If you are considering practicing massage therapy at home there are some do’s and don’ts you can follow to help you provide the services your patients will expect. Here are the do’s and don’ts of setting up your home practice:
- Don’t make the mistake of thinking that any old room will do. Patients will not want to come back to a clinic that is tight, unfinished or requires a trek through your backyard to reach. Assess your home and be very objective with what you have to offer. You want to make sure that you have a room that has suitable lighting, room enough to move around your massage table comfortably as well as clear access for patients without them feeling awkward walking through your home or having to trudge down to a basement or up to an attic. Remember that many of your patients could be in pain and making them travel up or down awkward staircases can prove difficult. If you are providing more of a spa like treatment then this is not as much of a concern. However you have to have a presentable room that is nicely decorated and remember that if they do have to trudge through your home or yard to get to your massage room it better be very clean with a safe, clear path. Many RMTs have created wonderful spaces in garages, old pool houses and other private areas but have made certain they are easy to reach for their patients.
- Do make the space as private as possible. You can add a blind so they do not feel exposed when being treated. You can add a sound system that will help block out the sounds of your home, neighbours and passing traffic. Consider sound proofing the room and also consider adding a lock if you do not live alone so that no one stumbles into the room when a patient is being treated.
- Don’t go for the cheapest table you can find. When providing massage in your home you want to offer all of the best possible equipment in order to present yourself in a professional manner.
- Do have all of the proper equipment for your opening. You need a professional table, linens and pillow cases and the proper facilities to clean your towels, sheets and gowns. Don’t forget to order massage oils and lotions and consider if you want to add any other equipment such as massage tools as your practice grows.
- Don’t forget about the business aspect of your home practice. Be certain you invest in appointment software for easy booking as well as business cards to write down appointments and keep in touch with your patients. You can also use a basic date book as long as you have a central place to track all of your appointments.
- Do actively pursue proper office procedures for your patient’s records and be certain you are following the proper protocol for privacy as well as keeping accurate information. Be certain you are doing a thorough medical history as well and use standard forms with each patient so you are always in the habit of providing the best possible care.
- Don’t forget about basic comfort for your patients. Ensure you always have fresh, clean linens and towels and avoid using overly scented detergents and fabric softeners to avoid triggering allergies in your patients. Make sure you have a conveniently located linen closet so everything is easy to get to should you require extra towels or linens.
- Do have a presentable uniform or outfit that will maintain a professional image for patients. Make sure you are dressed comfortably yet professionally for every appointment.
These are the basic do’s and don’ts that will help you be prepared for your first patient and encourage referrals and return bookings to help grow your home massage therapy practice.