The Care and Keeping of You

Beth at the ruins of a Roman Bath house, 2018.

This past summer I had the opportunity to take my family to Europe.  We were primarily celebrating my son’s play being accepted into the Edinburg Fringe Festival (which is a big deal for actors like him).  We went to Italy for a week, and we got to visit the ruins around Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii…fantastic!  One of the coolest things I got to see was the ruins of a Roman bath.  This was delightful for me as a former middle school Latin student, as well as a massage therapist and massage therapy instructor.  It was fascinating to see the bath system and the be reminded how important self care and wellness was to people so long ago.  It makes me sad that we, as a country, have forgotten about self-care.  

As an instructor in a massage therapy education program, I constantly remind my students to follow their instincts.  You know your body better than anyone, and you know when things aren’t right.  Don’t ignore those signals that your body is sending you.  It’s difficult to talk to your clients about wellness, if you aren’t healthy yourself…that doesn’t mean you have to look like a fitness model or be a vegan. It does mean that you are taking care of yourself, and you look rested and 

fresh.I know its getting easier to be well, but I think we still have a long way to go. So I just want to remind you that taking care of your self is important, and that it’s up to you to choose how you care for your self.  Get a massage, eat the chips (sometimes), take a bubble bath, say no, it’s okay!  I tell my students, you can’t pour from an empty vessel – I learned this lesson from personal experience.  Take the trip – even if it’s to bed early tonight.

News about Massage Eduction

Such exciting news coming to us this week.  Our program to teach a 600 hour Introductory Massage Therapy Education Program has been approved in West Virginia.  Our goal is to have a class this Fall!!  We are about to open the application process!!

We have been wanting our own introductory massage education program for a few years now and the process of designing and applying for one has taken some time, but we are thrilled.  Beth has been part of two different accelerated introductory programs in her career as an educator, and is so happy to have had the opportunity to design her own.

Our massage education program will be an on-campus full emersion program, all massage almost all the time!  While the programs we have been a part of are wonderful, this one that we have designed fit together for us perfectly.  Throughout the program , students will learn massage techniques and ongoing anatomy and physiology.  There will be electives in spa services, prenatal and sports massage and lots more.  

This is going to be a true 600 hour massage therapy education program so many state’s requirements will be fulfilled in just 13 weeks.  We are so glad to share this news with y’all at Beth Teaches Bodywork first!  

Massage Envy and PGA Tour announce advertising partnership

With a growing emphasis on recovery, flexibility, and durability in professional sports-medicine, an advertising partnership of this magnitude is a great way for Massage Envy to spread their message to the golf fan, a market that may not have knowledge of it. The PGA Tour, or Professional Golfers Association, is the pinnacle of the sport.

Professional golfers, along with many other pro athletes, are turning to massage as a part of their wellness routine.  Notable golfer Rickie Fowler has been quoted multiple times about the benefits of massage to his game.  Fowler, who tied for fifth in last week’s U.S. Open, is among the most popular players on tour. Having such a prominent player as a spokesperson for receiving massage services, could be a huge boon for this partnership. While he’s never specifically endorsed Massage Envy, his stated preference for therapeutic treatments could produce an ideal face of the new campaign for both parties.

Massage therapy has permeated professional sports in other respects as well. Many pro teams have massage therapists on staff, right along with doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists. The PGA Tour has begun to provide massage therapy for players and caddies. At the recent U.S. Open in Erin Hills, WI, a 119-member wellness staff was recruited and hired, including massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and more (Read full article). Another article, piggybacking on a point made by Jeff Poplarski in Ziehm’s article above, stated that in the wellness tent, caddies were given preference even over the significantly more famous golfers.

The four-year deal agreed to by the PGA Tour and Massage Envy is the first of its kind for a professional sports league. While teams have, in the past, have run sponsorships with massage establishments and wellness centers, no evidence could be found of a league-wide agreement such as this. As massage therapists, we know that our industry is growing, and, as of this week, it’s made a huge leap.

Read Erik Matuszewki’s story in Forbes about the partnership here.

Ever have a day when you’re just not feeling it?

I’m just having one of those days, and I don’t know why…I’m just not feeling it.  I’m not exactly sure where my weekend went – I was busy but I think I don’t have much to show for it.  Maybe I’m not as well rested as I thought I’d be. I don’t know but I am just not feeling it today and if I could call in to my corporate job, I just might, but ya know what – I don’t have a corporate job, and I don’t have sick days and if I don’t show up I don’t make much money. SO, here’s my questions for y’all – how do you feel it when you just don’t?

