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What Makes a Successful Massage Therapist? (Ask the Muscle Whisperer Series)

by Samantha Jenkins November 02, 2019

Anatomy drawing made up of the names of muscles

We are really excited to share with you the first question of our "Ask The Muscle Whisperer" series. We have gathered together the UK's top thought leaders in massage therapy to ask them your most burning questions!

So let's jump in with our first question! 

 

You can watch the full video with all the specialist's answers compiled together here.... or watch each specialist's answer individually in shorter snippets below underneath their name! 


  • JING ADVANCED MASSAGE TRAINING 

    Rachel and Meghan from JING say the most successful massage therapists are always striving to be the best. Not out of an egotistical need but out of genuine compassion for their clients and a passion for relieving their pain. Often this may come from a personal experience or simply a real belief in the power of massage therapy.

    Secondly, successful therapists are persistent. Staying in the game and riding out the inevitable storms and remaining consistent and available to clients. Even simple measures like keeping the same phone number is something the team have seen massage therapists forget to do! Another way that persistence can grow your massage therapy business is the techniques you use to rebook clients. Being confident in establishing that a series of treatments will have a more significant impact on chronic pain than a one-off treat across all your interactions with clients will set the tone for your clinic.

     

    Watch Rachel and Megan answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

    To see JING's upcoming training courses please click on the image below or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

     JING Advanced Massage Training  

    Jing
    Susan Findlay
    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Jane Langston
    Dror Steiner
    Darien Pritchard
    Sue Bailey
  • SUSAN FINDLAY 
    Susan Findlay Icon for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
    Susan wishes there was one easy path to follow to a successful massage therapy business but encourages therapists to embrace the challenges along the way. On the other side is the opportunity to build the life you most desire, enabling you to work on your own terms at a job you are deeply passionate about. 

    To achieve this takes courage and self-awareness. Being able to acknowledge, accept and analyse your failings will help you grow as a massage therapist. Good communication, consistency and focus will help you keep your clients and continue to grow your therapy business as word of mouth is still the best form of marketing! 

    If you are ever unsure of where to start, take advantage of free resources from experienced therapists to continue building your business and cultivating success as you figure things out. Susan's Massage Monday videos and Brittany Spence both provide a wealth of information for therapists.

    Watch Susan answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

     

    To find out more about Susan's courses and sign up for her great Massage Monday series click on the image below or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

    Susan Findlay logo

    Jing
    Susan Findlay
    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Jane Langston
    Dror Steiner
    Darien Pritchard
    Sue Bailey
  • EMMA GILMORE 
    Emma Gilmore profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
    Maintaining enthusiasm, passion and authenticity are key traits of a successful massage therapist for Emma. By knowing their self worth these therapists build a massage practice that allows them to work the hours they want, with the kind of clients they want, who respect the rates they charge and the knowledge they possess. Choose the area you want to specialise in and shape your career with professional courses and a dynamic practice. 

    Successful massage therapists do not see other therapists as competition but rather as a network of body workers who can support each other. Confident therapists refer clients to other massage therapists for treatments outside their modality, safe in the knowledge that this does not jeopardise their massage therapy business but will bolster their reputation with the right clients.

    Watch Emma answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

     

    You can see the latest courses on offer at School of Bodywork by clicking the image below! You can also follow on Facebook and Instagram.

    School of Bodywork logo

    Jing
    Susan Findlay
    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Jane Langston
    Dror Steiner
    Darien Pritchard
    Sue Bailey
  • EARLE ABRAHAMSON 
    Earle Abrahamson profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
    Earle lists a host of qualities that a successful massage therapist should strive to cultivate. From creativity to courage, flourishing therapists exude many traits as well as demonstrating a strong knowledge base, always operating within their designated scope of practice. 

    Finally the best massage therapists also act as ambassadors for the industry, educating as well as treating their clients.














    Watch Earle answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

     

    You can find more details on Earle's latest book 'Muscle Testing – A Concise Manual' by clicking the images below or find out more details on the next Hands On Training courses by clicking here.

     

    Publications:

    • Making Sense of Human Anatomy and Physiology - Lotus Publishers 2016

       

      • Concise Manual of Muscle Testing - Handspring Publishers. Due out October 2019 
      Jing
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Jane Langston
      Dror Steiner
      Darien Pritchard
      Sue Bailey
    • JANE LANGSTON
      Jane Langston profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
      Jane defines a successful massage therapist as one who enthusiastically keeps their knowledge up to date. Not out of obligation, or as a tick box exercise to keep up professional memberships but out of a genuine desire to be constantly improving their massage treatments. 

      By engaging in regular reflection, massage therapists can download their negative thoughts, leaving them in the office, and gain insights which can prove invaluable for personal and professional development. Reflection diaries also help massage therapists to stay humble yet acknowledge the successes along the way. 

      Jane believes another key to success is having the confidence and conviction to refer clients to alternative services such as their GP if it is in their best interests. This will win client's confidence as they see your loyalty is to their well being rather than your bank balance. 

