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    Multi-Purpose Massage Cream Face-off

    Monday, April 18th, 2016

    Multi-Purpose Massage Cream Face-off

    by Nathan Nordstrom

    Have you ever gone to work at a different office and found out they do not use your favorite massage cream? With all the massage cream companies out there, it was sure to happen to me. I wanted to know what the differences are between as many creams as I could get my hands on. Here is my attempt.

    I will be playing the role of the pseudo-researcher in this article. I have no scientific backing other than my experience. I hope to give you an idea so you can make the best choice of products for you. I do not sell any of these products and have no vested interest in what you use, so, with that being said: I hope you like what you are using or might be trying as a result of reading on.

    I work in both a spa and a clinical massage therapy office. In my research, I used all four products for a day in each setting. I wanted to figure out what gave me the best results for many different techniques I may use in different settings. I also asked all my co-workers and my family for their insights.

    Product number 1: Biotone Dual-Purpose Massage Crème
    Biotone cream has a light arnica & ivy extracts scent. I have a refillable tube that I really like. It has a flip top that I leave open during each massage. It is easy to sanitize between clients. It is also a quite thick cream and did not leak even with the lid open. It goes for $1.23 per ounce for the 14 fl oz jar. It claims to wash out of sheets and have no residue on skin. I found it has a fast absorption speed and leaves a slight oily feel. I really like this product for myofascial work.

    Product number 2: Lotus Touch Multi-Purpose Massage Cream
    This Lotus Touch cream has a very similar fresh fragrance of arnica and ivy like Biotone’s. I think it is a bit more fragrant, but I also like the smell. The price for a 16 fl oz jar is $0.95 per ounce. It claims to have no nut oils, be water dispersible, and leave no stains. I found it has a slow absorption speed and leaves a slightly oily feel. I really enjoyed using this product in the spa. I found I did not need to use very much because it continued to keep a slight glide. In the clinic, one client stated, “I felt a bit oily at the end of the massage; not bad, but a bit oily.”

    Product number 3: Bon Vital Massage Crème Multi-Purpose with Jojoba
    Bon Vital was the creamiest of the products I tried. It came out more like sour cream than the others. It was almost like a softer butter. This texture was unnoticeable to the clients but noticeable to me as a therapist trying to spread the product. This is the only one of the four that I would call truly “fragrance-free.” This product comes in a jar; however, it also has a pump on the lid. You can also get a holster for these jars if you want to commit to this product. As for price, it was $1.27 per ounce for the 14 fl oz jar. Not bad if you are looking at also getting the pump. They claim to have “no nut oils” and be paraben-free (I have no clue what these are; however, I do not think they are good).
    I find it to have a moderate absorption speed and leaves little to NO oily feel. This was an issue at the spa. I found I needed to use more cream because there was no residual oil left. I felt like this would work best at a sports event or even a community event because people would not feel greasy after its use.

    Product number 4: TheraPro Multi-Purpose Massage Cream infused with Jojoba & Avocado Oils
    TheraPro was also very light to fragrance-free. It stood out in several ways in comparison to the other creams. First thing is that they tell you it has nuts in it, so if you have clients with nut allergies, this is not the product for them. On their label, they claim “Quality ingredients like jojoba and avocado oil separate this cream from all others…” I also liked that the 14 fl. Oz. Jar was a steal at $0.72 per ounce. I noticed it stood in the middle of the pack for absorption speed and leaving an oily feel. The texture of this product was an little bit of an issue because of its thickness – it came out in chunks. I usually like to grab and go with my lubricants; I needed to disperse the cream between both hands before it was spread enough to apply to the client.

    Overall each cream had its own strengths. I would use each one in a different way. I hope to keep all four around so I can choose the right product for the right client. I think that is one of the benefits of being a professional: if your clients don’t know, they should be able to ask you for your expertise. If you have a multi-purpose massage cream you like, please leave its name and why you like it in the comments below. I hope to hear from you about your favorite products.

     

    At MassageWarehouse.com, massage therapist enjoy a one-stop shop for professional quality massage products at the lowest prices available. Rely on Massage Warehouse for your massage supplies, salon equipment and supplies and spa equipment and supplies needs.

