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    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

    Chicago is My Kind of Town!

    Monday, March 16th, 2015

    Chicago is My Kind of Town!
    By Drew Freedman
    The Boston Bodyworker

    I have been in the massage industry for over 18 years, yet I still feel like a kid in a candy store every day when I peruse the internet, combing through Facebook, blogs and various websites, learning new and exciting things about the human body. Are you still hungry like I am to learn more? Are you still trying to crave that thirst for knowledge? If you are like me, than once you reside to two facts, 1) You will never have enough knowledge about what we can do to help others and 2) What was once learned may potentially be proven to be wrong some day, then you are well on your way to an enriching career in massage therapy or any other field of health care.

    amc-chicagoI admit, I was fortunate to not only have a strong background in wellness prior to massage school having a degree in sports medicine from the University of South Florida; I was also learning from some of the best of the best from day one. James Waslaski was my sports massage instructor a Sun Coast School and he in turn brought in people like Aaron Mattes and George Kousaleus. This snowballed into workshops with Judith Delaney, Whitney Lowe and so many more. It wasn’t until I moved back to my hometown of Boston, that I realized how blessed I was to have been introduced to so many knowledgeable and passionate people.

    I mention all this because that is the exact environment you walk into when you attend an American Massage Conference. These conferences not only afford an endless amount of options for continuing education (CE’s), but the presenters who are providing them are about the nicest, most knowledgeable and passionate people I know. It has been my honor to be a part of such a cast of characters and that is exactly who we are; characters. Each and every presenter is as unique as a Disney creation. If you catch Eric Stephenson, Dennis Buckley, Tina Allen and myself in the notorious community room, hang on to your holsters, because it’s about to go off the ‘fazizzle’.

    The AMC is a destination conference worth saving for, but fortunately, you won’t need to save much, because it is also the best bang for your buck out there. The AMC offers attendees a choice from several different passes. You get to choose from over 70 hours of NCTMB approved CE’s, enjoy one of the most expansive exhibit halls filled with vendors who offer the best product deals you will EVER find and you can experience one of the coolest features I have ever seen, or been a part of, the One Concept Community Room. The community room, located in the middle of it all offers FREE one-hour workshops, hands-on treatments from aforementioned CE providers (remember, we love what we do) and a front row seat to watch and observe other integrated health care providers perform their work. One community of providers offering FREE services in exchange for donations to a charity is what the hosts of the AMC, One Concept are all about.

    theraband-tape Now of course I would be remiss not to briefly mention the workshop I will be presenting at the AMC in Chicago. I am very excited to be offering a 10-hour pre-conference workshop on kinesiology taping. This event will be held on Thursday, the day before the doors open for the show. We will be teaching you all about the use of kinesiology taping in your practice. More specifically, we will be showing you how to tape for common running injuries we see in practice such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints and ITB syndrome, just to name a few. My partner in crime, 2013 AMTA Educator of the Year and Co-owner of Georgia Massage School, Rick Garbowski, will join me. He and I will be your hosts for an exciting and guaranteed to be entertaining class. We will be revealing the newest brand of kinesiology tape on the market today, TheraBand Kinesiology Tape. You will learn why this tape will provide you with better and more consistent clinical outcomes than any other brand (when applied correctly). Performance Health, the makers of this tape as well as products such a BioFreeze, Prossage and TheraBands have gone above and beyond in their laboratory to create a tape that is second to none. Attendees will leave this workshop with a ‘new key on the key ring’ to help their patients return to their lives, pain free.

    Don’t fret if you can’t make the pre-conference class. Rick an I will be there all weekend offering a one-hour and 3-hour introductory class as well as being available in the One Concept Community room throughout the weekend.

    If for whatever the reason may be, that you don’t need CE’s, than I would still encourage you to come to the AMC for another reason; NETWORKING!

    fb-meetngreet

    Not only does the AMC offer and Exhibit hall, where vendors such as Massage Warehouse, will make it well worth your while to stock up on your inventory so you have the best margins possible for your practice, the American Massage Conference also plays host to the infamous ‘Facebook Meet & Greet‘. These parties are legendary and offer you a unique opportunity to mingle with so many amazing people.

    Last, if you have all the CE’s you need and you are more connected than Al Capone, come on down and talk with your industry organizations such as the ABMP or the Massage Therapy Foundation to learn how they can help you become a better massage therapist (better than you already are).

    I really hope that you will make your way to Chicago this June for the American Massage Conference. It is a destination worth driving, flying, hitchhiking to or by whatever means gets you there. I only ask one thing. WHEN you arrive, come up to me and say ‘Hello’. Like my colleagues, we want to warmly welcome each and every one of you to this show. See you in Chicago! Register Now!

    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.

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    Retail Offering

    Friday, December 12th, 2014

    Massage Retail Offering

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

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

    Director of Corporate Sales and Business Development

    2240238

    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.

     

     

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    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

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