Colorpuncture™ is healing through the use of frequencies of colored light, brainwaves and crystals on acupuncture and other points. This revolutionary system was developed by Peter Mandel, a well-known German scientist and naturopath who has conducted over 25 years of empirical research to develop this unique system of healing.
Colorpuncture™ works on the same principles as acupuncture, but is even more powerful because it uses light and the biophysics of cellular communication. Dr. Fritz Albert Popp (a renowned biophysicist and the father of modern biophoton theory) has documented evidence from years of experiments to prove that living cells pass on biological information through photons, through the language of light. Each color of the spectrum has a different vibration of wavelength that contains different information which has a specific effect on all our life functions.
Colorpuncture™ Therapies are precisely targeted light treatments to gently alleviate pain, unlock information buried in the subconscious and release emotional trauma. The non-invasive techniques clear blockages and restore healthy energy flow in the meridians. Many people report not only changes in their bodies, but an improved emotional outlook and a clearer sense of direction in life.
Colorpuncture™ also works with brainwaves to reestablish proper communication between the cells, to clear energetic blockages, and to correct brainwave patterns. Each vibrational sequence or treatment will have a specific effect. Particular treatments help balance and de-stress the nervous system, detoxify the body, relieve pain, release trauma, tonify and strengthen specific organs and much more. Clients find Colorpuncture™ to be gentle, non-invasive and relaxing.
M. Johanna Powell, NCTMB, LMT, CCP, MTI
Johanna Powell is a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT, Texas License #MT5581) and is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB). She is a Certified ColorPuncture Practioner (CCP) and Massage Therapy Instructor (MTI).
She is Certified ABMP (Associated Bodywork & Massage Professional) and Certified in Refexology.
Johanna became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 1991 and the combination of her bodywork skills and a strong business foundation has led to a thriving practice with loyal clients generating repeat business and regular referrals.
Using multiple modalities, Johanna customizes each session for the individual client. Her clients may be coping with chronic stress and pain, pregnancy, aging issues, grief, chronic fatigue, depression, hyperactivity, fibromyalgia, lymphatic congestion, or simply seeking relaxation and general wellness benefits. Johanna says it is her goal “to provide each client with a custom designed session to lift the spirit, soothe the soul and encourage body wellness”.
Johanna is involved with activities to promote health and wellness. She has published articles on wellness in a variety of publications, including Cooking Light and HR Outlook. She is the author of “How to find the Gentle Stream” and “The A – Z Guide to Healthy Ways to Refuel Your Life” and co-author of “The A – Z Guide to Calming Stress” and “The A – Z Guide to Marketing Your Business”.
Johanna continues to mentor massage therapists through By Touch Design which provides workshops and personal consultations on wellness techniques, marketing, grief recovery and small business concerns. She is a Massage Therapy Instructor working with MBEA (www.mbealliance.com)
Johanna is very excited about her new certification in Esogetic Colorpuncture, training by the Institute for Esogetic Colorpuncture, USA. For information about the work of the founder, Peter Mandel, see www.colorpuncture.com.
According to Johanna, “If I could start over, I would train for massage at a much younger age, but there is almost nothing else I would change. It has been an exciting and instructive journey, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Before Colorpuncture™ treatments begin, you will be asked what areas of healing you would like to focus upon. Based on your information and other diagnostic tests, an individualized treatment plan will be designed. Gentle pressure and color will then be applied to various points or zones on your skin using a hvand-held acu-light tool with interchangeable glass rods which emit different colors of light through a focused tip. As the light is absorbed by the skin and transmitted, information is communicated to the body’s meridians, cells and organs. Often you will be asked to indicate any sensations or reactions that you experience during the session or after treatment to help customize your treatment plan.
7 SUCCESS SECRETS OF THERAPIST WELLNESS
If you were to describe yourself, I am reasonable sure you would not describe your physical self but your compassion and desire to help others. It was those qualities, not your physical looks that brought you to this field. When helping others, we tend to lose awareness of ourselves and can face burnout or repetitive use injury in a very short time; and find ourselves leaving the career we love. Therefore the first discipline we must make peace with is self-awareness. You can only give to someone else what you have in excess.
In therapy, when your hands and mind are focused on your client, you are amazing. Your training, gifts, and compassion are directed to one simple goal … to help your client. For this type of focus, you pay a price of energy and physical strength. In order to be able to replicate this focus, time after time, without burnout or repetitive injury, you need to have the discipline of awareness.
Healing awareness usually disengages when you finish with a client and doesn’t reengage until hands touch the next client. Self-awareness takes a back seat during the treatment. Even before your hands leave the client, you need to awaken your self-awareness as you disengage your healing touch. This is where discipline begins. You are the only one who can take care of yourself. Your body tries to accommodate the mind’s directives, so if the focus never returns to your body, your body suffers.
Your final, finishing touches are opportunities to refocus or reground your separateness and remove your energy from your client’s while leaving the client with your intent for peace and wellness. This brings you both out of the healing state into every day life and your awareness of your client is now caring awareness rather than healing awareness because, even though you have physically and energetically removed yourself from the client, you still have the final tasks to conclude:
• gentle conversation to make sure they feel wonderful and pleased with their session
• water for them to drink with encouragement to drink enough to help their muscles stay relaxed
• payment for your wonderful services
• rescheduling for the next time
• gentle goodbye
To fully activate your self-awareness, while you are waiting for them to dress and leave the treatment room, focus on
• How do you feel? Give separate consideration to your hands, arms, shoulders, etc.
• Do you need food, water, bathroom break?
• Do you need to stretch to loosen your muscles?
• Do you need a quiet time to recharge the healing energy?
When you have totally finished and the client has gone, EVEN IF ANOTHER CLIENT IS SETTING AND WAITING THEIR SESSION, take a few minutes for yourself. (You should have scheduled at least 15 minutes between clients, so you can still stay on schedule).
• Pay attention to what is “in the moment”. What is Right Now? Do not be thinking of what you should be doing, could
be doing, will be so far behind in you aren’t doing. Pay attention to RIGHT NOW.
• While you are changing the linens, stretch and move your body. Shrug those shoulders, rotate the head, and massage
• While the next client is changing, drink water, go to the bathroom and move gently while you are doing it. Don’t rush and
dash around. Treat yourself gently and with the same courtesy you extend to your clients.
If you intend to continue your massage career for the rest of your life, pay attention to the above. You will find that your clients will return again and again to a well-balanced, healthy, caring therapist. I still see, on a regular weekly basis, clients that started with me in 1991.
Treat yourself as seriously as you do your desire to help others.
Nutrition is the intake of nutrients and their subsequent absorption and assimilation. The first thought response to the word nutrition is FOOD and indeed food is important, however nutrition comes to us through all of our senses. The body is fed food. The mind is fed information. The spirit is fed tranquility. All work together in harmony to maintain the balance of a healthy three-part body. When the PSE (physical, sensory or emotional) environment is fed, it either absorbs or eliminates what is not necessary or required and each part is of equal importance.
The PSE (physical, sensory and emotional) environment is continuously responding to the stimulation provided second-by-second through breathing in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide through exhalation; processing food into nourishment and eliminating the unusable; or through the skin which both absorbs and eliminates everything from air to physical contact. This continuous bombardment by stimulation (sounds, sights, smells, tastes, sensations) is filtered through our experiences as well as the body systems to determine what is necessary or interesting enough to be retained and incorporated while the remainder is released and eliminated.
When the PSE (physical, sensory or emotion) environment is overwhelmed by unnatural or unwholesome substances, it severely overtaxes the complete system, creating opportunity for discomfort, disease or total breakdowns.
Everything we assimilate into ourselves affects our day-to-day energy. This includes the hurried meal, the quick soda or coffee instead of water, the angry motorist, the late client.
Only you can ensure that the nutrition you eat, read, dream restores rather than depletes your balance. Remember you often have to CHANGE habits and thought patterns to establish balance. While change can be an ugly thought, remember that your own healing ability must first be directed to yourself before it can be utilized to help others. Change is worth the reward.
In order to maintain our inner healing force, the right input is needed for the body to function at its fullest potential.
• Stay within 10 pounds of your best weight at any given age.
• Eat a high percentage of fresh foods.
• Consume adequate roughage.
• Drink water (not soda, beer, coffee or tea) in sufficient quantities for you.
• Take a day off every week and sleep without the alarm.
• Read articles or books that stimulated your mind.
• Help the lymphatic system through exercise and deep breathing.
• Get regular massages.
• Remember you are a 3-part person and need to nourish all 3 parts.
How can you let go of old patterns and find a kinder way to treat yourself? Two books I have found particularly helpful in changing my eating habits are “Dr. Abravanel’s Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan” by Elliot D. Abravanel, M.D. and Elizabeth A. King and “Eat Right 4 Your Type” by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. Both books gave me a better understanding of my inner body needs and has made a direct impact on my energy levels. I was also surprised to find it easier to change thoughts and attitudes when my body was receiving what it needed. It is well worth the effort.
Most of us became a massage therapist because we have a need to help others and because we believe in the healing power of touch.
In our desire to be the very best, our time is spent trying to improve our techniques, our business, and our facility. We often over look the need to maintain the homeostasis of our bodies.
During your training period, your body becomes accustomed to having the benefits of regular massages or bodywork. Once you finish school and get involved with the business of growing your business, it is very easy to neglect getting massages or bodywork for yourself. If fact, how long has it been since you last received a totally relaxing massage? Or do you spend your hour trying to understand the wonderful technique the therapist is using that your mind never rests and your body really doesn’t relax? Believe me, it happens far too often.
Think about the technique you learned and practiced when you first started out. Just as your bodywork techniques have evolved, so has your body adapted itself to your method of massage and the repetitive movements you do every day? In fact, your body probably could perform an adequate massage with out any interaction from your mind. This type of “unthinking” massage is what we want to avoid and getting regular bodywork is the best way to prevent “unthinking” methods sneaking into our work.
Each client deserves our focus and full ability each and every time we do a massage. In order to ensure that, you have to guarantee that your body is able to provide what you will require of it.
As therapists, we can become like our worst client … so busy “doing” that they have forgotten how to relax. This imbalance will eventually lead to burnout and total fatigue.
This is a very scary place for a therapist who wants to continue doing massages or bodywork until they die. So, how to prevent this? Just getting a regular massage sounds too easy. There must be something else, some enlightenment, some dragon to slay, something difficult. No. Regular weekly or monthly bodywork is all it takes. (Didn’t you just finish telling your last client that?)
Remember that keeping yourself healthy is keeping your business healthy. And it is a wonderful experience!
I can hear you yelling at me already. “When do I have time to rest?” That can become a theme song of therapists. It seems like there is seldom enough time to get half the important things done, let alone spend any of our precious time resting.
I have discovered that resting doesn’t actually have to be sleeping. With resting, you have a number of options.
• Stretching can be restful. Especially if you have been doing a number of massages back to back. Stretching between
appointments is an easy way to relax those tight muscles and the exercises you find helpful can be passed on to clients
who experience tight, painful muscles.
• Massage sore pressure points with an essential oil blend* that is designed to help relax or calm the body. Your use
of Aromatherapy will also enable you to speak confidently to your clients of what you have experienced.
*Try 20 drops of Bergamot Orange (relaxing and uplifting) and 20 drops of Sandalwood (relaxing and calming) in 2 ounces of carrier oil. (I like Grapeseed or Fractionated Coconut Oil.
• Lay down on your massage table. It feels just as good as your clients have told you. Just lay there for 5 minutes,
taking deep breaths. You will be surprised how much better you feel.
• Meditation is one of the nicest ways of resting for a short period. Allow your awareness to rest in quiet. Allow your busy
mind to gradually desist from bothering you and rest, even for a few minutes. This can be done with open eyes, looking
at a picture that pleases you or with closed eyes. I find I drop into meditation quicker by looking at my favorite ocean
picture and let the beauty of the picture capture my mind and still it.
• Deep breathing. Slowing down an automatic movement is an easy and excellent way to center and relax your body. As
you slow your breathing, you can alter the way you are feeling or thinking and discover a new sense of stability and calm.
To breathe freely, your belly should be relaxed; you’re back straight and your shoulders down with a relaxed diaphragm.
With conscious effort, take a deep breath, hold it for the count of three then slowly release. Do this at least six times.
• Open your mouth wide and let the jaw relax. Keep your head still, moving your lower jaw around into as many shapes
and positions as you can without strain will reduce the tension that is carried there. It is amazing how this helps the neck
• Getting adequate sleep. This may be the hardest one to actually do. At least three nights a week try to get adequate
sleep. Since “adequate” is different for each of us, if you are really rested after four hours, then four hours is what you need.
Most of us however, require closer to eight or more. Whatever you need, get. It really does make a giant difference in
your massages and your health.
As you noticed, most of these don’t take but a few minutes to do. It is the remembering to do them that is hard. Rest well.
When is enough learning enough? There is so very much to learn you can never know it all. So what should you be learning?
1. Good habits
Having good habits is almost as easy as having bad ones. To ensure continuity with your clients, script each experience your client has during your time with them. Then revise this script until everything is just perfect. Then practice your script. Good habits give grace automatically and save us from errors that hurt our pocket book. Ask yourself:
• How do I greet my client? Do I focus on them or is my attention on other things?
• How do I take histories and other information? Do I listen and ask questions? Do I understand what they have written?
If there are contraindications, how do I proceed?
• How do I offer instructions and ask the questions that encourage the client to relax and be comfortable? Is my tone
caring or demanding? Are my instructions brief, brisk and time dependent or consistent and through each time?
• How do I perform the massage or bodywork? Am I focused on the client or am I thinking of food or other things?
• How do I finish the massage or bodywork? Do I end the massage with a gentle ending or am I just happy to be finished?
• How do I receive payment? When the money is handed to me what do I do with it and what is my expression? Am
I uncomfortable accepting money or is the money a pleasant ending to an enjoyable and enjoyed massage?
• How do you secure a reschedule? Do I ask when they want to come back or do I assume they will call?
• How do you bid goodbye? Do I indicate in some way that I am happy to have been with them and look forward to the
next opportunity to serve them or am I already focusing on the next client?
2. Good work ethics
By establishing good habits, you will strengthen your work ethic. When you follow a script (a step-by-step way of doing things) you eliminate the common pitfalls that can damage your image and prevent loss of clients. Be consistent. Be on schedule. Be great. That’s your job and you are good at it!
3. New massage techniques
Stress is the most frequent, serious health and beauty robbing complaint that clients bring to their practitioner. Any technique that helps reduce stress is an instant winner.
Out of the thousands of flyers you get for continuing education, find classes that blend well with what you already do or something that has a great interest for you.
4. New marketing techniques
• Try expanding your target market. Perhaps men and/or children. Men are an untapped segment of the massage market
and are becoming comfortable using the benefits of massage for stress, pain and relaxation.
• Children of all ages can benefit from massage. Have a class to show mothers how to do gentle massage for their children,
or a class to show older (8 – 10 years) how to massage feet. Mothers will love you.
5. New tools and equipment
• Learn the basics of Feng Shui to add balance and harmony to your facility and room. It really, really works!
• Clients love new things. Try to add a new something every six months. It keeps things fresh and exciting.
6. How to choose revenue add-ons
• Home care products. If you already use something your clients love (music, oils, lotions, etc.) have a few of each available
for purchase. It is an impulse buy and you will be surprised how quickly these sales add up.
• Create a signature therapy that is uniquely yours and turn your concept into a brand name and image.
• Consider new trends using stones and energy. The newest trends are usually much advertised and the public
consciousness raised so adding a trend can have $$ benefits if it blends with your current modalities.
• Learn the basics of Reflexology. It is a great way to enhance your business with very little expense or equipment. You
can add a small bit to each massage and offer a full Reflexology treatment as part of your service menu.
Marketing is an attitude. It requires work and it must be done almost daily. Every thing you do, say, and think when you are with a client is marketing … for your benefit or for your deterrent.
Although marketing may seem mysterious, marketing can be summed up in one word – communication.
1. Be able to express clearly and concisely what you and your business do. Write it down and practice. It should be about
30 words or less. You are a verbal billboard. Take advantage of it.
2. Make your business cards and brochures communicate your business. The first impression potential referrals may receive
is often your business card or brochure. Use quality paper and colors that connect throughout your business. Business
cards and brochures becomes a visual billboard.
3. Your brochure expands on the information on your business card and provides an opportunity to detail your strengths in
a visual way. It can serve as reference material, but it should also show the way to the solution to a problem you can solve.
By offering benefits rather than features you answer the unspoken question of potential clients, “What do I gain by using
this therapist?” This gets them to you. Your ability and skill keep them.
4. Perception is everything. Your clients’ perception is not necessarily your reality. However you do have to understand how
your clients perceive your business. Keep your ears open for comments or clues about their perceptions. Read between
the lines of what the client is saying to you. Or you can ask what they like best about your work and what would be of
benefit to them. Or use a written survey, which I like because it gives a level of separation for honesty on their part. I
have gotten my feelings hurt a couple of times, but on the whole, surveys’ have worked very well. Creating the quality
perception is in your hands.
5. Know how you want your business to be perceived and effect any necessary changes to reconcile those differences.
The things outside are easy to change. What needs to be changed inside requires greater effort.
The previous six sessions have encouraged you to become aware of opportunities for better health and wellness for yourself. Most probably reminded you of what you already knew but were not doing. Choosing to follow these sessions will help keep you happy, healthy and a long-term therapist, which the world really needs, especially now. Session number seven sounds the easiest but is usually the hardest one of them all.
Schedule time each month for you. You treat your clients with much greater courtesy than you treat yourself. Get into the habit of scheduling time to have fun. This sounds so simple and easy and it is one of the most difficult things to actually do. With all the thousands of things that must to be done to keep your business moving forward, how can you set aside time for you? I know it sounds strange, but if you don’t take time to relax and have fun, your career suffers.
It is stressed in most business classes that “Time is your most valuable commodity”. We are taught to manage, allot, schedule and utilize our time as if time were the only important ingredient in our career. Time is important. You are more important. If there is no you, there is no career.
Keeping yourself healthy and happy sets the tone for everything else you do, including your business. Enjoy your freedom. Having your own business gives you the opportunity and freedom to work where and when you want. I agree that bills and prior commitments kept me on the fast track when I first started out. I would wake up at night with new ideas for marketing or a better way for me to do a massage move. I drove myself crazy. I never had “time” to do anything fun. I was terrified a client might need to schedule an appointment and I wouldn’t be available. I was terrible to myself.
It is true that you only get paid if you are physically present to perform the session. However, I have found that clients like to receive massages from someone who looks tan and healthy. They enjoy conversing with someone who has seen at least one of the current movies or read one of the books on the best seller’s list. Taking care of yourself is part of your business. In fact, it is one of the most important things you do for your business. No one can replace you. If you are unable for any reason to work, it is irrelevant how many people you have scheduled or how much time you have available.
You need to treat yourself with kindness and awareness (see Lesson #1). Since we are a three-part being (spirit, soul, and body), we need to take care of all three parts. Simple adjustments to your day can create small pockets of time you can use to have fun. I recently had 10 spare minutes before I had to leave for work, so I took my new bubble blower (it has a neat little friction motor) out on the patio and made a trillion tiny bubbles. I went to work with a smile on my face because it felt like such a childish thing to do. But it was really fun! My smile came through to my clients and our whole day was brighter because of 10 minutes of fun. That is a very good return for 10 spare minutes.
Fun means different things to different temperaments, so what makes me happy may not work for you. But half the fun for me is planning something special for each month. It not only gives me something to look forward too, but it is a nice way to receive information and input from your clients. I truly believe there is not one single type of work that my clients don’t represent. They are interesting people, going to interesting places and are very happy to share information and memories. Some of my most fun places have been suggestions from my clients.
• The Lamb’s Rest Inn (www.bbhost.com/lambsrestbb) in New Braunfels, Texas
• The Fainting Goats of Fredricksburg, Texas (not open to public)
• The San Luis Resort in Galveston, Texas during Marti Gras
• The Little Gasperilla Island off Englewood, Florida
The first 3 are weekend retreats while the island is my extra special 9-day treat every other year.
Your scheduled time doesn’t have to be a full weekend, but can be any amount of time that is just for you. I know that when you first start out, you have more than enough “spare” time, but time that your schedule for yourself should be different. Plan to do something that you normally don’t take the time to do.
• Read a good book out by the pool.
• Sleep late & have breakfast at your favorite restaurant.
• Go to a movie, play or concert.
• Go to a workshop for painting, cooking or anything else that you always wanted to do.
• Get a massage or other bodywork.
• Have fun!
7 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT SERVICE
S E R V I C E
1. Stay focused. Massage is both a science and an art and you have to stay focused on both. Do not let your mind wander. Do not let your mind drift. Stay in the present moment, stay with the present person, and stay focused on your client. They have purchased your time and ability for this allotted time, give them what they pay for plus that little extra that makes you stand out as an exceptional therapist. Every time. If they come three times a week. If they come every day. Stay focused on your client and reap the benefit of a job very well done and very much appreciated.
2. Emotion. The miracle of massage goes beyond its direct physical effects. Put your hands on another’s body, and you touch emotion as well as flesh. Your compassionate hands can release many emotions and memories. Whatever the response to your work, remember the client may feel ashamed of their reaction and your response to their reaction is very important. Remain compassionate and unobtrusive. Don’t ask questions. Provide the tissue box. You may want to stop movement and just maintain contact for a few minutes, until they have regained their composure then continue as if nothing unusual has happened. T
3. Realize they don’t have to come to you. They have chosen you out of a million equally good therapists. You are a very fortunate person. The massage starts the minute they open your door. How you welcome them and care for their comfort starts the relaxation process before you ever lay hands on them. Schedule enough time between appointments to enable you to spend a few minutes enjoying each client. Keep good client records and keep your memory sharp. Everyone likes to be remembered by name. Make them just as happy as you are that they have chosen you.
