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Archive for March, 2011

10 Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Massage Practice

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Look Out, It’s Time to Clean House!
By Angie Patrick

Maybe I am channeling my inner Martha Stewart, or maybe I am just inspired since I saw some semi-icky stuff during a massage recently, but I believe we can all use a checklist to make sure our business, practice, massage room and equipment are up to par and ready for Spring. Here are a few things you can do to help get ready and be out with the old winter grunge and in with the fresh spring air!

1: I know it is hard to remember that people on a massage table can see under your counters or under your side tables…The fact is, this perspective on your practice is often overlooked by massage therapists and employees. You would not believe some of the yuk that can accrue under there like dust bunnies with fangs, cobwebs that look like they were made by a tarantula, and bits of paper and candy wrappers that have missed the broom a few times because they are “JUST” out of reach.

If your client returns week after week, and sees this kind of thing going unchecked, they “MAY” have the impression the entire facility isn’t clean. While it may not be true, does that really matter if the client does not return? Will it help if they tell five people they know your massage practice is dirty? Nope….! So take a moment, get on your massage table, face up, side lying, and face down. What do you see? If you see UNDER SOMETHING, be sure to keep it CLEAN!

2: Check Expiration Dates on all things that can expire. Be sure to check your retail shelves as well as your back bar for anything that may be going out soon. If you have something about to expire, run a special or sale on a treatment requiring that product. If your pale of sugar scrub has a bit left in it, but expires in 2 months, then run a special on sugar scrubs to be sure you get the most for your money!

3: Linen Inspection. “Oh Angie, lighten up… My sheets are FINE! “ Hmmm…..I would not be so hasty! When was the last time you put your massage sheets on a table and got between them? Are they pilling, do they smell or feel scratchy? Are they frayed in any way? Is there an oil stain you have simply stopped seeing, but fresh eyes could pick out in a lineup? Check these things out! Massage sheets are not meant to last forever. In fact, we are in one of the only professions that can really consider sheets a disposable. So take a moment to go through your linens, make sure they smell fresh and are unstained, and are in good working order. Replace sets that have passed their prime. < C’mon, do the math…… let’s say 20 bucks a set, divided by a client a day for two years? Yeah, it’s time to retire them or re purpose them! They have provided you great value!>

Read more at Massage Today.

Massage Therapy as a Complement to Physical Therapy

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Overview
Although there is much overlap between the fields of massage therapy and physical therapy, current Western practice of each provides a complement to the other rather than duplication of services. Massage therapy encompasses the techniques of touching or rubbing the patient’s body in order to relax the muscles, to enhance circulation or to loosen adhesions. Physical therapy often involves stretching and exercise to rehabilitate injured tissues and restore range of motion. By capitalizing on the strengths of each practice, a complementary treatment can be developed that provides maximum healing in an efficient and effective manner.

History
Historically, many of the activities we commonly associate with either massage or physical therapy, such as rubbing and stretching, were usually practiced together by the same person. In Axel V. Grafstrom’s 1898 “A Text Book of Mechano-Therapy,” he refers to Per Henrik Ling as being the father of the techniques later known as physical therapy. Ling has often been cited as one of the first to use aspects of massage to complement his physical therapy. Massage has been utilized as a key technique employed in physical therapy since its inception.

Physical Benefits
The primary focus of physical therapists is to restore the patient to maximal function, using a series of strengthening exercises, activities and stretching to accomplish the recovery of the muscles. Massage, when used in a complementary capacity, works to create the optimal internal environment for muscle tissue to heal and function through increased circulation and lymph flow, relaxes chronically contracted muscle tissue and may loosen scar tissue adhesions that restrict normal movement. It prepares tissue to respond better to physical therapy treatment.

Psychological Benefits
Massage therapy can further enhance the beneficial effects of physical therapy by helping patients to relax mentally, therefore decreasing stress-related chemicals such as cortisol in the brain and enhancing endorphins and other mood-elevating chemicals. This improved attitude helps patients to relax and respond more completely and with less pain to the treatments provided by the physical therapist. The improved mental outlook associated with massage therapy can also help patients to feel less depressed about their impairments, to be more positive about their ability to recover and to be more tolerant of the healing and rehabilitation process.

 Read more at livestrong.com.

First Annual American Massage Job Fair

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

First Annual American Massage Job Fair

By Angie Patrick

Some people spend their whole lives asking in hushed tones, “Why?” I prefer to think of the larger picture and sing loudly in a strong, pronounced operatic voice, “Why NOT?” (with extra emphasis on the NOT for effect).

Just because you have never seen it done, does not mean it shouldn’t be. In fact, I look upon the unknown as just about enough probable cause to take the bull by the horns and take action. If someone does not go first, who will? And if you have the ability, location, contacts, resources, and desire – the only thing holding you back is fear. Fear is a four-letter word. And in this economy, sometimes you have to stop being fearful, and begin to be bold in your thinking and in your processes. What worked before may not be what will work now, and the fear that can surround an unemployed massage therapist is something that can nag and weigh you down when you should be using your energy and talents for healing and helping.

This is the entire drive behind the First Annual American Massage Job Fair being held at the American Massage Conference in Atlanta on May 22, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This is a ground-breaking event bringing massage therapy employers together to find talent often hidden from view when answering an ad online or in the paper.

The job fair will host many potential employers including schools, spas, chiropractors, franchises and more. It will indeed be the place to find a repository of potential employers ready and willing to talk to you on-the-spot. Our industry believes in the power of relationships, networking, and above all else – human interaction. Meeting potential employers and having a brief moment to make a connection in some way is hugely paramount to a successful application process.

To be as successful as can be at the Job Fair, let me give you a few tips that can help you along in the process.

Job Fair 101

First, understand this is a Job Fair, and it is a cursory meeting to give both parties an opportunity to scope one another out and to make a connection. A full-blown interview will likely not occur this day, but a subsequent call may indeed come and you may be asked back for further interviewing.

Bring many copies of your resume, but only bring a condensed version that pertains to the profession at hand. It should outline your education, your hands-on experience, modalities you know, and any work experience and achievements. If you have been employed in another field as a career before the current, then by all means list it. But, please do not list your part-time, summer, or temp jobs unless they pertain to this industry. Time is limited; let your best assets shine, and avoid having the only thing remembered about you is that you once did a summer landscaping job five years ago.

Be sure to have your 3-minute speech ready to go: “Hi, I am Angie, and I am looking for a job that ____. I feel I can provide ____ to any position, and my availability is ____.”
Be intentional with your words; leave out any: umm’s, errr’s, I-mean’s, or uh’s. These words do not leave a good impression, and are certainly not what potential employers wish to hear at a job fair where time is limited, or any other setting for that matter.

Find your confidence, know what you bring to the table, hold your head high, wear your lucky underwear and get noticed.

Be certain you have gathered business cards from each and every employer, regardless of whether you were able to connect personally or not. If time is waning, leave your resume on the table and pick up a card. You will use this card as part of your contact list and utilize the data on it to follow-up on your resume.

If you are indeed able to get face time with the employer, you will most assuredly want to follow-up after the job fair to thank them for their time and consideration. A handwritten note goes a long way here as it is unexpected and certainly out of the norm. In other words, you will get noticed.

To pre-register for the free Job Fair, visit AmericanMassageConference.com/JobFair to be sure you can get in without waiting in an on-site registration line. In this case, the early bird won’t just get the best worm, they may get the best JOB.

Read more on Massage Today Link