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Massage Warehouse SanctuaryTM Supports the Massage Therapy Foundation

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Massage Warehouse SanctuaryTM Supports the Massage Therapy Foundation

(October 17, Bolingbrook, IL) – Massage Warehouse SanctuaryTM made a charitable contribution of $10,750 to the Massage Therapy Foundation during the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) national convention in Ft. Worth, Texas.  It was Massage Warehouse Sanctuary’s largest single philanthropic donation to date.

“We are pleased to support the Massage Therapy Foundation in their mission to advance the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by funding scientific research, education, and community service,” stated Earl DeCarli, President and CEO of Scrip Companies, the parent company of Massage Warehouse. “For example, the Foundation’s grant to research the role of massage therapy to potentially alleviate the side-effects of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy could be ground-breaking in helping cancer patients attain a higher quality of life during treatment.”

“Through our philanthropic arm, Massage Warehouse Sanctuary, we have a long history of supporting a variety of worthy organizations, educational institutions, and research efforts.  We are honored that Massage Warehouse Sanctuary and our partners can help the Foundation fund valuable community service grants such as providing massages for people made homeless by Hurricanes Irene and Lee and for the ‘Wounded Warriors’ of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“Massage Warehouse Sanctuary has been a very valued sponsor of the Foundation for years. I am thrilled by the level of their contribution this year,” stated Ruth Werner, outgoing President of the Massage Therapy Foundation. “This gift will significantly advance the Foundation’s ability to support research on the importance and benefit of massage therapy, to provide the healing touch of massage to underserved populations in our country, and to further educate the industry on the value and need for research.”

Funds for the contribution came from corporate partners as well as donations in the form of prize raffles by recent AMTA trade show attendees.

The following contributing sponsors support the Massage Warehouse Sanctuary:

Massage Warehouse                                             Biofreeze/Performance Health
Biotone                                                                      Bon Vital
Core Products                                                          Kinesio
Massage and Bodywork Magazine/(ABMP)        Massage Magazine
Oakworks                                                                  SaWan
Soothing Touch                                                        Anatomy Supply Partners
At Peace Media                                                        Day Spa Association
Earthlite                                                                     Master Home Products
Naturich Labs                                                          Orthaheel
Spa Specialties

About Massage Warehouse Sanctuary:

Massage Warehouse Sanctuary is the philanthropic arm of Massage Warehouse and has a long history of giving back to the massage therapy community. Massage Warehouse, the market leading supplier and one-stop shop for massage therapy professionals, is a division of Scrip Companies; a leading direct marketing and ecommerce specialty distributor serving the Massage Therapy, Spa, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation, and Consumer Home Health and Wellness markets.

About the Massage Therapy Foundation:

Although two separate organizations, the Massage Therapy Foundation was founded by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) in 1990 with the mission of advancing the profession by granting funds for research, community service, education initiatives, and conferences.

Contact:

Julie Lohmeier, Massage Warehouse

jlohmeier@scripco.com

630-771-7408

www.massagewarehouse.com

 

Gini Ohlson

gohlson@massagetherapyfoundation.org

847-905-1520

http://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org

 

###

Massage Warehouse Sanctuary™ Supports Dr. Tiffany Field and the Touch Research Institute

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Check donated to the Touch Research Institute

Julie Lohmeier, VP Marketing of Massage Warehouse, presents a contribution to The Touch Research Institute at the recent Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) convention. Association President, Leiah Carr and Lynda Solien-Wolfe accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Tiffany Field.

(July 8, Bolingbrook, IL) – Massage Warehouse Sanctuary™ made a charitable contribution of $6,200.00 to Tiffany Field Ph.D., Director of the Touch Research Institute, during the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) convention in Orlando, Florida.

“We are pleased to support Dr. Tiffany Field in her mission at the Touch Research Institute to demonstrate the important role of therapeutic touch and massage on the growth, development, and well-being of people at all stages of life from newborns to the elderly,” stated Earl DeCarli, President and CEO of Scrip Companies, the parent company of Massage Warehouse. “Her ground-breaking research concerning the power of massage to enhance and improve the development and growth of premature infants has dramatically impacted the care of premature babies for nearly 30 years. Since founding the Touch Research Institute in 1992 at the University of Miami, Dr. Field has proven how massage aids with the bone formation and immune function of newborns as well as alleviating the symptoms of arthritis, pain, depression, asthma, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions in adults.”

