5 Reasons Extroverts Make Great Massage Therapists

talking in groupYou’ve heard about the amazing qualities that introverts bring to the massage profession, but what about the extroverts? Are they destined to be overbearing chatterboxes who fail to succeed in the massage therapy world? Hardly! Like their introverted counterparts, extroverts have their own set of superpowers at their disposal. These are just five of the ways extroverts really shine as massage therapists of all kinds.

You are masters of putting people at ease.

Know what makes people nervous? Telling someone about their most intimate body issues, taking off all their clothes, and letting some stranger touch them. Know what makes people feel more comfortable? A healthy combination of straightforward information and small talk.

Extroverts know how to work a room, whether it’s a cocktail party or an initial intake. You find out what people like and chat about it. You see tension and make a joke to smooth it all away. You draw people towards you and make them feel like the world revolves around them. This is exactly what a new massage client needs, because there’s nothing worse than a massage given by a therapist who is so wrapped up in her own head that she fails to notice what her client actually needs. During a massage session the world does revolve around your client, which is precisely why an extrovert can rock this job like nobody’s business.

You love what we do, and you’re not afraid to let EVERYONE know about it.

We tell people about our favorite brand of toothpaste. We tell people about how we feel about the new Doctor Who. We tell people about the gluten-free muffin we had last night that was out of this world. But when it comes to promoting our massage businesses, some massage therapists just seem to get cold feet, and would rather stand by and let the good fairies of relaxation deliver clients to their door.

Not so with extroverts! You are some of the most powerful evangelists for massage, because you are happy to get out in the world and share your passion with everyone from the mushroom lady at the farmer’s market to the water aerobics instructor at the local YMCA. Of course, you may have to work on making sure you’re doing so in a way that is tactful and doesn’t cross the line into salesy or annoying. But everybody’s working on something, right? Better to get out there and fail than to do nothing at all. (Those relaxation fairies are notoriously unreliable and not recommended as part of a business plan.)

You get that sometimes massage isn’t all zen meditation and windchimes.

Massage has a reputation for being a chill and quiet experience, and this is true … sometimes.

But sometimes it’s not. For every lomilomi session followed by a hot cup of peppermint tea at the local spa, there’s a chair massage gig at the county fair, a whirlwind afternoon of 15 minute sessions at the physical therapy clinic with country music blaring, or a Chamber of Commerce event where you’re expected to schmooze your way through a crowd of 300 and come away with new partnerships and potential clients.

There are plenty of massage therapists who look at a list like this and feel like they might have to vomit. This is precisely why extroverts have such a great advantage when they decide to break into these new, more stimulating venues and really let their extrovert flags fly.

You handle embarrassment with finesse.

It’s a poorly-hidden secret that massage therapy is rife with opportunities for humiliation. Draping mishaps probably come at the top of a client’s fears, followed by incidents involving bodily fluids. Farts make the list, as do awkward medical history details, body hair, fat, and a host of other issues that massage therapists don’t give a second thought, but can leave a new client shaking with fear under your Egyptian cotton sheets.

The difference here is that extroverts are adept at handling these issues not just internally, but for the client as well. You can tell when to respond to passed gas with silence, “I’m glad, that means you’re really relaxing,” or a fart joke. It’s the same skill that enabled you to reassure the passing acquaintance who spilled soda down the front of her dress at your cousin’s wedding, and to take on relative-wrangling duties later that night, when said acquaintance got completely plastered and couldn’t do the job anymore. There’s no way to completely remove people’s embarrassment about their bodies and all the baggage that comes with it, but extroverts are masters at making sure it’s as short-lived as possible.

You know how to make the sale.

You’ve just given a fantastic massage. Your client is smiling beatifically as she breezes out of the treatment room and pays her bill. You wonder, “Will she rebook? I hope she does. What if she doesn’t? I wonder if I’ll ever see her again …”

Except of course you don’t. You’re an extrovert, so you look your client in the eye, give her a smile, and ask, “Would you like to schedule your next appointment now?

Extroverts are completely at home with asking for what they want. “I’m glad you’re feeling better. I’d love it if you’d write me a review on Yelp and let other people know you enjoyed the massage as well.” “I’ve got a couple of Mother’s Day customized gift certificates left if you’re interested. Do you want one?” “I can schedule you now for an appointment on the day you get back from your business trip if you want. I’d hate for all the spots to fill up right when you need it most.”

Half the time, the reason people don’t rebook, write a testimonial, or buy a massage for a loved one isn’t because they don’t want to, it’s because it never occurred to them at the time. Extroverts aren’t afraid to jump in and offer helpful suggestions. When they do, everyone wins.

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net