For days like this I keep a little list of the things I am grateful for. One of them is that I don’t have a corporate job, and all the mess that goes along with it.  Been there, done that – was pretty miserable most of the time.  I love that what I do effects people immediately.  I love that I get to make the schedule and that my training goes directly to my bottom line.  I am sort of a control freak, but I like the “buck” stopping with me. I am grateful that I get to  spend time with my kids, and that many of my students and clients have become my friends.  I am grateful that I get to talk to y’all and hear about your successes – you inspire me daily!

I also have music.  Some people have art or poetry or yoga or their bible.  I have music, there’s no way the anyone will ever hear me sing in public, but in the car driving to work, I am a Broadway star (at least in my own mind).  There’s a release and a grounding all in one in art, it resets me and I appreciate that on days like this.

And this is not the day to skip breakfast, at least make yourself a smoothie for the road. Nourish your body and your soul will follow.  Healthy snacking is key for days when you are working extra hard just to get out the door.

Take an extra minute to ground yourself. Set your intentions for the day, and then remind yourself of them when you get to work.



Let’s Talk Retail

Many therapists find that adding retail to their practice allows them the opportunity for a greater ticket average from each client. While they are right, in part, as that strategy will create more impulse buys, we must be wary when we enter retail because it not only changes our business, it can change our practice too.  So let’s talk about the keys to successfully adding a retail element to your massage therapy practice.

First, you as an individual should appreciate, use, and enjoy the products you are selling. Your enthusiasm and experience will guide your sales.

Fully understand the products that you are selling. You should know the ingredients and how they are made. Know how to properly use the products and what results are expected. Choose the items from the line that you are confident in. All of these strategies will enhance your sales presentation. When you do present, remember that you don’t have to show every product you carry. In fact, this will almost always lead to confusion. Connect with your clients, recommend specific products for their unique needs. Just as your therapy is tailored to each individual client, your sales pitch should be as well.

Next, keep a balanced stock, perhaps you could presell items rather than have everything available.  Consider your storage space before buying product – where are you going to store and inventory your stock?  Buy in smaller amounts until you know how much you are going to sell, even if it is slightly more expensive. You don’t want to carry too much inventory, you may get caught with an item that expires or goes out of stock.

And finally, really consider all your costs when pricing.  Does your price include shipping? Have you included the cost of your time while ordering, stocking, and managing inventory? Each of these factors effects your bottom line. While this may be the cherry on top of your cake, you don’t want to sell yourself (or the product) short.

Make sure that your retail products truly add value to your practice. Don’t let them take away from the original and basic intent of your practice. Retail can be a great way to boost your value to your clients as well as boost the bottom line of your practice.

Connect with bethteachesbodywork on Twitter, Facebook, or this website, and let us know about your retail experiences!

Ways to get a new perspective on your practice

We’re emerging from the cold, dark winter, and business might be a little slow as everyone is not quite ready to get out of hibernation just yet.  So lets think about some ways that we can improve what we do so we are ready for spring!

Try something different – change up the photos on  your website; get a new and different cd of music in your treatment room; heck, just change your phone machine greating!  Maybe something even easier than that – a different mid-day snack or a different color plate to eat lunch on can change your perspective!

Celebrate your successes.  Celebrate the things that you did well last year, last month, even yesterday and put those things to work for you!

Learn a day technique.  Invest in yourself while it is slow and the days are short.  Watch an online seminar and really utilize the new techniques for a week and see if they add value to your practice.

Connect with colleagues. Or connect with someone in a different business than you that you’d like to get to know  Ask someone out for coffee and really listen to what they have to say about adding value to your business – what classes did they find useful, what author should you read, what’s the one thing they would tell their younger self?  Just remember, no bitching only positives – it’s winter, you need this to be a sunny visit.

Volunteer.  When it is slow at your practice, go and volunteer somewhere.  You will be surprised at the immediate value it adds to  your life and the long term value connecting with different people will add to your practice.

So, put yourself to work during your slow moments. Improve yourself. Improve your practice. Connect with bethteachesbodywork and tell us your secret for gliding past the slow times in your practice.

Sound Proofing your space

At bethteachesbodywork we hear from therapists all the time who hate the noise they can hear outside while they are in session.  Sometimes the clients even mention it and that can really ruin a great session.

So, we put together a list of easy-ish ways to add some sound barriers to you space.

  1. Hang a quilt on the wall, the thicker the better.  Fabric covering the most offending wall will bury the sound, plus you get a great piece of fabric art to display. You can even add a piece of foam behind it for extra sound proofing.
  2. A white noise machine.  These are readily available and they just add white noise. I even have had some therapists who use two different music tapes, one with regular spa music. And a second with wave sounds, that they play on a lower volume.
  3. A thick rug on the floor.  Again, dense fabric buries sound!  Looks pretty too, and will add warmth to the room on these winter days.
  4. Sliding a towel under the door helps keep outside sounds outside. There is a product called a “draft  dog” that you could buy, but we all have towels at our studios anyway,  just dedicate one to the floor.
  5. Invest in sound panels, this might be a bit more costly but will certainly solve the problem.  With the increase in in-home media rooms there are lots of different designs to choose from.