4. Be a very good listener. The client is not paying to hear your life story or the details of your business. Some clients like to talk and some like quiet. Let them lead. If they want to talk, listen and keep your answers soft and only as long as needed. If they want quiet, give it to them. But during either, remember Rule #1 above.
5. Interruptions. Avoid them. Avoid them. Avoid them. There is always the exception, but it should be far and few between. There are very few things that cannot wait until after the time you are being paid for.
6. Concluding Strokes. When you’ve finished reading a book, the lasting impression is neither the beginning nor the middle, but how satisfying the ending was. It’s the same with massage. Your concluding strokes bring your client back into real time so be very gentle and slow. Keeping hand contact, keep your voice soft and low and thank them for being with you then remind them to move slowly when they get up then leave the room and get them a small glass of water when they come out.
7. Enjoy what you do. This comes through loud and clear. Clients like to be around someone who enjoys their work, especially when it benefits the client. They will enjoy being with you and return again and again and become a satisfied client who will also refer you. Perfect!!!!
A CLIENT FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT
Starting out, perhaps with limited funds, can be daunting. You feel like you need “everything” in order to be perceived at your best. It is fortunate that this is not true. Clients generally enjoy noting each new aspect you add for their comfort.
You can continually “layer” or add whatever you would like. For example, perhaps you want to ultimately create a garden effect but only have one fake tree. Use the tree as a “client spot” and place a small comfortable inexpensive outdoor chair next to it. Hang a small set of chimes above the tree. Right now, appearance is more important to you than to the clients who are looking for comfort, clean and private. Next add a few silk flowers (fresh flowers have short lives, at least with me, and they require your time to keep them beautiful) or an outside urn with a fountain on top. Then add a soft pillow for the chair. As they continue to return, it is a pleasure to note that you have added a new touch of comfort for them. As your finances grow, you can add an item a week or month until you have everything just as you planned.
Keep your eyes aware at home. If you enjoy the feeling of an outdoor garden, you probably have several things at home that can serve in your room until you find exactly what you need.
• A room large enough for your table and for you to move comfortably in is not just a requirement; it is critical to your well being. While you can do an excellent job with very limited space, it gets very frustrating over a long period of time. If you are planning on doing between four and eight massages a day in this room, it makes sense to negotiate for as large an area as possible. Indeed you could take a smaller, cramped space and move as soon as you can afford it but clients do not like to move once they are established with you and, no matter how loyal, some will not move with you. So the more comfortable you are at the beginning, the easier it is to remain in one place. You may choose to negotiate your lease to include the intent to move to a larger space within the same building as soon as one comes available. Moving within the same building is much different than moving to a new location as far as your clients are concerned. A same building move is perceived as a move for their comfort while a move to a different location is perceived as an inconvenience for them even if it is just a few blocks.
• Mutable lighting. A separate room light switch is critical. Nothing is more frustrating than to have a light shining in your eyes even when they are closed. With your own light switch, you can control the amount of light when and where you need it. Some suggestions would be floor lamps with dimmer switches or corner shelves with low wattage lights. Candles often work but many clients may be allergic to the smoke or scent and therefore uncomfortable. Clear Christmas lights look good placed in a fake tree or wrapped around a white trellis, if those items are appropriate for your room.
• Temperature control. You cannot please everyone all of the time, but you can try. If your room has its own temperature control, you are in a much better position to please the majority of clients. External heaters or fans do not usually work well in the massage room and can create several types of hazards.
• Electrical outlets. A multitude of extension cords is very hazardous. Before leasing a space really sketch out exactly how things would flow if you were doing a massage there. It can save you a great deal of frustration. And don’t forget to project a bit into the future. Do you want to add a vibrator? Table Warmer? Hot packs? These all require outlets.
The very best tools hang at the end of your arms. There is nothing that feels as wonderful as warm, gentle, caring hands. It therefore becomes critical that you learn to take care of them.
• Hands. From the start do some hand exercises to keep the joints and tendons happy. Wear gloves when moving things or gardening to protect the skin on your hands. If you have cuts or abrasions, then provide a massage on someone who has a skin condition, it can put you at risk of losing several days work. One therapist on vacation touched a lovely blooming desert plant and got hair-like thorns in her hands and was unable to work for thee weeks because of the swelling and inflammation. If possible, I would suggest you ensure your hands with Lloyds of London, because they are your greatest assets and worth a million.
• Shoulders and Arms and Wrists. Do not forget the full rotation process. Therapists tend to do repetitive motion sequence and the shoulders and arms and wrists need to be reminded of all the wonderful ways that they are intended to move. After each session, roll your shoulders, extend your arms over your head and rotate from the shoulder.
• Elbows. Let the arms stretch straight down using 1 pound weights to help with the stretch. Gently swing the arms and flex upward at the elbow.
• Massage Table. You probably already have a great table. I would recommend some thought to a second one. It is a timesaver to have a travel table and one that remains fixed in your room. With prices ranging from $200 to $7,000+, you can have exactly what you want. A good, lightweight portable table offers adjustable heights, different widths, choices of face rest, headrest dowels at both ends, foam type, vinyl durability, weight and beauty and can average about $300 to $600 depending upon your choices.
A more permanent table costing about $3,000 offers motorized lift mechanism, multi-positioning tilts, allowing you to provide facials, waxing and body care. Some tables even offer optional cabinets for under table storage. In some instances, you can design a lease program for your equipment with options to buy at the end of the lease. Decisions like this really benefit from your previous long-term planning.
• Linens. This should include 4 to 8 sets of sheets, 2 small pillows, one bolster, a small blanket and 6 towels as a minimum. The number of sheet sets depends on the number of clients you will do in a day, as you will want a clean set for each client. Disposable sheets start about twenty-three cents per sheet or forty-six cents per client. Getting 100 sheets for approximately $25 to $35 is a very attractive option. They come in several colors, strengths and you get to throw them away and not have to wash and sterilize them. The major drawback is that they are not snuggly. I have always preferred the perceived benefit of flannel sheets. Washing six to eight sets each night made me investigate disposable sheets, but flannel won.
I have used both flannel and disposable faceplate covers. In this, I prefer the disposable for a number of reasons such as client face sensitivity, disposable, always looks nice, can use for both table and chair, and cost about fifteen cents each.
Two small pillows are generally adequate for placing under the head or elevating the shoulders. I do like having the disposable pillow cover (approximately sixty cents per pillow cover).
The bolster is perfect for under the feet or the back of the knees and, since they are usually covered in vinyl, I prefer a cover for them. Pillowcases (flannel of course) work well.
The number of towels you keep handy is preference only. I like to be prepared and often use the towels when the pillows or bolster don’t meet the need.
• Oil and lotion. With all the choices now available, this is entirely your preference. Unless your have found the perfect oil for you, try a number of small size bottles and try blending your own oil. I like a mixture of grapeseed, sweet almond and apricot kernel. You may like to wear a half-apron or holster to hold or heat your oils and lotions. Having heated lotion handy is great for some clients. Not all clients will like any kind of heat. Be flexible. To keep your carpet cleaner and to avoid possible client slipping, I suggest that you use only lotion for the feet. Any lotion works well with the exception of those designed to be absorbed quickly. You will also want to have a convenient space to keep your spare oils and lotions.
• CD player and music. While you could get by without this, it adds so much to both the client’s and your comfort. With the vast variety available, your music can be as expensive or reasonable, as you need. I recently changed to a MP3 CD player, which allows me to have 5 to 10, regular CD’s on one MP3 CD. It really saves on shelf space and keeps oil off my good CDs.
• Storage. This will totally depend on the space available. It can be as small as a rolling trolley or large enough to hold all your spare essentials.
• Water. Various water companies deliver and will either provide your requested number of bottles of water and charge rent for the cooler or you can purchase the water cooler and have just the water delivered. The coolers average $175 - $250 (which is a onetime charge) and the bottles of water average $6 - $8. To prevent client soreness after your session, encourage them to drink several additional glasses of water besides the one you have waiting for them when them leave.
• Credentials. Display your nicely framed credentials, preferably where the client can see them easily.
Now that we have requirements out of the way, let’s talk about some of the wonderful extras you can add.
• Pictures. One large mountain or ocean scene can switch the stress button off. This of course depends on the space you have, but one really large nature inspired picture works wonders. You might get two or three prints the same sizes and store them all in the one frame. Then you can switch them out occasionally. Keep personal photos to a minimum and keep them together. If you do pregnancy massage or work on children, it is nice to have an area (bulletin board) to display pictures of the children.
• Candles/Atomizing Diffusers/Ceramic Oil Burners. Any of these can be a problem if burning during the session since many clients have allergy problems. However, having a gentle scent in the room is fabulous and well worth using before the session begins. Because scent is such a personal thing, keep the scent mild and gentle.
If using one of the candles/diffusers or oil burners to aid in a specific therapy, validate your selection with the client before the session starts. Aromatherapy is especially client sensitive so allowing them to make a selection from several scents seems to enhance the therapy the most.
• Fountains. The variety is endless and all are fabulous. The sound of moving water works to calm everyone. And, as a second benefit, it helps you since you spend so much of your time in the room. My room is relatively small. I selected a “client corner” and made a small narrow table with readymade legs I screwed into the plywood top, and painted everything gloss white. I surrounded the table on three sides with different height greenery, adding fairy (Christmas) lights and sat my fountain in the center with a beautiful seashell beside it. I tucked a comfortable green wicker chair with a great pillow next to it, and hung a butterfly windchime over head. Over the chair, hang my certifications. It looks great and takes very little space, but oh, the difference it makes to my clients and to the peacefulness of the experience.
• Chairs and Rugs. If you are breaking up a large open space, rugs really help with the definition of space into tasks. If you don’t have carpeting in the room, a rug under your table is a nice touch. Putting a rug on carpet tends to make for stumbles and the rug never seems to lay flat. If space permits, a seating area for removing shoes, hanging clothes, leaving personal items is enhanced by a small area rug. If you have a large enough space to include a small desk for a discussion area or a place where you take notes, receiving payment, a comfortable chair with a small side table (writing check height) in front works well since they are not setting for long periods.
• Lighted Make-up Mirror. If you provide a therapy that affects the emotions, it is thoughtful to provide an area where make-up can be repaired. Make sure there are wet-wipes and Kleenex.
• Floral and Greenery. Used sparingly, silk flowers and greenery can be used to hide many things. They soften edges and aid in the illusion of peacefulness. They are very easy to change with the seasons.
• Privacy Curtain. Providing an area of privacy for disrobing can be easily accomplished with curtains. A telescopic curtain (averages $95) that telescopes out 39” to 90” from the wall may be positioned anywhere, or a curtain rod may serve as well.
• Aromatherapy. I consider this a necessary enhancement. Essential oils are fragrant, highly concentrated, volatile extracts from flowers, leaves, spices, fruits, woods and roots and each oil has it’s own unique benefits to which the body and mind respond. You can charge for custom blends after proper training or you can work with a certified aromatherapist to create blends for you. There are a number of blends easily available for every situation from cold and flu relief to vitality. These products should use only pure essential oil, not fragrance oil that is used for potpourri.
Having several blends for the client to select from ensures a good match and their body will relax much easier than if you select the blend for them. Since essential oils are very concentrated and can have a toxic or caustic effect on the skin, it is recommended that you start with a prepared blend which mixes several essential oils together to create a synergy of healing.
To try blending for yourself, test smell a number of essential oils and select 4 or 5 that you especially enjoy and research the oil’s benefits. There are a number of books available and the Internet can provide a great deal of information. Again I encourage caution when using essential oils, but what a benefit they add to a great massage.
• Body Cushions are perfect for offering breast protection, optimal spine positioning and pregnancy. They make a significant difference in therapist fatigue. These vary, depending upon what you require, but expect to pay from $34 to $200.
• Disposable Underwear. This is a very thoughtful provision, especially for new clients. Most are very soft, made of hypoallergenic material and are disposable so their underwear doesn’t get oil or lotion stains. It also provides that extra feeling of protection that is a perceived benefit. These generally run from $4 to $8 for a box of 10.
• Fleece Pad for table makes any table so much softer and more comfortable. These run around $130, depending on the size of your table.
• Hand Sanitizer. There are a number of anti-bacterial cleansers that do not require water that are perfect when you want to cleanse your hands during a session. I start work on the feet first, so I finish with the neck and face. I like to cleanse my hands before working on this sensitive area.
• Heated mitts and booties cost about $36 a set and really aid the use of aromatherapy applications or reflexology.
• Hot and Cold packs. Many are available with organic grain for its moisture content and weight containing aromatic herbs and spices selected for they’re healing properties. These range from herbal scented eye pillows for massaging the eyes and aiding sinus areas. to a pack that can cover the complete back. Since heat feels so wonderful on chilly days or when stress is high, I prefer a Fomentek Mini-Bag (2 bags per box) that is filled with water directly from the faucet. When filled with hot water, it remains hot for approximately 1-2 hours. They can also be used with chilled water or for cryotheray. Heated stones also provide a focused heat for those specific areas you need to aid. Cold Packs require that you have a way to keep them cold, so you would need a small refrigerator.
• Knobble, Bongers, Theracane, etc. All provide relief to the wear and tear on thumbs during deep tissue and pressure point massage. The Theracane offers help to you, reaching the spots you cannot reach for yourself. Prices vary, but these are generally low cost items ranging from $10 to $80.
• Percussion Massager. These come in all sizes, shapes and provide relief to tired muscles while enhancing the stimulation provided by the massage. Choose one that fits your modality and hand size. They can range in price from $15 to $400 and up depending on your selection.
• Table warmer for colder months or for anyone who loves warm is a fantastic gift to your clients. This may run $45 to $70.
• Various Pain Relievers – Bio Freeze, White Flower, Tiger Balm, Sombra etc. These are all topical analgesics that work for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains. You will want to select several that you particularly enjoy working with. I prefer White Flower for small areas of deep tissue pain and usually use a custom aromatherapy blend for larger areas.
• Air sanitizer. In any building you will have a variety of smells, some good, some not so fresh. A good air sanitizer makes your room a haven of freshness. There are many sizes and name brands to chose from. Find one that fits your pocketbook, space, and room.
• Hot Towel Rack. These are now easily available and easily installed. They will use one of your outlets and work well if there are shower facilities or the client likes to wipe down with a towel after the session. Cost $40 - $150.
• Massage Chair. Run $300. Massage Chairs usually offer a variety of positions, speeds, intensity and heat. They add a perceived value if your client’s can rest in the chair for a few minutes before the session begins. You can also charge $1 per minute for this service if you desire.
• Paraffin Therapy. For arthritic hands, nothing feels quite as good as a paraffin treatment. Treatments for the hands and feet are easy to provide and work very well in conjunction with a Massage Chair for the client to recline in during the time the treatment takes. If offering both hand and feet treatments, you will want to have separate paraffin units. You can also offer paraffin body treatments with the proper training. The small units can start as low as $40 however this usually does not include any supplies. This 15-minute treatment in conjunction with a Massage Chair could carry a retail value of $15 - $30.
• Physicians Scale. If you are providing nutritional or body wrap therapies in addition to massage, having a really good scale is plus. They average $260 - $350.
• Pneumatic Stools provide easy access to the client for doing reflexology or any therapy that requires you to be in a seated position. They average $50 - $250.
• Facial Adjustable Chair $233 - $350. This type of chair works well for body wraps as well as facials. Unless you also have an esthetician’s license, you could lease your chair to a licensed esthetician for a monthly fee.
• Herbal Wraps. This depends on the type and supplies needed as well as the special training to do wraps.
• Hot Stone Therapy. This is a separate modality but can easily be incorporated with Swedish or deep tissue. Additional training is required for specific hot stone massage. Prices vary from $40 to $700.
• Paraffin Spa ($125 – 250).
• 24 Bulb Tanning Bed $3000. This requires space and privacy.
Good planning and have fun.
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
The chiropractor I began my practice with referred his clients to a total of six therapists. We each had our separate room (we could not change the décor), splitting 60/40 with the chiropractor. I was still working full time at a corporate job, so could only do massage from 4:30 to 9:00 p.m.
I was usually alone in the building after five and I found it very difficult to ask for rescheduling when the massage was finished. I felt as if it would seem pushy and not present the caring image that I wanted to project. If fact, I was so excited and grateful they had given me the opportunity to do something I loved I would have almost paid them! Needless to say, my repeat business was slow to increase. People forget your name, they don’t remember to ask for you, etc.
My corporate career was very, very different. After 20 years of corporate work, I was used to the expectations of a big company and very aggressive about getting the job done well. One morning (during the first three frustrating months with the chiropractor), at my corporate job as we were finishing negotiations, I heard myself saying, “We have to ask for what we want. The worse possible thing they can do is say no”. I felt as if a lightening bolt had struck me. I was stunned.
What was the difference between massage and my corporate job? What made the corporate job so much easier to ask for what I wanted and expect to receive it? Some of the answers I discovered helped me change my attitude toward my massage business and start me on a much different path.
•Both were businesses
•Both required and used my time, skill and training
•Both were expected to pay me a salary
•Both involved doing something I enjoyed
•Both required a positive attitude
•Both required consistent work ethics
•Both had a boss to answer to (in massage it was ME)
•Both required customer service
•Both required telephone work
•Both required marketing myself and products
•Both required insurance payments
•Both required a savings/retirement plan
•Both required Continuing Education
I realized however that I did not “FEEL” the same way about them. In massage, I was soft spoken, kind, caring, compassionate while in corporate I tended to be brisk, capable, thorough and decisive.
My head understood the similarities, but my emotions did not accept that they were anywhere close. While brisk, capable, thorough and decisive had served me well in corporate, they did not seem to project the kind of image or feeling that truly represented my massage business. In acknowledging my feelings, I realized that there was nothing wrong with either image but how to bring balance between the two? So, I listed the differences.
The major differences were:
•Mistakes in massage had no recourse but me
•My massage business depended completely on me
•Marketing my business depended completely on me
•In massage, my paycheck would depend entirely on me
•I had never worked alone before
•I was comfortable in corporate. Massage was new and scary.
Identifying the emotions behind things often get everything moving in the right direction. What was made very clear was the fact that I was afraid. What if I wasn’t successful with massage? What if I couldn’t do everything that needed to be done? What if I was too old to be starting another career?
Just getting it out in front of me instead of the back of my mind was a big help. By understanding the root was fear, I was able to take positive action.
•I looked at my past success record
•I looked at the level of business experience I brought to massage
•I changed my perceptions of what it meant to be a great therapist
•I revised and tightened my goals
•I put my new attitude to work
•I began to ask for what I wanted
It really is amazing when I look back over the past years. During that time, I have had to face fear a number of times. Below are just a few:
•The first time someone didn’t “love” my massage
•Income tax time
•My first speaking engagement about wellness
•My first time as President of a breakfast club
•My first time working on MS and fibromyalgia patients
•My first time asking for my money when it wasn’t mailed to me
I’m not sure the fear ever really goes away, but I do know that doing what you love to do is one of the greatest things ever and keeping my business going strong is worth wading through some fear. And the more often you ask for what you want the easier it gets.
There have been times I wished I had someone else to blame, or to do the laundry at night or deal with the difficult, energy-sucking client. But, that never lasts long.
I have found that by focusing on each client, every time, there is not a lot of misunderstanding to create fear. Knowing that scheduling with me was the nicest thing clients could do for themselves has helped me get over any fear of asking for the next appointment or payment for service provided. Knowing that my massages are very, very good and having a full schedule of repeat clients has taken away the fear of raising the rates to stay current.
Since I still continue to see clients I started out with, I know it is worth asking for what your want. There still is a lot to learn, but that is what continuing education is for.
BREAK THE MONDAY HABIT
A recent survey showed that over 75% of “beginnings” (starting a new business, diet, etc.) are slated to start on a Monday. No wonder Monday has such a bad reputation.
Traditionally, it makes sense to start things on the first … first day of the week, first day of the month, first month of the year. Back in the good old days, when life was much slower, that tradition was ok. Now, however, business goes on 24/7 and it is helpful to make some mental adjustments if you are considering starting, changing, or quitting your business.
Each day deserves a fresh start. When each new day is started with a fresh and excited outlook success is much more likely. It can be difficult to leave behind at day’s end any baggage of guilt, fear, and anger over the things that didn’t get accomplished and it is easy to become so sidetracked and discouraged with unmet expectations that the day’s successes are not celebrated or even noted. When a “Monday” habit of thinking is present it closes off opportunity for other options. A “Monday” business is a stress factory.
Why does the “Monday” habit fail?
1. One reason is that “Monday” is the first work day of the week for most people. There has been two wonderful days (Saturday and Sunday) with little thought of work and now it is back to the daily stuff. “Monday” is almost always awkward because you have to remember where you left things on Friday and Friday may have been a very stressful day. It usually takes a while to “get back into the swing of things” and it is hard to keep full focus immediately.
2. Another reason is procrastination. On a Tuesday, the following Monday allows the luxury of the “I have plenty of time” thinking process and creates a guilt trap just waiting to snap closed. Any other day of the week is less susceptible to procrastination since the work ethic is already up and running. If something is not a priority RIGHT NOW, it can be put on the to-do pile and, for a solo business, unless there are strict deadlines, a small slide in completion need not be a major problem unless it continues to slide. Many marketing efforts can be on a very tight timeline and procrastination is a very bad thing when important deadlines are missed.
3. “Monday” commitments never seem to get accomplished completely. There is always that crisis, a late client, a long train, etc. that eats up the time and energy that would allow you to accomplish all your goals for that day. One solution is to treat your business with the same courtesy that you give your clients or customers. When you are committed to doing something (like paperwork) that you really don’t want to do…realize how important it is to your business success and make the time commitment for another day of the week and schedule it in your appointment book. Use Monday to catch up on small jobs that can be easily interrupted or shortened as needed. Take the pressure off of Monday. You will be surprised at how much that relieves your stress.