      Watch Jane answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

       

      Click here to order Jane's latest book 'Muscle Testing – A Concise Manual' written in collaboration with Earle Abrahamson or click on the image below to join the next Muscle Testing and Human Anatomy & Physiology Workshop with Learn Anatomy Ltd.

      Learn Anatomy LTD

      Jing
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Jane Langston
      Dror Steiner
      Darien Pritchard
      Sue Bailey
    • DROR STEINER 
      Dror Steiner profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
      Dror defines a successful therapist as someone who gives a great service to their client, they are caring and know the history of their client's pain, which enables them to give a personalised treatment. They also have a thriving practice, with plenty of clients but also have another aspect to their lives which give them joy and purpose, which takes them to the next level at work.

      A good therapist needs to be able to balance three pillars; 

      1. Ability - the knowledge and technique to give a great treatment.
      2. Developing a therapeutic relationship - Good communication skills enable clients to feel safe and cared for by you.
      3. Promote your business -  Strengthening knowledge of marketing and working in a way that increases word of mouth referrals. 

      Therapists who have the most success identify their weakest link in these pillars and focus on developing that rather than relying on their strengths. Clients choose you as their massage therapists not just because of the techniques you use but because of the whole package. Take time to think about the ambience you create in your clinic, the way you communicate with your client and the energy you give up. Successful therapists are balanced, joyful and healthy.

      This energy is contagious and a big part of why clients choose their therapist. Finally great therapists grow their business by challenging themselves to something difficult on a regular basis, if you fail you can be sure you will still have learnt a great deal!

      Watch Dror answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

       

      See a full list of Dror's upcoming training courses by clicking the image below or follow Bodyology School of Massage on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  

      Bodyology Logo

      Jing
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Jane Langston
      Dror Steiner
      Darien Pritchard
      Sue Bailey
    • DARIEN PRITCHARD 
      Darien Pritchard profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
      Darien recommends that being strategic is key to the success of your massage therapy business. Taking time to consider the type of clients or issues you want to work with can be instrumental in filling up your diary. Being passionate about the type of work you will be delivering will help your confidence in promoting yourself as a specialist. 

      Taking care of their own health and well being is also a trait Darien recognises in successful massage therapists. As your career in massage therapy develops you will need to consider changing your techniques to protect your health. Successful therapists see their practices as an evolving entity, and recognise the need to take professional courses to develop skills to keep you and your practice in business as you get older.

      Therapists also need to nourish themselves outside their practice, spending quality time with friends and family and pursuing other hobbies and interests. 

      Watch Darien answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

       

      Click on the image below to find out more about the Hands Free Massage method or click here to see Darien's full range of professional development courses. 

      Learn Anatomy LTD

      Jing
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Jane Langston
      Dror Steiner
      Darien Pritchard
      Sue Bailey
    • SUE BAILEY 
      Sue Bailey profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
      For Sue a caring nature and the ability to connect to clients on a physical and mental level is the key to building your massage therapy business into a thriving practice. 

      Successful therapists are organised and are always promoting their business. They jump at the different opportunities that come their way and make sure they are always up to date with their knowledge not just to comply with regulations but also due to a desire to always be improving their skills. Finally excellent massage therapists take the time to care for themselves, having regular treatments themselves and staying fit and healthy. 

      Watch Sue answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

       

      To see the latest courses on offer at Gateway workshops click on the image below or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

      Gateway Workshops

      Jing
      Susan Findlay
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Jane Langston
      Dror Steiner
      Darien Pritchard
      Sue Bailey



    Samantha Jenkins
    Samantha Jenkins

    Author



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    Massage Table Size Guide

    Massage tables comes in many different shapes and size. It can be confusing for you, the customer, to choose the right one but we are here to help!

    A lot of customers call us up after they have bought the wrong size massage table elsewhere and we would like to help you avoid this mistake. It normally goes something like this; they like the look of a picture of a massage table on a website, they like the low price and then they check the carrying weight is ok. If the carrying weight fits their needs they click add to cart and the new massage table turns up at their doorstep in a few days. They unfortunately assume all massage tables are pretty much the same width and size.

    The standard size of a massage table is 28 inches wide (71cms) and 73 inches (185cms) long. One of the reasons many "lightweight" budget massage tables are so cheap is because

    1.  They are smaller in size (normally around 61cms wide) and as such have less materials
    2. They are sold by specialist retailers who also sell anything else they can import and turn a profit on. As such they just buy the cheapest massage tables they can find in China. They go for smaller sizes as they are cheaper.

    Make sure the massage table is the right size for you and your clients as the narrow massage tables at 61cms can be very uncomfortable for anyone who isn't petite and many clients cannot relax with their shoulders and arms unsupported.

     

    The Width of the Massage Table:

    Almost all therapists choose the standard 28 inch wide massage table. All our massage tables are the same length so it is only the width and shape our customers need to decide on.