“Through our philanthropic arm, Massage Warehouse Sanctuary, we have a long history of supporting a number of worthy organizations, foundations, and research efforts. We are honored that our contribution to the Touch Research Institute will be used to assist Dr. Field and her team with their research surrounding the healing touch of massage on depressed pregnant women as well as the health benefits to their unborn babies such as higher birth weights and fewer premature deliveries.”

“I am incredibly grateful to be able to continue our research in such a significant manner due to the support of Massage Warehouse Sanctuary,” stated Tiffany Field. “I cannot truly express my appreciation of their funding provided over the last several years.”

Funds for the donation came from corporate sponsors as well as donations in the form of prize raffle purchases by recent FSTMA trade show attendees.

Sponsors include:
Massage Warehouse
Biofreeze/Performance Health
Biotone
Bon Vital
Core Products
Kinesio
Massage and Bodywork Magazine
Massage Magazine
MPA Media
Oakworks
Soothing Touch
Sa Wan

About the Massage Warehouse Sanctuary:
Massage Warehouse Sanctuary is the philanthropic arm of Massage Warehouse, the leading supplier and one-stop shop for massage therapy professionals in the U.S. Massage Warehouse is a division of Scrip Companies, a leading specialty distributor serving the Massage Therapy, Spa, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation, and consumer home health and wellness markets in North America.

About the Touch Research Institute:
The Touch Research Institute is dedicated to studying the effects of touch therapy at all stages of life, from newborns to senior citizens. Studies by the Touch Research Institute have shown that touch therapy has many positive effects, including that massage therapy facilitates weight gain in preterm infants, enhances attentiveness, alleviates depressive symptoms, reduces pain, reduces stress hormones, and improves immune function.

Contact:
Julie Lohmeier, Massage Warehouse
jlohmeier@scripco.com
630-771-7408
www.massagewarehouse.com

Tiffany Field
TField@med.miami.edu
305-975-5029
http://www6.miami.edu/touch-research/

Gaining and Retaining Massage Clients: Eliciting Emotional Responses

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Gaining and Retaining Massage Clients: Eliciting Emotional Responses

By Angie Patrick

Massage Warehouse – Spa supplies and equipment provider

Humans are emotional creatures. This is neither good nor bad. It simply is.

We are wired to respond to situations, stimulation, sensory input and vocalizations in an emotional and sometimes even subliminal manner. Loud noises startle us and make us wary of danger, the smell of bacon makes us hungry, the sight of beauty can make us weep, and watching a puppy’s antics can make us laugh. Whether we want it to be or not, our entire response to the world is highly weighted on emotion. Once you understand this basic fact and embrace this as truth, it makes interaction and involvement with others more easily managed.

Business and marketing professionals bank on emotional responses from their clients in order to gain a stronger bond with their prospect. Banks and law firms often employ the use of blues and greens in their advertising to instill a sense of professionalism and strength. Fast food places focus on red and yellow hues to remind you of catsup and mustard, all with the idea of making you hungry. The same can be said of spas, as purple and violet hues, along with other soft or earthly colors, are used in the hopes of putting you in a peaceful state of mind and one that promotes being grounded, centered and relaxed. While not overt, the use of color can trigger emotional responses in us that can help sway our thinking to the mindset of the marketer, making their message more easily received and understood.

Just as sight is a sensory input that can trigger emotional responses, so is scent. Have you driven by a steakhouse or other food establishment and smelled the delicious aromas coming out of the stacks atop the building? I would bet smelling these scents immediately makes you think of the food you smell and entices you to treat yourself to their wares. Have you ever stood in the shampoo aisle of the store and opened the top of the bottle to smell the product before you purchase? Have you ever returned one quickly to the shelf because it was unappealing, while lingering over a bottle that you found pleasing? If shopping with another, did you offer the pleasing smelling bottle to your companion to also smell to gain their insight and opinion? It is likely you do the same sharing mechanism with food you enjoy as well, offering your companion a taste of something you have that has brought your senses pleasure and provides a happy emotion. We share what we love, and that which brings us joy. Be it knowingly or subliminal, what we experience as soothing, pleasing, or enhancing our positive emotions is something we will share with those who are important to us.

So, understanding the basic need for humans to be impacted emotionally in a positive way in order for us to be satisfied and share our findings with others, it makes sense for us to examine our practice and surroundings to see what we offer and work to make the experience one that will be remembered and recommended to others. I encourage you to take a few minutes and consider the following as a means to understand how what you do, how you present and how your interactions can evoke emotional responses, and help gain and retain clients.

