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No Pain No Gain, does it apply to massage?

February 6th, 2015

No Pain No Gain, does it apply to massage?

By Elline Eliasoff, CMT

 

When you think of the massage and spa industry, you typically think about a soft spoken therapist working in a calm relaxing massage room, listening to soft background music, experiencing pure relaxation.   The image and experience are wonderful and has a valuable and necessary place in our hectic lives, but the question is, does a bit of pain and discomfort have a therapeutic value?

The answer is yes! Medical massage often involves releasing contracted hypertonic muscles. This means the therapist is working less superficial and more deeply. A medical or therapeutic massage goes beyond the simple relaxation massage. The benefits are: increased circulation, decreased hypertonicty, and in many cases decreased pain. The deeper muscle work definitely has a lasting therapeutic effect!

The client, while receiving a therapeutic massage, should be communicating their pain or discomfort level to the therapist. I like to quantify pain on 1 to 10 scale, 10 being intolerable and 7 being therapeutic. It is important while receiving a medical massage, to be in touch with your body enough to distinguish pain that is therapeutic, ( “hurts so good” ), resulting in muscle release and pain that is simply too intense to tolerate. The client should never leave a session bruised or with lasting discomfort.

Medical massage can fall under a variety of different names. Is it commonly referred to as: Myofascial Release, or Deep Tissue Massage. So, the next time you are experiencing pain or discomfort, consider massage therapy as an alternative medical treatment.

 

http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/health-and-fitness/the-balance/articles/how-much-pressure-is-too-much-pressure-in-a-massage-january-2015

American Massage Conference AMC

February 2nd, 2015

It’s All About Community and You

 

The American Massage Conference~AMC is coming to Chicago June 11-14, 2015. The AMC will feature over 70 hours of NCBTMB approved education by the Top Educators in Massage Therapy and Integrative Health Care.

 

The educators and presenters include James Waslaski, Tina Allen, Drew Freedman, Eric Stephenson, Angie Dubis, Dr. Dennis Buckley, Anne E. Williams, Teresa Taglione-Matthews, Stephanie Beck, Lynda Solien-Wolfe, Jerrilyn Cambron, Rick Garbowski, Lloyd List, Angie Patrick, Felicia Brown, CG Funk, Monica Pasinato-Forchielli and more to be announced soon.

 

Tinley Park will be the location for the 2015 AMC Conference. This thriving Southwest Chicago community is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the Midwest. Tinley Park is centrally located and lies directly off both major interstates and between O’Hare and Midway airports. This provides easy access and multiple accommodation options. The dynamic attractions in Chicago and other nearby towns add to the outstanding experience. The Convention Center also offers FREE parking.

 

In addition to 70 hours of NCBTMB approved education, there will be two pre-conference Certificate Classes commencing Thursday June 11th and continuing Friday morning for a total of 10 hours in Kinesiology Taping and Deep Tissue Techniques for Orthopedic Conditions. Friday features FREE Student Day/Smart From The Start Presentation and Instructors on the Front Lines by Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals ABMP. Friday finishes with our World Famous Facebook Meet and Greet, FREE to attendees.

 

Free Student Day/Smart from the Start presentation is our biggest event at the American Massage Conference. Great educators and icons in the massage therapy profession will enlighten and inspire every student in attendance. Each attendee will receive a loaded gift bag plus a chance to win amazing prizes and the opportunity to win a Successful Hands Grant.

In addition, all student attendees will receive three-day access to Trade Show, Community Room/Classroom, Schools-Associations & Careers Exhibit Hall and one-hour classes (upon availability, no pre-registrations, NO CE’s). Students must be present at FREE Student Day to receive weekend access. If you are a student or recent graduate, you do not want to miss this event.

 

With Massage Warehouse being the AMC Global Conference Sponsor and Chicago being their home base, the AMC Trade Show promises to be epic. The Trade Show is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday featuring the Largest Selection and Best Prices on Professional Products. The AMC Trade Show features the ONE Concept Community Room and Classroom.

 

The ONE Concept Community Room is a place where Massage Therapists and other Integrative Health Care Practitioners collectively come together in an open forum to treat, collaborate and engage in the well being of others and themselves. The Community Room will be offering treatments in Massage Therapy, Chiropractic, Energy Work, Thai Massage, Spa and Aromatherapy. Attendees will have an opportunity to test and experience the newest and most sought after professional product brands. The Community Room will feature Chicago’s Local Schools & Businesses that have graciously offered their time to treat and provide valuable information.