    Running for the Massage Therapy Profession

    Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

    Running for the Massage Therapy Profession

    On April 18, massage therapist David J. Otto will be running in the Boston Marathon to raise money and awareness for the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF), an organization that works to advance the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education, and community service grants. The Foundation is pleased to include Massage Warehouse as David’s corporate partner on this journey to run in this world-class event.  

    Support David’s Run for Research today by making a donation to his fundraising campaign at https://www.crowdrise.com/massagetherapyboston2016/fundraiser/davidotto

     

    Learn a little more about David

    When did you decide massage therapy was the right career for you?

    A: I had my first professional massage at Disney World in 1998. After mastering most of the middle-management positions in employment until that time, I felt like massage therapy was a field that would take time and caring in order to master: a professionally satisfying attempt to better myself as well as help others.

    How did your participation in the 2016 Boston Marathon come about?

    A: I have been volunteering for the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) since just before they started participating in the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon program in 2013. I have kept a close eye on its progress and decided to apply this year. I am so passionate about the Massage Therapy Foundation’s mission and running that it became the perfect combination. I found myself being drawn into helping spread the word to other professionals who feel the same passion to move massage therapy forward. Donating to the Massage Therapy Foundation advances the profession.

    In your experience, how does massage therapy integrate into and benefit a marathon training regimen?

    A: Recovery is a very important aspect of training. Massage therapy helps me the most. Regular massage no more than 24 hours after a long run is my regiment. Increasing the amount of massage, sleep, mileage, strength-training and dieting is my training process.

    After a long run, I have been receiving a 60-minute Swedish massage session and I have noticed the pain lessens quicker. Normally, it takes a day or so to recover from pain and range-of-motion restrictions from a long run. When I get massage after a long run, I can feel my pain-recovery time cut into less than a day, meaning the next day bears no aches. I think any person can integrate that success, using massage therapy, into whatever level of training [that person’s] long run coincides [with].

    How has your corporate partner, Massage Warehouse helped you during this journey to Boston?

    There is no doubt that I am able to enjoy this experience of a lifetime thanks to the generosity of Massage Warehouse. As my corporate partner, they have helped cover the high expenses to make this journey to Boston a reality. In addition, their team has provided me with marketing support, personal encouragement, and recently sent me a wealth of product to use during my training. I have added using new products such as Soothing Touch Massage Cream Muscle Comfort during my massage sessions, Theraband tape to get the right stretch every time I need kinesiology taping, a Thera-band Exercise ball to strengthen, tone and increase my core flexibility, and Therapearl Hot & Cold packs for improved blood flow and relaxation of my muscles during recovery.

    How can YOU get involved?

    A: First, I would ask you to consider making a donation to my fundraising campaign at the link below. Any amount – $25, $50, or $100 is greatly appreciated and will help my efforts to raise $10,000 for the Massage Therapy Foundation.

    Second – please consider purchasing your professional products from our friends at Massage Warehouse. They have been dedicated to the massage therapy profession for over ten years, and in my experience they always support efforts in the massage therapy world. I am honored to have them as my corporate partner. We know you have options but consider who is giving back to your profession. The team at Massage Warehouse is not only giving back to you, but they are advancing the practice by being a corporate partner with the Massage Therapy Foundation.

    Don’t delay making your donation – there is only six weeks left until I arrive in Boston for the experience of a lifetime – running in the 120th Boston Marathon for the Massage Therapy Foundation.

    Click Here to Make Your Donation Today

    Strategic Income Planning

    Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

    Strategic Income Planning

    Painless Tips To Make More Money In 2016

    By Angie Patrick

    Who doesn’t enjoy a raise? A raise means someone acknowledges you and your efforts for another year of service. It means you have performed well at a certain level and now it is time to reward your efforts by raising your earnings a little.

    A raise is something we have all come to think of a synonymous with doing a good job and being rewarded for that good job in a monetary way by our employer. No, I do not believe anyone ever said, “What? A raise for me? No Thank You!”

    But what if you are self-employed? What if “the boss” who so graciously divvies up raises happens to be the same person as the purchaser, the scheduler, the therapist, the marketer, the janitor and the chief bottle washer? How do you give yourself more money from a business you think you run like a tight ship, and a workload and that is at maximum capacity? You look for new ways, that’s how. Money hides in the darndest places, and finding ways to eke out a couple more percent here can add up to a net pay raise overall for you. I want to look at a few places your money is hiding from you, and give you a few tips on how to coax it back into your pocket.