Whether you have a brick and mortar location, a rented space or are a mobile therapist, you bring to the table a palette of color and an array of scent opportunity that can set the mood for your services. Depending on the impression you wish to leave with your client with your hands on skills, you can also add visual and olfactory stimulus to add emphasis and help make your clients experience a deeper, richer one. While we are each individuals and each have our own style, it makes sense to help reinforce the positive emotions felt by your client by utilizing a few additions to your marketing and regular treatment.

Consider your business cards. Do they send the message you would like your clients to know about you without reading any of the text? In other words, are your business cards an accurate depiction of the feelings your services provide? I once received a business card from a therapist that was black, with red writing and red tribal art. My first thought was this was a card for a tattoo artist or musician. These colors evoked that mental image for me and the use of tribal art was reminiscent of a tattoo and the all black card and red font reminded me of rock and roll. The therapist was actually a mobile therapist, focusing on relaxation and chair massage. And while the card was indeed attractive, nothing about it spoke to the business or the care the therapist would provide. In the mind of the client, or prospective client, this impression can be a lasting one and when the need arises for a massage they may not correlate your name and business to the need, as it may not be in sync with their visual and emotional expectations. I am not saying to copy everyone else, I advocate your individualism. However, if you are working to build a clientele of people who will be interested in what you do and call you when they have a need, then being synchronous with your visuals and your services makes sense.

So how about your treatment room? What message are you sending with your décor? Consider the colors you use and the way your room smells. Let’s take the example from the above card and extrapolate that to the treatment room. With the marketing tool I was given by this therapist, I would envision a dark treatment room, dark linens and a bit of a vampire feel. Not really the feeling I would want when going to a therapist for stress management and relaxation. While the services of this therapist may be absolutely nothing of the sort, mentally I already see this image and will likely not choose to call upon them for my needs. In my mind, and certainly in the minds of other consumers, softer colors and soothing scents are what they often think of when they think of stress relief. Make sure your surroundings, whether they are static or brought along for the ride, are consistent with your treatment.

Bring soothing colors into your space by thinking about how they make you feel when you see them. While you may adore the latest shade of passion-neon-pink, jarring or unusual colors may create a negative mental check mark in the checklist of your clients mind. Keep in mind, soft palettes of color help sooth the mind and firm colors such as blues, greens and whites often create a more clinical feeling. Soft, earthy tones such as browns, beige, plum, slate, sage and taupe are wonderful neutrals that can work in any space, as they lend themselves easily to any services.

Creating a space and environment that enhances your treatment can include the sense of smell. Have you taken a good sniff of your linens? Do they smell fresh and clean or do they have a faint smell of old massage oil? Try hard to be objective, as the client’s sense of smell regarding your linens will likely be more acute than your own, as they are not in contact with your linens as much as you are. We can grow accustomed to a scent and even become immune to the objection as a direct result of familiarity. If your linens have become a bit less than enchanting, wash them with enzyme rich detergent designed for oil removal. If this is still not enough, invest in new linens. Your client will be enrobed in your linens, and anything less than a comforting and cocooning experience will leave a negative impression. You work too hard to have your client be put off by this highly correctable issue.

Consider the massage lubricants you use and whether aromatherapy may be of benefit. Essential oils are a powerful tool in bringing about the desired emotion within your client. Floral and soft, woodsy and earthy, clean and crisp, or citrus inspired, each can help you set a tone and feel for the treatment while helping to quiet the mind and stresses of your client. Think of your desired outcome and then set the tone by using sensory stimuli to help evoke this desired response. Just as a realtor stages a home, even going so far as to bake cookies during the open house to make people think of “home” and “family,” you can use the tools in your arsenal to help direct the client toward a mindset that will enable your treatment to have greater impact and a lasting positive emotion.

In total, the most important way you can encourage a client to return is to be an educated and capable therapist. Also take into consideration how what you do, offer and provide makes them feel. Consider how what they see and experience inside and outside your treatment impacts them emotionally and work to make those feelings be those of enjoyment, ease and success. When we feel good about something, we share the information with others, and return for more of what makes us happy. This can mean repeat clients and referrals which can bring you great rewards, both financially and emotionally. After all, who would refuse happy, returning clients who send their friends and family to you, too? In this scenario, everyone is happy!  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

Holiday Income

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Holiday Income? UH… YES, PLEASE!

By Angie Patrick

Massage Warehouse – Spa supplies and equipment provider

Would anyone say, “ No, Thank You!” ?

