Want to impress your massage clients with a treatment plan that renders BIG results? In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to do just that with massage therapy treatment plan examples, from an experienced massage therapist. You’ll get how-to advice on gathering the information you need, documenting your plan, and getting your clients to follow through.
If you can deliver results, your clients will do your marketing for you. Let’s do this!
Educating clients is an important part of your role as a massage therapist . Your clients aren’t just coming in for a massage, they are coming in for therapy. They trust you to have answers. Regardless of whether your clients come in for relaxation or pain relief, they all want to know the same things.
If your clients aren’t asking you these questions directly, they are thinking them. The easiest and most practical way to answer these questions is by creating a massage therapy treatment plan.
When you tell clients what they need to do, the quality of care they receive increases and so does your client retention. Creating a treatment plan isn’t a sales gimmick, it’s crafting a strategy for results.
According to the latest AMTA statistics, 49% of consumers got a massage to improve their health and wellness, in 2022. Not only that, half of those massage clients said massage therapy was part of a treatment plan provided by their doctor.
Creating massage therapy treatment plans that help those clients reach their health & wellness goals is your job as a massage therapist. Do that job well, and referrals will start pouring in.
Designing a successful massage therapy treatment plan requires understanding what your client really wants. Engage them with open-ended questions, and listen to what they say - both with their words and their bodies. Conduct a thorough assessment, then craft a treatment plan that aligns with their desires and goals.
We’re all human, and we’re all different. That’s why the same plan doesn’t work for everyone. Recommend what you truly believe will be helpful. That may be a monthly massage regime, or it may be something else. Clients want your expert advice.
Speaking of goals, before you can come up with a strategy for treatment, you need to know what your client’s goals are. Don’t make assumptions. Ask.
Start by asking your client what their goal for treatment is. What’s bringing them in? This could be stress relief, pain relief, better mobility, ect.
Once you know what their goal is, the next question to ask is, “how will you know when we reach your goal?” This is a crucial question that many therapists don’t ask. If you don’t have a benchmark to measure your progress against, how will you know if your therapy is working? Often clients don’t notice small improvements over time. Having a benchmark is a way to show your results.
Now that you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can start working on creating a massage therapy treatment plan.
Create a template for documenting your treatment plan. If you don’t already have a SOAP Note template, make one. Writing effective SOAP Notes is crucial to following through on your massage therapy treatment plans. It’s also a good idea to create something that you can give to your client, so they don’t forget. You know how foggy the brain can be after a massage.
Once you’ve created a system for creating and documenting massage therapy treatment, do it the same way with every client. Don’t forget to document this process in your massage therapy business plan.
Here’s an example of a template you can use for sharing your massage therapy treatment plan with clients.
(Describe the client’s goal and benchmark indicating success)
(Include things like duration of sessions, number of sessions, how far apart sessions will be scheduled, and what modality to use)
(Recommendations on what to do in between sessions. This could be things like stretching, exercise, heat, ice, rest, ect.)
*Stay within your scope of practice when making recommendations.
After you create a treatment plan for your massage client, discuss it with them. Make sure they understand why you’re recommending this strategy and ensure it’s something that they are on board with. Write it down for them, and get them to rebook before they leave.
It’s also a good idea to follow-up with clients a few days after their initial session. Sending a brief text or email after the first visit shows that you care, and gives you a chance to gain valuable feedback.
Let’s take a look at treatment plans for different kinds of massage clients. Keep in mind, these are just examples. When designing your own massage therapy treatment plans, customize it to fit the needs, desires, and goals of your clients.
Here are 3 examples of things massage clients often seek treatment for, and treatment plans for helping them to reach their wellness goals.
Tina is a workaholic. She’s always in go mode, and her brain never shuts off. She’s been having trouble sleeping, and she was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure. Her blood pressure is being managed with medication, but her doctor says she needs to manage her stress levels and get more exercise.
Stress relief and relaxation
Benchmark: She’s able to easily fall asleep at night.
90 minute Swedish massage, bi-weekly over the next 2 months
Take a 30 minute walk when she gets home from the office each day to mark the end of the work day, get much needed exercise and relieve mental stress.
Tom injured his neck heading a soccer ball last weekend. Now, he has pain and limited ROM when he turns his head to the left. He had x-rays taken. They didn’t show anything concerning. His doctor said his pain is probably just muscular.
Relieve pain and increase ROM in his neck
Benchmark: He can turn his head to check his blindspot while driving.
Three 30 minute neuromuscular therapy sessions spaced every 4 days
Use moist heat to relax muscles 1-2 times a day for up to 10 minutes. After the application, laterally flex the neck left and right to stretch tight muscles. DO NOT stretch to the point of pain.
Sarah suffers from fibromyalgia. Her doctor has prescribed a few drugs that help, but she doesn’t like taking all that stuff. She can hardly function when she takes muscle relaxers, but they are the only thing that take the edge off. She wants to be more proactive in managing her pain levels, instead of solely relying on medication.
Manage chronic pain more naturally
Benchmark: No longer relies on muscle relaxers
60 minute deep tissue massage every 2 weeks
Start a meditation practice, beginning with just 5 minutes a day and working up to more time.
You followed your plan, and it worked! (Or maybe it didn’t.) Now what?
If your plan doesn’t work, modify it or refer your client to someone who may be able to help. Changing course when something doesn’t work is part of every treatment plan.
If your plan does work, it’s time to create a maintenance plan. You won’t have to sell them on this because you already proved yourself to them. Create a new massage therapy treatment plan that helps them maintain their current state of wellness or to reach a new goal.
It’s also time to tell them about your referral rewards program. Satisfied clients are one of the best ways to promote your massage therapy business! This is the time to collect reviews and testimonials, or even turn your success story into a case study.
YES! The best way to manage the entire client journey is by using massage therapy software, like ClinicSense. Software makes your life easier, and it ensures your clients get the best care every time. Here’s what using ClinicSense looks like in action:
On the day of their appointment, you review their intake form before their appointment. Your new client shows up, and you start the session with no time wasted on paperwork.
You chat about the reason for their visit and what their wellness goals are. Then, you do an assessment and make some initial notes in a SOAP Note on your tablet. Then, on to the good stuff - the massage.
After the session, you make a recommendation for follow-up treatment, schedule their next appointment, and process their payment. You finish up that SOAP Note in just a few clicks, if you haven’t already.
A few days later, your client receives a personalized message from you asking about their experience. They say great things, and opt to publish those great things as a review on google. They’re feeling better already.
Want this experience in your practice? You can replicate it by signing up for a free trial of ClinicSense.