    Preventing Client Churn

    In most businesses, churn happens naturally for a variety of reasons. But sometimes, it is because of specific reasons and these may well be reasons you have control over. Before we can look at why customers leave, we need to first have a means to identify they have left.

      Now, I understand many clients come for a specific issue and then once that issue is resolved, they stop coming. We all want to be known as the therapist who helped Jimmy with his frozen shoulder before his big golf game. But do we just accept Jimmy will not be returning because the issue has found resolution? When this happens, do you just allow them to go or do you offer other means to serve their needs and provide education to support this? I am sure you are familiar with the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” These are clients that have experienced your talent and skill first hand, likely are candidates to continue to visit you to prevent issues. It takes education on the importance of prevention and the means to keep in contact with that client long after the initial issue has resolved. A client who knows you will likely return if they have received good service, been treated well, and have seen the value in what you provide. These same clients that are now better as a result of your care may well wish to remain under your preventative care to ward off future issues. This is a client you can count on, and can rebook. But if you just allow them to leave without providing alternatives, you have to work hard to find a replacement client.

    When a client does make the decision to leave, do you ever learn why? Do you notice they are no longer booking with you? It is more common than you might believe to have a client slip through your hands unnoticed. Having a means to track client visits and reach out to them on a regular basis is important. Whether you do this through personal calling, a newsletter, or email; customer outreach is hugely important to a successful practice. Knowing when a client leaves as early as you can detect it, will give you the ability to call and check in with them and learn if they are in need of making an appointment or have moved on to other pastures. If they have moved on, I always think it is important to try and determine what prompted the decision to leave your practice. This conversation need not be confrontational, but more informational. Perhaps they had a bad experience, one for which you were wholly unaware. Learning about it and finding the root cause to prevent re-occurrence can save you future client departures for the same reasons.

    The money and time spent keeping a client is far better spent than spinning through new client after new client that seldom return. I am not advocating fabricating reasons or issues that compel your client to return out of fear. I am advocating your taking a preventative stance, and sharing with them what you know to be true. Regular massage brings along with it many significant health benefits. Educating your client on the benefits of regular massage can help you keep your client happy and satisfied, and your booking calendar full.

    Eliminate ” No Show” Clients Early On

    We all have them, those client that book a block of time, and then on the day of appointment they don’t show up and you find yourself sitting on 60-90 minutes of booked time. This happens and is part of life, but working to nip this behavior in the bud is the best means of prevention. There are a few ways you can help alleviate this issue.

    First, consider spending time the day before reaching out to your clients by phone to remind them of the appointment. Sometimes, this will enable you to learn ahead of time any challenges the client has come across in making the appointment allowing you time to rebook. Second, consider a ” no-show” fee. If a client has booked with you and fails to show without contacting you in enough time to work to rebook the time, then a fee could be charged. Having explained this fee and the consequences up front can help eliminate this issue fully. No one wants to pay a fee, but additionally, no one wants to be “surprised” by one either. Clear guidelines need to be set up and discussed before a client books so they know what to expect.

    Lastly, most people want to be respectful of your time, but will take any slack you allow them. Make sure you have clear guidelines as to when to show up for an appointment, and when the appointment is over, regardless of late arrival.  If a client arrives late, still see them, but being clear that they have taken up their own appointment time in being late ahead of time makes for a less uncomfortable exchange and can help prevent lateness the next time.

    Remember, your time is your money. When you allow your time to be wasted by clients who don’t show, or are chronically late, it is you who pays for it. Think carefully about these issues and find a place of comfort you can live with and then inform the clients of your policies. They will work to adhere to your guidelines, and when they cannot, they know what to expect.

    Supply Chain Management

    As a therapist, you are a consumer of professional products, specifically related to the work you do. Have you ever considered how you purchase your goods as a means to add black ink to your bottom line? Having a strong understanding of your supply needs, timing, and consolidation of purchases, as well as how you choose to pay for them can save you money.