It is difficult for me to imagine a time these days when anyone would turn down making additional income. During a time when many Americans are making a list and checking it twice, most of us are plotting presents for friends, colleagues, family and friends for gift giving season which is literally just around the corner.

How can you increase your income during this season without selling yourself short? How can you realize your highest earning potential, while still finding time to be merry with friends and family? Can it be done without giving up nights and weekends? YES, it can! In this blog, I am going to give you a few hints as to how to be cure you are gaining as much revenue as possible from other, main-stream- retailers marketing. They have planted the seeds in the minds of the nation; let’s learn how we can harvest the crops.

You cannot turn on the TV without Holiday specials from every corner of retail being blasted on your flat screen. Additionally, banners and pop ups are busily sharing with you news of Door-Busters and Holiday sprints to save money on gifts. How can you use this marketing to your own advantage? Well, it isn’t as hard as you may think! Retailers already have the population in a lather preparing for gift giving season. They start this just after Halloween now, and it is constant until January! If consumers are being plied with this message in every commercial, every store window, every social media banner, every radio ad, and every print publication, then this message is pretty well conveyed. Take your marketing dollars and instead of stressing them out, let your marketing be the answer to holiday stress.

1) Consider Gift Certificates this year! This is money now for work later. Additionally, this is a wonderful opportunity to incentivise your current clients to give the gift of massage! No one, ( and I mean NO-ONE) likes long lines, shopping at 6 am for a deal, spending hard earned on items the recipient may or may not like, crowded lot parking, and buyer’s remorse from buying out of desperation when you cannot find the perfect gift.…If we were to poll, I am confident that the majority of respondents would opt for simpler shopping, less crowds, and items that truly fit the user without worry of incorrect sizes, or taste.

This is where the Gift Certificate comes in. Not only is it an incredibly thoughtful gift, but it is absolutely an endorsement of your skills from your existing client base, provided to those they feel closest to! In the history of marketing, no better accolade can be bestowed upon a business than to be referred to a friend, family member of colleague. Nothing says, “YOU’VE GOTTA TRY THIS, IT’S AMAZING!” like a gift certificate.

Someone thought enough of your skills to not only recommend, but SUPPLY another person with the means to experience your treatment with no strings attached! This is a tremendous vote of confidence in your abilities, and very likely the most compelling bit of marketing out there about your business.

Put these on display in your work space, and also suggest them to clients both in person and on the phone. If you have a client list, < and really, why wouldn’t you? > it makes sense to call and touch base during the Holidays. This will provide you opportunity to do two important things:

a) Provide personalized contact with your clients and remind them you are available for them. Check in and wish them well, and let them know you are looking forward to their next visit.

b) You can also inform them you are selling gift certificates providing the gift of Relaxation and Pain Management, and would like to know if they had anyone on their list they would like to provide this gift. As an added value, offer to mail the certificate with a personalized note in the words of the client along with a holiday card. This is the ULTIMATE time saver for the client, and will allow you to continue to build your prospect lists!

2) Offer up-sell opportunities to your clients during this time of year to provide convenience for your client, as well as additional income for you. This can come in a number of ways; you can offer gift items such as candles, bath salts, scrubs, essential oils, analgesics and more. These, when placed in a well lit, easy to peruse display can provide added income for potentially everyone who visits you this season. Creating pre-made gift baskets with these items in it can be a life saver for a client who has a gift to buy, but has no idea what the recipient needs. EVERYONE needs to unwind! Create gifts and baskets that convey that message.

3) Offer some seasonal treatments your clients may be interested in. Perhaps a peppermint foot scrub at the end of a treatment, or perhaps you can offer a Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub Exfoliation for the Holidays, Mother’s Day, Valentines, or any other Holiday where women are involved. < women adore chocolate> Be sure your male clientele know you offer these seasonal treatments, because it will make buying a gift certificate even more attractive when they can give the gift of a “Chocolate Indulgence Exfoliation and Massage”. Here I used chocolate as the hook, but be creative! Find and create your own protocols and name them something catchy or interesting. Share this in person, on the phone, and in social media outlets. Put signage in you location announcing these seasonal treatments , a description of the services and their pricing. This is a silent salesman for you, and takes the pressure off of you to offer it to clients. You can simply say,” We are running some interesting Seasonal Treatments this time of year, please feel free to ask about any of them if you would like to try one today. These are also available for Gift Certificates as well.” The client will read, and will ask you questions if they have them or have interest.