4. Perhaps the most important reason that the Monday habit fails is because other people’s timeframes are not recognized and accounted for when establishing your goals. If the Monday habit is bad for you, it is also bad for the people you are trying to reach. If you are expecting people to attend a seminar, class, party, open house, etc., remember that Mondays are often the busiest day of the week and people may have little, if any, energy to give to your efforts. For many, Wednesday is a church evening. Soccer practice, football or basketball practice also has to be considered since they may impact participation of the target market that you want to reach. A weekend may give more opportunity for people’s interest and interaction. Look at all the options and don’t become a slave to tradition or “what everyone else is doing”. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are also great days.
How can you change a “Monday” to a Win-day?
1. Be realistic about Monday. Allow your Monday schedule to be flexible and relaxed.
2. Don’t over schedule yourself. Book a heavier schedule during the week but allow Mondays to be a light day. If you
are a morning person, schedule only during the morning or if you are an afternoon person, schedule only during the
3. Don’t worry about what you should of, could of, would of. Let it rest on Monday. In a solo business, you are the boss of
your time, so schedule according to what you need for the week while maintaining sensitivity to the needs of your clients.
4. Schedule the things that take care of you on a Monday. Get that massage, doctor’s appointment, haircut, etc. Taking
care of yourself is critical to your business success and what a wonderful way to utilize Monday into a Win-day.
5. Remember that perception is its own truth so make Monday something you look forward to and get the most out of the
rest of the week.
BUILDING A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
1. Review Everything!
• What still makes you happy about massage?
• Are you running on automatic?
• List things you would like to change about your career.
2. Look at everything through fresh eyes.
• Truly look at your location. Is it clean and professional?
• Truly look at yourself. Have you let things slip or do you still present a crisp, professional look.
• Look at how you do your massage. Are you still sensitive and caring or is the magic gone and it is “just a job”?
• How do you treat your clients? Do you treat them with the same courtesy you did the first time?
3. How careful is your language?
• Is it a back rub or a therapeutic massage?
• Are your explanations easy to understand?
• Do you take time to listen and respond appropriately?
• Have you quite using the proper terminology?
4. Review your client list
• Send some type of reminder to everyone on your list (coupon, sale, etc.) to let them know you are still available.
• Are your good clients drifting away? What will bring them back?
• Do you offer rewards for referrals?
• Do you build relationships through phone calls, cards, etc. or do you wait for them to call you?
5. Review how you interact with your associates and associations.
• What do you do for each of your associates and how often do you do it?
• What do they do for you? Is it time to change or move on?
• Do you have someone to cover for you if you are sick or on vacation?
6. Review your business plan.
• What are your 3-year goals?
• Are you planning for retirement?
• Could you use an assistant?
• Do you want to grow bigger or slowly reduce your hours?
• Are you where you want to be?
7. List and review where you would like to go next in your career.
BUILDING REVENUE STREAMS
1. Get out of the ruts. It is very easy to just do what you have always done.
2. Consider what you want NOW. Do you want more money, more free time, and additional professional respect? If so,
what could you do that would bring in money, use your training and talent and use less time? It is all out there. You just
have to match what you want with what you want to do.
3. If you could do anything you wanted and maintain your current revenue, what would you be doing? Teaching? Resting?
4. Consider what other efforts could produce revenue without your presence.
• Subleasing space
• Books, CD’s or tapes
5. Review six months of your appointment calendar.
• Do you have blocks of time that are not being used?
• Do you have one or two days that are lightly scheduled?
• If possible, redirect clients to fill in two or three days, giving you at least one full day to concentrate on other ways to
increase revenue or just relax.
6. What percentage of revenue would be lost if you consolidated your schedule and how much of this revenue could you
reproduce by other means?
• Paid speaking
• Paid teaching
• Paid demonstrations
• New techniques
7. How would you reallocate your clientele?
• An assistant?
• Refer certain portions of your clientele to another therapist?
• What percentage and who would you want to refer out?
• What type of pay would you expect? A flat fee per person? A 40/60 split?
8. What additional certifications or learning could help you attain your goals?
9. What equipment haven’t you used in the past year? Why not? Can you reinstate its use and advertise and charge for it.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
1. Put actual numbers to how many clients you average a week.
2. Identify where they come from.
• Gift Certificates
• Free samples
3. Identify some marketing methods you have not tried before.
• “Expert” writing
4. Decide what is your current target.
• More clients
• More free time
• More money
• Less physical work
• More gratification
5. Select products to sell that endorse and enhance your work and advertise them.
6. Select, learn and DEMONSTRATE some new techniques, methods, etc. in a free class. Advertise the “free” class and give
discounts to participants for signing up for the new technique during class.
7. Stay current. Know what is being offered, the “new” industry trend words, the “latest” techniques. Your marketing
materials need to BE CURRENT in language.
1. Consider yourself under “NEW” Management!
• What would someone see if they were considering buying your business?
• What would need to be changed or updated?
• Do those things.
2. Redesign your office by the Slipcover method. A slipcover is something new and fresh that fits snuggly over the old.
• Bring crispness into your therapies.
• Change the environment of your room or area.
• Introduce your personal line of products.
• Brighten everything you already have.
3. Consider your level of self-discipline.
• Does management at any level interest you?
• Could and would you want to manage your own spa?
• Manage a spa or exercise shop for someone else?
• Look realistically at your retirement goals.
• When (if ever) do you want to retire?
• What do you want to do when you retire and how much money will it take?
• Do you currently have a savings vehicle?
• Do you have a sound financial person to discuss your options with?
5. Happy retirement does not happen by itself. It takes planning and a real understanding of what you need and want to
be happy. Take the time to make it happen.
Bundle marketing is fast, easy, safe and inexpensive. Bundle marketing is becoming a partner with other small, local business owners to jointly market, advertise and promote your businesses.
Small businesses share the same needs:
• To bring people in the door
• Get them to buy a product or service
• Get them to return
• Get them to refer others
To find out if bundle marketing is for you, there are three questions you need to answer:
1. Who is your ideal client?
You should have already established some parameters for your ideal client when you prepared your mission statement and business plan. However, it never hurts to rethink things.
• Who do I enjoy being around?
• What time of day do I enjoy working?
• What type of massage do I most enjoy giving?
• Who does my hands and stamina fit?
• Who can receive the most benefit from the type of massage I give?
• What type of environment do I prefer?
• Does this ideal client have the resources to meet my financial needs?
• Can this ideal client justify spending time and money with me?
Remember, you will be shaped physically, mentally and emotionally over the years by the clients you work with so listen carefully to how you answer. Think back on the clients you have been working with. What are the characteristics they shared? Locale, age, availability? Do you seem to be getting a wide range of clients or do they match your preferred profile? Understanding whom you would most like to have allows you to target that client in your advertising. By using language and benefits that attract the attention of your preferred client, you begin to receive a higher percentage of your target client. When you can match a need to what you want to do, you have the beginning of a wonderful, successful career.
Example: “My ideal client is a person between the ages of 45 to 75, who is either slowing down or retired, with active social and recreational sports agendas”.
This sentence says it all. It covers
• work enjoyment (the type of person you like working on and spending time with),
• career longevity (they are active enough to really need you and will need you for a long time) and
• building a successful practice (repeating clientele).
This client fits you; is interesting to talk to; a joy to help; can afford higher rates and is freer to schedule during unusual time preferences. In other words, you can discover the perfect client.
2. Who already serves this client?
There is absolutely no limit to the small business you can partner with. Who do you see regularly? Ask yourself if each of these businesses already has customers who fit your perfect client. Chiropractors, personal trainers, nutritionists, yoga instructors, small fitness centers all offer opportunity for a good match. Look at the qualities of your perfect client and see who they interact with. A golf pro, esthetician, manicurist, etc.
3. How could our business work together to enhance each other?
Bundle marketing can work on a number of levels of interdependency and joint participation.
• You can simply exchange mailing lists. I prefer to make sure I can include the business name and a small quote that they approve as a personal referral. This requires that you know and respect the other professional and are willing to introduce this professional to your clientele. This type of endorsement tells your potential client that you are known and respected by someone they already do business with. Since massage is a service where personal recommendations really help, this introduction can make a big difference.
• You can target a holiday and “bundle” a selected set of services from both (or more) participants for a limited time.
For example: If you want to bundle services with a personal trainer, the trainer may offer one free training session to be included in massage Gift Certificates the therapist sells during the month of February. The therapist can offer a free 15-minute chair massage to be used as a special thank you to the trainer’s clients during the month of February or as a special bonus for new clients.
This is a very flexible form of bundling. It is important to have a set timeframe or number for this to work fairly. For example: Ten training sessions for 15 chair massages since the training session will take longer than the chair massage. I also like to provide the certificate that offers the chair massage and the trainer just adds the name and gives me a call to let me know she has issued one to her client. The trainer also provides me with the training session certificate.
If you are bundling with more than one other small business, you can offer a choice to your client. It also gives you some insight to your client’s other interests. For example, I have used a trainer, a chiropractor and a nutritionist.
• An easy way of bundling is for each of the businesses to distribute your marketing materials directly to its customers or display your material at its place of business. This is extremely easy to do, requires limited space and allows the customer the opportunity to pick up the information on his or her own. It is not as personal a referral, but still gives the quiet approval of the business. Having a small section where other small businesses can display their information sends a good message to your client and really helps everyone.
• Bundling can become as involved as you like and have time for. You may offer a free training session if your client buys six massages from you before a certain date. Then the trainer offers a free massage to anyone signing up for six sessions. This requires more attention to paperwork and again, a clear understanding of what is being offered. For example, the trainer may have extra time on their hands, while you are extremely busy. This could cause unhappiness if their client could not get to schedule with you when they wanted. Or the other way around. So think this method out very carefully. It can work very, very well, but it does require planning.
Bundling marketing offers many benefits since it opens up new client opportunities and helps your build long-term friendships with great small business professionals.
People are seeking relief from the hectic pace of life at almost every age and type of work. As the life expectancy lengthens, our lifestyle becomes more demanding. Stress, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness are only a few of the chronic health disorders that result from this hectic pace.
People are searching for solutions that will help them to function more effectively and more comfortably. As one of the largest segments of the population (the Baby Boomers) continues to grow older and live longer, the demand promises to intensify.
As therapists, our focus needs to begin to transform the way we think about our business. . During the past, massage has often been classified as a “luxury” item for those with “disposable” cash. The balance has shifted in public awareness and massage is speedily emerging as a very accessible oasis from the hectic pace of life with the understanding that massage can enhance the modern lifestyle by addressing the needs of the mind, body and spirit.
As more of the public desire and require the benefits of massage, it becomes necessary to flex our therapist muscles and stretch our way of marketing, presentation and modalities. Stress is very personal and unique to each person, so how can marketing, presentation or modalities satisfy and reach anyone? Wearing our marketing hat, we need to change the focus from therapies (features) to benefits. Our clients have grown in knowledge about the benefits of massage and are eager to learn more. Many of the current marketing tools can be gently changed to reflect more benefits. Our thinking also has to be gently changed. Client’s don’t care so much WHAT we do, HOW we do it but only what they get out of it. They want relief.
1. Identify some of the treatments and therapies that counteract the stress of every-day life. How long has it been since you checked into some of the new techniques? Clients like to know that THEIR therapist is on top of what is the latest and greatest. If I don’t know the treatment they received on vacation, I make it my business to understand all the things they enjoyed about it and research it. It may be something that could be incorporated with little effort or may be something I don’t have the facility for. But clients like to know that you are interested in new techniques and they enjoy being able to give you information. Many clients bring me brochures, web sites, and other information so we can both be delighted. I am delighted they tried something new and they are delighted that, even though it was great, it wasn’t as good as THEIR therapist.
2. Ask yourself how many of those treatments or therapies do you currently know and use? It is very easy to get into a pattern with regular clients. It is also easy to assume we know what they need since we see them every week. You will be surprised what a simple change in your pattern can do for both you and the client. Start them on the side, rather than on the front or back. This gives wonderful opportunity for shoulder, arm and neck work. Be sure to place a pillow under the head and between the knees for added comfort. Use a special citrus aromatherapy blend to help rid the body of unwanted stress. Instead of a pillow for the head, use a hot water bag. (I like the Formetec bag). It cradles the head with heat or cold and is sooooo comforting. Many times it is the small, insignificant kindness that gets referrals coming.
3. Identify the stress reduction benefits of your techniques. What part of stress reduction do they reach? Depression? Sleeplessness? Anxiety? How can these benefits be communicated to your clients and in your marketing information? If you were to add another therapy such as aromatherapy, how would it deepen your treatment? Having the benefits at the tip of your tongue makes your verbal marketing much more effective. It also filters through to the written marketing.
4. How do you educate your clients? Do you have a free one-hour class every six months to discuss what your treatments are doing and get your client’s input as to what they would like to receive? Clients are often reluctant to say what they want. They just choose not to come back. In a class environment, you can offer a comment sheet without requiring names and often their questions will be ask by someone else. A class is a good opportunity to introduce new treatments or techniques. Have invitations and ask that they bring a friend they would like to refer so their questions could be answered. It can be very educational for you as well as the client. Light snacks and drinks make it into a relaxing time. Many local newspapers will print information about free classes so make sure you get your information to them. For a free class on fibromyalgia, which had been published in a local newspaper, I expected about 12 people. I had 32 people show up – only 4 were my clients. The rest was people who were suffering from the disease or had loved ones that were. I gained 3 new clients.
5. On a weekly or monthly basis have copies and instructions of a stretch or series of stretches that enhance your techniques. Encourage your clients to share them with friends that they walk with.
6. Guide your client through some deep breathing methods. Stress causes a lot of constriction around the lungs. Deep breathing is one of the fastest ways to improve overall health. Most people do not know how to practice deep breathing so your guidance in this will be appreciated. It can be something you practice in your free classes.
7. A small advertisement in one or two locale newspapers offering the benefits of your techniques is a good investment for 2 or 3 months since these newspapers reach potential clients close to your location.
8. Create a flyer that offers your benefits and free classes and leave a few at libraries, bulletin boards, and other associates office.
9. Offer a free 30-minute massage to the person who does the scheduling at your chiropractor’s office as well as to the chiropractor. People like to refer people they know.
One of the hardest notions I had to get out of my head was that I could not praise myself. As a one-person business, I don’t have time to wait for someone else to say nice things about me. I am the one person who understands what I do. I am the best person to describe it, write about and educate others about it. Ninety-three percent of my business has been referrals. I gain approximately 65 – 80 new clients per year. Some come because a friend gave them a Gift Certificate; some because of Doctor’s referrals, but most come because my client told them they HAD to come to me because I was the best. And I try very hard to ensure that my client’s are telling the truth. I have client’s that come twice a year from California for maintenance. I have several clients who drive over 200 miles once a month for an hour treatment. This is not bragging. This is fact.
Over the years I have stayed true to my original belief that massage is one of the greatest gifts you can give anyone. I work hard to ensure that my clients receive the best I can possible give them. I try to think of ways to enhance their comfort. I try very hard to look at each client with new eyes each time they come in. I work hard to stay current with all the wonderful new techniques that are becoming available. In other words, I work my behind off. But it is so very worth it!
Congratulations! Having invested considerable time and energy in selecting and acquiring the training to start on a fulfilling massage/bodywork career, you are ready and eager to get your business up and running.
Starting a business has many scary aspects, especially since this may be the first time you are attempting to create your dream business. Like most things in life, there are many different ways to get from point A to point B, but there are also many similarities that can be successfully utilized regardless of the business you are starting.
Out of the thousands that complete initial training and begin their career in massage/bodywork, only a small percentage continues to make successful livings as a therapist. A majority of those who leave the massage/bodywork profession are excellent therapists and leave the field reluctantly because of financial difficulties. They have discovered that while it is true that most people say they love a massage, many of those same people never plan on getting one, let alone becoming a repetitive massage/bodywork client. Unrealistic expectations, coupled with a lack of solid business procedures often result in not being able to make a living doing what you love. With all the pain and stress in the world, the profession needs all the good therapists it can get.
While every school offers some business training, the major focus is on training you as a therapist capable of passing the required testing. Very few schools have the time or personnel to teach structured aspects of building a massage business. And, perhaps you were so caught up in balancing all the aspects of your life (work, school, family, etc.) that you were not as attentive as you could have been to the business part that was offered. Your talent and ability allow you to really help and benefit others so how can it be a cold and structured business? And of course, “if you are really good, people will find you”. You have not had any trouble finding people to receive a free massage so how could it be that hard to get people to pay for massage?
You just want to get started and business plans are usually a very low priority however, making sure that proper business systems are in place is a critical factor in success. Success or failure is often determined by your approach to the fact that, regardless of your gift, ability or talent, massage is a BUSINESS and you must approach it as a business.
Both success and failure has many integrating aspects that result in the overall outcome. Every business is unique but many of the mechanics of business are exactly alike. Your business plan is of key importance in your planning, funding, location, and overall success. For intuitive people, just the thought of a “PLAN” can cause stress but creating a business plan that fits your needs and requirements can be done easily by answering a few questions.
A business plan can be simple or very complex. My business plan was simply a list of what I felt I could possible do at the time I entered the profession. It takes away the confusion and targets areas you can immediately use as an identifiable guide.
Give the best answer you can to the following questions. Remember this is for your benefit and nothing is set in concrete.
Questions for building a business plan:
• What do you want to do right now?
• Where is your profession going?
• Who is your target market?
• Who is your competition?
• How will you build your client base?
• How do you plan to finance right now? In the next two years?
• What do you want to be doing in three years?
The answers to the above questions are your business plan.
Now that you have answered the above questions, lets broaden the answers to allow greater depth to your business plan.
What do you want to do right now?
1. During your training you have identified areas of the massage profession that you would fit into very well. Write them down.
2. Are you currently working at a non-bodywork job? Do you want to continue there while you do bodywork part-time?
If so, what hours are available for your bodywork? Write it down.
3. Do you want to start fulltime bodywork and how do you expect to finance it? Write it down.
4. Do you prefer a location or to be mobile? Write it down.
Now the bare bones are appearing to your business plan.
Remember a business plan is not written in concrete but is one of your strongest tools to help you understand yourself and help you set realistic and achievable goals on your road to success.
Where is your profession going?
1. What is bodywork like in your area? Are you in a medical area? Are there a number of spas or retreats there?
How many mainstream health professionals like doctors are in this same area? Are they currently referring to anyone?
Find out, usually with a simple phone call asking if they can refer a therapist. If not, put them on your list to offer your
services to, offering the doctor or office manager a complimentary massage to “sample” your abilities.
2. Will the economy support you in this area? How many therapists currently offer services here? Check the phone books
and Internet to find out how many are practicing in your preferred area. Select a cross section of the area and check a
few of them out. Were you impressed by what you saw? Did you have to wait for an appointment or could you get in
immediately? How long have they been in business? Keep your eyes open and you may discover a “niche” for your own
3. What safety and legal regulations apply to this area? Some deed restrictions do not permit a business from the home.
Some areas are not considered safe after dark so be sure to evaluate all aspects of the area, including availability of
lighting, policing, types of other businesses and their working hours. What may be a thriving area during the day is
often unpopulated and unlit during the evening hours.
The more information you gather about the area you prefer the stronger are your changes of successful planning in that area.
Who is your target market?
1. Who can you help and are they being provided with service?
2. Who needs your services?
3. Do you have a specialty?
4. Do you enjoy a certain age group?
5. What hours will you be offering for service?
6. Do you prefer to have a location or be mobile?
7. What other professionals have access to your target market?
8. What is not being offered?
Many of the above and previously answered questions will affect or change your target market and being able to TARGET your market is a very important key to continuing success. The closer you can identify your target market, the closer you come to meeting the needs of that market and retaining your clients.
Who is your competition?
1. Review the answers to all the above questions to gather an idea of what the general competition is in your selected area.
2. Make your competition a part of your business plan. Becoming acquainted with the competition can become a very positive
aspect of your business. Advice, referrals, and peer discussions become very important in a one-person business. Since
clientele far outnumbers therapists, you will not be taking away anything or anyone, but enhancing the overall education
and public awareness of massage/bodywork to everyone’s benefit, both public and professionals.
3. Turn your competition into a plus for your business. Modalities that are different often work well together. Perhaps
sharing the same location or space can be of benefit to both and referrals often result from this kinship. It can prove
to be very helpful when first starting out to seriously consider utilizing this type of sharing. You also provide a potential
backup for each other if illness or other life difficulties interfere.
4. Some of your competition will probably become your therapist. It is critical that you continue to receive bodywork yourself
because your health directly effects your business. No you – no business. Your competition is also a source of good
business input. Most therapists are pleased and excited to help you get started. When you love what you are doing,
you want everyone to be able to receive the benefit and each therapist can only do so many people per day. This leaves
a lot of open space for you to fill.
How will you build your client base?
This is a two-phase aspect. You not only need to get clients; you need to keep them.
1. Advertising – be realistic about your value received per dollar spent. Listed are a few that can work for you.
• Business Cards
• Yellow Pages
• Web page
• Association’s Web page
• Information packets,
• Gift Certificates
• Money Mailers
• Introduction Cards
2. Word-of-mouth referral. This is the most effective way of advertising and costs little except careful planning and time
which is always well spent and provides the greatest value return. This type of referral is of incalculable value.
3. Health professional associates
• Personal Trainers
• Medical Clinics
• Wellness Centers
4. Samples of your service (when it suits your modality)
• Sports affairs
• Wellness Centers
• Business Openings
• Health Food Stores
• Vitamin Stores
• At your chosen location
5. A reward program
• A thank you note with a dollar discount for their next referral
• A thank you note adding a 5 to 15 minute time addition to their next massage.
• A thank you note adding an additional service (aromatherapy, paraffin wax treatment, etc.)
• Use your imagination. Reward programs can include whatever you want them to.
6. Web sites
• Create your own web page.
• Have a professional create a web page.
• Utilize an Association’s web page.
