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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

American Massage Conference AMC

Monday, 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.

Thursday, 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

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

 

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.

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

Massage Therapy for a Better Night’s Sleep

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Massage Therapy for a Better Night’s Sleep

Published on

By Kray Kibler, CFO, Massage Warehouse

Adequate sleep is necessary for healthy functioning, and quality sleep is vital to health and wellness. But an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans experience sleep issues that affect their health,1 often leading to low work performance, slowed reaction time, obesity, higher risk of long-term disease, and substance abuse.2

Chronic insomnia causes extreme fatigue and problems with concentration, and can adversely affect a person’s mood and well-being. For healthcare professionals, helping patients overcome insomnia is critical for fostering overall health and wellness.3 According to Ralph Pascualy, MD, medical director of the Swedish Sleep Medicine Institute (SSMI) in Seattle, both the quantity and quality of an individual’s sleep directly affect their health.4

Nutrition and exercise are often recommended as the foundation of good health, but research shows that quality sleep should also be part of any holistic treatment. Those who sleep less than 8 hours per night are experiencing “sleep debt,” which cannot be reversed by sleeping more on the weekend.4

According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found massage to be beneficial for insomnia-related stress, as well as2:

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

Benefits of Massage Therapy

The National Institutes of Health has advised that massage therapy can reduce fatigue and improve sleep5 and, based on research gathered by the American Massage Therapy Association, massage has been shown to improve sleep in infants, children, adults, and the elderly alike, as well as individuals with psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, lower back pain, cerebral palsy, and breast disease.1

Anne Williams, director of education, 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 types2:

  • Swedish massage—This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping to help relax and energize.
  • Deep massage—This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage—This is similar to Swedish massage, but 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. 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.3 Results were based on twice-weekly, 30-minute massages for 5 weeks, using these techniques:

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

In the supine position, participants received:

  • Gliding strokes to the neck and abdomen
  • Kneading of the rectus and oblique muscles that help bend the trunk of the body forward
  • Rubbing 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.

Conclusion

Massage is a smart, healthy, and drug-free option that has helped many 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 effects massage therapy has on serotonin and sleep. In the meantime, the existing evidence is enough to recommend regular massages for sleepless patients.3

A growing number of healthcare professionals recognize the benefits of taking a multidisciplinary approach to patients in order to better identify the source of illness4—rather than simply treating the symptoms. At the same time, sleeping pills and pain killers should take a back seat to complementary and alternative forms of medicine, including massage therapy, for treating the whole person and improving outcomes.

Kray KiblerKray Kibler, chief financial officer, Massage Warehouse (www.MassageWarehouse.com), a member of the Scrip Companies (www.ScripCompanies.com) family, first joined Scrip in May 2006, gaining broad and deep experience throughout the business with responsibility for oversight of the company’s financial, IT, human resource, customer service, distribution operations, and field/corporate sales.

REFERENCES

1. AMTA; Massage Therapy Can Help Improve Sleep; October 2012; www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-Can-Help-Improve-Sleep.html

2. Mayo Clinic Staff; Insomnia; Mayo Clinic; www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/basics/complications/con-20024293

3. Cutler N; Insomnia, Serotonin and Massage; Institute for Integrative Healthcare; August 19, 2005; www.integrativehealthcare.org/mt/archives/2005/08/insomnia_seroto.html

4. Vanderbilt S; Sound Sleep; MassageTherapy.com; 2005; www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/838/Sound-Sleep

5. Nerbass FB, et al; Effects of massage therapy on sleep quality after coronary artery bypass graft surgery; National Institutes of Health; 2010; www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21243280

– See more at: http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/05/massage-therapy-sleep/#sthash.qXrJPdYG.dpuf

Massage Tables Are Like Elegant Desserts

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Massage Tables Are Like Elegant Desserts

 

By Angie Patrick

 

It’s true, massage tables really are like elegant desserts. The best ones have the perfect balance of sumptuous and delicious layers. Go enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner. Chances are the dessert tray will be filled with items sporting layer after layer of sheer decadence. More layers really equals more luxury and more indulgence.