Since main-stream-retail has already set the stage for Holiday gift giving, you can certainly pick up the ball and be a hero to those clients in the gift giving frame of mind. Provide them some no stress solutions in a safe and trusted environment, celebrating and sharing the gift they give themselves, and can now share with others; The gift of Wellness!
Happy Holidays!View more of Angie Patrick’s articles at Massage Today.

Separating Business from Pleasure…

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

By Angie Patrick

In the past weeks, I have had two emails asking me advice. In both instances the Massage Therapist is asking me how I would suggest handling friends and family as a client, especially when they sometimes pay less for the same work, and often do not show up for appointments on time.

I can certainly see how having family and friends as massage clients can be beneficial, but then you have to also consider the “dark side” if you have friends and family that really push the envelope and take special allowances because they “know you”. It can put you in a very difficult position indeed and finding a way to salvage the friendship while putting your foot down can be a daunting task.

If you find this is happening to you, and you can read the words above and identify completely, then you need to read below. You can have business and pleasure together, but there have to be some lines of delineation drawn. Once you have these parameters set up, then you should be able to either enjoy working on the friends and family that can respect your position or you can politely cull those who have questionable regard for your livelihood from the herd.

One thing you can do before entering into any kind of “friendly” client arrangement would be to make sure you are crystal clear in your expectations, and that you communicate this to your friend or family. Be sure you take the time to explain while you are so glad you have that person in your world, you also have a massage business to run. Set the ground rules up front about timeliness and cancellations, and set a fair price from the start. If you choose to discount, that is certainly your prerogative, but be sure you stand fast on this. Waffling is weakness, and it is bad business. While you are trying to dance around and save the feelings of a friend, you are spending time on something other than growing your massage business with full paying customers. Be concise and clear from the start and avoid this dilemma.

If you are already in a relationship with a “friendly” client that is wearing on you and you feel you are being taken advantage of, then it is high time for a face to face conversation among friends about your feelings. Honesty, regardless how painful, is always the best policy. Friends and family may not even be aware they are impinging on your professional livelihood, and may well be open to listening and working to make things better.

When you have these conversations, summon your courage and make the following points:

  • You love that person.
  • You want to speak with them about a difficult subject, but you hope the relationship is strong enough to be wholly honest.
  • Massage is not a hobby for you, it is your career.
  • Management of your time is paramount to you and to your practice. When the client runs late, you cannot adjust the remainder of your calendar to accommodate the single late client. You hold this rule with the rest of your massage clients, and you need to have the same hold true for them as well.
  • Because you want them to benefit from massage and from the education you have obtained, you would like to set them up on a regular basis, and for this massage treatment your pricing will be _____________.

If after this conversation, the person is less than understanding of your point of view, and does not see it as a problem, then it may be time to make some hard choices and politely refer them to another massage therapist for treatment. I know that sounds hard to do, but in the long run, it may be best for you, your practice, and your peace of mind. Ultimately, it is up to you how lenient you wish to be with friends and family. You may be able to handle the issue with no troubles! But for others, it is not so easy. Taking some steps at the onset of the relationship can prevent an issue later, and being honest with yourself and your client about expectations and pricing can alleviate misunderstandings leading to angst on your part.

If you have faced situations similar to this, share with us how you worked things out. More people than you may realize find themselves in this boat, and could likely use some additional pointers and tips in how to hand it.

In the mean time, love your family, love your friends, and be sure to draw your lines clearly whenever the twain shall meet.

Other articles on Massage Today.

10 Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Massage Practice

Monday, March 28th, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Massage Today.

Massage Therapy as a Complement to Physical Therapy

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

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

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

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

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

 Read more at livestrong.com.

First Annual American Massage Job Fair

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

First Annual American Massage Job Fair

By Angie Patrick

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

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

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

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

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

Job Fair 101

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more on Massage Today Link

AMTA Releases Massage Therapy Research

Friday, February 18th, 2011

PRESS RELEASE:  The American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) fourth annual summary research on the state of the massage therapy profession indicates both the impact of the poor economy on massage in the past two years and how massage therapists have adjusted their practices. A detailed report focused on the meaning of the research for massage therapy schools was released and discussed today at the AMTA 2011 Massage Schools Summit in San Francisco.

Based on three surveys conducted for AMTA in recent months, and data from government agencies, the research shows the economy is the prime mover of massage therapy.  Indications are that the public embraces the benefits of massage and will increase their usage as the economy recovers.