• Utilize Bodyworkpro.com special web package
7. Purchase an existing business
• Massage clients are, in general; very loyal so it would be of benefit to do transition work in the business you are
interested in buying to see how the clients respond to you and if you enjoy working with them.
• Never make the assumption that they will transition to you however, the endorsement of the retiring therapist will
usually give you a good base to start building on.
• Client’s like coming to a location they are familiar with.
8. Association with a successful spa, wellness center, chiropractors, health clubs, etc.
• The location is already established in client’s minds.
• Previous advertising is of benefit to you as soon as you come aboard.
• Clients coming to these locations come with a specific need and are generally open to anyone who can provide the
• The general public looking for a “first-time” experience or a “special treat” will often utilize a spa or wellness center.
• Chiropractic works very well with massage/bodywork, tending to require a variety of specific therapies that some of the
others do not.
How do you plan to finance right now? In the next two years?
1. Calculate up-front fixed costs. (what is absolutely critical for you to start).
2. Estimate what it will cost for each client (linens, oil, phones, water, room cost). You should have some idea of linens,
washing linens, oils from what you have done during your internship. The phone, water, room, etc. depend upon some
of the other questions you have answered.
A good rule of thumb: (use exact numbers if you have)
take estimated room cost ($400)
divided by days or hours you expect to work (21 days)
divided by #of clients you will work on (6 clients)
to get estimated $3.17 for each client
for phone, water and room
then add the known cost of linens, oils, etc.
to get an estimated cost per client.
3. Don’t be discouraged by the numbers. Numbers cannot figure belief in yourself and your ability. But it is important to
know when you will begin to make money.
4. Most new businesses don’t make money the first few months so you will need to have some reserve planned.
5. Parents, friend’s, fairy godparents are all good resources during startup. They also offer an extra set of eyes to review
your plan and offer advice.
6. You may want to keep your current job until you begin to get established.
7. Depending on the scope of your business plan, a bank may be a consideration for a business loan and is certainly a
viable consideration for expansion plans.
What do you want to be doing in three years?
1. Do you see yourself teaching?
3. Managing several locations?
Now that you have answered every question, you have a very good idea of what you want, what is realistic for the short term, what has potential for the long term and a much better chance at creating a very successful career in massage/bodywork.
PUT YOUR ANSWERS INTO A WRITTEN FORMAT.
One of the wonderful things about a bodywork career is that it is unlimited in scope so don’t build walls with your business plan but instead build a framework that will enable you to successfully make your dreams come true. The world awaits you!
Having established your Business Plan, you should have a fairly good idea of the type of legal business structure you will need to start with. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at some of those options.
• The easiest form to establish and the most common small business structure.
As a sole proprietor, although you may have employees, you are solely responsible for the business.
That means that the profits are yours and you are personally liable for any and all activities of the business.
• You may operate under your own name or under a business name which will be your d.b.a. (doing business as …).
You get your d.b.a. from the County Clerk’s Office.
• Because you and the business are one and the same in the eyes of the law, creditors to satisfy business debts
can seize your personal property.
• Earnings or losses from the business are reported on Schedule C of your personal income tax return.
• You may need a business license issued by the city or county where the business operates. Contact your Business
• You will want liability insurance, which covers costs of injuries that occur on your property to business-related visitors.
This insurance may or may not be covered in your lease. Find out. Do not assume. This is not covered by your
• A high priority is personal disability insurance. This safeguards you from loss of income if you are unable to work due to
illness or injury.
• Consider business personal property insurance. This covers fire, flood or theft of your business property.
• Advantages Easy to start.
You make all decisions and have control.
All profits are yours.
• Disadvantages Personal liability for business debts.
Finding financial help such as loans or lines of credit will depend on your personal credit history and net worth.
No provisions for continuation at your death or retirement
An association is when two or more people get together to share some resources and expenses, yet keep separate business identities.
• You are a sole proprietor sharing space with other sole proprietors.
• Consider and put in writing your joint decisions on the following:
1. Level of interaction – set meeting times (weekly or monthly) to review stress, disagreements, happy moments and
make any changes. Keep notes and everyone initial.
2. Promotion/Advertising – decide on what advertising will be done together, if only one phone, decide how it will be listed
in the phone book and how it will be answered.
3. Set a budget for shared expenses with the clear understanding that major purchases are discussed and approved
together before purchase.
4. Set a mutual acceptance of a cleaning schedule.
5. Agree upon the way everyone’s clients will be greeted, the waiting room layout, beverages made available, background
music, and the noise level. The small things are often what puts a strain on this type of business arrangement.
Remember you will be working together for a set period of time if you signed a contract or lease together.
• The requirements of a Sole proprietor apply.
• A simple legal structure which involves more than one individual owner.
• Partnerships are similar to sole proprietorship in that the owners are personally liable for the legal and financial
obligations of the partnership.
• A general partnership is when ALL parties are active in the business. Each partner can be held personally liable for
the actions of other partners.
• A limited partnership is where one or more parties are not active in the business, but have contributed financially.
• A limited partnership must have at least one general partner actively involved in the business.
• A limited partnership limits the liability of passive investors or silent partners.
• Partnerships may be 50/50 or as agreed by the partners.
• Be very sure that, whatever the arrangement, all of the terms and conditions of the partnership are in writing
and either written with the help of an attorney or reviewed by one.
Include: Each partners capital investment.
How profits are shared.
How disputes will be resolved.
What happens if the partnership is dissolved?
• Earnings or losses from the business are reported on Form 1065. The business itself pays no tax and each partner
reports income on a standard Form 1040.
• You will need a business license.
• You will need a partnership agreement
• You will need liability insurance, which covers costs of injuries that occur on your property to business-related visitors.
This insurance may or may not be covered in your lease. Find out. Do not assume.
• Advantages Pooling of assets and skills
Easy to start with little regulation
• Disadvantages Control shared by partners with possible conflicts
Personal liability for debts of the partnership including debts incurred by others.
• The most difficult and costly form of business to set up and maintain.
• This requires the filing of articles of incorporation in the state where you do business. Small businesses may file for
incorporation under Category C or under the rules of Subchapter S which offers some tax advantages.
• Stock is issued to shareholders in exchange for cash or other assets provided to the business.
• Once a year the stockholders must elect a board of directors to oversee the business.
• Protection of your personal assets from business creditors and legal liabilities.
• By incorporating, you are creating another legal entity. The corporation is separate from you, filing its own income tax return.
• The law considers every individual working in the corporation as an employee regardless of whether that individual is also
an owner or stockholder.
• Personal assets of the owners are separate from the assets and liabilities of the corporation.
• Owners of the corporation must comply with all of the laws and regulations regarding maintenance of the corporation to
avoid possible seizure of owners’ personal assets.
• A Corporation requires a Federal and state employee Identification Number and files separately from its officers
• Consult an insurance agent who works with local businesses to learn about workers’ compensation and other business-
related types of insurance.
• Advantages Limited personal liability.
Separate legal entity with transferable ownership.
More attractive to a broader range of financial resources.
• Disadvantages Costly to form and maintain.
Requires the assistance of an attorney.
May lead to double taxation of income (taxed once at the corporate level and once at the personal level.
The following is a general checklist for state and business requirements you will need to include in your decisions.
• What are the state massage licensing requirements?
Does your state have a “practice act” that requires an individual to hold a license in order to practice massage therapy?
How many school hours are required by your state to receive a license?
If moving to another state, can you “grandfather” into the state or what is required?
Are there required continuing education hours to renew your license?
What is the state “terminology” for massage?
What is the state’s massage Code of Ethics?
Check with the licensing agency. For example, the Texas Department of Health issues Texas massage licenses.
• What are the business licensing requirements, if any?
Many states and/or municipalities require a business license for massage therapist setting up an independent practice. Check with your licensing agency.
• What are the state and/or municipality massage regulations?
There are some states that do not regulate massage therapy on a statewide level and, in those states, many municipalities have local ordinances that govern massage which can be very restrictive. Some smaller municipalities have zoning requirements. Request a copy of existing regulation and zoning permit requirements from the city or county clerk.
Some deed restrictions do not permit any type of working from home. Check with your homeowner’s association if you plan on working from home.
• What are the professional liability insurance requirements?
This covers you for your actions in your massage practice and is essential protection for your investment in your business. This coverage is offered very reasonably from several national and state massage and bodywork associations.
• What are the disability requirements?
This is protection if and or when you become disabled and cannot earn a living. The dollar amount can be adjusted, as you become more successful. You would need to consider a replacement dollar value of what you are currently (or plan to be making within 6 months) receiving. Usually this is a very affordable and a sound way of protecting yourself. Get quotes from a reliable insurance agent, possibly the agency providing your car insurance.
• What are the business personal property insurance requirements?
This covers what your professional liability insurance does not cover fire, flood, or theft. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t usually cover property used in business but be sure to ask your agent.
• What health insurance is needed?
Since I am seldom ill, I opted for a low monthly premium with a high dollar deductible to cover any catastrophic illness. If you are not currently covered by health insurance you should select a plan that fits your needs. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) offers customizable plans with their dues being under $100 a year.
• What life insurance is needed?
This coverage is readily available and offers protection to your loved ones after you are gone. Check with a reliable insurance agent.
• What taxes will need to be collected and on what products or services?
Federal - Internal Revenue Services (IRS) taxes yearly
State Sales taxes requires a Sales Tax Permit (can be paid quarterly or yearly)
Corporation taxes if you are incorporated (yearly)
• A DBA (doing business as …) if you are practicing under another name than your personal name such as “In Good Hands”. The County Clerk issues this after a name search is done to ensure your selected name is not already in use. The charge is very nominal.
• You will need a DBA if you wish to set up a bank account with your business name. I strongly suggest separate business and personal accounts.
• Interview the State and National professional associations before making your selections.
How long have they been in business?
What is offered in their package?
How often are you required to renew?
Are there Continuing Education Credits required in any renewal? What is the charge associated with joining?
• If you are part of an Association, you will want a simple written contract between the parties, preferably written or reviewed by an attorney. Review carefully the information on Associations.
• If you are part of a Partnership, you will need a partnership agreement between the parties, preferably written or reviewed by an attorney. Review carefully the information on Partnerships.
• If you are part of a Corporation, you will require the assistance of an attorney familiar with the process of incorporation to ensure that every “t” is crossed and every “i” dotted.
In summary, select the best business structure for right now. It can be changed, as your needs change. Each structure has advantages and disadvantages. Each has some special requirements. While it looks like it will take a lot of time to accomplish what is outlined, it really goes very quickly and many of the answers are found at the same source.
Start out well and you will continue well. Knowing what is expected and required of you gives you a self-confidence that shines through.
Good planning and have fun.
The steps to starting a self-employment business:
• Self-evaluation – What you want to do
Do you want to be self-employed?
Buy an existing business?
Work for a spa or other health provider?
Work out of your home?
Do out calls?
Work massage part time or fulltime
• Get education about basic business procedures
1. Accounting & Record Keeping
Business, Personal, Client
Banking – Personal & Business
Working with Workman’s Comp
3. Sales & Marketing
4. IRS requirements
6. Legal Matters
• Set short term and long term goals
• Write a Business Plan
• Examine & establish financial resources
• Investigate & establish a banking relationship
• Establish a workable short term and long term budget
• Research license and permit requirements
• Research and find an ethical lawyer
• Decide on your best business legal structure
• Select a business name
• Select a target market
• Find and investigate several possible locations & get estimated monthly charges
• Investigate placement of other massage, bodywork and spas in your selected general area
• Determine the services you are qualified to provide
• Price your services
• Get a sales tax permit if you intend to sell products.
• Determine if you want to take credit cards & if so, establish through your bank
• Prepare marketing information for your target market featuring benefits
• Prepare several incentive plans
Package services (i.e., pay for 5, get one free)
“Thank you” for referrals
• Select location – After legal review, sign lease
• Establish insurance requirements
• Create the massage environment
• Join a local breakfast club
• Advertise in local papers
• Met and establish relationships with other health professionals
• Retain any and every client you work on
If success were a choice, who wouldn’t choose it? Most people don’t realize that success is a choice and actions show what choice we make.
Very capable people can regard success as a dream, completely out of their reach because of low self-esteem that prevents them from envisioning themselves successful.
To choose success:
• Believe in your talents and decisions. Self-esteem is what enables you to keep going when you experience a setback or
• Plan your path. The vast majority of success does not come without a conscious work ethic of long hours and hard work.
So set your mind and get busy.
• Review and update your business plan. Don’t lose sight of your vision. Keep it in front of your conscious mind so it
becomes a habit to guide you.
• Take responsibility. View your errors of judgment as experience, not failure. You won’t make the same mistake twice.
• Do your homework. Network with other successful professionals. What worked or didn’t work for them? How can it help you?
• Look the part. The first 30 seconds makes the lasting impression and image plays an important role in building your
business. If you can sell yourself, you are able to sell anything. The art of selling is the buyer’s perception of the
• Be on time and stay on schedule. Clients depend on you being on time and you can also expect them to be on time.
If the client is 15 minutes late, mention up front that the 15 minutes can not be made up because of your schedule
(if that is the truth) but that you will use a relaxation oil (heat treatment, vibration tool) to help make up the
difference. Everyone deserves a little leeway, but lateness can easily become a habit so keep your time habit on schedule.
• The cost of failure-to-please is high. Market research shows that a dissatisfied client will tell at least 10 acquaintances
about the unpleasant experience. So make every attempt to maintain a high level of consistency and customer service
• Without exception, requests and complaints should be addressed immediately. Really listen and interrupt only with
empathetic comments such as “I understand” or a compassionate “That’s the way I would feel”. Then resolve the
• Treat each client like his or her every visit is the first. Go the extra mile every time and they will feel special every time.
• Be ready to change. Stay open to all sorts of modifications, from treatment techniques, your approach to clients, and to
new tools. Stay on the leading edge of the industry and your credibility will be expanded and appreciated.
• Do not assume a client’s ability to buy (afford) your service or products. You never need to feel guilty about selling
services and products that will benefit your client.
• Send the client home with wellness encouragement (i.e., stretches for flexibility, a reminder of their improvement since
last time, copied information that benefits them).
• Be patient. Stay positive, focused, disciplined.
FINDING CLIENTS ANYTIME
The client search goes on and on. You can never, ever have too many clients. The perfect situation is to have a waiting list of clients you can call when you have a cancellation. However, every therapist goes through some tough times, some when they are starting out, when illness or family requirements must take first place, or when the economy is a bit shaky.
Always is when you want to look for clients, but you especially want to do an active search when times are slow. This is a perfect opportunity for you to review your schedule for the past few months and find when your slowest time slot has been. Your slowest time can become your marketing time. You can schedule speaking engagements, write articles for publication, prepare mail- outs, do volunteer work or anything else you have been putting off because you didn’t have the time. Keep this time slot in the front of your mind and focus on filling that specific time with clients. (When you are successful, you will miss the old slow time!).
1. Target the client you really want. Don’t just look at what you are currently doing but look at all modalities you are trained for. Are you especially gifted regarding the feet, head or hands? List the body areas you really enjoy doing, the modalities you are most comfortable with, the modalities that offer the most challenge, etc. Then do the same for the things you most dislike. Your lists should give you insight into where you can really make a difference for clients and be happy doing what you love. Where do these clients live, work, eat and exercise. Listing these answers will give you some ideas of how to get your information out to them. It may be through flyers, community advertising, hospital gift baskets, new family gift baskets, etc. Targeting the exact client you want makes your marketing much easier on you and much more successful. “Everyone” could use your help, but you want the client who will be a weekly or monthly client who will refer all friends and associates.
2. Concentrate the majority of your search for new clients in your local area. Clients on the fast track like to go where it is convenient for them. Review your current list of clients and send a “Refer a friend in the next 30 days and get $20 off your next massage” invitation. Visit and meet with the manager of any retirement communities, perhaps offering a special day just for seniors during your slow time or add an additional service like pain reduction lotions for your regular price. Most retirement communities provide transportation, so you could offer a group (5 or 6 people) 10- minute neck and shoulder massage which would take approximately an hour and a half. The group could become your best referral source. You may offer a special stress reduction massage for those who have lost their jobs. Get to know your local area well and never, ever be without your business cards. Talk to grocery cashiers & sackers, UPS people. If it has two legs and moves, it may be or know a client.
3. Change the message on your answering machine. Put the kind of massage you specialize in on your greeting. “Hi, this is Johanna. I’m busy right now doing an aromatherapy massage on a relaxed and happy client. I appreciate your call and look forward to talking with you so please leave a detailed message, phone # and name and I will return your call as soon as possible so we can schedule your time.”
4. Write the phrase “There is an abundance of clients” on a piece of paper and post it where you can see it and repeat it to yourself every opportunity. It will help you keep a positive outlook and watch it come true. When we look worried or unhappy, people tend to shy away, so a positive outlook is business savvy
5. Knock on doors so to speak. This may be the perfect time to join a breakfast club, Chamber of Commerce or other networking group. Your physical presence will result in referrals. Everyone likes to do business and refer someone they know something about.
6. Be willing to offer different kinds of services.
Any time your add a new or different service is a marketing opportunity. Print flyers detailing the service and benefits. Mail special notices to your client list. Post a notice in your location’s mailbox area.
•10 and 15 minutes shoulder and neck massages
•First time specials
•Offer free educational seminars on your modality or massage in general. (Community newsletters often print free seminar information without charge)
7. Don’t be wearied by rejection. The more”noes” you get out of the way, the closer you are to “yes, schedule me please”!
FOUR TOUGH PROBLEMS THERAPISTS FACE
1. Professional Limitations. When you are faced with a situation beyond your knowledge. You are in this profession to help others and it is very easy to forget that you do have professional limitations in the desire to try and help everyone. Massage is a wonderful asset to client care but it is not a magic cure all. You are limited to doing only what you have received adequate training for. Do not be afraid or ashamed of referring to another health professional that has the level of training required. In fact, I encourage you to have a good relationship with (and a good working knowledge of) as many health professionals as possible to meet this very need. Referring your client to another caring professional is the responsible, professional action and you establish greater respect from both the client and the health professional. Clients like to return to someone who puts their health first.
2. Contraindications. Recognizing situations when massage can be harmful. Knowing the reason NOT to do massage is vital in order for you to be able to explain why you are not going to do the massage today. Some of these reasons include but are not limited to, Acute Infectious Diseases, Atherosclerosis, Cancer, Inflammation, Psychotic Behavior, Thrombophlebitis, Ulcers and Varicose Veins. Each of the above deserves careful consideration and restraint. A complete client history that is reviewed each time you see the client gives you an edge on placing the client’s best interests first…even if it means saying “No, I am not comfortable providing a massage for you today because of _________(give the reason). If a client argues, stay firm. You can offer a coupon for $10 off on the next visit when their doctor has released them or the condition has been eliminated.
One of my Gift Certificate clients canceled her initial visit because she was having eye surgery. I extended the G.C. and rescheduled her for several months in the future. When she came in, I ask if her doctor had released her for the massage. She said she had not mentioned getting a massage to him. I said how sorry I was, but I was not comfortable giving the massage without her doctor’s approval, mentioning the pressure of blood on the eye as she would be face down for approximately 20 minutes. She was a bit unhappy since she had driven quite a ways to reach me. I suggested that when she had her doctor’s approval, I would include an aromatherapy treatment because of the inconvenience of the delay. Two days later, she called to thank me for refusing since her doctor had said she was definitely not to get a massage for another three to four weeks. My refusal gained me several referrals from this woman.
3. Documentation. Paperwork takes valuable time away from your business however careful notes can save your business and keep you from involvement in malpractice litigation. If something is not written in your notes, it was never said as far as the court is concerned. If you work on the same client every week, you will see them through many changes and minor problems. If you suspect a serious condition, refer them to their doctor or appropriate health care provider. Keep careful documentation on pertinent conversations you have with any primary care provider and/or client. Your notes should include the client’s condition, the date, who you spoke with and the pertinent points of the conversation. You will also want to record any follow up. It is helpful if you use a consistent form to record this information. Keep it attached to your Client History so everything is available at once.
4. Client History. They never tell you everything. They forget vital information like having a pacemaker or having high blood pressure. They are familiar with these and forget it may be important, so take the time to explain reasons behind your questions. Make sure your new client forms are as comprehensive as possible and have your client review and update them every year.
GETTING PAST FEAR TO MARKETING
How can we avoid getting cramps and that sick feeling when we have to start marketing? Planning! Planning! Planning! Proper planning and promotion can ease (perhaps not get rid of entirely) the fear that marketing generates.
Marketing is worth the effort and your effort is worth marketing!
You have a lot to share and the only way you can share is to find the people who need you and can benefit from finding you. They cannot find you if there are not pointers to you. Marketing is just like road signs. It helps people know where you are and how you can help them. Marketing always appeals to the benefits the client obtains from selecting you. They do not care (at first) how it benefits you!
To plan effectively, you need to set some realistic goals for marketing. What do you REALLY want to see happen? Remember that goals must be achievable, measurable and have a time limit.
1. Increase client base by four people per month
2. Increase revenue by $300 per month
3. Book three paid speaking engagements next quarter
Whatever you have selected, do you have the time and stamina to do ____ additional number of people per month? What are you planning for your increased revenue? If the goals are realistic, and are met, what happens then? You do it over and over again, until the next set of goals is met and then you do it over and over again. Marketing never stops.
While the cramps may never completely go away, by careful planning, setting realistic goals and celebrating successes you remove some of the fear. And if you do ANYTHING often enough, it gets easier.
Finding Your Uniqueness – The Marketing Edge
Target your market and market your target is a good slogan to live by. In order to hit the mark, you have to be able to see the target and you have to have a good tool for shooting the information out there.
Your marketing edge is anything that sets you apart from others in your profession. What can you offer that the “others” cannot? Focus on that edge (benefit) in your marketing efforts to let customers know why they should deal with YOU.
