In my massage business, I often had new clients who enjoyed getting regular massage but had left their previous therapist. When I asked why they left their therapist, can you guess what they said? That's right, the therapist talked too much and eventually, their client had enough. One client told me she stuck with her massage therapist for 5 years before deciding she wasn't getting as much from the massage due to the therapist's talking.
My mom even left her massage therapist after months of regular sessions. It was a shame because she didn't think she would enjoy massage but had finally tried it out. She enjoyed her sessions until the inevitable happened. What did the therapist do? She spent the entire session complaining about her mother to my mom. My mom probably would have said the exact sentiment shared by Mr. Cooper....she was "kneading (her) problems into my muscles".
It's been several years since the incident and my mom still won't visit another massage business. She was so sore after that session and annoyed by the talking that she's nervous to try out another practitioner.
The complaint made by Mr. Cooper on national TV is a great opportunity to bring up a known problem in the massage profession. Which is behaving in ways that are not professional to a massage business. Talking to a client about our own problems and life situations during a massage is in that category of unprofessional behavior.
Massage Therapy Professionalism
Behaving in a professional way in our business is one of the best ways to gain our client's trust. Here's a YouTube tutorial I created on how to build relationships with our clients and other businesses owners. Unfortunately, it looks as though the television clip of Mr. Cooper explaining his grievance started an avalanche of open letters and petitions to the Kelly Rippa Show. Hundreds of massage therapists claimed that Mr. Cooper was wrong to make such comments on national television.
Instead of lambasting Anderson Cooper and Kelly Rippa, we business owners should use this as a call to action. We can use this example to reflect upon our own behavior during our massage sessions. When we find our appointment books are consistently slow, we could very well be because we need to make changes in our actions to fine tune our sense of professionalism.