 

If you are a local integrative healthcare provider or school and would like to volunteer doing treatments in the Community Room, please contact us. All volunteers will be able to promote their business during their volunteer time. Massage Warehouse and Performance Health generously sponsor the Community Room by ONE Concept.

 

With 4 affordable AMC access passes, it is easy for any massage therapist and bodywork professional to participate. Whether you want to attend everyday, one day or to just access the wonderful Trade Show Exhibitors, Community Room and Community Classroom, we have a pass for you. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet or reconnect with a Community of like-minded therapists.

 

Registration is now open at:

http://www.americanmassageconference.com

 

Teachers, Administrators and School Owners – Save the Date. Friday May 1, 2015, the American Massage Conference School Educator Rally will take place at Massage Warehouse Headquarters in Bolingbrook, IL. This event will share trends and advancements in education featuring top presenters and industry leaders. The outstanding presenters include Anne Williams, Lynda Solien-Wolfe, Jerrilyn Cambron, CG Funk and Angie Patrick. Each attendee will receive a gift bag and a basket for their school loaded with professional products PLUS there will be fantastic prize draws including the Successful Hands Grant Program PLUS ONE Concept will be giving every attendee a Silver Access Pass to this years American Massage Conference taking place June 11-14, 2015. Access to the AMC School Rally is FREE, lunch is provided and a special reception is to follow the School Rally.

 

Register at http://www.americanmassageconference.com

 

Thank you to our sponsors Massage Warehouse, ABMP, Biofreeze, Bon Vital and Massage Envy Spa for their generous support of the School Educator Rally and Conference.

 

The American Massage Conference and School Educator Rally are brought to you by the ONE Concept Group, which is powered by Scott Dartnall, Monica Pasinato-Forchielli, Lorna Pasinato and Robyn Green. We look forward to greeting you June 11-14 in Chicago.

 

Be well. Scott.

 

Scott Dartnall RMT is President and CEO of the ONE Concept Group. He has been a Massage Therapist for 22 years and is co-creator

of the American and Canadian Massage Conferences and the World Massage Conference.

Matt Forte uses Massage therapy to recover after football games.

January 1st, 2015

Matt Forte highly conditioned to punish his body to reap ultimate rewards.

by Rich Campbell – Chicago Tribune

Matt Forte is lying face down on his living room floor, and there’s a woman standing on him.

Massage therapist Sarah Bach has one foot on the back of Forte’s upper left leg. Her weight is digging into his hamstring.

“Your adductors …” Bach says.

Forte cuts her off: “I know.”

“I can tell,” Bach says. “Wow.”

For almost 90 minutes, Bach pulls, presses and twists Forte’s body, contorting him like Gumby. Thai massage and deep tissue massage can be very painful, but Forte never even grimaces. By now, he’s used to it.

The session, on a Tuesday in December, is part of an extensive body maintenance routine that has enabled Forte to stand up to the brutal physical toll of being one of the NFL’s most utilized offensive players.

 It’s a price he doesn’t shy from. At a time when lasting effects of this contact sport lead the conversation about player safety, Forte manages his body to maximize performance and longevity.

“During a game when you get hit, sometimes bones can shift and joints can shift and you can be out of line,” Forte said. “It’s really about being put back together and getting everything aligned so that stuff doesn’t carry over to next week.

“You might not notice that or really think of a bone being out of place, but joints do shift. Basically, they compare it to you being in car wrecks every weekend.”

Harsh imagery, for sure, but part of the job for a player whose 343 combined carries and receptions entering the final week of the season are third-most in the NFL. This is his third straight season with at least 300 touches.

Forte prepares for and recovers from such punishment with a regimen that includes weight lifting, arduous cardiovascular conditioning, physical and massage therapies to ensure joint and muscle alignment and techniques such as dry needling to promote muscular health.

It’s part of Forte’s plan for long-term security, as well. He turned 29 Dec. 10 and is about to complete the penultimate year of his contract. Established durability and production will help his case for landing an extension after this season.

The proof is on the stat sheet and on specific plays, such as his 32-yard, third-quarter run Nov. 16 on which he broke four Vikings tackles.

“It’s very clear Matt is hyper-competitive in his preparation,” coach Marc Trestman said. “We have to try and slow him down at times. (Strength coach) Mike Clark has to just (say), ‘Don’t come in today — just rest,’ because he’s a guy who’s going to try to outwork you every single day during the season and in the offseason.”