Do you provide better:
• Competitive Voids
After you identify your marketing edge, you need to decide how you will communicate this information.
Complete the following Marketing Edge Discovery Form that follows.
MARKETING EDGE DISCOVERY FORM
CATEGORY YOUR EDGE – Fill in blanks
In what way(s) is your product
demonstrably better than others?
Is it cutting edge, in public awareness,
for a specific result? __________________________
Can you provide a better value? Is
your service cheaper/higher? __________________________
Will your service/product produce
verifiable results? How do these
results surpass any others? __________________________
Do you provide extra service? Do
others charge for something you provide
free? (i.e., aromatherapy, etc.) __________________________
Are you available at unusual times (i.e.,
Sundays, evenings, outcalls? __________________________
Do you offer a unique product line or
a specific service? __________________________
Is it easier for clients to get to you or
contact you? (i.e., on call 12 hours/day
or open 6 days a week? __________________________
Is your location close to your targeted
clients? Are you available at more
than one location? __________________________
Do you offer rewards to your clients
such as buy 5 massages, get 1 free? __________________________
MARKETING EDGE DISCOVERY FORM Page Two
Do you have a certification that enhances
your RMT license or have you received
an award or special recognition for
anything else that is important to your
Can you get there faster? Get faster
results? Save time? __________________________
Is your location easy to access, out of
the traffic tie-ups & safe? __________________________
What is not being done that would benefit
your client. Do you do an age or gender
that is not otherwise available? Do you do
infants, geriatric, Alzheimer’s, etc. __________________________
Are you on time all the time? Will you
guarantee it? __________________________
What can you do that others can’t? What
do you know that others don’t? __________________________
Now that you have identified what benefits you offer that make you stand out in a crowd, decide how you will communicate this information. You marketing edge is very important since they are BENEFITS for your clients.
Target Market – The perfect client
When asked why he robbed banks, it’s claimed that Willie Sutton said, “Because that’s where the money is.” To get customers for your business you have to figure out who would want or need what you have to offer, then go where they are and let them know you are available.
The best marketing methods are not necessarily the most expensive and they can and will change as your target client base evolves. Directing your marketing efforts to a target client does not limit your market it brings it into focus. You may find that you have more than one target market, sometimes vastly different from each other. This can be a plus, providing additional protection from erratic business cycles and doubling your potential market.
To start the process of target market selection you need to look at what you do best and how it fits within:
• Demographics: statistics of age, gender, income level, occupation, education level and geographic location.
• Psychographics: lifestyle factors such as social factors, cultural involvement, philosophical beliefs and special interest activities.
Printed Marketing Materials – The Visual Image
New clients like to have referrals or printed information that communicates the essence of your business. This recognition is vital to the perception of trust, quality, repeat business and more referrals. In creating a visual image, you must consider the characteristics of your business and your target market in choosing the most effective way of communicating to those you want to reach.
• Color & Design Choices
Marketing uses color and design to influence buying patterns.
• All paper products (i.e., flyers, newsletters, brochures, mailing labels, gift certificates, etc.)
Paper products can be prestigious without being expensive. Create all your marketing tools to enhance your business image by giving a solid description of the benefits of your service. The harmony created carries a powerful punch.
Advertising no longer means putting a weekly ad in the newspaper. Advertising is a form of communication and covers a large group of ways and methods.
Your target market will influence the advertising form you choose since each medium may have a different audience. To be successful with this type of marketing, you have to repeat, repeat, repeat and track each method used to see which ones are most effective in dollars returned.
• Newspapers – have short shelf life. Most people don’t read the paper from cover to cover so make sure your ad is placed in a section that your market will read.
• Magazines – can be cost-effective, especially in a small specialty magazine that reaches your target client. Then your return on the cost of your ad can be excellent.
• Radio & Television – They can provide information about the characteristics of their viewers and listeners, so you can decide if they are part of your target market before dollars are spent.
• Yellow Pages – One of the first places people look and your yellow page listing allows you to be found on the web.
• Direct Mail – Direct Mail is a good way to keep in touch with your customers. A newsletter, coupons, new product or modality information, and limited offers keep your business in front of your clients.
• Incentives – Everyone likes to save money or get something “free”. Incentives can increase your business volume by bringing in new clients, bring back clients who have not recently been in, direct attention to a new product or service or clear out old merchandise.
• Health Fairs & Sports Runs – Your visible presents counts and gives the opportunity to demonstrate as well as distribute your information.
Newsletters are great for educating your clients about the services you offer and keeping your name in their mind. The newsletter offers the opportunity for questions and answers, testimonials, specials, general information and bio information about you. They should be published at least monthly and can be only one page or however long you want them to be. But it seems to work best keeping them shorter and more frequent. Newsletters can be mailed or handed out and make a great stuffer for your Gift Certificate Bags.
• Hardcopy – allows a fuller description of information, modalities, prices, etc. It puts something in the client’s hand and can become a great referral tool since the client will often “take one” for a friend. . A great place for coupons. Once printed, it represents you until the next issue.
• E-mail – is quick an easy to access. Can be very short and easily changed and sent. A great place for coupons. Cost is usually your time. Be sure to get permission before using e-mail.
• Co-op Newsletters – allows you to be seen with other respected health professionals and gives access to their client base. A great place for coupons. With each business writing their own copy, it requires a strong publisher.
Promotions are great for holidays, birthdays, or any other special occasion. They are effective offered to your associate partners, as incentives to your client or as a reward for something. Promotions need to have a time limit and a set dollar amount.
• Associations – Health professionals you have an established referral relationship with or other business that compliment yours.
• Incentives – What appeals to the self-interest of your client and encourages their business and referrals.
• Holidays – The perfect opportunity to offer something “special” to your clients so they can offer something “special” to their family and friends.
Word of Mouth Marketing
One of the greatest compliments in the world is to get a good client referral that results in new clients. However, word of mouth can be two-edged. Never underestimate the effect of word of mouth advertising, especially if the service was not satisfactory. You need to have in place ways and means for diluting any misses in-communications that may occur.
• Rewards & Encouragement – Thanking your client for their referral and a reward to encourage them to do more.
• Dealing with any misses in the communication process.
Volunteering is a great way to meet your fellow health professionals, do something for a good cause, have fun, and get your printed information out there. This is something you usually don’t get paid for so your expensive cost is your time. Make sure it is worth doing then do it well.
• Strategy Volunteering – Ways to make different types of volunteering work together.
Affiliations and Partnerships
Consider every avenue. Establishing professional relationships give a strong foundation for your business.
• Professional Relationships - offer camaraderie and support as well as expanding your marketing opportunities.
• Partnerships – offer the chance to do things together you might find difficult financial or otherwise when it is shared.
• Networking – Networking with other health professionals and other community businesses expand your opportunities for new contacts and new friends.
• Corporations – offers opportunities for chair massage, speaking engagements, newsletter advertising, just to mention a few.
Gift Certificates are one of the most familiar and most often used forms for referrals and getting new clients. It solves the last minute shopping dilemma and is a gift that fits everyone.
• Donations – Everyone loves a massage gift certificate and it’s value is usually tripled in silent auctions.
• Sales –Gift certificate sales requires a good tracking method as well as insights about how money is accounted for and the importance of scheduling gift certificates.
• Pulling it all together
Marketing synergy is developed when you have a group of items that are stronger together than alone. That is what makes marketing so interesting.
It is as simple as talking to your neighbor or better still, demonstrating your skill when their shoulder or neck hurts. You have to get out there and tell (or show) people who you are, what you do, and why it matters to them.
Your attitude is key to marketing. You can have the best technique, the best location, the best everything and still fail at marketing UNLESS you are willing to change your view of marketing. Marketing is only communication and you are a great communicator.
Your marketing attitude is a synergistic blend of your business, philosophy, need to provide service, etc. In other words, it is how you “feel” about all the aspects of your business and how comfortable you are in communicating them to others. Your excitement generates excitement. Your caring invites involvement. Your technical knowledge encourages respect and trust. Your attention to details invites return visits. Marketing is an attitude.
YOU CAN DO IT!
KIRLIAN ENERGY EMISSION ANALYSIS™
Esogetic Information by Mandel Institute, Copyright 2008
Kirlian photograph involves using a high frequency apparatus to photograph the energy or light emission coming from a person’s body. During a treatment session, Kirlian photographs are taken before and after each treatment, as needed. Through analyzing these Energy Emissions, the pictures give precise information about the “causal chain of events” which has led to the patient’s energetic imbalance. Most exciting, the photos often show the developing or pre-symptomatic stages of an energy imbalance. Thus, they can point the way to preventative therapy. Photos taken after treatment also show, in black and white, just how effective the treatment has been in restoring the energetic balance in support of the healing process.
Peter Mandel, a well-known German scientist and naturopath, developed this pro0found system of energetic evaluation based on his evaluation and cataloguing of over a million Kirlian photographs of his own clients over 30 years of research. Painstakingly, he studied these photos in relation to each patient’s history, symptoms, and laboratory reports, as well as their responses to his treatments. His first innovation was to photograph all 10 fingers and toes on one piece of paper. This allowed him to create a holistic picture of a person’s entire energy system. Slowly, he developed a precise Energy Emission Analysis mapping or topography of each finger and toe as it related to energy flow in specific sectors of the body. To build this topography, he took into account the location of the Chinese acupuncture meridians which each terminate in the fingers and toes, as well as the energy network mappings found in other systems such as Dr. Reinhard Voll’s electro-acupuncture. And always, he modified the topography according to his empirical findings in the clinic.
Check up on your reputation. Is it what you want it to be? Is it what you think it is? Your reputation is your business. It is vital in your success.
1. Review and revise your business image
•Does the real world match your dream?
•Does your business image match you?
•Gaining professional polish.
2. Reevaluate your business flow
•Do you spend more time doing other things than massage?
•Does your money meet your needs?
•The balancing act of business, life, and self.
3. Investigate the next level of training to enhance your expertise
•What’s next in strengthening your business direction?
•Matching certification requirements with your business direction.
4. Identify and set your boundaries and say no appropriately
•Are you having difficulty in any area of your business?
•What can you do to change the difficulty into peaceful direction?
•Know if the client is always right?
5. Add on to your range of services
•Simple add-ons to increase value and perceptions.
•Talk about your services effectively and appropriately.
•Determining what is outside the scope of your business.
6. Pricing your services
•Setting the right pricing for your abilities.
•Advertising your prices.
•Know when to increase your prices – timing is important.
7. Daily do file updates
•Scheduling time for client and business files
•Using downtime effectively.
8. Keep up-to-date of new tools, lubricants, etc.
•Knowing what’s out there and how it might assist your goals.
•Allotting time for growth.
9. Using aromatherapy for profit
•Selecting scents to enhance your client’s relaxation.
•Using a certified aromatherapist.
10. Rotate music selections
•Finding a blend of music that accompanies your modality
•Client specific music
11. Learn to client speak
•Find out why clients choose you.
•Have a systematic verbal approach.
•Visual interpretation as well as written intake forms.
•Dealing with specific requests.
•Taking the money and saying goodbye.
Your reputation represents you to the world. Keep it looking great!
SEVEN STEPS TO MARKETING SYNERGY
Creating marketing synergy means that you have a marketing plan where each element of your plan complements another. The total effect achieved is greater than the sum of the individual effects. Synergy creates greater power and energizes your marketing efforts.
1. Set realistic goals and objectives. You will want specific goals (i.e., get three new clients in the next month) and your object is how to achieve that goal. You have to get out there and tell people who you are, what you do, and what it matters to them. You have to target who would want or need what you have to offer, then make sure you go where they are. It is easier to target a specific “someone” rather than “anyone”. So focus your energy and your time to determine how best to reach them.
2. Establish a budget. What funds are available? A marketing budget can be very small if you are going to hand out flyers or volunteer your services. The more other people have to interact with you on your selected marketing tools, the higher the cost. Often, it is worth the expenditure to pay to have your coupons printed, etc., when your time can be better spent doing massage.
3. Evaluate marketing tools. When evaluating marketing tools, remember your goals and consider how each tool moves you closer to your goals. Some tools: advertising, brochures, bulletin boards, business cards, cold calling, coupons, direct mail, directories, donations, electronic marketing, faxes, gift certificates, mailing lists, networking, newsletters, notes, open house, publicity, public speaking, referrals, retaining customers, samples, seminars, signs, sponsorship, strategic alliances, volunteering, warm calling, writing, yellow page ads.
4. Prepare your strategy. Nothing is ever discarded. Always build on what you have already done. Strategy is like massage. You start at one place and move in a timely manner to a conclusion then you do it over and over again. If you “sampled” your service, use your mailing list from the event to send follow up notes and enclose a $5 off coupon.
5. Implement your marketing plan. Get whatever you planned out there. The greatest therapist is not a success if they are never utilized.
6. Monitor responses. Keep track of each marketing effort and see which one worked best for you. Did any effort fail? Get rid of them for now, but they may be worthy later in your career.
7. Evaluate the success of your marketing effort. All may produce response, but how are they ranked? What produced the best results? Then do it again and again
8. Refine, revise and repeat. This is an ongoing process. It never stops.
THE A – Z GUIDE TO HEALTHY WAYS TO REFUEL YOUR LIFE
TO HEALTHY WAYS TO REFUEL YOUR LIFE
The A – Z Guide to Healthy Ways to Refuel Your Life written by M. Johanna Powell, NCTMB, LMT, CCP, MTI
By Touch Design
Houston, Texas 77043
Copyright 2006 by M. Johanna Powell
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to, photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author and publisher.
Chronic pain and/or stress never have just one starting place; they are a combination of inward and outside pressures that have become so much a part of our daily life that we can no longer remember when they first began. To consciously address any problem, it must be identified as a problem and a conscious decision must be made to resolve or improve it. Problems, pain and stress cannot be changed unless it is a conscious choice and the specific problem has a name.
Since 1990, I have been a practicing massage therapist, teacher and author specializing in integrated therapeutic massage and maintaining wellness, both for myself and for my clients. In the course of my practice, the same questions have been asked repeatedly because many of the same problems effect everyone. While every question is unique and personal to the person(s) who asked, there is often a universal wisdom associated with each answer.
The following information is a generalization of answers given to specific, serious questions that my clients have asked over the years. Their questions directly related to their personal needs and requirements to help identify and resolve issues that effect their pain and stress. Real people (including myself) have tested these answers over and over again and these answers have proven themselves to be useful and of measurable benefit.
Please remember that you are a unique work of art. Your body has been designed to do what you program it to do so you can both program and reprogram. Nothing has to remain the same - you are the programmer.
This book is intended as a reference only and is not a medical manual. The information given here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, I urge you to seek competent medical help.
Best wishes for a long and flexible life.
M. Johanna Powell, NCTMB, LMT, CCP, MTI
Send questions or comments to:
M. Johanna Powell
13313 SW FRWY, Suite 185
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Atmosphere is very important to relaxation. Clutter in our environment allows no resting spot for the eyes or mind. Take the time to create a quiet space where you can unwind. When your atmosphere is successful, just walking in the door is like getting a hug.
Transform your atmosphere:
•Gather and light 12 – 20 candles on a large tray.
•Add touches of calming pink to your personal space since pink releases the most serotonin.
•Put new slip covers on everything.
•Put a small fountain by your favorite chair or bed
•The principles of Feng Shui, the Chinese art of design & harmony uses 5 elements – a plant, white walls, water, bright lighting, and a decorative crystal.
Do you EVER have a two-hour period that absolutely nothing requires your attention? If not, consider cutting down on things that claim your attention and time. “Down time” doesn’t have to be something that requires a lot of time or elaboration to benefit your tired self.
•Watch a cute movie with a loved one.
•Hide in the bedroom with a good book and a snuggly blanket.
•Put the eye protector on, lie down, and listen to soft music or the sound of the surf.
•Nap instead of doing something!
Integrating aromotherapy into your daily routine is a quick relaxant. The powerful connection formed by scent offers many ways for you to benefit using Essential Oils. Try putting 3-5 drops of your favorite Essential Oil on a cotton pad & keep it in a plastic bag for taking deep breaths whenever you need a rest or a pick-me-up. Candles, body and air sprays are also great ways to surround yourself with scent. A custom blend, done especially for you, is a wonderful and revealing way to get to know yourself better. Most Aromotherapist will do a custom blend and prices vary depending on oils used. A set of Essential Oils to have on hand is Lavender (calming, sooths burns); Grapefruit (pick-me-up, migraines); Bergamot Orange (antidepressant, stress). DO NOT USE DIRECTLY FROM THE BOTTLE. Always add 2-5 drops of Essential Oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil, which may be grapeseed oil, sweet almond, or olive oil. Rub on the soles of feet to reach all of the body systems.
Being aware you have an attitude is the first step! Take the time to provide yourself with “what is real and not just what I think” knowledge and adjust your thinking. It will cut your worrying in half and improve your outlook tremendously.
Fighting aging is one of the most worthwhile fights ever. Do not give up. It is never too late to improve. Walking and swimming pay very high dividends.
Healing, fragrant, smoothing – all describe a long, leisurely bath. To make the bath extra special, fix a tray with a pot of tea or glass of wine, bowl of strawberries, good book, and a neck pillow. Take a quick shower first to cleanse the skin then fill the tub with very warm water, stretch out, relax and rest for at least 20 minutes. For sore, tired muscles add ½ cup Epson salts or sea salt to bath before getting in. By adding Essential Oil to the bath, you get a wonderful aroma and therapeutic values of the oils you have chosen. Run bath, add up to 8 drops of the selected Essential Oil and swish water around. Keep door closed when using Essential Oils to keep aroma in the room. Nice Oils to use are Lavender, Lemon, Grapefruit, Lime, Ylang-ylang, or Jasmine.
Birkenstock shoes are the next best to barefoot. They are designed to allow the foot to expand and breathe … what a concept! Of course there are other wonderful shoes out there, but Birkenstock heads my list!
Have your blood pressure checked often. High blood pressure can set the stage for a major health threat. The “average” healthy blood pressure is 120/75. Know what “normal” is for you and check yours frequently. It can help keep you healthy.
Listen! Listen! Listen! Your body doesn’t lie; however there may be some difficulty in communication. Natural laws govern your body - breathing, sleeping, eating, water, etc. – in other words balance. Start with awareness of your body and see if you have difficulty fulfilling any of the natural laws. Change what you can…example:
•Breathe deeper consciously
•Eat nothing after 8:30 p.m.
•Get to bed before 12 midnight
•Drink at least 5 – 8 glasses of water a day
•Exercise at least 2 - 3 times a week
Once balance becomes better, check with a Nutritionist for your best balance of vitamins, minerals and food. Consult your Massage Therapist about muscle aches & pains and perhaps a Chiropractor for body structure. You will be surprised how much better your life becomes.
Breath is one of the things we can control. You choose to breathe deeply or shallowly. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach and take a deep breath, hold it for the count of three, then release….which hand moved first? If your stomach hand moved first, you took in seven (yes seven) times the amount of oxygen as if your chest hand moved first. Exercise your breathing muscles just as you do the rest of your muscles. Become a connoisseur of breathing! You will be amazed how you feel and how much nicer you can be to everyone. It is well worth the effort, and it’s not hard to do! Besides, it is very good to be in control of something!
Chiropractic basically operates on the theory that subluxations or misalignments of the vertebrae of the spine can produce an array of symptoms, which may be alleviated by a physical “adjustment” which puts the bony structures back into their proper place. If you have a good chiropractor, lucky you. If you have never been to one, get recommendations from friends and family. Ask the chiropractor exactly what he recommends, how he expects to fix the problem, and how long he expects it to take. Many chiropractors have educational classes to keep you updated on their latest methods. I have found it a benefit to have an alignment at least twice a year.
Light and color have the power to heal and soothe as well as add beauty to your personal space. What color do you always notice? What color do you wear for “special” occasions? If a color gives you confidence, lifts your heart, makes you glow…doesn’t it make sense to use it frequently? If painting a wall is out of the question, try using scarves, pins, or jewelry in your special colors to perk up your wardrobe and your heart. If you don’t want anyone to know, try wearing colored underwear. Try pillows, throws, accessories in different colors to jazz up your space. Invest in some inexpensive posters of prints to give you a healthy dose of color. For a very small investment, you make your heart happy.
Make a commitment to yourself for a set period of time; perhaps a month. Set realistic goals to accomplish and set some milestones i.e., get to sleep earlier, cut sugar and flour products, etc. Even if you do just ONE thing, it helps your overall health. At the end of your time, see the results then set your next commitment. Small changes can work miracles when they are applied to your unique needs and chemistry. It can only help YOU.
Get out of it! Decide to do something you have never done before (preferably with an expert along). Select a “special” date like a 45th birthday to plan to skydive or perhaps something a bit more sedate (i.e., going to the downtown library or trying out a new ethnic restaurant). It can be scary, so ask a best friend to go with you, but set a date and do it!
If your elimination is uncomfortable and the stools small and hard, you may want to increase the fiber (wheat bran, etc.) and talk to your doctor. If constipation is due to a sudden change, stress, etc., you may want to try the following: Get a bottle of Castor Oil from the pharmacy. DO NOT DRINK! After a hot shower, pour a quarter size bit of Castor Oil into your hand and, starting on the right side, close to the groin, massage up toward your chest, across and under the breast area and down on the left side. This follows the colon and the Castor Oil and the massage gently encourage elimination.
Dancing is a wonderful way to exercise. If you are a bit out of practice, there are many clubs waiting to teach you the latest steps and refresh you on the ones you may have forgotten. You don’t need a partner. Most classes mix it up to include everyone. Dancing is also a great way to meet new people and remember how to have fun.
Train others to do some of the things you usually do. They may not do it JUST the way you would, but it will get done and lessen the stress for you. And it might surprise you how effective a teacher you are! You can take pride in how well you have communicated a complicated task and how wise you were in your choice of helpers. Delegate is a very good word!
