Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Impressions Matter with Reflexology Clients

Reference Work for the Reflexologist
Confusion for a reflexologist arose when the new client said that he had kidney failure and then asked if reflexology could help. The reflexologist wasn't sure how to respond. Answering professionally in such a situation helps the reflexologist make a crucial good first impression for a new client. The easiest answer to such a question is citing research. If you’re not aware of the specific research, a reference work helps make a smooth professional transition to finding the answer.

It’s not unusal for the professional to keep on hand a reference work. For doctors, it’s the P. D. A. For the mental health profession, it’s the DSM. The first, the Physician’s Desk Reference, serves as a list of information about prescribed drugs. Doctors can’t know it all about the myriad of drugs so the P. D. A. is a reference tool to be consulted when a question arises. The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a reference tool, listing some 300 agreed-upon labels for the diagnoses of mental health concerns. This reference tool serves to clarify diagnosis parameters and provide a common vocabulary for mental health professionals.

For reflexologists, Evidence-Based Reflexology for Reflexologists provides reference for research information. For hemodialysis, two studies are cited on page 88 noting reflexology’s effects on hemodialysis patients. So, when asked the above question, the easy answer is I don’t know about specific research but let me look it up. Evidence-Based also notes dosing for successful application. One study cited improvements in 4 parameters important to hemodialysis patients with application for 10 minutes, five / week for five weeks. The other notes improvements with work of 10 minutes, five times over 3 days.

One other way to establish a lasting first impression is to have a new client presentation folder. In my practice I gave out a presentation folders with our business card, newsletters and an article we published in a CAM journal. Presentation folders are reasonable from office supply stores. Develop your own package. Make it something you would want to receive. 

Our recent brochure, "Can Reflexology Help Me?" is an example of how you can give a good first impression.  Based on Evidence-Based Reflexology for Reflexologists, it is meant to establish credibility with your clients by giving them a simplified overview of the research that has been done.

 Remember first impressions are often lasting impressions. How do you establish credibility?

Kevin Kunz

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