Whether you are a newbie or an experienced massage therapist we can often find ourselves asking, what exactly does it take to be the best? And what does it even mean to be the best?
To "be the best" is subjective and may mean different things to each of us.
Being the best can subjectively mean making the most money, having the fullest schedule for maximising revenue and profit, having all your marketing and advertising giving you a great ROI and growing your business year on year.
Generally speaking though, I think we would all agree as therapists that being the best is successfully treating the client on each of their visit and fulfilling our purpose as healers.
As times change and competition increases, we see many new massage therapists struggling to know where to start and equally many experienced therapists are burning out under the pressure of juggling so many roles in their massage therapy business.
Below we will share some of our favourite comments from fellow therapists to help break down some of the barriers to success and so we can all feel slightly less lonely as we wrestle with our development as massage therapists.
Most fundamental of all. Each client is an individual! What works for one client might not for another and it can be easy when you are rushed off your feet to try and use a cookie cutter approach to common ailments.
As the months and years go by, try to approach each client as if they were your first. Make sure you listen, always asking what areas they are struggling with so you can offer solutions that feel tailored to their individual issues.
Even with repeat clients, try to deliver each massage as if it were the first. Make notes after their appointments so you can check in next time and highlight any improvement you see. Showing this level of personalised care will resonate with your clients and help you build more meaningful connections.
Keeping this attitude is not only about technique, but it is also a matter of staying humble. Over time as we see common issues repeatedly, it can be easy to become overconfident and lazy in our approach. Maintaining a humble approach will go a long way with your relationships with your clients. People who are in pain rarely appreciate an arrogant, boisterous approach, but rather appreciate a compassionate caring ear and your willingness to try and assist them.
An excellent piece of advice. In many walks of life, it is easy to feel overwhelmed at times by the amount there is to learn. However, on the flip side, this can be our greatest motivator! Refreshing our skills and challenging ourselves to tackle something new, is the best way to keep our passion for massage running high! Just remember to be kind to yourself whenever you feel like you have a long way to go!
It's easy to get stuck in a rut and miss the little things. Take time annually to check in and see if there is something, quick and inexpensive, you could add to enhance your massage clients experience. Create a checklist and ask yourself these 6 simple questions to rejuvenate your massage therapy business!
We thought this was a great point from André and many of you agreed!
It is important to know your limitations, too often we see therapists asking how to use techniques or treat groups of clients their training hasn't covered. For example, pregnant women or clients who are currently in treatment for cancer both require specialised techniques taught in specialised courses. Your client won't appreciate a second rate massage treatment and you could be putting both your client and your licence at risk. They will, however, appreciate your honesty and knowledge in referring you to a specialist and with a good network around you. Surround yourself with therapists with different specialisms to your own and you never know when you might pick up a client from another therapist needing your expertise!
It is true that marketing plays an important role in growing your massage therapy business but you can do plenty to spread the word online without needing to hire a specialist. We boiled down the top marketing trends for this year into 12 simple steps, so you can know how to grow your massage therapy business in 2019.
Your career as a massage therapist can be seriously rewarding, there is no better feeling than soothing our clients' aches and pains. However, as with any independent business, being self-employed and running your own massage therapy business requires serious drive and ambition to keep you going through the tough times. Even if you are looking to work for an established clinic, competition is growing and there is no room for complacency! If you like to switch off and go through the motions, this might not be the career for you. If you love having the opportunity to constantly improve and gain new skills, then you are in the right place!
Working as a massage therapist can be tough on your body! Make sure you are taking care of your own muscles and joints, so you can keep giving great treatments for years to come! Check out these exercises for the most common ailments for massage therapists which can be done without equipment in between appointments!
Ultimately remember to follow your instinct and don't try to be anyone but yourself! As we know, massage therapy is very intimate! Clients can tell if when someone isn't being authentic and you will risk burning yourself out. Take time to analyse those clients who keep coming back. Is there anything you think you are doing with those clients that you might be neglecting with others?
This post from Irene sums up brilliantly what it takes to be the best massage therapist. It covers everything, your attitude and wellbeing as a therapist, staying consistent with your levels of professionalism and maintaining attention to detail will all ensure you provide excellent treatments to your massage clients! Print this out and stick it in your diary as a handy reminder to check off regularly!
When running your own massage therapy business it can be tempting to you over schedule yourself in attempts to please clients and to make hay whilst the sun shines. However back to back massages will take their toll on your body and your wellbeing. Which in turn can lead to more work and more stress when you are trying to repair a bad reputation. So how much time should you allow for breaks without your schedule turning into a massage marathon?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.