Depression is so easy to find and so hard to get rid of. Some possible causes of depression:
•Low thyroid function – sluggish metabolism
•Stress – physical, emotional, chemical
•Nutritional deficiencies – poor diet
•Too little exercise
Check with your doctor if you haven’t been feeling well for several weeks. Depression is curable. So don’t waste time feeling guilty.
Distance yourself from anything that creates stress. If at work, close your office door for 30 minutes. If in the car, turn to a station you don’t usually listen to. If at home, take a bath while sipping a glass of good wine. All it usually requires is distance to bring perspective and tolerance. A reminder…you do have to work sometime.
Whatever you have been procrastinating about. Whatever you used to dream about.
Whatever you “always wanted to do”.
Just do it!
Dreaming doesn’t just happen during sleep. Dreams propel us through life. Our unfulfilled dreams may be one of the reasons we carry subconscious stress. This can happen when our dreams are not fulfilled and our dreams lay forgotten by everyone except the subconscious. Give your dreams the courtesy of awareness. Who were you when those dreams were born? How many have you fulfilled? When was the last evaluation of your dreams? Are they current to your situation?
Take some time and find out. You may be surprised what dreams you have completed and discover a whole range of new ones to set in motion. This is not a childish thing to do. Focusing on your dreams will cause you to change you perceptions and personal perceptions orchestrate many changes that can enhance your life right now.
Your exercising should be as unique as you are. It is important to recognize what your three-part self needs. Some times it needs physical exercise. Some times it needs to stretch the soul. Often, it needs to lift the spirit. There are so many excellent options for exercise that it can be over-whelming and can cancel the whole idea of exercise. The most important aspect of exercise is to be aware of your whole self. Take a few minutes to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and “see” yourself. Do you feel tired? Any particular spot that hurts? Head-ache? Hungry? Your body wants to communicate – you just have to listen. After “seeing” yourself, you are better prepared to decide what “exercise” is required.
If physical exercise is needed, swimming and walking remain some of the best ways to exercise and are always a good start. If a soul stretch is needed, meditation or writing feelings and concerns in a journal can be of help. If spirit lifting is needed, count your blessings, talk to a good friend or spend some time helping others.
It is wise to take very good care of your physical elimination system and it is also important to “eliminate” anything that gets “stuck” in the emotional and spiritual systems such as anger, pain or stress. Identify what needs to be eliminated and then decide on the best (not necessarily the quickest) way to get rid of it. Often identification of a problem will provide the solution.
A quick pick-me-up when you need a fast and healthy boost.
½ cup almond butter (from health food store)
½ cup almond slivers
½ cup soy nuts
½ cup flake coconut
2 tablespoons local honey
½ cup dried fruit such as cranberries are optional.
Mix all ingredients together then roll into small balls. Wrap each ball in a small square piece of waxed paper and twist the ends to close. Put several in small snack bags and freeze. When ready to dash somewhere, simply grab a snack bag. When you need it, it will be thawed and delicious. Enjoy!
To maintain overall well being, it is important to educate yourself about your body’s needs. How much water do you really need? What are the best foods to fuel your body and clean the elimination track? How can you help the health of your internal organs? What will promote eye health? There is no set answer. Each person is unique and must research the answers best suited to their needs. This education is of vital importance to you!
Ethics is in simple terms, appropriate conduct or behaving honorably. What are your ethics toward yourself? Does anything need to change? Do it immediately. You deserve the best.
Find the right shoe for the activity you are doing. Most people fit shoes by leaving only enough space for a thumb to fit between the foot and the tip of the shoe. This may have worked for your mom as you were growing up, but times and shoes have changed.
Athletic shoes’ especially are a whole different breed. If possible, get input from a footwear specialist the first few times you invest in the perfect pair. Any footwear should fit snugly in the heel. It is especially important in athletic shoes to make sure there is enough room to place two thumb widths between your longest toe (not necessarily the big toe) and the end of the shoe. This may not feel as comfortable (or look quite as good) at first, but the benefits of no blisters, bunions, corns or calluses are worth it. And remember to alternate shoes to keep activity patterns to a minimum.
The dry air, coupled with artificial pressure and tiny, cramped seats, puts tremendous stress on the body, which loses a significant amount of water during a long flight. The body distributes the water consumed to the most urgently needed areas, which are not the skin, or eyes. So you get off the plane with puffiness and dark eye circles. Take along a good eye cream, drink more than normal fluids the week prior to flying and relax as much as possible on the flight and you will be much happier with how you look and feel upon arrival.
Our body cannot function correctly without the proper foods. As with life, food needs to be balanced to ensure that the body has adequate resources for all its processes. I recommend the book “Eat Right 4 Your Type” by Dr. Peter J. DeAdamo and “Dr. Abravanel’s Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan” by Elliot D. Abravanel, M.D. and Elizabeth A. King as good starting places for sensible and personalized information.
Nothing is better for helping you relax that talking to a good friend. The one person in the world who accepts you for who and what you are and who forgives and forgets all the totally insane stuff you sometimes do. I try to keep two or three of these handy at all time.
The versatility of scents is amazing. From sensual to medical, “aromotherapy” is adding grace to thousands of applications. Trust your nose. Essential oils have simultaneous physical and psychological affects, and response to them will occur physically, emotionally, and mentally as well as spiritually. If you like one, it will probably like you. If you can’t stand one, your body probably will not accept it. It is very helpful to have a trained Aromotherapist help you the first few times.
The two best-loved words in the world are “Free” and “Chocolate”. Put them together for a BIG winner!
A traditional garden requires a lot of time and effort however gardens can be simplified so they can be enjoyed without all the effort. Buy plants that are already started rather than seeds. Choose plants that are less demanding (ask advise of a good gardening shop). Use hay, peat moss or wood chips to cut down on watering time and weeding. Stagger the blooming times so your enjoyment lasts longer. Choose flowers that bloom a long time like impatiens and wax begonias. Stress can be channeled away while you are digging and planting. The rewards are well worth the effort. Gardens are great for the soul. JUST A REMINDER: Don’t overdo! Set realistic goals over several days or weekends. Be sure to drink a bit more water than you normally do so that soreness will be lessened. Do your general stretching before you start. You want to enjoy your beautiful garden and not suffer from overdoing.
Life and good health works best if we shift into SLOW GEAR every now and then. It is easy to get caught up in the “rush through everything” syndrome. Slowing down long enough to experience the joys of simple things can be one of the best gifts you give yourself. It is not easy. But if you try it (even if only for an hour), you will agree that slow gear is a nice and welcome change. Make it a weekly experience at least and reap the benefits of a slow gear time!
Every industry has fads and the “new” thing to try. It can be difficult to separate the flash-in-the-pan from the real deal treatment to best benefit your requirements. Your massage/bodywork therapist can help you create manageable and measurable wellness goals. Write down questions that you want to ask about new treatments. Just being “new” does not make them the best for you. How does it fit in with your overall wellness goals? Does it work well with the medication you currently take? Can it be incorporated with what you currently do? Does it fit with your therapist’s credentials? Ask your therapist and, if they don’t already know, they will find answers for you.
GUIDELINES for chair massage
A chair massage can be just the ticket for those tight shoulders and neck since a session will focus on your back, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Chair massage is designed to stimulate your circulation and energize your body; it will help generate an overall feeling of well being but will not solve problems that require overall bodywork. The therapist will inquire throughout the session regarding your comfort with the pressure however don’t wait for them if the pressure is in any way uncomfortable. It can hurt and feel good at the same time! Chair sessions are usually offered for 5 – 20 minutes with the cost approximately $1.00/minute. The convenience of the chair massage is no undressing, no oil or lotions and usually a small waiting period and availability at many locations. It also feels wonderful!
Happiness is a one-person act. Friends and loved ones can support, empathize, and love you but they cannot give you happiness. Happiness springs from deep inside you and sometimes it can be accessed and acknowledged by a change in terminology. Instead of “happiness” try using words like “contented” or “peaceful”. Changing your level of satisfaction is up to you and only you can change it.
Good health is one of the toughest challenges we face today. Changing behaviors and taking responsibility for our own personal wellbeing is extremely difficult especially in today’s world. Preparing for any change in our health routine requires several specific steps.
(1)Believe that change is possible.
(2)Determine that change is going to happen.
(3)Develop perception of the discrepancy between current behavior and future health goals.
(4)Get information concerning general wellness and the techniques that best support your health goals.
(5)Create partnerships with health professionals and/or others who share your goals.
Without your active participation, your health is at the whim of any virus, allergy, pain, etc. that comes along. By being aware of where you currently are, where you want to be and moving confidently toward your chosen goal, you will find that better health is yours.
The label “herbal” is everywhere from shampoo to medicine. Herbs have a remarkable history of curative effects, when properly used. The body wants to be well and herbs certainly can have a place. Herbs that are useful for certain ailments usually contain vitamins and minerals that are helpful in that particular ailment or disease. However, as with any thing, remember your body is unique and what works for one may not work ,or may work adversely, for another. A good rule is to not mix herbs with traditional medicine without consulting your doctor or a trained herbalist. An excellent book is “Today’s Herbal Health – The Essential Reference Guide to Understanding Herbs used for Medicinal Purposes” by Louise Tenney, M. H.
Homeopathy is based on the observations (Hippocrates) that large amounts of certain natural substances can produce symptoms in healthy people resembling those caused by disease, while smaller doses of these same substances can relieve those symptoms. Samuel Hahnemann transformed these observations into “homeopathy” in the 1790’s. Homeopathy is officially sanctioned virtually everywhere in the world and the USA has many homeopathic practitioners. If you are considering trying homeopathy, a good rule to follow is to consult a reputable practitioner who is also a M.D. and get a second opinion for good measure. As with any new thing, have all the facts you can get.
This is the valve separating the ileum (the final section of the small intestine) from the large intestine. This valve can become “stuck” and result in nausea and soreness on the right side of the lower abdomen. You may be able to relieve the discomfort by laying flat on the floor, placing your hands over the valve which is on the right side of the body, (right of the belly button), and pressing down gently while you slowly lift the right leg. If you don’t feel instant relief and any discomfort continues, please consult with your doctor.
The immune system coordinates our mental processes and bodily functions. Nutrition plays a major role in the systems health and function as it controls how effectively we fight off infection and other illness. It fights off disease-carrying germs and bacteria that enter the body using leukocytes (white blood cells). This system is made up of the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system and the large intestine and keeping it healthy is of prime importance. An optimally functioning immune system is one of the most important defenses against the severity or duration of infections.
This is the most common sleep disorder and can be accompanied by depression, chronic physical pain, stress, or medication use. Long-term insomnia should be treated with the help of a physician and might require medication and stress reduction techniques or psychological counseling. Caffeine, tobacco, and other stimulants should be avoided. Aromotherapy, massage and gentle bodywork are often beneficial.
Intuition is considered a way of perceiving and receiving information that is beyond the normal five senses. Intuition is a part of us and gives us information all the time. It just happens. As it relates to your body, pay attention. It needs to be respectfully verified, just as you would verify any other information, however it often gives you a head start on illness, stress, pain and other aspects of our body, mind and spirit.
Investigate before using a service. Word of mouth is still the most often used and trusted way to investigate a service, however, opinions often differ on what is acceptable or what is required. When choosing a personal service, get several recommendations. Then call and speak with the individual who will perform the service or stop in and see their facilities. If they are unable to speak with you, ask them to call you back at their convenience. You should hear promptly.
Based on the belief that a trained observer can diagnose and predict disease by examining the iris of the eye and is often used as part of alternative medicine. There is much controversy regarding the effectiveness of iridology.
If you have ever been walking along and noticed that several things are “jiggling” as you walk, you may want to put a plan in place. EVERYONE “jiggles” at some point and there are many proven methods of “de-jiggling”. First, where do you “jiggle”? My first step was a good personal trainer to get a specific, sound program to follow. My second was to remind myself that it was to be a consistent part of my life until the “jiggles” stopped. Nutrition, plenty of water, walking and other exercises are all part of any sound plan for overall good health. It is never too late to leave the “jiggles” to Jell-O!
Take whole fruits and vegetables for juice that delivers maximum nutrition in a very short time. Many health stores now carry a variety of juices with no added sugars or additives. The best is when you make it yourself. With all the wonderful juicers available, even the most harried person can quickly provide a healthy and nutritious breakfast, pick-me-up or mid-afternoon snack. Make extra and freeze for a wonderful evening treat. Some favorite blends are beet, celery and orange or carrot, apple and pineapple. A wonderful smoothie is made by blending 1cup ice, handful of strawberries, handful of almonds, ½ cup apple juice and ½ frozen banana. Treat city!!! And good for you.
Every one has a job. For some it is called retirement, for others, it is children, house-work, self-employment, or corporate. Jobs always create their own kind of stress and stress is always unique to the individual. Identifying your stress and understanding how you react to it are key factors in a long-term enjoyment of your job. To help prevent job burnout, try the following: (1) Remember it is ONLY a job. You may really enjoy your work but all work and no play makes for a very tired and burnt out person. (2) Remember you are ONLY human and there are REALLY only 24 hours in one day. (3) Remember the important people in your life. It is easy to feel that you should be “doing” something when your family would just enjoy your total attention for 20 minutes. It is also important to realize that we can never reclaim a day that is past. Not in our family’s life, not in ours. (4) Remember to do the best job you possibly can and still take care of yourself. When many things center on you it is easy to put everyone’s needs before your own and promise yourself that tomorrow I will do something for me. Your health and well being assumes critical importance the more high stress your job becomes and some type of reconciliation must be made and factored into your daily schedule. (5) Make your personal style fit your needs. If you are a slow starter, if you hit the floor running, whatever your personal style, appreciate it and make it work for you. (6) Take breaks and cultivate a life outside of your job. At least once a day, take six deep breaths and think about something you are looking forward to.
Keep up the good work. Whatever changes you have made, no matter how small, will make a difference. Do not get discouraged when the results are slow in coming. Remember your original reason for the change and be grateful that you were wise enough to make the change when you did. Every day remind yourself that you are going to “keep up the good work” and you will see results!
Kidney stones are not really stones per se, but crystals of a mineral such as calcium, potassium or even hardened cholesterol. These are formed in the fluid in the kidneys when the urine is too concentrated. Unable to pass through the kidney’s filtration system, they are VERY painful. Possible signs include (BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO) pain in the lower back below the rib cage, changes in color and consistency of urine, a persistent urge to urinate, and pain during urination. If you have any of these symptoms, ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR. Good steps toward prevention are (1) drink plenty of fluids and watch your diet by avoiding meats that are smoked or cured, canned soups & fast foods which have large amounts of sodium.
KIT FOR THE MIND
Most families have a first aid kit somewhere in their house that includes all the necessities for a sudden health accident. Do you have handy a first aid kit for your mind? It is very helpful to have planned a specific and unique kit for when your mind needs a pick-me-up. Mine includes a CD of Florida surf, a book of devotions from the Psalms, a spritzer bottle of essential oils and water to gently mist the air and my face then all I have to add is sunshine. Depression or illness can jump on anyone and if these times are planned for in advance, it generally doesn’t last very long. However, if depression should continue over several weeks, please check with your doctor. Medication, illness, stress all play a part in creating a need for your mind to rest so the body can grow healthy again. Be prepared and don’t let depression get a start.
KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
Knowledge is a wonderful aid to your comfort level. Knowing what to expect and what will be expected of you during any experience can be of great comfort especially if it is your “first” anything. If you’re undergoing a new procedure, read about it or ask questions about it until you are comfortable that you understand generally, what is to happen. If it is a new service or product, ask how it is performed and what you can expect the benefits to be. Ask about comfort measurers such as extra blankets for warmth. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to make requests. The only dumb questions are the ones not asked. Your provider will happily answer your questions to your full satisfaction or you should find a new provider. Remember that you are in charge of your body. You may feel vulnerable, but you are in control and can stop most procedures or services if you feel it is necessary. And remember, take deep breaths and try to relax!
Laugh often. Sometimes finding something to laugh about is very hard to do. However, it is a proven fact that laughing is a great tension breaker and it enhances the immune system. So if you feel a illness coming on, get out the books or movies that make you laugh, get a snuggle blanket, lots of water and your doctor’s telephone number and relax and laugh a bit. Maybe your body just needed a good laugh!
Letting go is very hard and most of us have had to very consciously let go of something. Let go of judging. Let go of children. Let go of youth. Let go of size 4. Yes, letting go is very hard but letting go can be such a relief. Letting go gives you more room to store things that are important such as grandchildren, happy memories, and new friends. Letting go gets easier after the first two or three times.
Life is a journey and continual maintenance. More than ever, people are realizing the value of a balanced, healthy lifestyle so that the quality of life matches the quantity. No matter where you are in your health program you can work toward realistic goals. You might try a personal trainer for a month. You might try a 30-minute exercise membership for 3 months. You might try joining a weight program or perhaps just moderation at home. It is never too late to bring balance into your life. Even if in only small ways, it is well worth the effort.
Liquid is what keeps you moving easily. It oils the joints and muscles and well as keeping all the internal organs at their best. Monitor your liquid intake. To often, we underestimate the amount of liquid put into the body during a 24-hour period. Water is especially important if you are walking or exercising over a long time period. During the summer, it is easier to “feel” thirsty. In the winter, fluid intake often drops to almost nothing. If there is a breeze, the cool air will dry sweat quickly and you may not notice how much fluid you are losing. It is a good rule of thumb to make sure you drink every 20-30 minutes to keep body temperature regulated and to stay hydrated. Tea, coffee and beer never substitute for water.
Learn to use things and to love people, instead of the other way around.
The lymphatic system is the body’s vacuum cleaner and disposal unit as part of the immune system. Lymph fluid drains many of the body tissues, increasing the amount of fluid returned to the heart. Lymph nodes (or special filters) are throughout the body, with concentrations in the neck, axilla, and groin. The spleen is the largest lymphatic organ of the body. Interruption of lymph drainage in an area generally creates considerable swelling (edema) due to accumulation of fluids.
The sense of touch is a powerful and highly sensitive form of communication. Massage can stimulate and relax the body and the mind. The skin, blood and lymphatic systems are stimulated, which boosts circulation, aids cellular renewal and removes toxic wastes. As tense muscles relax, stiff joints loosen and nerves are soothed, and an all-over feeling of well-being results. The most familiar massage is Swedish, which was designed to aid athletes remain well. Today, there are many different types of massage available. Each modality has been designed to accomplish certain specific goals from structure alignment to energy work. Finding the right massage for you may require research on the web and/or yellow pages. Don’t neglect to ask your friends and family if they know of a good therapist since they will also be able to give you good feedback on the type of massages they received. Most therapists love to tell you what they do. Many do a free consultation if asked. Most have a “new client” form and extra time for the first visit to ensure your comfort. Massage is great!
Thinking about things that we enjoy makes us feel better. The body can be helped to recover from stress or illness by your mind, using meditation. It relieves stress and decreases blood pressure, heart rate, and the perception of acute pain, while increasing your perception of health. This puts you in a much better place for healing. A simple meditation – (1) find a quiet spot, (2) sit in a comfortable position, (3) take several slow, deep breaths. As you breathe out, state “I am relaxed” (or whatever you choose) then visualize your whole body from the toes of your feet to the top of your head slowly responding to your statement. This has authority because the statement comes from you to you and our words have power over our minds and emotions. Meditation does not have to be a “specific” way or technique or for a special time frame. It can be as simple as going outside in the morning and enjoying your cup of tea/coffee in the presence of nature. Meditation is a wonderful way to start or end your day and there is not an age limit on how long you can do it.
Every woman’s transition through menopause is unique. It is not a disease; it is a normal life transition. Pay attention to the body, mind and spirit. Menopause is not just about hormones. Reducing stress and tending to spiritual needs and issues that effect your outlook help bring balance into your life and lessen the impact of menopause in your life. Remember you are a “whole” person and look at options. Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal supplements, hydrotherapy, and homeopathic remedies and massage have all been of benefit when the body is out of whack. Menopause is a natural part of maturing and it need not slow you down!
Get over them. Let them go. Forgive yourself. Everyone makes them. The secret is to learn from them and not do the same one over again. There will be plenty left!
Naturopathic espouses a wide-ranging combination of nutrition and supplementation, exercise, stress management, herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, manipulative therapies, and hot and cold baths. This offers a good use of “blended medicine” to stimulate the healing power of nature.
The neck is the biggest tattle tail of the whole body when it comes to giving away your age, both in the way the skin looks and the way you carry your neck. Most of us learn early in life that it is important for your beauty routine to cover all the skin, especially the neck. The way the neck is carried is often overlooked as expressing age. Two important ways to care for your neck is through regular massage and chiropractic treatments. When the skeletal and muscular systems are in harmony, the whole body functions better – your posture is straighter and your thinking is clearer because the head is supported correctly. It is not just about “looking younger”; a healthy neck is critical to your overall health and has to be considered in your health and beauty programs.
After we reach three years of age, “No” becomes the most unused word in our vocabulary. We seem to forget that you can be polite and still say “NO”. Whenever you feel a “Yes” getting ready to slip out of your lips, give yourself time to think things over, decide what you really do want to do about this situation, then say “yes” or “no” based on what works best for you.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body and often the least nourished. No matter how many birthdays you’ve celebrated, to a large extent, your skin’s “age” depends on how well you take care of it. There are multitudes of anti-aging products that promise many things and a few of them even help a bit. But the ultimate anti-aging tonic is WATER. Nature makes it very plain – dry out a plum and you get a prune! Water on the other hand, hydrates and softens the same plum. Drinking plenty of water (most still believe 6 to 8 glass per day) gives you benefits beyond just the basic body processes. It can also help you maintain healthy, younger-looking skin and prevent certain diseases and conditions that make you feel far older than your years. DRINK WATER to nourish your skin.