However, this is where the similarities with your massage table end. I have seen some therapists who will place a sheet over a table and call it complete. This can leave a client shivering and feeling more than a little exposed. I have also witnessed other therapists create the equivalent to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in an effort to make the table more comfortable. This often results in the client fussing with the table covers and struggling to keep them in place while trying to roll over, or even worse, the coverings sliding to the floor completely when the client gets off the table due to ill fitting or inappropriate coverings not created for use on a massage table.

How do you know when enough is enough? How can you be sure you have not crossed the line between cocooning comfort and overcompensation for an uncomfortable table? Often, these lines can be blurred. Let’s look at some of the regularly used table coverings in order of their layering on the table, and then you can utilize the information provided to pick and choose which would be appropriate for your specific applications.

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Massage Table Warmers

 

Table warmers come in many different forms. Some are washable while others are not. Some are suited for treatments where they might come in contact with water and others are not made to withstand moisture. Before you choose, decide whether or not you plan to practice treatments that require the warmer to be water-proof. For instance, if your plan is to offer herbal wraps, you will most likely opt for the water-proof option for safety’s sake. If your plan doesn’t include treatments utilizing moisture and free-flowing water, then a regular fabric table warmer will work fine. In all cases, check to be sure the warmer has an auto-off feature. This alleviates the age old worry in the middle of the night as you sit straight up in bed, “Did I unplug the table warmer?”

 

Some models can be programmed to work continuously for up to 99 minutes, and then power down. This is a great feature, and one I personally prefer. It takes the guesswork out of whether or not the warmer will remain on for the full treatment. Given the average massage is 60 to 90 minutes, it should cover most treatments. The trick is remembering to reset it between clients so it does not power down in the middle of your massage. These typically are washable on the gentle cycle, although it is preferable to hang them to dry to better prevent the warming filaments from breaking.

 

Ideas for Added Padding

 

Massage fleece pad  likely is the most popular and widely utilized plush covering. This covering provides additional cushion and a degree of comfort that a sheet on bare vinyl will not provide. Look for fleece with elastic corner holds or a fitted cover to secure it to the table. You have a couple of choices in the type of fleece you utilize. Some people only want wool fleece pads. Although these are very warm and cozy, they cannot be machine washed and some clients might have allergies to wool, which won’t necessarily be disclosed in the intake form. I prefer the synthetic fleece because it offers greater flexibility in washing. It can be machine washed and dried in the dryer on fluff or air dry without heat. I would suggest a therapist have a few sets of fleece so they can be changed out between clients on a busy day. Now they are more affordable than ever before, ranging from $25 to $110 depending on the material you choose.

 

Another popular option for added comfort is memory foam covered in vinyl. This is a fantastic way to soften a hard table or elongate the life of one that is beginning to show wear on the padding. It usually is 2 to 3 inches thick and is made of visco-elastic material which reacts to body heat, conforming to the contours of the body. These, when covered with vinyl, are easily cleaned and offer a very comfortable foundation for your client. While not inexpensive, they can truly provide a luxurious feel to your table and extend the usefulness of a table in the beginning stages of wear, allowing an additional pocket of time before you must invest in a new table.

 

Choosing the Right Massage Sheets

 

Once your warmer and choice of pad are in place, affix your fitted sheet to the table. The next layer is your top sheet. Please be sure the sheet sets you buy are appropriate for a professional setting. I have seen the occasional therapist use cartoon-character sheets fitting a twin bed on their professional massage table. The intent is to be cute and quirky, but the reality is you come off looking ill-prepared, childish and difficult to be taken seriously. Purchasing sheets appropriate for your practice is fundamental in being considered a professional. Be sure your sheets are in good repair, not stained and do not reek of old oil. This is more than a wee bit off putting, and can ruin the whole massage experience, no matter how expertly executed.

