Monday, December 13, 2010

A challenging client

Jane was a long-time client with a reputation. She was known to book a same-day  appointment, asking for the last appointment of the day, and then no-show. I was told, she’s really tight. I’d say, if people weren’t tight, they wouldn’t need massage. No, she’s really  tight. And she says odd things. Creepy things, I asked? Inappropriate things? No . . .well, yeah. Well, just unusual. She’s challenging. She’s nice, though. But when Jane finally appeared on my schedule, I understood.
She clenched her fists throughout the whole treatment – tight. Her arms were as straight and stiff as a 2’ x 4’. She never closed her eyes, as clients generally do. I work half the time with my eyes closed, to literally “feel” my way, and when I opened my eyes, she was staring at me. It was unnerving. She talked a lot – also unusual during a massage – and asked odd  questions.  Why does someone get zits on the back? What do you mean, inner and outer thigh? Do you go to movies? I’d say, I’m trying to loosen this muscle, and she’d laugh and say, “good luck!” Huh??
Typically after a session, the therapist notices physical changes have been made. I saw absolutely no change in Jane after a 60-minute massage. Later,  I compared notes with my colleagues. We think she’s getting some benefit from massage, because she keeps coming back. We strongly suspect that Jane is dealing with other issues, but we don’t know what they are; Jane doesn’t mention any; and it is outside our scope of practice to diagnose.
So, as long as she wants massage, we will be happy to accommodate her. But, given her “no-show” history, we will start requiring a credit card deposit to hold the appointment.
Hands On Therapy of Evanston
1909 Central Street
Evanston, Illinois 60201
(312) 286-4432

Chicago Acupuncture Clinic
3723 N. Southport Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60613
(312) 286-4432

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