Fighting off an illness or trying to control stress is difficult, exhausting work. The “nurturing” gene seems to work only for others and not yourself. How do you self-nurture? What types of things make you happy? If you had to stop and think about it, it has been too long since you did something nurturing for yourself. Some things to try: massage, meditation visualization, dance, gardening, exercise, reading, yoga, cooking, and visiting friends. Without guilt! It is a proven fact that when we nurture ourselves, we become much better nurturers. And, we are much happier, healthier and younger looking!
Essential oils (EO) are the concentrated essences of various flowers, fruits, herbs, and plants. One of the most appreciated aspects of using EO’s is that they enter and leave the body with great efficiency, leaving no toxins behind. All EO’s create an emotional reflex and each reflex is a very individual experience. The oils are so very concentrated that they MUST BE DILUTED in carrier oils such as sweet almond or grapeseed oil. Good rule of thumb: Smell them. Pick one you like, one you really like and one that is marvelous! Then blend them at your leisure using no more than 3 to 6 drops of EO to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. You can mix the drops of EO’s together or use only one at a time. Rub into a sore spot or on the soles of the feet. Then just relax.
Your attitude has a direct bearing on your heath and by improving one, you can enhance the other. Optimism is a way of thinking about the world and our place in it. An optimistic outlook has the ability to change our lives by shaping our experiences. Optimism is a skill anyone can choose to use immediately. Certain activities tap into the deep connection between our bodies, minds, and spirits. Yoga, for example, calls every part of you into play while disciplines, like tai chi, act as moving forms of meditation which help to quiet the mind and energize the body. Since optimism is a choice, that means you control the level of optimism you bring to your life.
All organic products are not created equal. Manufacturers who meet the long-awaited USDA guidelines now have three variations on the organic label. The green and white USDA seal is “100% Organic”, “Organic” and without a seal is “Made with Organic Ingredients”.
Obviously, the best organic is what you grow yourself!
Understanding your origins or genetic makeup is very helpful in setting and maintaining your health goals. If you have a specific disease in your family history, that is something your doctor is interested in because it gives clues to your wellbeing. If you have not already, do a bit of research to find out about your parent’s parents. What was their health like? What struck them down as they aged? While you may be the lucky generation to miss a particular problem, knowing these circumstances may help your children or grandchildren. You will probably learn some very interesting things you did not know as your research progresses. Have fun and keep notes.
Osteoporosis (porous bone) can strike at any age but seems to prefer postmenopausal women because estrogen production because less at that time. It is a sneaky disease with no symptoms of its own and often a broken bone is the first clue. There are currently new treatment options and the outlook for this disease continues to improve. If you even think you might have it, talk to your doctor, the earlier the better.
Most people live daily with some type of pain, from tiny symptoms upon rising to steadily increased pain during the day. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY! These are all warning signs that your health is out of balance. Do not automatically blame “getting older” for your pain. If these signs are ignored, a real problem can & usually will develop. Some signs to watch for: muscle tension, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems, shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, hair loss and frequent aches and pains in a particular spot. Any or a combination of the above should be responded to immediately. Talk to your doctor, review what’s been happening in your life, check your daily habits and/or see a massage therapist. If the pain is muscular, the massage will really help. If your life is very stressful, change some habits. But most importantly, check with your doctor because pain is the body asking for help.
This wonderful program simultaneously works on strength, flexibility, and balance. Pilates produces results. Because of its effect on conditioning, suppleness, and balance, it is very effective in maintaining easy mobility, something that is often lost as we age. It is almost like getting massaged from the inside out.
Animals can provide great health effects such as relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, and speeding up recovery from illness. Pets are highly recommended for all ages. There is something about unconditional love that we respond very well to.
•Drive with the car windows down
•Plan a big night out
•Plan a mini-vacation for each month
•Go someplace you can see stars
•Buy one sheet set of 400+ thread count
•Take a day off in the middle of the week
•Whatever makes you smile!
Acceptable posture rules are to keep your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in as straight a line as possible. You can perk up your posture by reviewing how you are sitting, standing, and walking and make gentle corrections until your best posture is automatic. Often very simple changes have a very large impact. Watch yourself in a mirror when possible. Try to identify where there can be room for improvement. Your body will repay you with a less aches, pain and fatigue. And improved overall health is a bonus worth working for.
When required to make the best out of a less-than-wonderful-experience, prayer can lead to real spiritual renewal. The Psalms of David always meet my needs when I am without words. His cry to God becomes my cry and comfort and understanding always follow.
Situated in the thigh, this muscle is one of the great extensor muscles of the legs and is a composite of four muscles. The rectus femoris has its origin in the pelvic girdle; the vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and the vastus intermedius, have their origins on the femur. All four share a common insertion via the patella (kneecap) to the tibia. The quadriceps femoris extends the knee during standing up, climbing, jumping, and running and the rectus femoris also flexes the hip. Hip and leg pains are often related to the tightening of the quadriceps. Doing warm-ups and stretching before exercising is very important to help prevent hip and leg discomfort.
Quarantine’s definition is “the period for which a person (or animal) is kept in isolation to prevent the spread of a contagious disease. Today, it is very hard to isolate or “quarantine” anything. So a “quarantine” today may better mean, “the period for which a person is allowed peace and quiet while giving plenty of love and attention” except in those instances when the doctor establishes the quarantine. On a humorous note, wouldn’t if be wonderful if we could quarantine the following:
For fun, add a few things from your list that you feel are contagious diseases! Do not include people!
QUARTET FOR HEALTH
Health is a multicolored cover that has four critical corners. (1) Nutrition, (2) exercise (3) stress management and (4) love/belonging.
These four things are the result of years of research by many different disciplines that agree that each of the above are necessary components of your self-care program. Most alternative therapies incorporate the four as fundamentals while traditional medicine also accepts and incorporates them as necessary parts of overall good health. When you are planning your health program, remember to consider all four for a long, healthy life. These four also are a very sound practice for those who are ill.
Recognizing the body and mind’s need for “quiet time” is a very important part of any health program. The benefits of even 10 – 20 minutes a day without demands on you, gives your body and mind a chance to become more centered and peaceful. Being centered and peaceful results in muscles and emotions that are relaxed. Quiet is something that is very difficult to find in today’s society, but something that is very well worth the effort. Try setting aside even 10 extra minutes to just hibernate in the bath or set outside or whatever gives you the opportunity for some quiet time. It will get easier and easier (and the time longer) the more you do it. Make a game of it and enlist your family. It is one habit that is good for you. Try it and see.
For the hands and feet there is nothing much that can compare with a wonderful one-hour Reflexology treatment. Reflexology is a specific pressure technique that works on precise reflex points on the feet and hands, stimulating certain areas that are believed to correspond to the internal organs and other parts of the body. The benefits of Reflexology are felt throughout the whole body even though the feet (or hands) are all that are worked on. It is a wonderful treatment for any age.
Your body needs the opportunity to rebuild muscle tissue and replenish chemicals in your brain. A typical rest period is 7 to 9 hours each night. Developing good sleep habits is like exercising your muscles - you must be consistent in order to see good results. Stick to a schedule: (1) relax a few minutes before bedtime to let go of the day’s stresses and to clear your mind, (2) avoid alcohol and caffeine at least 6-8 hours before bedtime and (3) eat your evening meal before 8 p.m. If you give your body a chance, it will surprise and please you and makes your friends ask what you are up to.
For many, resolutions are what you make at the New Year and bail out of by January 15th. Instead of buying into the typical resolutions, try something new. Resolve to (1) Be kinder to yourself – give yourself at least one break a week for the next year. (2) Swear off dieting – try for realistic moderation and don’t eat after 8 p.m. (3) Goof off some – unstructured time is a wonderful gift, both to yourself and your family. Practice the art of doing nothing. (4) Resolve to keep only kind resolutions!
Stress is the body’s physical response to excessive demands, frequent changes in daily routines, or a threat of danger. Anxiety is an emotional response to stress. It is often hard to identify the problem areas associated with stress with our hectic schedules. Finding (making) the time to even think about them can be a challenge. A “retreat” is somewhere away – away from the stress – away from the daily life happenings. You do not have to physically “retreat” in order to gain the benefits of a retreat. Often simply practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, taking a 10-15 minute rest stop, long walks; warm baths or some type of meditation can serve just as well as a traditional retreat. Make a plan today to incorporate a weekly retreat and try them all!
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
Any injury should be considered as serious. Until you can reach medical help, remember the R-I-C-E formula. Rest the area that has an injury. Apply Ice packs to the injured area (approximately 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off). Compress or apply pressure to the iced area and even after the ice is removed, keep the area wrapped so the pressure remains. Elevate the injured area if possible. R-I-C-E is good to remember and don’t forget to talk to your doctor.
A fun strategy for saving? You have to be kidding! Try this and see. Using a “special” container tuck one dollar away every day. At year’s end, you will have $365 to spend. If you do two dollars a day you will have $730. This is a great way to instill a new habit of saving and build your massage (or even just a fun) fund.
Get in the habit of going to bed early one night a week. Then add other nights during the week. Many people need LESS than eight hours of sleep each night. The older we get, the less sleep we may need. Sleeping, like so many things, is unique to the individual. It is very helpful to know exactly how much you really require so you have a target to shot for. Take a warm bath before bed to aid in sleeping. Or turn the Ocean CD on as you get into bed. Any amount of solid sleep is hard for some to manage, but the benefits are worth cultivating.
A Smoothie is a wonderful pick-me-up at the end of a long day. A quick lift that never lets your taste buds down! Quick non-milk receipt – add in order given: 8 oz glass, ¾ cup ice cubes, ½ frozen peeled banana, handful of frozen fruit (strawberry, blueberry, peach, mango, etc.), handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), fill cup to top with cold apple juice & pour into blender & blend until smooth. Drink with pleasure.
You can make a great deal of money if you have a good home remedy to help stop snoring. This works for some…in order to sleep on your side which makes the throat less likely to be blocked and cause snoring, sew a pocket onto the back of your pajama’s and insert a tennis ball. It will definitely keep you on your side. If nothing works, please be sure to explore medical treatments. Sleep apnea can be one of the causes of snoring and needs to be treated seriously.
Stretching keeps the muscles supple, prepares for movement, and helps transition from inactivity to vigorous activity without undue strain, preventing injuries. It feels good when done correctly and should reflect your particular muscular structure, flexibility and varying tension levels. It will reduce muscular tension and promote freer movement but don’t overdo and have good massage therapist handy.
No matter what the cause or type, stress takes a massive toll on the body since vital energy is required to cope with the stress conditions. Find out what causes yours and get it reduced.
A little sunshine can do much good. Being outside for 10 minutes a day you receive the equivalent of 4000 IU of vitamin D. I love the sun and my sunscreen.
A massage technique is the method in which the therapist performs the massage. Today there are many different methods performed under the umbrella of “massage”. Each one is designed to meet specific needs of the client. Take the time to ask questions about the technique offered, then decide if it is what you want. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask!
Think before you speak. Miscommunication and confusion is often caused because we simply said what happens to be at the front of our mind. Take the time to thing how you want your message to be considered or how others might interpret your message before you speak or act. Everyone benefits.
Touching is a powerful and highly sensitive form of communication. Any massage should only use appropriate touch. However, ANY TOUCH SHOULD NEVER MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE. You can help ensure appropriate touch by (1) making sure your therapist is licensed by your state (2) ask for references from people you know and trust (3) ask for details about the upcoming massage, the pressure, benefits, etc., (4) communicating ANYTHING that makes you uncomfortable. The massage touch can use many different pressures and strokes, however you are always your body’s expert. Only you can decide what is too much for your body. Good therapists want you to be better. Ask for advice, but make your own decisions.
Absolutely nothing feels better in the winter than to wrap yourself in a warm, fluffy towel. Towel warmers are readily accessible at places like Home Depot, Lowes, etc., and are a wonderful Christmas present for yourself.
Trigger points – the place that causes pain – may not be the first place you notice. Trigger points are characterized mostly by referred pain but can be responsible for a variety of other discomforting effects, including numbness, tingling, burning, swelling, hypersensitivity, muscle weakness, joint stiffness and a wide variety of autonomic symptoms. Deep Tissue Massage finds and de-triggers these painful points.
Tummy warming lives on and is a wonderful way to relieve stress. Tummy warmers are wonderful for menstrual pain or cramps. A wonderful heat pack is the 11” X 15” Fomentek Bag (1-800-562-4328 or www.fomentek.com). Place your chosen TM on the lower abdomen (below the navel and above the pubic bone) and relax. The Fomentek bag is filled with hot water from the tap and contours itself to fit your body. You can fit it anywhere, it can be slept on and it stays hot for over 1 hour. It is one of my most favorite things.
If using a bag designed to be placed in the microwave, please be careful since they can get very hot, very quickly.
Your health is never “finished”. It is always in a state of change so you might as well accept the fact. Many pains are blamed on “aging” which should rather be blamed on unresponsiveness to the body’s requests (see UNWIND). We are careful to yearly adjust our makeup and dress styles while our health program (if we even have one) seldom changes. Stay current on what is available, what is possible for you right now and what your long-term goals are. If you can stay somewhere in the middle of these, you will be a healthy “unfinished” person.
Unhappiness can have many causes, but most often it is created by old patterns in our life. Unhappiness creates a very real physical stress that effects the body, mind and spirit. This is often a result of the perception that we are ill equipped to meet life’s demands. This perception opens the door for the development of chronic health problems that establishes a cycle that is very difficult to break. Often professional help is the best way to reestablish balance and happiness. However, when you feel particularly unhappy, take pencil and paper and (1) list all the things that make you unhappy, (2) list all the things that would make you happy. Then see if the solution of anything from list #1 will cause list #2 to happen. Far too often, it is in the emotions that the source of unhappiness is established and until those emotions are addressed, happiness stays away. Massage and bodywork, exercise, good nutrition and unconditional acceptance of yourself as you are right now can make a difference. Talk to your doctor, pastor, and/or friends. Don’t let old patterns cause you unhappiness and sabotage your successes or keep you from achieving your goals.
Just the word “unwind” helps my shoulders to relax. Often we are so caught up in the moment by moment stuff we MUST get accomplished TODAY that we forget to take the bathroom break, the lunch hour, the afternoon walk to the water fountain. If you were as rude to your friends and family as you are to yourself, you would be in big trouble! The body is the biggest “accommodator” ever. It keeps adjusting, supporting what you ask it to do until, one day, it decides this is the final straw and illness or body problems “suddenly” happen. Seldom does illness or body difficulties jump on you from nowhere. The body starts sending messages through pain and discomfort early in the pattern but we shrug it off and assume that “it will get better”. As long as the pattern continues, it will not get better. Take the time to be aware of your body and the language it speaks. Listen to and respond to what it says each night as you lay down. Take the time during the day to breathe deep and let your body have a few minutes break. Eat away from your desk. Take several walks a day to the water fountain. Whether you are a corporate worker, self-employed, or a homebody, EVERYONE needs to unwind during the day. Make it happen. Massage and bodywork help, but they cannot be with you every day. Unwinding is an every day body requirement.
A good percentage of my clients find that vacations are not restful. They can be exciting, fun, necessary, etc., but not restful. Stress is often the major player in any time off. Planning a few things in advance helps:
(1) Start a list of things you want to remember to take with you, do before you leave, etc. (2) find out all you can about where you are going, what temperature, altitude, activities, etc. (3) think about the emotions involved, especially if visiting family (4) resolve to breathe deep, drink plenty of fluids, enjoy what is offered, rest as much as possible and schedule a massage for your return.
Varicose veins are a result of improper/damaged valve closings as blood returns to the heart. Movement (walking, etc.) causes leg muscles to contract, pushing blood up through leg veins. The valves lining the veins open up to allow the blood passage, snapping shut to prevent blood from rushing back down to your feet. When a valve fails to close properly, the blood pools in the vein, causing it to stretch, resulting in a bulge toward the surface of the skin. While any vein in the body can become varicose, the most vulnerable veins are located in the legs and arms. Weight, pregnancy and inadequate exercise are often part of the cause of varicose veins. Most massage modalities are contraindicated for varicose veins. A hemorrhoid is an anal vein that has become varicose.
Viewpoints change as you age. Some may call it “accepting the inevitable” but I prefer to call it “viewpoint maturity”. Getting should, could, and would out of our life is very liberating. It usually means that we have started to care more about what we think than what “everyone else” thinks. Remember that age adds it own beauty and elegance to life. It is a wonderful freedom.
Visualization (guided imagery) is helpful in selecting mental pictures that stimulate natural healing responses. Many people do some form of visualization using their own imagery, for example: where you would like to be – beach, mountains, hills or a particular season that you enjoy, or your favorite colors. The images are helpful to alleviate anxiety and to assist changes in attitudes and behavior. This is an excellent way to work through emotions connected with trauma, illness, or other life circumstances.
VITAMINS & MINERALS
Before stress, pollution, processed foods, and mineral depleted soils, you could get most all the nutrients needed from a well balanced diet. Today, it is wise to
take supplements regularly. Do not add any vitamin or mineral to your diet without discussing it with your doctor or nutritionist. The body can only assimilate what it needs. Taking too much or not enough can create new problems. So start with good nutrition, good hydration, good rest habits and stay away of what your body tells you it doesn’t want. It is very smart.
One of the great attractions of walking is that you can do it at your own pace. People walk for dual effects - relaxing and exercising while experiencing the natural environment. Many people enjoy incorporating speed walking and sauntering to enjoy both a good physical workout while enjoying the meditative quality provided by smell and sight as you slow walk along. Often a short walk is like a mini-vacation. Your breath deepens and your energy rises. Whatever you get out of walking … whether you’re communicating with nature or exercising … walking costs nothing but your time and the benefits of increased energy and good physical and mental health are wonderful.
Make washing your hands after anything a priority. While this sounds so simple, it is amazing how many times this simple prevention is not used. It is proven to prevent the transmission of infection, whether food-borne illnesses or the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cruises are especially aware of the dangers and have taken extra precautions to ensure that clean hands are easy to do prior to eating. Regular soap may work better than antibacterial since germs tend to grow resistant to the antibiotic ingredients used. Well worth the few minutes it takes and you can feel virtuous because YOU are one of the ones who do it!
Water is as necessary as air to the body. Breathing is much easier because we don’t even have to think to breathe while it takes a conscious effort to remember to get water into our system. The fad of carrying a water bottle everywhere is one that has my full appreciation and support. Approximately 70% of my clients do not drink nearly enough water for their body to function properly. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, etc. do not replace the need for water. You don’t have to drink 8 giant glasses a day, (even 2-3 helps) but be sure that you drink more than a few sips. It is difficult if you don’t get thirsty, but make an effort to incorporate water into your conscious mind. Increase the amount gradually so it doesn’t put a strain on the kidneys. Your skin will be softer and smoother … water is a fluid miracle drug!
Watermelon is a summertime favorite and is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. Watermelon can have a diuretic effect, so make sure you stay aware of your overall nutrition and supplement needs.
You will never find “the perfect weight” so forget it. Nor the perfect diet. Some things you can do to reach a weight that works for you:
•Improve digestion & elimination
•Stimulate metabolism/increase energy
•Curb the appetite/reduce cravings
X MARKS THE SPOT
Clients often ask how I can find “exactly the right spot that hurts so bad”? I do not have x-ray eyes. Your body is the biggest tattletale in the whole world and it wants the pain to go away. The term “massage” covers many different modalities. Some are excellent for relaxation, but many are designed to address the “trigger point” of pain. Deep tissue work uses pressure at the muscle’s attachment and insertion points to spread the muscle fibers to increase blood flow to the painful area. When a muscle is shortened or traumatized, it leaves a pattern in the muscle that can be found and eased. Knowing how the muscle groups move and counter each other can often give information as to how a pain originated without any verbal input. But by far the best way to get the quality of bodywork that is best for you is to talk to your therapist and give them all the information you possibly can about the pain. Pain patterns are often intensified because the client does not drink enough water. It has been a very good rule of thumb to drink one ounce of water for every two pounds of weight. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you would be very good to your body by drinking 70 ounces of water. Any caffeine acts as a diuretic and increases the need for water.
XIPHOID PROCESS (Xiphoid Cartilage)
The xiphoid process is the lower-most section of the breastbone that does not articulate with any ribs. The xiphoid cartilage gradually ossifies until it is completely replaced by bone after middle age. This area is generally very sore especially when there has been a lot of coughing. This area can be gently de-triggered by soft rubbing with a washrag while in the shower or bath. Be sure to cover the entire area under the breast until all the sore spots are gone. The hot water helps increase the circulation and aids in the lessening of pain.
X-rays are electromagnetic radiation of extremely short wavelength with great penetrating powers in matter opaque to light. X-rays are produced when high-energy beams of electrons strike matter. They are used in diagnosis in the techniques of radiography and in radiotherapy. Great care is needed to avoid unnecessary exposure, because the radiation is harmful to all living things. (Quoted from The Bantam Medical Dictionary ISBN 0-553-28498-3).
X-tra is something more than you were expecting or even thought to look for. It comes as a big surprise and that makes it all the more appreciated and cherished. There is a lot to stimulate, seduce or just keep you busy in this world, but very little that allows life to give you a nice surprise. For example, a “for no reason” card in the mail, an unexpected kindness from a stranger, a moment of thoughtfulness from a grandchild, a surprise hug, a bag of your favorite cookies, a baby’s kiss – those are all X-tra and how I wish they would happen more often.
Ylang ylang is an essential oil. It is so exotic and its perfume is so extraordinary that it is called the “flower of flowers”. This oil is renowned for its restorative powers and its relaxing effect on the nervous system. It is considered an antidepressant and may be used therapeutically to treat stress, frustration, anger, and shock. It can have a balancing effect on blood pressure and distressed breathing patterns. While it is used in many cosmetics because of its fragrance, ylang ylang is also included in many preparations for balancing and toning the skin. To help refresh you when you are flying, sprinkle 2 drops of lavender essential oil and 1 drop of ylang ylang on a hot wash cloth and wipe the face and neck. Also it is nice to wipe the feet with, especially if they are swollen. REMEMBER TO NEVER PUT ANY ESSENTIAL OIL DIRECTLY ON THE SKIN. They are all highly concentrated and may burn the skin or cause a reaction. If you want to apply it as massage oil, add 4 drops ylang yland to one tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil and then massage.