In-season recovery

 

Matt Forte spends time with his daughter Nahla, 21 months, while receiveing a deep tissue thai massage from massage therapist Sarah Bach at his home.

 

Forte is now on his back on his living room floor. His 21-month-old daughter, Nahla, scurries over to him, falls face first on his chest and smiles. In this instance, he is perfectly happy being tackled.

Bach, meanwhile, continues her work.

“I’m gonna twist your spine,” she says.

Forte has refined his multi-faceted recovery process through trial and error during his seven-year career. The end of one Bears game begins a weeklong countdown to the next, and whether he can to subject his body to another car wreck.

“He’s the first running back I’ve met (who) after the game goes right into the ice bath if he needs it,” rookie running back Ka’Deem Carey said. “I usually wait till the next day, but he takes care of his body.”

Forte is an imposing, physical runner, standing 6-foot-2, 218 pounds with approximately 6 percent body fat. Soreness often is his most immediate problem after games.

Sore legs from being tackled. Sore upper body from hitting and being hit. Scrapes and scratches from turf or being stepped on.

“You’re pretty much beat up everywhere,” he said.

Lifting weights the day after a game helps alleviate that, Forte said. But that’s just the start of his recovery because the physical contact affects him structurally.

“It’s all about forces,” physical therapist David Reavy said. “If your body absorbs too much force, it’s going to come out of alignment. Things are going to tighten up and, once things tighten up, muscles shut down.”

Forte attends physical therapy twice a week to ensure his bones and joints are aligned properly and re-aligned. On weeks the Bears play at home, he tries to have one of those sessions on game day before arriving at Soldier Field.

Proper pelvic alignment is essential. Reavy considers the pelvis the most independent variable in the body. Forte’s used to be too high.

From that starting point, the sessions align and activate Forte’s kinetic chain to ensure proper balance and stability. That’s apparent in the difficulty defenders have tackling him.

Bears’ Matt Forte shrugs off Pro Bowl snub

“He’s using all his muscles,” Reavy said. “He doesn’t get as fatigued. He’s able to absorb the force properly. He’s giving blows. He’s not receiving them as much.”

Forte also subscribes to dry needling to promote muscular health. A needle is placed through the skin into a muscle and moved up and down like a piston to create micro-trauma that loosens muscles and relieves pain.

“If my calves are really, really tight or something, then I know I can feel that I need it,” he said.

And then there’s the massage therapy Forte receives once a week. It helps his flexibility and range of motion.

Forte begins each session by explaining his ailments. On this particular afternoon late in the season, it’s a long list.

His right shoulder is sore. He was kneed in the left quadriceps in the previous game. His right ankle hurts. His right foot has a knot in it. And both hamstrings are tight.

Lying on the floor wearing a T-shirt and gym shorts, Forte hardly flinches as Bach goes to work.

His favorite stretch involves Bach pressing one of her knees into the back of his left knee and pulling his leg down over hers, as though she’s pulling his knee apart.

“If something is bothering you, then you can’t be confident in your body,” Forte said. “And it’s going to make you play a little slower.”

Offseason preparation

Last offseason, Martellus Bennett knew he needed to be in better cardiovascular shape. The solution seemed obvious.

“I got with Forte,” the Bears’ tight end said. “He’s the running back, and you see him in practice and he’s never tired.”

As Forte’s new conditioning partner, Bennett learned why. In addition to Forte’s in-season recovery routine, his offseason preparation is similarly extensive.

Their sessions included various runs and exercises on the sledding hills at Wood Oaks Green Park in Northbrook. The workouts weren’t always planned in advance. Sometimes they would improvise depending on how they felt on a particular day.

Forte and Bennett would sprint up the hills and run backward up the hills. They would hop on one leg or do two-legged broad jumps up the hills.

“His thing is, ‘Keep going, keep going, keep going,'” Bennett said.

Forte also loves to run on a special Woodway treadmill at Halas Hall — the “Force.” Instead of a motor to power the belt, Forte is tethered to the machine and runs on it to turn the belt.

Forte’s routine includes sets of a 10-second sprint followed by a 50-second walk.

“It conditions you really good, and it’s not hard on your knees either,” he said. “As soon as you’re almost about to catch your breath, you have to go again.”

Said Bennett: “We do this little treadmill workout, and it’s (absolutely) ridiculous. You’ll be tired after three of them, and he’ll be like, ‘Oh, we have eight more.'”

It all amounts to a process that has helped Forte remain on the field and consistently play at a high level. No player has more than his 11,357 yards from scrimmage since he entered the NFL in 2008.