 

Your choice in sheet material is one that could require some additional thought. Although we all want an attractive and inviting table, being pretty may not be enough. Look for fabrics that are durable and can withstand repeated usage and laundering. Here are a few examples of the most commonly chosen sheet types, and reasons why they may or may not be a fit for your needs.

 

Massage Poly Cotton sheets: These are a blend of cotton content and polyester. These sheets are thinner and great in warmer climates. They resist wrinkling, although they are not wrinkle-free. There is little shrinkage, and they usually hold up well during laundering.

 

Massage Muslin sheets: Very thin fabric, does not offer much coverage for client modesty. These sheets might work well when used in wraps. Not a favorite among most therapists for everyday use on their massage table.

 

Massage Cotton Sheets: Natural fiber, flat-spun fiber finish, and soft to the skin. For client modesty, look for sheets with 300-350 thread count. These are a bit thicker and offer greater coverage. Buy sheets a bit larger than your table to allow for inevitable shrinkage. These will launder well although they will wrinkle substantially if left in the dryer unattended after drying.

 

Massage Flannel Sheets: A tried and true staple in any therapist arsenal. This is a natural cotton fiber that has been spun to allow fibers to be “unruly” and then brushed to allow fibers to loosen and become lofty. These sheets offer superb coverage and long wear. The more they are washed, the softer they become. Flannel is not gauged in thread count, but it is rated by weight per square meter. For durable flannel that will wear well, look for flannel with weight of 150 g per square meter or greater. These weights will launder well but will wrinkle if left in a basket after washing. Again, be sure to buy sheets large enough to accommodate shrinkage.

 

Massage Bamboo Sheets: A new fiber in the massage-sheet arena. This fiber is incredibly soft to the touch. It feels almost silky and can provide a very luxurious feel to your table. It is also a nice “trendy” component to say you are using greener products. Even though there are several positive reasons to choose bamboo, it also has a few setbacks. It can be price-prohibitive in many cases, and it often can have substantial shrinkage and wrinkling if laundered in any way other than described on the packaging. It also is still somewhat fragile in its longevity, allowing the stitching holes to stretch and become somewhat unsightly. If you have the budget, time and opportunity to truly care for these sheets, they might be a good fit. If you are looking for a workhorse, you might decide to opt for another material.

 

In all sheets, you will want to be sure the pocket is deep enough to accommodate the table warmer, and fleece or memory foam pad, as well as the table. In the top sheet, you likely will wish to find something measuring 59 to 65 inches wide and 80 to 90 inches long. Not only will this allow nicely for any shrinkage, it will continue to provide adequate coverage for the client following laundering. This is why most household sheets for twin beds do not always offer a perfect fit.

 

The Proper Massage Blanket

 

There are many schools of thought in regards to blanket materials. Again, it is driven by your needs and usage. I will provide you with the most common offerings, although there are many more on the market than I can list here.

 

Massage Cotton Thermal blanket: Likely the most widely used blanket in massage. It is loosely woven, thicker yarn cotton that will remain breathable while retaining warmth. It is prone to shrinkage and does have a tendency to become snagged. These are affordable and come in an array of designer colors.

 

Massage Fleece blanket: Softness is the hallmark of this fabric. It harkens to days when we were children and all things we snuggled with were fluffy and soft. It evokes an instant relaxation response and is widely used in the industry. It will launder well, although it is prone to shed in the first few washes. Most will not have appreciable shrinkage. These will also wrinkle, but not much.

 

Massage Bamboo blanket: This fabric makes a lovely blanket; offering softness and luxury to any table. This is not a very durable fiber so handling and laundering of the blanket must be done with care. It is prone to pilling, so it should be handled with greater care. It will also shrink if dried in a heat setting. Tumbling on low heat or no heat is preferred to extend the life of the blanket.

 

Massage Down Comforter/Duvet: Incredibly lush and totally cocooning. It’s downside is the expense and the upkeep of the duvet covers between clients. For a similar feel without the expense, look for down alternative comforters. These can also alleviate the allergy reaction to down.