Yoga is a technique with three major components – posture, breathing, and meditation. There are various physical exercises in which you assume certain postures designed to create the self-control for proper breathing. The breathing phase is designed to stretch the breath to encourage meditation. The meditation detaches you from your environment, allowing you to enjoy a deep concentration. These three major components are also incorporated into many rehabilitation centers because of the dependable benefits achieved. To calm anxiety and sooth irritability, try the following pose called “The Child”. Sit on your heels. Bring your forehead to the floor, stretching your spine as far as possible. Close your eyes. Let your arms rest behind you, near your heel, with palms face up. Breathe regularly. Hold for 5 minutes. This gives the opportunity to be in a stronger place to face each day. Yoga is not for everyone, but it offers significant benefits to those who apply the techniques. Flexibility, deep breathing, and a peaceful spirit are what allow a youthful outlook at any age.
Long believed to help fight yeast infections, yogurt is an accepted and easily obtainable resource. Make sure the yogurt contains live active cultures (check the label) or it will just be a nice snack and not have any medicinal benefit. The live cultures include Lactobacillus acidophilus that is a beneficial bacterium that helps control yeast. REMEMBER any infection should be discussed with your doctor. Often an infection can be a symptom of something else.
It is easy to take care of everyone but yourself. You are important to your world and you deserve time to yourself, even if it is a small amount, every week. Try a long bath, walk in the park or take a nap. Relax. Take the time to be kind to yourself. You are worth it!
This is defined as a numerical symbol denoting the absence of all magnitude or quantity or nothing, blank, nil or void. If you ever have the chance to sit in a zero-gravity reflexology chair, you will find that ZERO is a wonderful, wonderful place to be. The chair provides the opportunity for your body to be in a position that frees it from the constraints of gravity. This is a great chair and, of course, the reflexology treatment adds the final touch of perfection.
The dictionary defines ZEST as ardor, eagerness, enthusiasms, fervor, passion, zeal; delectation, delight, enjoyment, pleasure, satisfaction; bliss, ecstasy, elation. What a wonder word! Do you have any ZEST in your life?
Whether you use ZIP to indicate energy (to proceed quickly and easily) or use it to ZIP up and close the day (to proceed or move with dispatch), age does effect the level of ZIP in your life – both as energy and in moving. I have found that one of the major constraints of aging for me, has been the continuing need for stretching and some type of exercise. Both of which I hate to do. However, the benefit is instantly seen in the increased amount of ZIP available to me. So, I find that stretching and exercise are a vital part of my aging process. I need ZIP for a long time to come, how about you?
Developed in the early 1900s by Dr. William Fitzgerald, Zone Therapy is a particular type of Reflexology. Based on the premise that the body is divided into ten equal zones, which extend the entire length of the body, a practitioner can stimulate a certain part of the foot and affect the other parts of the body that are included in that zone.
In even the best vocabularies, ZOMBIE is not something you want to be. The word conjures up images of someone who:
•doesn’t have enough sense to take care of themselves;
•never takes the time to understand or do the right thing for themselves;
•is the one everyone else makes fun of;
•is totally unaware of what is currently happening within their own body; and
•has a limited home life because of being so tired and out of it.
Do everything you can to keep from being a ZOMBIE. You deserve the best so take action to make sure that you don’t fit the above descriptions. Make the decision today to care about your health and then take the necessary and appropriate action. You will be so much happier and so will everyone who loves you.
Securing interested clients and keeping them is a priority in any business and the focus and determination you bring to this aspect is one of the major factors as to whether or not you are successful. It really is up to you. You can have all the knowledge, training, help, etc., but the bottom line is how much effort you are willing and able to expend on finding and keeping clients.
Starting out, the usual suggestions include
• samples of your ability, and.
• working with other professionals.
As a business owner, I get many requests per year for donations and/or volunteering my time. I have three definitions for volunteering.
• The first is what I do when an outside agency requests me to help accomplish some task (i.e., helping distribute food,
or clothing, serving at an association booth, etc.).
• The second definition of volunteering is any thing I do to promote my business that I do not expect to get paid now but am
looking for benefits at a later time. Both of these definitions impact my business since they both use my time, my most
• The third definition is what I do with my personal time (i.e., serve at church, visit sick, etc.). What follows is based on the
first two definitions.
My first definition "What I do when an outside agency requests me to help accomplish some task (i.e., helping distribute food, clothing or toys, serving at an association booth, etc.)". I really try to limit this type of volunteering unless it helps one of the national and/or state associations I am a member of or in some way helps promote bodywork. The exception is an emergency situation like when we had a severe flood problem in Houston. In 1990 when I started in bodywork, I did none of this type. All my focus was on increasing my client base and maintaining them. As my business increased, so did my inclination to serve at this type of volunteering. Even now, however, my first focus is always my clientele and making sure I have the energy and stamina to maintain a busy practice so I always consider my schedule before making any commitment.
My second definition. "Any thing I do to promote my business that I do not expect to get paid for right now". During my first few years I did this type of volunteering on a regular basis, while working 7 days a week. What follows is some of the ways I found were successful for me.
• Volunteering is a great way to practice your communication skills and techniques. Meeting and working on and with many
different people allows you to have the necessary flexibility and ease of manner that will aid you in working with a diverse
clientele. It is also a very worthwhile and rewarding aspect of your business.
• Finding ways to allow the public to sample your abilities and techniques is only limited by your imagination. Remember Mrs.
Field’s cookies got started by her standing on the street with fresh baked cookies for samples. Your samples are a bit
different but they are just as powerful.
A few suggestions for any type of volunteering:
• Select your volunteering carefully. How does volunteering here aid you in your target market? For example, most
sporting events generate a very small return unless you are specializing in sports therapy. If you were targeting
working mothers, perhaps an upscale daycare would be the right place.
• Always insist on a sign-in list with addresses and phone numbers. Not only does this give you a mailing list, it allows you
speak the person’s name which helps them feel more comfortable. It helps them relax and helps you remember they are
a “new client” and deserve your best efforts. When you have already done 20 people, it helps to have reminders. You
want this client to remember you and want to schedule an appointment. A sign-in sheet also helps keep confusion down.
The general public is familiar with sign-in and feels better when their position in line is secured.
• Have a separate sign-in sheet for each event. This allows you to see exactly how your efforts were spent for each hour
and you can begin to see which of the businesses give you the most response, translating into customers who make an
appointment. I found that a women’s boutique gave me a very high response and those women encouraged their
husbands to schedule while health fairs response was very small. This was a very big surprise for me but it encouraged
me to try a number of different businesses.
• Have a framed description sheet that explains what you will be doing; the length of time you are offering and that it is
complimentary. People often do not see a sheet of paper lying on the table but will almost always look at a framed sheet.
• Have a timer that signals time finished. Bodywork time passes differently than real time. Clients often feel the time passed
entirely to quickly to have actually been the allotted time. Allowing a few seconds, maintaining hand contact, while they
return to real time can directly effect your tipping and the number of your cards taken home to be used at a later time.
• Have a clear “tip” container next to your business cards. A medium sided, lovely vase (in plastic because of the size of the
table) works better than a jar or glass. Be sure you keep a daily record of tips received for tax purposes and to make you
• Keep a mileage log especially for volunteer work. You will need to include the date, beginning mileage, ending mileage,
total mileage, destination and purpose. Check with a knowledgeable tax person to see exactly what mileage is tax
deductible. By keeping a separate log, you are prepared.
• Assign a dollar amounts to the service provided. For example if you were doing 15-minute shoulder/neck massages at a
sports event, the general dollar worth would be $1.00 per minute or $15.00. This helps you remember that you are worth
a dollar amount and that you have chosen to offer this complimentary service. I always made a note on my sign-in sheet
what I had “earned” that day. It encouraged me and also helped me better understand the physical impact of being on
my feet for six to eight hours doing chair massages on customer after customer.
• Talk with a bodywork knowledgeable tax person to see what and how much can be deducted from your taxes and exactly
what records you should keep. Your tax person should become part of your team.
• Always have your scheduler with you. It is never out of place to suggest the customer would benefit from addition
bodywork, and to let them know you would be delighted to be of assistance. Being able to offer a specific time and
place is often a done deal. My description flyers usually state that I allow 5 minutes between chair sessions for questions,
comments or scheduling.
• Set up in a visible area but out of the traffic flow. Businesses do not want people clustering around or waiting in one area,
so have your sign-in sheet a little distance from where you are performing the service but where you can easily see who is
next. If you are available, look available. Reading a book or talking to friends can communicate you are busy and potential
customers may not interrupt and you may miss a great opportunity.
• Unless for a special cause, do only chair massages. Chair massages are wonderful for instant relief and for only a short
time so you can access more potential clients than with a table. The chair fits almost anywhere and is very recognizable
to the general public.
• Dress ultra professional. Dressing appropriately is always important and it should, of course, be comfortable for you and
appropriate to the type of event for which you are volunteering. Since ideas of what is appropriate differ, I try always to
error on the side of conservative dress, usually wearing a white jacket and a nametag. White seems to say professional
to the general public.
• Have your literature and cards available. Do not overwhelm the table with information. A good brochure that explains your
modalities, prices, etc. is good and always, even in the bathtub, have your business cards available. (Joking about the
bathtub). Never go anywhere without the business cards and have them easily accessible.
• If practical, bring your music. Music can change your little space into a restful place and draw customers over. It
should always be with the approval of the business owner and not in any way detract from their business.
• Target your energy to the person you are working on. After the 20th person sits down on your chair, you may be a bit
tired. That is why you need to take breaks if you are working longer that a few hours. It doesn’t matter whether it is
person number one or person number twenty, they all deserve your very best. Keep your energy focused on the
person in the chair. By not looking around or talking to other people in the line to indicate that this person is very special
and the rest of the customers can expect the same special attention.
Getting the chance to volunteer:
Take the local neighborhood newspapers. There are often reviews of new businesses that are opening or expanding, giving the owner’s name, address and telephone number.
• Stop in and introduce yourself and if their business appeals to you, give them your brochure and a special “volunteer” sheet
(sample follows) letting them know that you do complementary chair bodywork for events that benefit the community.
• Most businesses have limited space so the offer of complementary chair bodywork works better than a table and the
clientele is more likely to utilize a chair massage.
The special “volunteer” form is my own creation and after several unhappy incidents, I developed it. It should be simple but very specific.
See example of Volunteering Information Sheet at the back of this report.
1. It should offer a bit of information about you. That you are licensed, etc.
2. It should detail exactly what you will do during the period of time you are there based on the appropriateness of where
you will be doing the volunteer work. For example, shoulder and neck massages work very well almost anywhere and
requires little privacy.
3. The form should list any usual requirements you have regarding space, electrical sockets, sign-in table, etc. I usually take
music, a small fountain, a small table for sign-in and displaying brochures and cards. This is a very important time for the
business owner and the less they have to provide or worry about, the nicer your offer.
4. Include the information that you will be offering a free drawing of a 15, 30, 60 minute bodyworking session at your location
or whatever service you choose to provide for the drawing.
If offering a drawing, you also have to provide pens; strips of paper that request name, address, and phone number as well as a container to put them in. Have a printer print 1000 cheap business cards or print them yourself on blank business cards.
Have the store manager do the drawing and let them know that you will include their business name in your cover letter when you notify the winner.
5. You may want to provide signs for display to ensure the information is as you wish. I printed signs on heavy cardstock
that left space for the business owner’s name. For example:
10- MINUTE SHOULDER AND NECK MASSAGES
COMPLIMENTS OF _________________________(your name)
IN SUPPORT OF ___________________________(business name)
If you are requested to provide this service, you will want the business owner to initial a copy for your files to help keep miscommunication to a minimum.
6. You will want to sign and date any Volunteering Information Sheet you leave and keep a log of where you have left them,
who you spoke with and the date. I was still receiving callbacks from businesses five years later.
7. If you are just starting out, this form may sound too aggressive for you. However, you are representing your business
while you will be enhancing their business and you are a professional businessperson. By using something along the lines
of the information sheet you limit the opportunity for feeling like you are being taken advantage of and also limits
misunderstandings. Free massages can translate quickly into “no value” if proper care is not taken.
8. Most businesses will be happy to meet you and will keep your information on hand if the circumstances do not work right
now. I kept a file on anyone I called on with a checklist of what I had left, the date, who I spoke with and then I called back
in a few months to see how they were doing and if a promotion of some type might be of interest.
Check the Yellow Pages for other interesting newspapers and pick up a copy of those that look interesting to see how they fit in with your interests and goals. You may find one area newspaper has a column you particularly find informative and another one will have better area coverage.
Establish contacts with neighborhood business columnists. It is a good idea to go to each neighborhood newspapers and introduce yourself. Ask to speak with the person who is responsible for new businesses and leave your introductory information packet including the fact that you do volunteer work for worthy causes. It helps if you can personally speak to the person, however that is not always possible.
It helps if your packet includes a picture of yourself and/or your place of business. If unable to see the appropriate person, write an invitation for Mr./Mrs./Ms. to come by your location and get acquainted and paperclip to the information. You may or may not get a response, but you may get a phone call from your name being passed on to another columnist and perhaps even a story about you and your business.
Join selective community clubs such as a professional business breakfast club or Chamber of Commerce. This is my least favorite of the above for doing volunteer work since it can be time consuming and expensive. In most breakfast clubs you can only join if you do not duplicate a business already there. You are expected to attend weekly and most professional clubs charge an entry fee plus a monthly charge. The major benefit is that it does get you acquainted with other small business owners in your chosen area of business and you get to practice speaking every week. Most breakfast clubs encourage the members to use each others services and you usually receive one or two referrals each week, but since the referral may have been only handing out your business card, many of the “referrals” do not translate into immediate money. An added benefit of joining a breakfast club for me has been having peers to discuss my business with and I have made lasting friendships.
Join a local chapter of massage/bodywork association. Local chapters often receive the call asking for volunteers for city sponsored activities. Belonging to a group means participating in what the group has decided to volunteer for. Group volunteering builds great teamwork and great friends.
Call the schools in your target area to see if they have any health awareness days or health fairs planned or any other activity that your services would be a benefit for.
Call the malls in your target area to see if they have any health awareness days or health fairs planned or any other activity that your services would be a benefit for.
Check the Yellow Pages or Internet for addresses for
• Chiropractic Clinics
• Health Care Facilities
• Health Clubs
• Health & Diet Food Businesses
• Health & Fitness Consultants and Trainers
• OB/GYN Clinics
• Physical Therapists
• Tanning Salons
• Anyone you would enjoy working with.
Send your brochure, business card and a cover letter introducing yourself and indicating that you are willing to provide complementary chair massages for their customers. Then call in a few weeks to see if they got your information and if they have any questions. If only one out of twenty responds, you are still ahead.
Working with other health professionals allows them to offer their clients something fresh and beneficial while it gives you the benefit of the professional’s approval (a perceived importance to their clientele) and an opportunity to access their client base. This works very well however, there are a few rules I would suggest.
• Negotiate clearly with the other professional regarding what is expected from both of you.
• Be very clear on what times you can be available.
• Decide up front how often you are available, one time or several.
• Decide on compensation, if any. Do you charge? If so, are you expected to split the charge, what is the split percentage?
Do you accept only tips?
• See all the rules above for volunteering.
In summary, volunteering samples of your ability is limited only by your imagination. Volunteering should promote your business, put you before potential clients, enhance your ease of manner in meeting and conducting yourself professionally before a diverse and often skeptical public, introduce you to other professionals and business owners in your chosen area and ultimately translate into dollars in your pocket.
Good planning and have fun.
M. Johanna Powell NCTMB, LMT, CCP, MTI
Sample Volunteering Information Sheet
Your Telephone Number:
Your Mailing Address
1. I am a Massage Therapist licensed by the State of Texas and I am Nationally Certified. My license number is MT###.
I specialize in chair massage to encourage and maintain wellness.
2. During your next special event, I would appreciate the opportunity to do complementary chair massages for your customers.
I will be happy to provide chair massages for 10 minutes per person for __ hours per day with a 5-minute period between
clients for their questions and sign-in. I will take a 15-minute break per hour. OR change any of the information to describe
what you are comfortable doing.
3. I usually require only an electrical socket for my music and small fountain. I provide a small table for sign-in and to display
my cards and brochures. Chair massage requires very little space and can be conducted almost anywhere since the
customer does not remove any clothing.
4. I do require people to sign in to avoid confusion, asking for names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
5. I will also be offering drawing for a ___ minute bodyworking session at my primary location and your business name will
be mentioned in my notification letter to the winner.
I look forward to being able to provide this service for your customers.
BUSINESS OWER SIGNATURE ________________________________________
WHAT IS COLORPUNCTURE™?
Esogetic Information by Mandel Institute, Copyright 2008
Colorpuncture™ is healing through the use of frequencies of colored light, brainwaves and crystals on acupuncture and other points. This revolutionary system was developed by Peter Mandel, a well-known German scientist and naturopath who has conducted over 25 years of empirical research to develop this unique system of healing.
HOW DOES COLORPUNCTURE™ WORK?
Colorpuncture™ works on the same principles as acupuncture, but is even more powerful because it uses light and the biophysics of cellular communication. Dr. Fritz Albert Popp (a renowned biophysicist and the father of modern biophoton theory) has documented evidence from years of experiments to prove that living cells pass on biological information through photons, through the language of light. Each color of the spectrum has a different vibration of wavelength that contains different information which has a specific effect on all our life functions.
Colorpuncture™ Therapies are precisely targeted light treatments to gently alleviate pain, unlock information buried in the subconscious and release emotional trauma. The non-invasive techniques clear blockages and restore healthy energy flow in the meridians. Many people report not only changes in their bodies, but an improved emotional outlook and a clearer sense of direction in life.
Colorpuncture™ also works with brainwaves to reestablish proper communication between the cells, to clear energetic blockages, and to correct brainwave patterns. Each vibrational sequence or treatment will have a specific effect. Particular treatments help balance and de-stress the nervous system, detoxify the body, relieve pain, release trauma, tonify and strengthen specific organs and much more. Clients find Colorpuncture™ to be gentle, non-invasive and relaxing.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A SESSION?
Before Colorpuncture™ treatments begin, you will be asked what areas of healing you would like to focus upon. Based on your information and other diagnostic tests, an individualized treatment plan will be designed. Gentle pressure and color will then be applied to various points or zones on your skin using a hand-held acu-light tool with interchangeable glass rods which emit different colors of light through a focused tip. As the light is absorbed by the skin and transmitted, information is communicated to the body’s meridians, cells and organs. Often you will be asked to indicate any sensations or reactions that you experience during the session or after treatment to help customize your treatment plan.
COLORPUNCTURE™ ADDRESSES THE CAUSE
Colorpuncture™ also operates from the perspective that our physical illness and pains are often important signals of deeper disharmonies in the psyche and spirit. Traumatic events can create blockages in cellular communication which affect our physical health immediately or manifest later in life. Traumatic events not only affect the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual levels. Our later experiences can repeatedly reenact earlier traumas and create on-going stress in our lives. Traumatic events get stored in our cellular memory, at the development age we were when they occurred. So, if for example, our parents divorced when we were age 3, that memory gets stored at that development level. At age 3, our verbal skills are just beginning to develop. Later, when we try to access and heal those traumas, we cannot fully heal them verbally, through talk therapy. We may continue to react from the experience, but cannot think our way through to healing. Therefore, many Colorpuncture™ treatments have been developed that can powerfully clear trauma at emotional, mental and spiritual levels, for example therapies for prenatal trauma, father/mother imprints and conflict resolution. These treatments can cause the gentle release of emotional and psychic unconscious material which may be at the root of energetic imbalances and ill health supporting healing and movement in new directions on our life path.
ADD, ADHD, Allergies, Anxiety, Asbergers, Asthma, Back Pain, Cancer, Chronic Fatigue, Conflict Resolution, Depression, Diabetes, Digestive Issues, Enuresis, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, Hearing Issues, Hormonal Imbalances, Immune System Disorders, Insomnia, Joint Pain, Learning Issues, Lymphatic Issues, Migraines, Muscle Pain, Prenatal & Birth Trauma, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Rheumatism, Speech Disturbances, Spine Problems, Stress, Tinnitus, Trauma, Vision Issues, and more…
WRITING A MISSION STATEMENT
A mission statement is written reinforcement of your business identity. It is a map that can keep you on course, but can be revised if it is necessary or desirable to take a detour or change your destination.
Your mission statement needs the following elements:
1. Your mission
Example: To provide a quality massage that will benefit my clients, provide both short and long-term relief from stress and chronic discomfort, and encourage client relationships and retention
2. Your objectives
Example: To expand long term, client-focused relationships.
To maintain leading edge training in my industry.
To continually improve the excellence of my techniques and products through involvement in associations and through communications with clients and peers.
3. Your strategy
Example: The strategy for developing long-term relationships is based on my ability to maintain a consistent, quality massage which more than meets the client’s expectations. My Continuing Education schedule is the assurance of increased training to offer new services and techniques to my clients and adds greater value to the client and my business.
4. The process
Example: Compliance with all state and city ordinances.
Continuing Education on business, techniques, and other associated topics.
Compassionate customer service.
5. The people
Example: I am the company. I have the training, certification and confidence that enables me to be a successful therapist.
I have in place a startup plan for business requirements and for marketing.
Completion of a first massage does not end a relationship. It begins one.
Take the time to do this. It is very simple, but very powerful. Good writing.
For Questions Please Contact:
M. Johanna Powell, NCTMB, LMT, CCP, MTI
13313 Southwest Fwy Suite 185
Sugar Land, Texas 77478