With no playoff stakes against the Lions last Sunday, Forte played all 64 of the offense’s snaps, never yielding to the rookie Carey. He touched the ball 25 times and was tackled 23 by a swarming defense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL against the run.

The human body’s ability to withstand such punishment over time will prompt questions about Forte’s longevity whenever he seeks a new contract to take him beyond age 30, that ominous milestone for NFL running backs.

But Forte’s commitment to maintaining his body leaves little ammunition for detractors. Bears general manager Phil Emery, whose background includes 19 years as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach, even recognized that in an interview with WBBM-AM 780 on Nov. 24.

“Matt wants it? Matt will achieve it,” Emery said. “He’s certainly more than capable of bucking that trend.”

Forte will keep-going-keep-going-keep-going to ensure he does.

Read more

Retail Offering

December 12th, 2014

Massage Retail Offering

We know this business.  We have been around long enough to know this time of year brings some unique earning opportunities for you and your practice, spa, school, clinic or franchise.  Seasonal offerings can mean more profit for you. Whether you offer seasonal treatments, or a retail offering with a focus on gift giving, your business can benefit.  Not only does it make sense to beef up your retail offering with gift items, but selling your own services as a gift is a natural! Gift certificates mean money now for work later! Gift Certificates can also bring you new clients.  When someone thinks highly enough of your skills to buy a gift certificate for a gift, this testimonial is more valuable than gold! All you have to do is ask for the next appointment!  In this issue, you will find many ideas for seasonal treatment offerings and retail ideas designed with your success in mind!

Consider massage warehouse your portal to profits! I encourage you to check out the incredible seasonal scents of our Keyano lines. Build a new “Limited Time” menu offering and your clients will line up for the treatments!  Think about the gift giving needs of your clients, and create a well planned gift for them to buy for someone.  Build a basket with Biofreeze®, some Thera-Band™ exercisers, and a Gift Certificate for Massage! Perhaps create a gift basket with a robe, slippers, a sampling of ME!Bath products and some TheraPro Lavender Essential oil.  That is a gift I would love to receive!  Let your own creativity run wild, and try something new! Your clients, and your bottom line will thank you for it.
Angie Patrick

Director of Corporate Sales and Business Development

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The Ergonomics of Massage Table Design

December 9th, 2014

The Ergonomics of Massage Table Design

By Elline Eliasoff, CMT

Massage Therapy is one of the most exciting, flexible, low stress and rewarding professions! As a Massage Therapist, the most important investments you will make are: your education, your self-care, and your equipment. In this article I will discuss purchasing a massage table which is the largest single investment and the main tool of your practice.

It is important to have a good idea of the type of massage you want to practice before purchasing a table. Please consider the following:

  • Where will you be practicing (office, home, field events, etc.)?
  • Will you bring your table to client sites?
  • Will your massage space be allocated for massage only? Will the space allow you the luxury of an       electric or stationary table?
  • Will you be doing any other adjunct therapies on the table? Is a spa table worthy investment?
  • Do you need to position a chair under the table?

Purchasing your table

Client comfort is essential; however, more essential is the comfort of the therapist. All massage tables must be height adjustable. Maintaining good body mechanics by avoiding excessive bending or reaching is imperative for the longevity of your career. Reaching and bending may seem like minor inconveniences; however, the cumulative effects on your body can be devastating over time.

The width of the table is also a consideration for more petite therapists with shorter extremities. Massage tables can be found in widths starting at 25” all the way up to 32”. The average massage table is 30”, however, a smaller therapist may want to consider opting for the 28” width. (The 28” table will accommodate most clients without a problem).

The weight of the massage table is an important consideration if you are traveling with your table to client sites. Carrying the table, moving it in and out of a car, and negotiating stairs can be extremely taxing on your body if a table is heavy. There are a number of table manufacturers that sell lightweight massage tables with aluminum frames that substantially decrease the weight of the table. This is a worthwhile investment for a traveling practice!

A reiki panel or end plate is important if you plan to practice therapies that involve sitting. (Reiki, Reflexology, Cranial Sacral, etc.) The Reiki panel, or end plate, will allow you to get your legs under the table and sit in a neutral posture.

Electric and Hydraulic Stationary Tables are undeniably the most versatile for client comfort as well as positioning and table height for the therapist. The most desirable feature is the ability to adjust height during a treatment. They are typically designed so that chairs can fit comfortably underneath and seated therapies can be performed with good body mechanics.

