Yesterday a family of four visited the spa where I work. I was lucky enough to be assigned to the father. You see, this man clearly did not want to be here. He sat sullenly in the waiting room, arms crossed and brow furled. His responses to my questions were extremely curt and he volunteered absolutely no information about his needs or hopes for the session. As it turns out, his wife had drug him into the spa, insisting that he needed to relax. Well, he was determined to resist!
Lucky, you ask? Why on earth would I feel lucky to spend an hour alone with this man when he’d rather be anywhere else? Well, the truth is, I love a good challenge! And I assure you that the sweet feeling of victory when winning grumpy clients over is truly incredible. This type of situation is not uncommon in my business. I used to get very stressed out. Ten years of experience has taught me not to take it personally. I understand that some people don’t like to be touched, or are worried about being judged, or think bodywork is a fu-fu pampering treatment that is a waste of time. I get it. But since this person has showed up on my table, I am determined to give him the best experience possible.
Ninety percent of the time I am able to win the reluctant client over in the first 15 minutes. It starts with a big breath or a deep sigh once they begin to realize that it’s comfy & warm on the table; that a compassionate person is completely there for them; that a trained and skilled professional can easily locate their tension areas & has tools to provide relief. I image that my acceptance of the situation without judgement is a welcome respite from the demanding world. So, yes, I enjoy a good challenge. It makes my heart sing. Even when the client remains unconvinced that massage is NOT for them, I know that they have still benefited from the experience of healing touch.
This particular gentleman? Ten minutes into our session and he says to me, “I can’t believe that feels so good!”. I made a joke about the spa not being such a horrible place to spend a Saturday afternoon, and he laughed. He asked me a few questions about the tension in his shoulders and I was then able to explain that it doesn’t need to be that way. We have the power to make choices that support our wellness and comfort in our bodies. Bodywork is a tremendous resource for resetting our systems to relaxation, which is the foundation for good health. Now, I doubt I will be seeing this fellow on a regular basis, but I am delighted that I was able to plant a seed in his mind about the options available to him.