We all know how Important our own health and wellbeing is, but how many of use actually follow thru with our this sage advise?
One of the best ways to keep myself centered and felling like myself is Self Thai Massage. Stretching has always been part of my routine but incorporating Thai movements has allowed me to realign my meridians and help keep me in balance. Here are some tips for some of my favorite movements. Now if you have any pain while performing these stop. Seek a Doctor. These are merely for suggestion to eliminate tension associated with being a massage therapist, like you tell all your clients and I, Not a Doctor. Use your best judgement / speak to your doctor before performing any stretching. Ok now that the legal aspect is out of the way…
Movement 1) lie on your back with your arms out completely to your sides, your arms and sides should form a L. Keeping one leg straight with joints in alignment, bend the opposite leg over the straight leg and at right angle, now slightly turn your body away from the bent leg.
Movement 2) For the forearms that get tight, this move will help loosen the Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus, extensor carpi Radialis Brevis and Extensor Digitorm. With the arm at rest, either on a flat surface or arm rest, separate the fingers and use Thumb pressure along the first and second energy lines. Use the fingers to create resistance while thumb pressure is being applied to stretch the muscles of the forearm.
Movement 3) Unless you use perfect body mechanics there is a chance your neck gets tight and sore from our forward head motion that comes with being a therapist. Sit cross-legged or anyway that is comfortable. Interlock your fingers behind your head above the Occipital bone. Apply gentle pressure using your thumbs to Splenius Capitis on both sides of spine. Pushing your head forward will increase the stretch.
To address the common trigger points associated with the SCM begin by palpating the SCM at the mastoid process with client in supine position. Starting at proximal aspect of the SCM follow the belly of the muscle down to the attachments on both the manubrium and the clavicle. Feel along the band of muscle for areas that may be more constricted, harder, than the areas immediately surrounding. Apply pressure only to the point of resistance. Hold pressure until you first feel the area loosen. Slowly reduce pressure and move on. Continue until you reach the flatter clavicular attachment on the upper surface of the clavicle.
Identifying the pain pattern is essential to proper client care. Pain pattern for trigger points within the SCM are; pain across the forehead, Homolateral pain deep in the ear, pain that may arch across the cheek and into the maxilla, over the supraorbital ridge. Vertex pain accompanied by scalp tenderness.
We all know that social media is here to stay, but how do we tap into that massive revenue stream? I personally tried to resist the dark temptation that is the social media culture, but alas I too have succumbed to it’s fascinating song.
Navigating social media can be and is daunting, and hiring a SM firm to handle all things hashtag can get pricy so the alternative is to channel our inner 26 year old and learn this new language.
I am always looking for insight on the best things to post, when and where. There are peak hours in which posting gets the most exposure. Typically very early in the morning is the best time to post about specials, last minute openings or self help as this will be one of the first things on everyone’s mind as they go about their days. I like to post funny memes around mid day as this is when most people are on a lunch break and immedetliy scroll their news feed and need an emotional pick me up. This also reminds them of any specials I had posted earlier in the day.
Instagram and Pinterest are fantastic outlets for new products and services offered. Not only does this bring awareness to your company it also is a great tool to use as market research. Offering incentives for check-ins and posting by your customers is a frugal marketing strategy. People are always looking for referrals from their friends, why not have them post on a site and receive a small discount.
Keeping hydrated is the bedrock of good health, but what do you do when you hear the words ” I just don’t like the taste of water”. Look dumbfounded? Ask what they do like and hope they don’t say Soda, I have even had a client tell me the only way they can drink water, is if the ice melts in their soft drink. I am lucky in that I prefer water to just about anything. If Starbucks ever discontinues their iced green tea I may cry. How do we encourage or clients and ourselves to drink water?
Pinterest has unlimited resources for health water infused alternatives. My favorite is Bare Water, they are constantly coming up with delicious water, fruit and even herb infused waters that are super easy and fast. Who could resist these waters? Intruding infused waters not only increases the chance your clients will hydrate, it also gives them a fun way to ingest important vitamins and anti-oxidants.
The best way I have found to give my clients a chance to experience these amazing flavors is the have them bring their own glass BPA free water bottle and have a “flavor of the day with the fruits and herbs at my clinic for them to try.
Try your own recipes and let me know what works best for you and your clients.
Alright, so now you have all the legal mambo jumbo taken care of and you want to get to the good stuff. How do I decorate my suite to make it welcoming? What products should I use and where do I get them? How do I set my schedule? How do I advertise?
First, take a deep breath. Now exhale. Better? Good. The best way I have found to figure out what style your massage suite should have is to troll Pinterest. Be careful because you can go down a rabbit hole of high end spas with endless budgets and get disparaged. Find a theme and hunt up deals. Discount stores such as Home Goods, Marshalls and Ross have fantastic décor.