    Let’s say you are a therapist who orders just what is needed, just in time for the previous product to run out. You order weekly, or perhaps every other week, and order just enough to satisfy the needs of the next two weeks. This is called “Just In Time” ordering, and can work for many. However, if you take a step back, and look at your overall purchases for a three month period, you may be able to detect a specific pattern to your needs. Once you can determine what goods you will likely need for the coming quarter, consider buying these all at once. Look online for price breaks on your favorite brands, or freight incentives, and consider buying in bulk. You can save significantly by the gallon if you go from buying five individual gallons, to buying a five gallon pail. The savings are real and are important enough to take a longer look into what else you may be able to buy quarterly instead of bi-weekly.

    Once you have determined that you may well be able to save not only money, but time when you place the planned quarterly order, you may want to consider how you pay for these goods. Many opt for paying cash or using a debit card. This is always good, and can give you real-time accounting of what money you have right now. But with a little forethought, you can structure these buys to provide you rebates, points or cash back on the goods you know you are going to need anyway. In my experience, I have seen successful businesses have a business-only charge card and they search for the ones providing the greatest loyalty benefit to the business. Maybe you prefer a percentage as cash back of purchases, or perhaps you would like to earn points towards a personal reward like that set of gourmet pots and pans you have always wanted. Using a card for these purchases, then paying the card off in full monthly, will help you take advantages of the benefits of using these cards and still alleviate the interest if paid in full each month.

    Hire an Accountant

    I know, it sounds scary, but believe me when I tell you, your accountant will always help you stay on the right path and help provide direction in a whole host of ways that ultimately save you money. This is the single best piece of advice you can be given in my opinion, and here is why: Do you know what education expenses are deductible? Do you have all the answers in regards to claiming a client gift or dinner, what is deductible and what is not? Do you know if you can claim attending conferences and what mileage can be claimed? How about association fees, or other business related forum fees? Most people don’t have this committed to memory, and chances are this is not your center of focus either. Just as your clients hire a professional in your field to provide them with solid advice and care, you should do the same when it comes to your money and the care of your business.

    When you hire an accountant, you can let them manage all the financial issues you may or may not have been doing correctly, thus allowing you to focus on building your business and retaining clients. They can worry about filing taxes, returns, exemptions, deductions, and all those things most of us find nebulous at best. An accountant is certainly handy to help you put accounting management tools in place so you can also have greater visibility to the overall financial health of your company. Obtaining the advice of this type of professional is a smart business decision and one that will save you from mis-steps and pitfalls often made when braving these endeavors on your own.

    Ultimately, in order to save yourself the maximum amounts of time and money possible, you need to take a close look at your processes, how you do things, and seek ways to improve or streamline them. No doubt, when you take each part of the business management role you play and look to find sleeker more streamlined ways of management, you will not only save time but money, too. For most of us, these two things are one in the same. Any time or money saved can be spent doing things you enjoy, spending time with family, or even just reinvesting it into your business. Isn’t this the same we would do with a raise from an employer? Take a weekend, and re-evaluate where you can streamline and consolidate, or improve processes like retaining clients and re-booking. Doing so now can net larger dividends for you in 2016!

    At MassageWarehouse.com, massage therapist enjoy a one-stop shop for professional quality massage products at the lowest prices available.  Rely on Massage Warehouse massage therapy supply, pedicure tools and spa equipment needs.

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    NRG Premium Microfiber Massage Sheet Set

    Monday, November 30th, 2015

    Check out the New NRG Premium Microfiber Massage Sheets Set

    Our Premium Microfiber Massage Sheet Set represents the ultimate in quality, comfort and durability. made from 100% double brushed polyester, these light weight, soft as silk sheets are wrinkle resistant right out of the dryer and resist pilling. The perfect addition to your massage or spa table.

    Our massage table sheets will withstand repeated washings with proper care. Pretreat stains before laundering, especially stains resulting from oil-based products. Wash in warm water with mild detergent and tumble dry on low heat. 120 GSM (Grams per Square Meter). Do not bleach.

    Massage Spa Sheets Set Includes:

    1 Fitted Massage Sheet (7″ drop – 36″ x 77″)
    1 Flat Massage Sheet (63″ x 100″)
    1 Crescent Cover (13″ x 13″ x 6″)2290221L

    No Pain No Gain, does it apply to massage?

    Friday, 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

    The Ergonomics of Massage Table Design

    Tuesday, 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!

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

    Monday, 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

     

     

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

    Thursday, 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.

    The Mindset of Successful People: Is Your Head in the Right Place?

    Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

    The Mindset of Successful People: Is Your Head in the Right Place?