Purchasing the “correct” Massage Table that enhances your professional skill set and your physical needs is the first step in a long and prosperous career as a Massage Therapist. Wishing you a long and successful practice!

Trouble Sleeping? Massage Relieves Insomnia and Other Health Conditions

November 17th, 2014

Authored by:
KRAY KIBLER, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Scrip Companies

Getting enough sleep is essential for your well-being, but according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep issues that affect their health. Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep despite feeling tired, waking up frequently during the night and trouble getting back to sleep, all of which can lead to low work performance, slowed reaction time, obesity, higher risk of long-term disease and substance abuse.

Those who sleep less than eight hours per night are experiencing “sleep debt” which, contrary to what many people believe, cannot be reversed by “catching up” on the weekend. Insomnia is not a single sleep disorder, but rather a symptom of another problem, which varies from person to person. It can be caused by simply drinking too much caffeine or by something more serious, such as an underlying medical or psychological condition.

The two most common causes of chronic insomnia are anxiety and depression, creating a vicious cycle in which the insomnia exacerbates the underlying psychological issue.

Fortunately, most cases of insomnia can be cured with simple lifestyle changes. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found massage to be beneficial for insomnia-related stress, as well as:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Massage Taps into the Chemistry of Sleep
The National Institutes of Health has advised that massage therapy can reduce fatigue and improve sleep and, based on research gathered by the AMTA, massage has been shown to improve sleep in infants, children, adults and the elderly alike, as well as individuals with psychiatric disorders, cancer, heart disease, lower back pain, cerebral palsy and breast disease.

Anne Williams, the director of education at Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, and author of Spa Bodywork and Teaching Massage, says, “Massage helps people spend more time in deep sleep, the restorative stage in which the body barely moves, which reduces the neurotransmitter associated with pain.”

There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage — This is a gentle form of massage that uses kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize.
  • Deep massage — This massage technique is a slower, more forceful method designed to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly used to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage — Similar to Swedish massage, it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage — This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in muscles after injuries or overuse.

The chemistry of sleep is relevant in relation to massage because it directly influences the body’s production of serotonin, which is essential for the production of melatonin. Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature. A study on back pain, published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, demonstrated that in addition to a decrease in long-term pain, subjects receiving massage experienced improved sleep and an increase in serotonin levels. Results were based on twice-weekly, 30 minute massages for five weeks, using these techniques:

  • Kneading and pressing the back muscles
  • Massaging both sides of the spine and hips
  • Gliding strokes to the legs
  • Kneading and pressing the thighs

In the supine position, participants received:

  • Gliding massage to the neck and abdomen
  • Kneading of the rectus and oblique muscles that help bend the trunk of the body forward
  • Massaging of the legs
  • Kneading of the anterior thighs
  • Flexing of the thighs and knees
  • Gentle pulling on both legs

In addition to other assessments, a sleep scale to measure quality of sleep and urine samples to measure levels of serotonin were used in the study.

Massage: The Natural Alternative to Sleeping Pills
Massage is a healthy and drug-free option that is helping a growing number of people overcome insomnia. Because melatonin influences the sleep stage of an individual’s circadian rhythm, a natural way of boosting serotonin is a positive sleep-inducing option. This connection calls for further research showing the direct affects massage therapy has on serotonin and sleep. In the meantime, the existing evidence is enough to suggest that getting regular massages will help you fall asleep — and stay asleep — all night long.

Download the pdf version by Clicking Here.

Massage therapy — from arthritis to migraines, there’s a plan for relief

November 10th, 2014

Massage therapy — from arthritis to migraines, there’s a plan for relief

By Tribune Content Agency, CareerBuilder

By Erinn Hutkin

Jeff Muskovin’s job is most rewarding when a client has a “Eureka!” moment. The licensed massage therapist has watched a musician return to playing without pain, a marathon runner finish a race with a faster time and no injuries, and a couple with fertility challenges report they’re expecting.

Muskovin, 57, has a private practice in Evanston and also treats clients at Chicago’s Lakeview Athletic Club. He’s trained to understand and help correct pain, tension and circulation issues in the body’s soft tissues, including muscles and tendons.

He works six days a week, seeing 3-8 clients a day. Patients seek out Muskovin for everything from stress reduction and relaxation to relief from restricted movement. Many clients suffer from headaches and neck pain related to working on a computer. Muskovin sees many amateur athletes who need help with muscle injuries and overall conditioning.

