Color is a communicator.
Color surrounds us every day of our lives. It can be stimulating or calming. In most massage sessions, the client’s eyes are closed, so it may seem that the colors used in a massage office are less important than in other settings. However, the colors used in your office convey an important message.
Color can become your new ally in helping set the tone for the beneficial work you do. You can begin to look at your treatment room as a communicator of well-being.
While color has varying effects on people, most everyone agrees that warm colors have a more stimulating effect and cool colors are more calming. Neutral tones, such as beige and tan, are actually a blend of a warm color and a cool color, so they tend to have a balancing effect.
Approaching the addition of color in your space can feel daunting, but you truly don’t need to be afraid of color if you choose consciously. Color does not have to overwhelm your space. You can use it sparingly and still create a subtle yet meaningful effect.
Of course, we don’t all like the same exact colors and we each have our own personal favorites; yet, most of us do agree on some common moods and emotions that colors inspire.
All colors have different shades and hues. Pale colors will open up a room; darker colors can bring the eye to a specific place in the room.
1) Choose colors for yourself.
2) Choose colors for your clients.
For yourself, consider how you would like to feel on a daily basis in your workspace. If you currently have artwork in your room, you may actually find some insightful clues to the color mood you’re already trying to convey. Also contemplate your unique personality and your unique massage style. Invite your treatment room’s color(s) to reflect that.
For your clients, consider your overall goal and desire for them. Is that goal relaxation? Comfort? To be uplifted? To feel cared for?
Even if you prefer bright or bold colors, keep in mind what is best for your clients. You can decorate your office in the paler version and reserve the more intense color for your uniform or in decorating accents. Medical scrubs come in a huge variety of colors, designs and themes that can match just about any office scheme. Picking sheets and towels for the massage room to complement the overall color scheme makes it easy to mix and match sets.
Unless you are working with children, avoid the use of primary colors (red, yellow and blue) as a color palette in your office. These colors together tend to encourage a lot of activity. Paler colors tend to be more calming and encourage relaxation.
Neutral color walls and flooring can be enhanced through colorful paintings, wall hangings, pillows or other accessories. When you feel like a change, simply change the accent color.
Consider your clientele. Are you predominantly serving one type of client? What are their collective needs?Are you serving athletes? People who are very active physically?
- Consider balancing greens and peaceful blues.
Do you address emotions? Are you listening to a lot of emotional stories while you work? Are you working on busy moms? Caregivers?
Consider balancing greens and peaceful blues.
- Perhaps soft, soothing pinks and centering golds will be your conscious choice.
Perhaps soft, soothing pinks and centering golds will be your conscious choice.
Are you and your clients talkative? Are your sessions more upbeat and social?
- Maybe an energizing color has a place in your personal treatment room.
Maybe an energizing color has a place in your personal treatment room.
What are your work hours? Are you predominantly working after 5 p.m. and on weekends? If so, does your clientele change based on your hours?
- Consider a neutral background with more customizable accents as a match.
Consider a neutral background with more customizable accents as a match.
Are your clients overthinkers? Are they 9-to-5ers and super-busy at work? What type of well-being needs might they have?
- Experiment with mind-relaxing deep blues and violets.
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Do you work in a destination-driven resort setting? If your clients come to you because of the specific scenery outside, there’s no reason not to bring that influence into your treatment room. You can gain a lot of inspirational colors by paying attention to those clues. People who come to Sedona, Arizona, want to be enveloped by the influence of the warm tones of the red rocks. Conversely, those traveling to Florida for the white, sandy beaches and blue-green waters will appreciate more of those color influences in your room.
It’s certainly to your advantage to offer your treatment room as its own destination spot.
Even though one client may prefer green and another may prefer blue, your conscious color decision, made from a place of clear intention, will serve to continually support your clients’ overall experience of well-being.
Resources:Cherry, Kendra. “Color Psychology: How Colors Impact Moods, Feelings and Behaviors.” About.com. The New York Times Company, n.d. Web. 26 Aug 2010. http://psychology.about.com/od/sensationandperception/a/colorpsych.htm.Salla, Prerna. “The power of colors and their meanings.” Buzzle.com, 13 Jan 2005. Web. 26 Aug 2010. http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/1-13-2005-64166.asp.Wikipedia. “Color.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 26 Aug 2010. Web. 26 Aug 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color.
This blog was curated from two articles originally published on June 1, 2016 (from Massage Magazine - original article can be viewed here) and September 10, 2010 (from Institute for Integrative Healthcare - original article can be viewed here).