    Your massage table should be wide enough to cater for the wide variety of shapes and sizes of your clients. It needs to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate your treatment style, while being narrow enough to ensure you don’t have to strain your own back during treatments.

    Each therapist's postural training and ability is different, so only you will know what massage table width you can handle. We have spoken to therapists who are five feet tall and get the wider 30 inch massage tables, and we speak to six foot therapists who have back problems and go for a 25 inch wide massage table. Everyone is different.

    Generally speaking, if you are of smaller stature, you may do better with one of the narrower 25-inch massage tables. If you're quite tall, or are particularly keen to offer your clients a very spacious experience, a 30-inch massage table might be more suitable.

    If you are in doubt, see if you can go into your local training college and see whether the massage tables there suit you. However, there is another way to get a feel for what will work of you don’t have access to a couch when you are deciding:

    Cut out a piece of cardboard to the dimensions of both sizes you are deciding between. Put it on top of the kitchen table and lean over it. Visualise a client lying there, and see which width will suit you and your client best.

    measuring the width of a massage table


    Make sure you can get close enough to the table that you can pivot at the waist and have your shoulders squared to the clients hips, with your hands parallel to the clients' spine. Working in this position will ensure an injury-free career, so it's an important factor in your decision.

    The most popular massage table widths are 28 and 30 inches. We sell 25-inch massage tables but you should really only choose this width if you are shorter in height and having a wider massage table might put your own back at risk over the course of your career.

    You can also choose the 25-inch if you want to have the lightest massage table possible. By reducing the width of the massage table, the weight is also reduced. Now, this can mean a trade-off of some client comfort, but this trade is often worthwhile if you are a fully mobile therapist and use public transport frequently, where saving a kilogram or two will make a difference to you over time.

     

    The Height Of the Massage Table

    Nowadays, almost all portable massage tables come with height adjustable legs. Whichever massage table you choose should come with a large height range to accommodate you, and to cater for a broad range of therapies.

    A common height range of massage tables is between 60 to 80cm, and this height range should cater for everyone. To check which height you need your massage table to be at follow this rule of thumb:

    1. Stand up straight with your hands by your sides. Clench your fists.
    2. Measure the distance between the floor and your knuckles
    3. This distance should equal the height of your massage table.
    4. Add a few inches in height to allow for the body of the patient on the massage table.

    The height of a massage table is usually only adjusted when different therapists are using the same massage table, or if you have a client that is outside the average size you normally treat. So for example, if someone with a lot of body depth comes for a treatment after an average size person, you may need to adjust the height a notch or two.

    You should be able to adjust the height of a massage table in just 2-3 minutes. Even though you mightn't adjust the height very often, the faster the better when you do have to!

    There are 2 types of height adjustment mechanisms found on modern massage tables.

    1) Twisting knobs (found only on wooden massage tables):

    If you are working with a wooden massage table, it is better to have two knobs on each of the four legs for greater strength and reliability. When buying online, make sure to check how many knobs are on the legs. Cheap massage tables often only have one knob, and when you raise the legs to the highest heights they are less stable and have been known to snap.

    2) Telescopic push-buttons (found only on aluminium massage tables):

    The mechanism to adjust the height of an aluminium massage table is much the same as the push-button method on aluminium crutches. It only takes a few seconds to adjust each leg, and the mechanism is very reliable. Check out the video to see how it’s done.

     

    Massage Table Shape:

    The following are the different shapes of massage tables on the market.

    1. Rectangle shaped with square corners 

    This is the traditional shape of a massage table and the one you are probably familiar with seeing. Our Combi-lite 3 in 1 and Affinity Portaflex are shaped like this.

    2. Rectangle shaped with rounded corners

    Same as no 1 above in every way except the corners are rounded. Does not affect function in any way, just a different design/look.

     

    3. Hour glass shaped with gradual gradient 

    A fabulous massage table innovation in recent years, which solves a lot of the problems around choosing the correct width is the hourglass shaped massage table.


    This style of massage table is wider at the ends, and tapers somewhat at the middle. This provide a spacious and comfortable experience for your client (as the shoulder and feet area are 30 inches wide) without compromising your own posture and health, as the middle of the couch where you lean over is a much narrower 26 inches wide.Having recently upgraded to one of these hourglass massage tables myself, I can vouch that my working days are much more comfortable, and many of my clients have commented on the extra comfort from the wider shoulder area.

     

    4. Hour glass shaped with sharp gradient
    Same as point above but instead of the it gradually going from wide to narrow, the massage table changes quickly from normal width to narrow width so people of very short stature can get in close.
    5. Oval Shaped

     The name says it all! There are no corners on the massage table. Therapists normally choose this for one of two reasons. They simply like the look of this massage table and it is aesthetically more pleasing in their treatment room and/or they find it easier to move around the massage table during the treatment without having to side step the corners. This is particularly handy when space is limited in your treatment room.

    oval massage table

     

    Have any questions or comments about anything above? Please let us know in the comments below!