“I get to meet interesting people every day, and I get to help make a difference in their lives,” said Muskovin, who trained at the Chicago School of Massage (now Cortiva Institute of Chicago). “Sometimes, it’s simply helping someone learn how to stretch properly after their long runs. Sometimes, it’s a more lengthy, complicated process of helping someone rehabilitate after a serious injury. I enjoy physical work, and I get plenty of that in this profession.”

In fact, said Felicia Tyler, owner of Universal Spa Training Academy, Downers Grove, because the job is so physically demanding, massage therapists can’t — and shouldn’t — work a 40-hour week. Most work 20-30 hours per week.

Some therapists work on contract for chiropractors, treating a certain number of clients per week. Those at day spas see clients for 60- to 90-minute sessions. Self-employed MTs treat clients in an office, at the client’s home, or in the therapist’s home. Universal Spa Training Academy grads have found jobs in health care facilities, hotels and spas, doctor’s offices, even aboard cruise ships, Tyler said.

“Massage therapy is a good career for people who like to work for themselves and have flexible hours,” she noted. “Also, all of your clients are happy to see you and so appreciative of your skills.”

Once licensed, therapists stay current on advancements in the field through continuing education. Reading trade journals and new massage textbooks is also important, as new discoveries are continually being made, Muskovin said.

“You can learn the basics in (about) a year. You’ll spend the rest of your career trying to master the details.”

Massage therapy isn’t just a luxury, Tyler said. It can reduce muscle stiffness and inflammation and improve circulation. It’s also good for people with sore muscles, arthritis, high blood pressure, stress and anxiety. Stress is at the root of many illnesses, Muskovin said.

Therapists can also learn specialized procedures to address fertility issues, digestive problems, breathing restrictions, headaches, tendinitis, joint dislocation and posture issues.

The job comes with challenges. Massage therapists must make clients feel safe and secure enough to be touched. Clients who have unanswered questions or don’t feel comfortable may not be satisfied with treatment, Muskovin said.

Because the work is physical, therapists must stay fit to avoid self-injury. They must also manage their time well to accomplish everything agreed upon within each session, and maintain relationship boundaries, with both parties respecting each other’s privacy.

Nicole Boeger, owner and founder of Radiant Life Massage Therapy, Naperville, said some male therapists have a difficult time starting out. Many men and women are more comfortable with a female therapist. However, some men question the strength of female therapists when it comes to providing effective deep tissue massage, Boeger said.

Massage therapy can be highly gratifying.

After a Swedish massage session, an 82-year-old woman once told Boeger she’d been to spas across the country, but that Boeger was by far the best therapist she’d ever had.

“Nothing can beat the feeling of accomplishment more than that. It’s at that point I know I’m doing something right,” Boeger said. “I live for those moments to help people feel radiant.”

Demand up as more people learn benefits

A massage therapist’s job involves using touch to treat clients’ injuries and enhance wellness. Treatment involves working the soft tissues of the body to relieve pain, help rehabilitate patients from injuries, improve circulation, ease stress and promote relaxation.

On the job, MTs typically talk with clients about their symptoms, medical history and desired results. They evaluate each patient to find painful, tense areas of the body; manipulate muscles or other soft tissues; provide guidance on stretching, strengthening and improving posture; and document clients’ condition and progress.

MTs can specialize in several different types of massage. Swedish massage — the most commonly thought of massage — uses five stroking styles. Deep-tissue massage is more vigorous and often helpful for those with injuries. Sports massage promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries and prepares the body and mind for optimal performance. The type of massage used depends on a client’s needs and physical condition.

Educational requirements vary from state to state. Training is available in private or public postsecondary schools. In Illinois, a massage therapist must complete at least 600 hours of training at an approved school. At Tyler’s academy, students can complete the program in about nine months.

“Most states regulate massage therapy and require massage therapist to have a license or certification,” the BLS notes. Candidates must also undergo a background check, be fingerprinted and pass a national board test.

Many local schools offer massage training, including Universal Spa Training Academy, Downers Grove, and the Cortiva Institute, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and the Soma Institute, all in Chicago. For a full list, visit http://www.massageschool.org/search/illinois/chicago.html.

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for admission. Massage therapy programs typically include both classroom training and hands-on practice, covering topics such as anatomy, physiology (the study of organs and tissues), kinesiology (the study of motion and body mechanics), pathology (the study of disease), business management and ethics.

Most massage therapy schools have a student clinic open to the public at a reduced rate so students can get experience.