The percentage of adult American consumers who received a massage between July 2009 and July 2010 went down by four percentage points, from 22 percent to 18 percent, compared to the previous year.  Consumers continue to strongly believe in the efficacy of massage with over 80 percent of them seeing massage as effective in reducing pain and as beneficial to their health and wellness. Twenty-six percent of American adults expected to get a massage in the next twelve months. 

“We are delighted to provide our members, the profession and the public with ongoing research about the state of massage therapy in the U.S.,” says AMTA President Kathleen Miller-Read.  “We now have several years of information that help us all see what is happening in consumer use of massage, how massage therapists practice and how massage schools are functioning.  This information is invaluable to all of us, to help us know how to maintain our practices and how our massage schools can change to reflect the evolving needs of our profession.”

During 2010, massage therapists worked an average of 19.4 massage hours per week, down slightly from 20.4 hours per week in 2009. Including tips, the average therapist earned $41 per hour in 2010 vs. $44.90 in 2009.

Read more at amtamassage.org.

Your Massage Brand: What Is That?

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Your Brand: What Is That?

By Angie Patrick

Well, a “brand” is something you see or hear that automatically puts you in mind of what the brand represents. For instance, if you say “Porsche”, you instantly think of luxurious, indulgent, super-fast cars.

When you hear “Band-Aid” you immediately think of wound care and healing. And if someone mentions M&M’s, it is likely you have a Pavlov’s response to salivate at the mere mention of those two letters in conjunction with one another. So in a nutshell, the brand is the thing that is the embodiment of the image and emotion you wish to convey.

So, how does this apply to you? It is certainly easy to think that there would be no need to work to brand yourself as you are a practicing therapist, health care professional, and wellness coach. How do you brand a thing like that? Why would you brand a thing like that? But consider this: by building community awareness for You, Your Practice, Your Talent, Your Care, and Your Professionalism, you are indeed building your brand.

People Purchase Emotion

People make buying decisions based on emotion; pure and simple. They decide on the car they drive based on the emotion it provides, be it exclusivity, frugalness, energy efficiency, or style. They decide on the soap they use based on how the soap makes them feel, first in packaging and second in usage. They decide on which doctor they wish to see based on referral, and then stay with them based on a confidence they feel in the doctor’s ability to fulfill their health care needs.

Presentation and Image

The same is true for you. It all begins in how you present yourself within your community. Let’s say you are working a charity event and you are networking and providing a free 5-minute chair massage as a sample of your talent in return for a lead. The manners in which you handle yourself, present yourself, treat your client, and follow through with your leads differentiate you from others. You may have a catchy name for your practice, or maybe you just go by, “Insert Your Name Here”, LMT. In either case, you want the end user (your client) to have an immediate feeling of confidence, calm, and overall assuredness in your ability to care for their needs.

Your branding is something that can help you stand out among your peer group. For instance, your appearance is the first thing people will notice about you when you are seen in the community representing your practice. Consider wearing clothing appropriate for the field you represent. Ratty jeans and a tank top, while perhaps cute, may not represent the level of professionalism you are hoping to convey. Consider the attire as part of your branding. A polo or dress shirt with your name embroidered on it, and business cards with the same font and logo work in tandem to present a two-fold presentation of professionalism.

Value and Experience

Whether or not you like it, anything for which people pay money in exchange – is a commodity. People want the best value for the money they spend. Additionally, people want to know what they are paying for is worth the money they spend, so price point is not always the deciding factor.

For many therapists, pricing below your main market competitors is the whole marketing strategy. And while there is some appeal in this whole approach, it can have an adverse reaction by making your service seem less than up to par with your competitors. Be careful if you are depending too much upon this marketing philosophy.

Make a Lasting Impression

Another way to set yourself apart from the rest is to make follow-up calls or e-mails to check on your client on the day after their visit. A therapist, who shows genuine concern for the client by taking the time to either personally call or have one of the staff call to check on the well-being and overall feelings of the client 24 hours after a massage – is service no one expects; and it can certainly go a very long way towards making the kind of impression and emotion you want your clients to have about you. Simply put, you want them to know you care about them. They want to feel as if they matter to you as a person, and they are not cattle herded through an office for the sake of driving revenue. Again, it is a shining example of how it is emotion that keeps people loyal to a brand.

Branding is not something relegated to the bigger retailers and service providers; it is something that pertains to each an every therapist who receives payment for the therapy they provide. It boils down to the proper perception first, then you give them a dose of your talent and they are yours! All of it can be summed up in just a few words. “People want to feel good, they come to you to feel better, and your service can make them confident they have chosen the best therapist for their needs.”

Read more on Massage Today Link