    By Angie Patrick

    We all know them. The people who seem to breeze from one client to the next, one project to the next, one crisis to the next and always seem to come out on top. While many of us feel like there is a glass ceiling, an insurmountable hurdle, or feel fear in stretching our own bubble to try something new, there are those who seem to simply take any challenge and own it with gusto.  However, those people who seem to be a success in most of the things they do are not magicians, nor are they genetically predisposed to be successful and they aren’t simply lucky. Being successful is as much about how you think as it is about the actions you take to get there. I would like to share with you five things strong and successful people think about and live by.

    The Past

    Successful people do not dwell on the past. We all have things we have done or mistakes we have made that may have been anything from minor or catastrophic. You know the things I mean; like saying something you regretted the moment it was said. Then when you remember it, you find yourself right back in the same embarrassed state and relive it all over again. Successful people do these things, too. The difference is, they do not beat themselves up for it repeatedly. They acknowledge it, make the apologies, set it right and move on.

    So you made a mistake in scheduling and it caused some undue angst for a client. Acknowledge the error, own it, make amends, compensate the client and move on. Don’t let the one instance of awkwardness or challenge wreck your relationship with the client. The true testimony of character for a person or a business is in how they manage a challenge. Learn from whatever led to the problem and make sure you do not repeat it. Success comes not from always being an ace, but from learning from the errors along the way. Chalk it up to experience. Be fair, be prompt, be humble, be honest; then take steps to correct the situation and let it go.

     Learning

    Successful people never stop learning. It can be easy to feel set in your ways and do things the same as they have always been done because it’s easy. Some may even feel like they know all they need to know to get by and are not interested in seeking new horizons or reaching new goals. For these people, this idea may work however, success is not achieved by being complacent. The world in which we live changes every single day. From technology to techniques, people are out there working hard to do better, be better, make better goods, provide better service and offer more. Successful people stay informed of new ideas and advancements by being well read in their chosen profession, being involved in events that pertain to what they do and consistently educating themselves on new modalities, applications, equipment, supplies and trends. As the world changes and expands its knowledge, so must we in order to remain competitive, sharp and above all else, successful.

    Goals

    Successful people have clearly set goals and focus to achieve them. Being able to visualize your path is essential in preparing for success. Having a clear vision of what success looks like in your own eyes and maintaining focus on the steps you must take to get there is paramount in creating successful outcomes. Often, it is easy to get waylaid and deviate from the course. Sometimes that deviation cannot be avoided, after all life happens to all of us. The kids, the pets, the parents, the partner, the day-to-day business and more, all compete for your attention and focus. The key is to be able to come back to center and when these bunny trails come up you must be thoughtful, care for the needs at hand, but then return to the path you have set to reach the goal.

    If your goal is to gain 50 new clients by June, then do the research and find the way that will work best in your application and then execute the plan. When setting your goals, stretch yourself some. Anyone can set a goal they feel they can easily achieve, however, pushing the envelope and going for more is cathartic! When you focus your mind, your actions and your energy on a task, you will indeed be surprised at how well you will do.

    Fear

    Successful people do not adopt the fears of others. Advice is great. In fact, advice from those who may have walked a few miles in the shoes you hope to be in is essential. Learning from others mistakes and taking the time to listen to their experiences and pitfalls can help you avoid making them for yourself. As helpful as positive advice and direction can be, you must also be wary of those who detract from the vision and embodiment of your goals. Inevitably, there will be those who may not want to see you succeed or are afraid you may achieve more than they have and want to stall you. There are those who may even want you to fail and they are quick to tell you your ideas have little merit or your efforts are pointless. These people may truly feel they have your best interests at heart however, many times, they are speaking from a place of their own fear. If after careful consideration, research, advice and initiative you have set about your path, then let no one impose their fears upon you. If you feel you are on the right path and that it is the path that fits YOU to get where you want to go, then it need not fit another’s expectations. I am not suggesting you block out anyone who has an opinion different from yours, but I am advocating placing the appropriate amount of importance to those ideas that detract from your goal.