 

Making Your Table a Sanctuary

 

Many therapists have different ideas about the way they would like their table to look and feel to the client before they climb on. Some would opt for a clean, luxurious spa feel with a crisp, white duvet covering a plush, down comforter. Others may prefer a world-traveler look, complete with colorful saris from India or Pakistan accompanied by a decorative pillow of silk or satin. Still others may opt for a more ethereal feel, with thin gossamer fabrics covering their table, lending it a cloudlike quality.

 

I have seen tables with flower petals scattered on them, or simply dressed with a bundle of freshly cut rosemary sprigs tied with a piece of raffia placed in the center of the table. I have seen the table scattered with chakra stones, as well as beautiful bowls of water with a Beta Fish swimming in it on the floor beneath the headrest for a lovely view while face down. Any one of these ideas can evoke a serene feeling of calm and relaxation. The truth is, there are no real wrong ideas when it comes to the decorative part of the table. Just, as in all things, present a professional appearance.

 

I hope these bits of information will be able to assist you in the decision of what to use on your table. The possibilities are truly limitless, and we have only scratched the surface here. There are more beautiful massage linens coming into the market every day and there are many great suppliers bringing these to the forefront. Enjoy the search, but always remember to present yourself, your practice and the supplies you use professionally.  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.

So You Want to Buy a Massage Chair

Friday, February 21st, 2014

So You Want to Buy a Massage Chair

By Angie Patrick

Did you know a great way to market yourself as a massage therapist and become known in your community to those interested in massage is to work charity events or volunteer performing chair massage? Did you know this is an incredibly effective way to give people an opportunity to appreciate your talent as a therapist as well as afford you a pocket of time to develop a rapport in order to better your opportunity of retaining them as a client for further services? Did you know that there are professional massage chairs on the market ranging from under $200 to over $600? How do you know what you need? How can you be sure the chair you buy will best suit your needs? Let’s take a look at the different uses for a massage chair, and use that information to determine how much chair you need to fulfill your specific needs.

There are many reasons a therapist will buy a massage chair. Some make the purchase for occasional charity events and promotional opportunities. Others purchase a chair to utilize as an adjunct to their regular table. Some opt to buy to add additional services to their spa or salon waiting room, and then there are those who utilize their chair for their full time practice and use it several times a day 5 to 6 days a week. Each of these needs differ in that they require different performance from the chair that has been chosen.

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In this article, I would like to explore some of the options available on massage chairs and provide information that will enable you to make the appropriate choice for your own individualized purposes. I think a great place to begin is at the beginning: You have made a decision to purchase a chair. Now begins the research: which chairs offer the greatest adjustability; which offer a sternum pad; how do I adjust the seat; which is the lightest; which comes with a case with wheels; do I need wheels? How can I find a package deal, what IS a package deal?

OK, OK… Stop stressing already! Let’s take it one step at a time… First establish your need.

Let’s just say your intended use is for marketing yourself, your talents and your practice. Your goal is to obtain new clients for your regular practice. With this chair, you plan to attend charity events, fun runs, craft shows, etc. The primary use will not be for everyday use, and it is not your single source of income. Your potential clients will likely spend no more than 10-20 minutes total in the chair. All this being said, it stands to reason you may not wish to spend next month’s rent or mortgage payment on this chair. Luckily, there are some very economical options on the market that can fit this niche nicely, while still not requiring a credit line increase on the old charge card.

Economic Chair

You will likely find a chair that fits your needs in the $150-$250 price point. Usually, chairs in this area are not filled with a ton of bells and whistles, nor do they offer a wide array of customization and adjustment; however, for the purposes listed above, these chairs fit the bill! Light (usually made of light-weight aluminum), economical, and generally workable in functionality – these chairs will make it easy for you to start networking. Look for chairs in this price range to offer adjustable heights on the seat, adjustable slide sternum plates, and a dual adjustable headrest. These should also come with a carry case.