According to the BLS, in 2012, 44 states and Washington, D.C., regulated massage therapy. Not all states license massage therapists, but there may be regulations at the local level. In states with massage therapy regulations, workers must be licensed or certified after completing an approved program.

In May 2012, the median annual wage for massage therapists was $35,970, the BLS said. Most earn a combination of wages and tips. Most work part-time (only about 1 in 3 worked full-time in 2012). Most work by appointment, so schedules and work hours vary widely.

Employment is projected to grow 23 percent by 2022, the BLS reports. As more states adopt licensing requirements for therapists, massage is likely to become more accepted as a legitimate therapy to treat pain and improve wellness. Also, as more health care providers understand the benefits of massage, demand likely will increase as massage becomes part of treatment.

 

 

Read more on the Chicago Tribune

 

 

Massage Therapist one of the 10 best jobs you can get without a college degree

November 1st, 2014

10 best jobs you can get without a college degree

A bachelor’s degree is often thought to be the key to financial success. After all, while the median salary of high school graduates 25 years and older is $29,766 a year, the typical college grad with a BA makes $50,281. Unfortunately, many young people have to dig themselves deep into debt for a shot at those future returns. Among the 70% of 2012 college grads who took out student loans, the average amount borrowed was $29,400.

Here are 10 thriving careers you can pursue without a college education. The occupations we identified promise generous salaries and long-term job security, based on 10-year employment projections. None of the jobs require a college degree, though some call for a post-secondary nondegree award, typically earned from a trade school or vocational training program. As a bonus, many of the jobs boast below-average stress levels.

Take a look at the 10 best jobs you can get without a college degree.

Data on number of workers, employment projections, education requirements and income comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment-growth projections cover the 10-year period between 2012 and 2022. Salary ranges reflect annual pay for workers from the 25th to the 75th percentiles, which weeds out the lowest and highest earners. Job stress is also based on BLS data, analyzed by career information expert Laurence Shatkin. Overall stress scores range from 0 (no stress) to 100 (most stress).

Massage Therapist
Projected 10-year growth rate: 22.6%
Annual salary range: $24,380 to $51,820
Stress score: 37.8
Typical education requirement: Post-secondary nondegree award

Massage therapists can relax knowing that they are in high demand. Baby boomers coping with more aches and pains as they age will increasingly need their services. Plus, with massage-clinic chains proliferating and making the practice more affordable, even younger folks will be able to indulge themselves for greater relaxation.

An added perk: Massage therapists, of course, know how to keep calm. They boast the lowest stress score of all the jobs on this list, well below the 53.1 average for all workers. Part of their chill existence–besides the constant exposure to incense and soothing sounds–may be due to being boss-free, with a whopping 46% reporting as self-employed. To become a massage therapist, you’ll likely need to complete a postsecondary education program requiring at least 500 hours of classroom study and hands-on practice. You may also need a license or certification, depending on your state’s regulations.

By Stacy Rapacon, Kiplinger, CareerBuilder
Compensation and BenefitsHigh Schools

Read more on the Chicago Tribune

 

We are excited to announce our recent partnership with Find Touch.

October 20th, 2014

Find Touch LogoMassage Warehouse is constantly striving to give back to the massage therapy community, through sponsorships, philanthropy and support of research and education.  We recognize the need of massage therapists to find opportunities and meaningful ways to provide nurturing touch. To that end, we are excited to announce our recent  partnership with Find Touch.

Find Touch is a website dedicated specifically to serving the Massage Therapist community. Using Find Touch, massage therapists can learn about the latest job opportunities and can discover a variety of high quality Continuing Education courses.  Find Touch is easy to use and convenient; you opt to receive emails whenever a new job opportunity is posted that specifically matches your job preferences.  Find Touch provides a number of other resources such as a free one page website and our blog, featuring articles written from the perspective of a practicing therapist.  Best of all, Find Touch is free to use for massage therapists – our mission is to help massage professionals thrive in their careers!

Founded in 2008 in Seattle, Find Touch has since expanded nationwide and currently has over 12,000 community members with this number growing daily.

To Be an Employee, a Contractor or Self Employed? That is the Question

October 16th, 2014

To Be an Employee, a Contractor or Self Employed? That is the Question

By Angie Patrick

Our industry has a wide array of opportunity for the newly graduated therapist. It also presents a wealth of opportunity for seasoned therapists who may have been hit hard in the past years of economic uncertainty. Recently, I read a survey from the Day Spa Association sharing that 2013 and 2014 have shown some significant increases. It claims the Spa Industry is indeed in growth mode.