    Balance

    Successful people find a work/life balance. Yes, it is possible to accomplish, despite all the reasons many say it is impossible. Many will say to be successful in business you must put business first, always. While this notion may have worked for some, often the trade-off is a lackluster or virtually non-existent personal life. Finding a way to place importance on both your work and your home life in equal measure is a skill you must try and master. After all, what is the point of gaining success if you have only that success with which to identify. There are times in which your business may need added attention. This is absolutely acceptable and expected. You may find it has become a problem when you find yourself working around the clock, missing family events and not being present for your family or for yourself. You must allocate the time required to solely focus on the goals of success, but also allow yourself the time to set it aside to enjoy your life outside work as well. You are more than your job, and while it is a hugely important part of your life, it cannot become all there is.

    People find their own definition of success. Once you have given this thought, you will find what will make you feel successful. Don’t measure your definition by the definition of others. Find your own voice. Whether that is in business, home life, parenting, education, marriage, sports, fitness or whatever your heart desires, you can apply these five skills and they will undoubtedly help you in reaching the pinnacle you seek. Success is attainable for all of us and to recognize you are worthy and deserving is the first step.View more of Angie Patrick’s articles at Massage Today.

     

    At MassageWarehouse.com, massage therapist enjoy a one-stop shop for professional quality massage products at the lowest prices available.  Rely on Massage Warehouse massage therapy supply and equipment needs.  MassageWarehouse carries many brands including Earthlite, Bon Vital, Oakworks, Soothing touch, Biofreeze, Stronglite, Biotone and many more

    ONE Concept Massage Conference

    Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

    People are always on the lookout for ways to save, be it on groceries, gas, vacations, or even continuing education. Since continuing education is something every therapist needs, it makes sense people are cost conscious when looking for quality education. On a different note, I am also frequently asked when we will have a Massage Warehouse location in Southern California. The market in SOCAL is so large; it stands to reason a Massage Warehouse Location would be requested there! Interestingly enough, the answers to both of these seemingly unrelated questions are in the same.

    Saving money on professional grade products and high quality continuing education is the name of the game in San Diego, September 26-28. It is there the ONE Concept Massage and Integrated Health Conference will be held at the Town and Country Resort.  Massage Warehouse will be there with tons of massage tables, massage equipment, and massage supply products for you to touch, try out, and fall in love with! We are one of the sponsors for the COMMUNITY ROOM, which is essentially a working clinic set in the middle of the trade show floor where we raise money for Massage Outreach and Charity. This Year the recipient is Liddle Kidz Foundation, founded by Tina Allen. For a ten dollar donation, you can have any number of wonderful treatments. From chiropractic evaluations, reflexology, and massage to beauty, hair and makeup, there is something there for everyone!

    We are excited to bring a wide array of treatment needs to the event in support of the COMMUNITY ROOM, and will have all of these available for purchase there on the spot, saving the freight and shipping time! If you have never shopped at a trade show, you are in for a treat! We will have all the items you love, like linens, lubricants, tools, equipment, and retail items available there at tremendous savings. Why open a location in SOCAL when we bring the company to you once a year! So many manufacturers will be represented at this event, so no matter what you may be looking for, chances are it can be found there and at a huge savings!

    Massage Warehouse has partnered with ONE Concept to bring you even greater savings on your value passes. http://www.oneconcept.com/massagewarehouse  Here you can save between $80-$200 on your registration, hotel discounts, and your pass can even include your LUNCH! Talk about value! These passes provide access all three days of the event and access to classes, the level of the pass you choose dictates the classes you will be able to access.  Information about the two different passes are below, and can be purchased by clicking the link above.

    ONE Concept presents a program called SMART FROM THE START, and this event is designed with you in mind, offering business advice from industry leaders which can help you get started on the right foot after graduation. This event is also well known for the “Goodie Bags” and Prizes given! Each student walks away with a bag filled with products from supporting vendors, and the opportunity to win an ULTIMATE BUSINESS STARTER KIT from Massage Warehouse! We put EVERYTHING you could ever need to start a practice into this kit, and I have no doubt you will want one as soon as you see it! http://www.massagewarehouse.com/products/ultimate-business-starter-package-upgrade/

    If you are looking for a place you can go that enables you to feed the passions for massage and wellness, and do it affordably, then I believe that the ONE Concept Massage and Integrative Health Conference in San Diego is where you want to be.  Massage Warehouse is proud to be the Global Sponsor, and we will be there enjoying the attendees, the weather, and the fun!

    We hope to see you there!

    Angie Patrick