Mid- to High-End Chair

Now, let’s look at the chair you need for more regular and rigorous work, as a primary source of income. Some therapists make a very nice living offering mobile chair massage. Many gain entire office buildings as their “turf” and can spend an entire day simply working in a single location. Clients do not often have the time they would like to visit a therapist, and they are oh-so-happy to have one come by the office for a half hour to an hour. Some forward thinking companies even hire the therapist for a block of time or per client in order to provide this wonderful benefit for their employees. If you take this theory and apply it to five days a week, you can easily see how the income can grow. Even if you do not cater to office buildings, there are other venues that have proven successful as well. If you live near a conference center, perhaps you could contract to provide chair massage for the trade shows that come into town. Additionally, many hospitals will allow therapists in at the request of a doctor, OT or PT. Perhaps you just open a kiosk at the mall, and work on passers by. You are only limited by your own ingenuity, and no matter how you slice it, you need a chair that can stand up to the daily repeated use you will be giving it.

These chairs, built with long-term, repeated usage in mind range in price from $250 and up. The mean average for a stoutly made chair is around $350 and can go as high as over $600. These chairs have far greater flexibility in the adjustments, providing greater comfort for the client and also allowing you greater access. Typically these chairs are made of rolled steel, carbonized fiber, and aircraft grade aluminum. The padding is better in that it is softer and more pliable, while providing elasticity and bounce back. The weight allowances are a bit greater in this price range, and can allow you greater flexibility in clientele. These chairs may also weigh a bit more than the more economy chair largely due to their being built to withstand far greater and repeated usage. In most cases, the mid- and high-end chairs have a virtually endless color choice, while economy chairs are typically limited to only five or six.

Forming Your Decision

Some details to consider before making your decision:

First, consider the foam systems and the density they offer. Economy chairs often have a foam system consisting of two ply. One at the base is very dense while a softer and plusher layer is affixed atop. While this provides comfort for its intended use, it can begin to break down if it is in a constant daily use scenario. Conversely, the higher end chairs have taken into consideration the need for the padding to withstand constant use, and are typically three-ply deep. Using this same principal of layering, the layer closest to the base if the most dense, while the middle layer is a bit more flexible. The top layer is often quite plush and provides a luxurious feel to the client.

Second, consider the frame. How much weight will it withstand? Can you easily go from working on children to working on larger clients? Consider who your target market may be, and make your choices with this in mind.

Third, think about adjustability. If you are using this chair for everyday use, you will likely opt for a chair with considerable adjustment capability. Some chairs are adjustable down to the knee pads, and I find chairs offering greater options are a stronger choice for the full-time seated massage therapist. You have a greater capability of customizing the massage experience directly to your client’s weight, height and build. If your use is for occasional usage only, then the economy chair would still be a good fit.

Fourth, contemplate ease of use. Some higher end chairs are like trying to fold origami. Too many levers and complicated sequences can make a chair cumbersome, (albeit comfortable for the client.) The hope is you find something perfect for both of you! The economy chairs are not quite so complicated, and can offer great ease when you are on the road. Less adjustment means less knobs and levers. Determine your level of patience, and explore manufacturer’s Web sites to get a better picture of the adjustments chairs can offer.

Fifth, does my chair come with a package? Most do. Most chairs on the market are paired with a carry case for the protection of the chair and for ease in mobility.

One thing I would like to share, (and I cannot stress this enough) always be sure to buy from a reputable dealer of professional grade massage products. Do not skimp on this. In the short term, it seems you will be able to save a few bucks and buy a chair secondhand. However, let there be an issue with breakage, or malfunction and you are wholly stuck with a broken and dilapidated used chair. This can set you back to square one, and you are out your initial investment in substandard equipment. When you choose a reputable dealer, you have the advantage of the resellers warranty as well as the manufacturer’s warranty. Both are invaluable to you if your chair ever has an issue.

Chair massage can be a tremendous value to those looking for an add-on therapy, a means to market, or a way to earn a little extra money on the weekends. It can also be a lucrative full-time career. Just be sure to do your homework, visit the Web, check out and compare features, and then make your informed decision. Everyone has a different need, and I hope some of these tips can help you better define your own and give you a head start in finding the perfect chair for your individual needs.  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