This news is indeed encouraging. Moreover, I have had a number of conversations with employers within the spa and wellness industry who claim they are on constant lookout for therapists, as the need of the wellness seeking public outnumbers the quantity of therapist applicants. In one case, I learned that the lack of available therapists caused locations to close rooms and turn away clients as a result of not having enough personnel to cover the demand.

I have spoken to therapists in private practice who also share they could expand their practice, if only there were two of them. They have more need for their services than they have time in the day to assist. This news also sounds encouraging. Could it be that the need for therapists has grown and people understand the importance of massage therapy in their lives, health and well being? It sure sounds like it!

So what does this mean to you? Well, that vastly depends on what your needs are and whether you want the responsibility of running a business, contracting for a company or being hired. These are three very different roles and each has their own perks. I want to share a bit of high level insight as to the potential benefits of each and provide a bit of information to help you decide if one of these options is for you.

Self-Employed

If your personality seems to show a penchant for understanding the ebb and flow of business, social and print marketing, and the importance of the principles of strong money management, then this venue may be for you. As a self-employed therapist, you need to have a solid understanding of what the reality of profitability looks like and a plan on how to make it happen. You will be your own marketer, buyer, scheduler, workforce, accountant and boss. Being your own boss sounds pretty good, but in order to be successful as a solo practitioner, you should really understand it involves far more than being a competent therapist. The responsibilities of the success or failure of your practice rest solely on your shoulders and the rewards are great if you are willing to do all of the jobs above with as much effort and energy as you put into the role of therapist.

Contractor

If taking on the full responsibility of running a business isn’t something that speaks to you, then perhaps you should consider becoming a contractor. In this role, you are still working for yourself, but have contracted your services for a price to another business owner. This provides a bit of autonomy however, you will likely be asked to work a specific schedule which is conducive to the needs of the business owner and not necessarily your need. This may be a good tradeoff for you, as you can leave at any time and are often free to pursue other interests and opportunities at the same time. Additionally, you should be prepared to do the work in the manner the company requires and not necessarily how you would in your own business.

These parameters should be clearly explained and discussed before you enter into a contract agreement so there are no misunderstandings of the expectations. There are perks to being a contractor, such as tax deductions and other economic benefits. These are better explained to you by your accountant and the opportunities may vary by state. Some of the upside may include the ability to deduct business expenses on your own income tax return. These can include office space, mileage, per diem and more. To learn more about the benefits of being a contract employee, please see your local employment bureau.

Employee

If neither of these options seem suited to you or you really do not want the added responsibility of running a business or keeping records of every expense so as to itemize, then perhaps being an employee may be of greater interest to you. The benefits of being employed by a company as a practicing therapist are numerable. Not the least of which, you will be free to concentrate more of your efforts on client care. The marketing, money management and ordering may well have nothing to do with you. You should be prepared for the reality that you will be doing your job in the manner required by the company you work for and it may include retailing and rebooking of the client. This is generally accepted as being the case and many prefer this to the other methods of ownership or contracting.

Occasionally, these positions can offer benefits such as healthcare and 401K. Another perk may be a regular income you can rely upon week after week to better manage your personal expenses. There is a wealth of places looking to hire dependable and talented therapists and the growth of need shows no sign of slowing. The industry as a whole seems to be growing. It has seen its share of difficulty in recent years, as all industries have. The economy has had a great impact on discretionary spending. However, while massage was once considered a luxury or splurge by many, it is now becoming more mainstream and accessible to the public. Certainly now more than ever, preventative healthcare and stress management are more forefront and people are seeking alternatives to the high cost of healthcare.

They are doing this by working to take better care of their body, their mind and spirit in ways they have not done before. They are more inclined to work to stem the causes of long-term illness such as chronic stress, pain and inflammation in ways they would not have considered as little as ten years ago. In doing so, this has created an increased need for properly trained and licensed therapists across the nation. Many larger companies are adopting the philosophy of preventative care, and this too has opened some doors for massage therapists to walk through and build a lucrative career.

You already know you love caring for others. You have a service heart that wants only to provide a means toward greater wellness. You have learned your craft and continue to hone it to become the best therapist you can be. Now, the decision which lies before you is how to go about the business of using these talents to sustain your livelihood and prepare a home for you and your family. I hope the information here may have sparked your interest to investigate further into the various roles you can fill and helps you in finding the space that is right for you.View more of Angie Patrick’s articles at Massage Today.