Share your ideas with us…

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Early this week I saw a video on social media in which a therapist gave his thoughts on matching up clients with therapists. He felt that this was necessary to insure therapist success and clients rebooking.  His opined that the establishment staff should know his skill set and attempt to bring him clients that he could do his best work on at the best time.  Sounds great, right?

Being served up the perfect client at the perfect time is a wonderful dream, but some of you are out there struggling for enough clients to make the rent, aren’t you?  I’m not saying he is wrong, and I’m not even saying that in a perfect world this sort of client-therapist matchmaking shouldn’t happen. In fact, my students will tell you that I make a concerted effort at our school to do precisely what this therapist was suggesting. It’s especially important as a student when you are just getting your feet under you. However, in the corporate world of massage therapy, this simply does not happen with regularity.

So, here’s the thing…how do we set ourselves up for success with every client every time?

Here’s what I think

First of all, “set your intentions.” Check your attitude at the door. Plan to do good for your client, and plan to give them your best effort while working with them.  Remind yourself of this before you meet your client, and again before you walk into the therapy room.

Create a space that is “safe” for each client that walks through your door. Let everything else go – what’s for lunch, your last client, your anger with the front desk, whatever, it HAS to go while you are with this client.  Ask your client, “what do you want to see happen?” “Is there anything you do not want?”  Explain your plan to your client, and skew toward the side of under promising a bit.  Under promise, over deliver is a tried and true sales tactic that works in just about every industry. Promise your clients reasonable, easily achievable goals, then sail past them and greatly exceed their expectations!

Finally, “trust your training.” Never say that you can do something you aren’t comfortable with or trained to do. Be honest with them, and yourself, about what you can do in your time with each client. Base your interactions on their needs and your training. Build a relationship with your client that gives them some input into what they will receive and, in turn, they will respect you and return to you.

Join the discussion and let us know what strategies you use to build rapport with your clients!


Single (practitioner) on Valentine’s Day??

How can you make the most of Valentine’s Day when you are a single bodywork practitioner??  We’re not talking about hitting bars and trying to do something you’ll almost certainly later regret. We’re talking about how to make the most of your massage practice and make Valentine’s Day a holiday that is enjoyable and profitable for you.

Well, the easiest way is to find another therapist and partner up.  Even if you don’t have the space to give couples massage in either of your studios, you can take your show out on the road and do couples massage outcalls.  If you choose to do this, make sure that you and your partner have a discussion ahead of the scheduled session to plan out pricing and timing and all things important to both of you, especially safety, so there is no confusion when you are in front of the clients.

But, if you cannot find a partner to do couple’s massage with…how can you still cash in on Valentine’s Day??  Here are a “couple” of ideas that just might work!!

First off, you could teach a partner’s massage class.  Have a couple (or several couples if you have the space) come into your studio and teach them how to give each other a hand or foot or neck massage that they can share on Valentine’s Day and all through the year!

You can offer couples spa services, like wraps and foot massage.  While one person is in the wrap, massage their partner’s feet, then switch.  You can do these with the couple in the same room with only one therapist.  It’s a win for everyone!!

Finally, you can share the love and maybe offer a discount for the day for singles or people whose partners are away. It’s a great way to make sure everyone has a special day.

So here’s to you and loving your massage practice!  Happy “Single’s Awareness Day” y’all!!




Reenergizing our commitment

Hi everyone! I know that we’re a few weeks in, but I’m going to wish everyone a Happy New Year to start out! We look forward to working with you this year and we hope that our knowledge and resources will help you to make this your best year yet.

Getting you up to date on the developments on our end, we have some very exciting plans for this year, including launching our Anatomy Academy next month. This program will be a great refresher for seasoned therapists, and an even better study guide for students and new therapists.

In addition to four (FOUR!) programs that are launching over the next few months, we are now offering personalized coaching for massage therapists. This coaching can be used to help your business grow in a number of ways. From client retention and marketing to bodywork and self care, we will consult with you over the course of a few months to help you become a better health care professional.

Finally, as the title of this post outlines, we are reenergizing our commitment to improving this website. We will be delivering new content every week, including articles, video blogs, and, of course, our various course offerings. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all of our updates! We are looking forward to a wonderful 2017, and we can’t wait for you to join us!

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