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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

 

 

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

Saturday, 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

 

Deep Sea Detoxify Me Protocol

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Deep Sea Detoxify Me

Stimulate and soften skin with therapeutic salts from the Dead Sea, improve texture with Black Baltic Body Mud containing organic fresh water salts. A massage with light, silky, botanical filled Herbal Select Massage Creme leaves skin feeling smooth and intensely moisturized.

BIOTONE® Ingredients:

a.Exfoli-Sea Salt Glow (2 oz) 285-0127

b.Black Baltic Body Mud (4 oz) 183-0461

c.Detoxifying Customizing Complex (60 drops) 246-0289

d.Herbal Select Body Therapy Massage Creme (1 oz) 225-0295

Supplies:

e.Rubber spa bowls (3) 283-0072

f.Spatulas (3)283-0376

g.Warm, moist hand towels (12) 062-0031

h.Plastic wrap – 60”x75” (1) 278-0067

i.Thermal wrap (1) 278-0097

j.Sheet set (1) 229-0040

k.Blanket (1) 055-0002

Instructions:

1.Mix Exfoli-Sea Salt Glow with 30 drops of Detoxifying Customizing Complex in a rubber bowl.

2.Black Baltic Body Mud with 30 drops of Detoxifying Customizing Complex in a rubber bowl.

3.Apply an exfoliation treatment with Exfoli-Sea Glow.

4.Apply Black Baltic Body Mud in an even layer to each part of the body, while quickly covering each area with plastic wrap. Cover the client with a towel to keep warm.

5.While standing at the head of the table, pull up all layers of sheets, thermal wrap and blanket, cocooning the client.

6.Allow the client to rest for 15-20 minutes. This is an ideal time to incorporate an add-on face or foot massage.

7.Remove the plastic wrap, removing as much mud as possible with the wrap. Remove remaining mud with warm, moist towels. Be sure to cover exposed damp skin with a bath towel.

8.Perform a finishing treatment with Herbal Select Body Therapy Massage Creme.

Session Time: 60-90 min

Recommended Price: $120-$150

Cost Per treatment: $9.03 (lg. sizes)

 

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.

 

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Choosing a Lubricant for Each Modality

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

With the wide variety of massage modalities being used today it’s difficult to know when you should use an oil, crème, lotion or gel. Below you’ll find a guide to which types of lubricants are best used for each modality.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is the most common modality and is used for relaxation purposes. An oil, creme, lotion or gel can be used during this type of massage.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue massage is used to reach deeper layers of muscles. A lotion is the ideal lubricant to use for this type of massage as it provides the ability to work in one concentrated area. Therapro Deep Tissue Massage Lotion provides a smooth glide and absorbs quicker than typical massage lotion.

Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massage is typically performed on expecting mothers after the second trimester. An oil, crème, lotion or gel can be used for this type of massage.

Sports Massage

Sports massage is a fast, vigorous modality used to either warm up the muscles before an athletic event or relax the muscles after an event. If you are performing the massage before the event, a lotion, crème or analgesic works best. If the massage is after the event, no lubricant is necessary as the athlete’s natural perspiration provides sufficient glide.

Acupressure Massage

Acupressure massage is similar to acupuncture, however it uses deep tissue points instead of needles. Lotion is the best lubricant to use when performing this type of massage.

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy massage is the lightest of all the modalities. This modality uses essential oils which are typically mixed with carrier oils but can also be mixed with unscented lotions, crèmes and gels.

Stone Massage

Stone massage can be performed with hot stones, cold stones, or a combination of hot and cold stones. These stones are used to either warm or cool the muscles and tissues. A massage oil is the best lubricant for this type of massage.

Ashiatsu Massage

Ashiatsu massage is also known as barefoot massage. With this modality, the Massage Therapist uses bare feet to perform basic Swedish and deep tissue techniques. Crème is an ideal lubricant to use for this technique.

Chair Massage

Chair massage is typically performed in a corporate setting or street festival in order to build business. Since the client is fully clothed during this type of massage, no lubricant is necessary. The Magic Massager is a handy tool to have when performing a Chair Massage as it provides the same glide and workability that you get when using lubricants.

Reflexology Massage

Reflexology massage provides stimulation using pressure points on feet, hands and ears to affect all parts of the body through the nerves. It is best to not use any lubricants during this treatment, but a cream or lotion can be used to finish. Oil should not be used as feet and hands already have natural oils and also oil on the bottom of a client’s feet may cause them to slip and fall.