Spa Professionals Guild

Personalising massage treatments to make them unforgettable experiences????



As recent as 10 years ago, massages were considered a luxury and there were only a handful of spas or salons that offered really good massages. Today, a massage is a necessity, part of every persons goal to be healthy and feel well. The sad part is that massages have become copy-paste services.

Think about it for a minute, when you go for a massage, what happens?  

The therapist greets you, maybe does a foot wash ritual to welcome you, asks you what pressure you prefer and then tells you to get on the bed with your head facing down or up, whichever is their procedure. Then, they may start with some breathing, maybe some little welcome ritual, and then then the massage happens.

I would like to challenge you all to sit with your team and talk about how to take the monotony and copy-paste out of your massages. What can you do to make them WOW? How can you make the client feel that the massage was created especially for them, on the spot, to answer their specific body needs?

Now we’re talking!  

So, let me tell you a quick story. A few weeks ago a very special client, Fatima, from a spa called Divaz treated me to a massage. The therapist that did my treatment, Khanyi, has massaged me before and I know she has magic hands so I was really looking forward to the relax and timeout. What I was not expecting was how Khanyi totally adapted and changed the massage in response to what she noticed on my body.

I was so shocked, I could not believe it actually.. I was wondering if Khanyi could mindread because I am always on the lookout for personalized experiences.  I’ll share what she did.  Khanyi did the back of my legs as per her normal routine and then got to my back. Fifteen minutes into my back she asked me if I’d be ok if she changed up the treatment to focus only on my back because it was so tight and full of knots.  She asked if she could do a back exfoliation, mask and steam and concentrate her movements all on my back.  She did hot compresses and applied heat packs on areas she felt were tight.

Oh my soul, is all I can say. Talk about personalizing! It really blew me away.

I promised to share a few ideas with you on how to personalize massages this week, but before I do, how is your team brainstorm going regarding personalizing treatments in your salon or spa? Have you had meetings to workshop this yet? Have you implemented any ideas yet?

Do you remember the competition we are running? Have you entered?


Yes it’s a little insane to reward you for doing something you should be doing anyway to boost your revenue and evolve your business, but we want to give you that extra push to take this seriously and get creative!

May I ask you a question please?

How important is the success of your business to you?

You’re thinking, of course it’s important, what a silly question. Well, if your business is that important, where is your clip submission for the competition? Come on, stop the excuses and JUST GET IT DONE!

Let’s get back to the ideas I promised.

1.   Massage Oil choices. 

I’m sure you are all asking clients to choose the pressure of the massage right? Well, it’s time to allow the client to choose the oil you will use for the massage. Present three or four oils, no more, and name the oils according to the concerns they treat. For example, muscle ease, uplifting, anti-stress, calm, soothe, concentration and so on. Forget about the actual essential oil names, they are irrelevant to the consumer. They want to know what the oil is going to do, and how will they feel with the use of that particular oil.

2.  Develop your own unique start and ending ritual to the massage.

This is so important, and actually you should be doing this already. Let’s unpack it. This is a 60 second beginning and ending to the massage which each therapist duplicates. It’s your spa’s unique way of saying hello and goodbye in the massage. This can range from sound elements, using rain sticks, to Tibetan bowls, or even a hot towel foot cleanse and some stretches. But this must be done, and both a beginning and ending ritual.

3.   Develop an add-on list to your massages.

For example, if someone in their consultation expresses concern about cellulite or poor circulation, ask to add on an exfoliation and a different oil or product to use on the affected areas only, still part of the massage.  You might be thinking, but that’s not a massage then, yes, it is, but it’s a completely personalized and tailor-made massage with more vigorous movements on the thighs and buttocks to break down cellulite and improve circulation. The rest of the massage continues as normal.

4.   Have heat packs and cold packs available to apply to areas needed after you massage.

If the client has lower back pain you could massage then apply a heat pack to the area while you continue massaging or if you see any swelling you could apply a cold pack to the area while you continue massaging.

5.   Music selection.

Sound is so powerful as a therapy on its own, why not make a big deal of the sounds you play during your massages. So, if your client comes in stressed, have a specific stress relief playlist for them, or, if they come in totally exhausted, have a special energising and uplifting playlist. You will not believe the difference personalized music can make to a massage experience.

6.   Have a selection of tools to help make your massage interesting. 

The list is endless, from rolling wooden massage sticks to infra-red hand-held deep tissue massagers, to theraguns and so many more.  Be careful here as I am not saying use tools for the whole massage, I am saying personalize your massage by using a tool if necessary to achieve better results to target your clients specific problem.

I could carry on for a long time but I’m not going to because I want to hear your ideas! If we tackle this together, everyone grows and evolves and our entire industry is elevated.  So, please get me your feedback and ideas and get that video clip done!

Next week we take a look at personalizing facial treatments, that’s exciting! 

Till then,


Spa Professionals Guild is now Wellness Professionals Club.


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