www.SanDiegoMasseurs.com Massage Therapy Jobs in San Diego E. Iowa Massage Professionals
Advice for new Massage Therapists
Use slower strokes
- This is the biggest mistake I see new Massage Therapists make. If you go
slowly into a tender point and release slowly, you'll get much better results
than trying to DIG the knot out. And, of course, slower strokes are much
Keep the massage room warm
- It is impossible to relax if you're cold. As you get more and more
relaxed, your metabolism decreases. It's your metabolism that keeps you
warm. In order to keep your client warm, without you being too warm, do
the following. Get a heating pad for your table and use a hydrocollator (moist heat) machine.
Moist heat is much more penetrating than dry heat.
Don't time your massage
- If you watch the clock, your massage suffers. When I'm getting a
massage, I can tell when the therapist is thinking about going out to dinner with
friends after the massage, etc. Relax and enjoy giving the massage, as if
there's nothing you'd rather be doing. This will also cause your strokes
to slow down. If you don't time your massage and you go over 5 minutes,
your client will appreciate it. Also, your massage will feel less like
factory work to your client.
Don't offer partial massages
- If your client just wants a 30 minute massage because it's only his shoulders
that are bothering him, fine. But let him know that the tension in the
rest of his body will likely cause his shoulders to start bothering him again,
soon after the massage. The entire body needs to be in balance to get the
best, longest lasting results.
Trade massages as often as you can
- you learn so much from getting massages. It
may not be an entirely new technique, but a subtle difference in a technique you
already use. Also, the more massages you give, the better you will get.
Where you went to massage school is irrelevant, compared to experience.
Getting business in this profession can be
quite a struggle. I've been a Massage Therapist for 19 years and I'd like to
share what I have learned about promoting my business.
Most likely you will spend much more money on
advertising, than you will earn. If you've had a lot of experience as a
Massage Therapist and have had time to refine your skills, those new clients
you get from advertising may come back, for many years. If not, those new
clients you get may never come back. So, until you've gotten somewhat
experienced, it probably doesn't pay to advertise.
The best way to improve your skills is by
doing massages, even if you're not getting paid for them. Give them as
gifts for Christmas, trade massage for other services and last, but
certainly not least, donate your massage gift certificates to charities. The
gift certificates may be used for a charity auctions, raffles or given to
the volunteers who work for the charities. This will give you more
experience giving massages, you may get a client from it, you can get a tax
deduction (just be sure you get a thank you letter, stating the value of the
gift), and you can feel good about helping a worthy cause. Even though
doing free massages will improve your skills, you should never offer free
massages to the general public. You also shouldn't offer large discounts,
for new clients. It took me most of my career to learn this. I used to offer
new clients 50% off their first appointment, to try my massage. I got
slightly more clients by doing this, but the same clients who would have
paid 100%, never came back once they paid 50%. It devalues the service, in
their mind. There are companies who will offer to sell your gift
certificates and keep all the money. Some companies even want to charge you
a service fee, in addition to keeping all the money. This may sound strange,
but if you give a new client a free massage, they are much less likely to
come back to you, then they are if they buy the massage from someone else.
In other words, it's ok to give free massages to get new clients, just don't
let the client know you're doing it for free.
Another great way to improve your skills is
by trading massages with other therapists. After 14 years, I'm still
learning from my trades. It may not always be an entirely new technique, but
a subtly different way of doing a technique that you already do. I was once
doing on site massages with a friend and he saw me jostling a client and
said, "oh, you do tragger work" and I said, "what's tragger work?"
Apparently, somewhere along the way, I traded with someone who jostled me,
while working on a tender point. After getting the massage I didn't think,
"I should start jostling my clients", I just did it. My hands knew to do it,
even though I didn't. So much of massage is subconscious.
If you're struggling now have heart. If
you're dedicated to the profession, you will continue to improve. There is
such an incredible difference in the quality of a massage from one Massage
Therapist to the next. The majority of that difference is experience.