When it comes to products the best thing to do is find something that works with different skin types. We recommend Foster(10) All Purpose Massage Cream. It comes in Unscented, Lemongrass Sage and Lavender Mint will be out later this year. Also take time to consider linens, as material can make a huge difference. Plain old Cotton works perfectly and is very inexpensive. If you have a little more budget in that area try a cotton bamboo blend. Massage Warehouse and other massage supply stores will have you covered in that department. As for music, CD’s are inexpensive but can get repetitive, try Amazon prime music, Spotify or Pandora.
As for Scheduling, I used the old fashioned appointment book for years and it never failed me. When I started traveling to other locations I had to go main stream and get online scheduling set up. Certain massage insurance companies have a online schedule built into the price and it also includes SOAP notes which is essential to all massage therapists. Set up your schedule that works best for you. Most therapist work with 15 minute gaps between clients. I work with at least 30 minutes. This may seem like an absurd amount of time but hear me out, I like to discuss everything done in the treatment, make sure they drink some water in front of me and answer any questions that may come up and leave plenty of time to properly clean between each person. This is completely up to you and what you are comfortable working with.
Advertising. Eck. Yuck. Nope, don’t want to do it. Well you have to, and it’s not as scary as it sounds. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have made this the easiest thing to do. Posting pictures and specials daily help build an audience you can continually profit from. I don’t recommend newspapers or magazines right out of the gate as they can become expensive and time consuming.
Above all else remember that your craft is all you need.
It’s the ultimate dream to go out on your own and open a studio, spa or even work from home. Having done so my self and had some friends ask for advise I have comprised a list of how to and what to do.
First, get the legal stuff together. I know this isn’t the fun part, but it is necessary. Creating your LLC or Incorporating is the first step and one of the most important ones. I used LegalZoom and they made it a lot easier and explained which avenue was best for my business. This can be time consuming but in order to have the foundation, it is vital. Afterward create a DBA and make sure to check the Trade Mark Registry before hand to protect yourself from lawsuits.
After you have your business formulated it is time to come up with a business plan. Some would do this first, but I chose to get the fine print area worked out first. If you are planning on working from home check your areas laws regarding what needs to be done. Some states have state wide regulation and others have city regulations. There are numerous books out there that can help with this. Additionally get in touch with your areas small business council, they have a treasure trove of insights and tips to help you get all your ducks in a row.
Now, it is time for INSURANCE!!!!!!! If you do not have liability insurance for your massage practice get it. GET INSURNCE even if you work for a larger spa or massage clinic. Check out all the ones available to you and see what they have to offer. Make sure to add the additionally insured for the establishment.
It’s time for the fun stuff!!!!! Finding a Location! This is key. Even if you are working from home, finding the right space can mean the difference between working in your happy place and being in a dungeon. To best asset what type of square footage you need, draw a diagram to see what works. After you figure out what square footage is needed you can omit locations that don’t match.
Getting your SOAP program. It is imperative that you have a good record keeping plan in place, plenty of software allows a stream line way of doing this, but so does a notebook. I have used Land software in the past but the moment your computer goes down your notes are gone. Massage Book has a free version and is easy to use.
I will go over the supply run in another post, so for now have fun and remember that you are in control of your own destiny.
The dry, cold winter seasons can wreck havoc on the delicate skin. Here are some ways to keep you and your clients skin hydrated in the winter months.
Stay Hydrated. The first step to smooth glowing skin is from within. Dehydration inhibits proper organ function and we all know the epidermis is the largest organ in the body. Don’t like the taste or lack of taste in water? Try adding Lemon, Lime or other fruits to make it more appealing.
Avoid Hot Showers. We are not suggesting cutting out showers altogether, but perhaps change the temperature to a warm or if you are in a already warmer climate to a cool temperature.
Lather on the Cream. The best time to apply you favorite lotion or cream is directly after your shower when the skin is still damp. Look for products that contain hydrating properties such as Aloe Vera, Honey, Arnica, Jojoba and Glycerin. Avoid anything that contains perfumes or artificial colors.
Put on Sunscreen. Adding sunscreen is a vital part of your daily skin care regime and not only continues to protect you from the harmful and damaging effects of the sun, but it also helps protect your skin from fringed wind and the colder air.
Exfoliate. Sluffing off the dead, dry skin is key to keeping the skin looking and feeling soft and healthy. Choose a mild exfoliant that will not irate the skin. Keep in mind the smaller the granule the more it intense the exfoliation.
EAT DARK CHOCOLATE. No, I’m not kidding. Dark chocolate contains nutrients that help improve circulation and dark chocolate contains antioxidants that help repair cell damage.
If you have eyelash extensions you have had the lecture on keeping them clean right. You may have tried the whole baby shampoo and water mixture but then had that sticky, watery feeling all over your eye area, I know I did. Foster(10) has developed a eyelash extension cleaner that not only helps keep your lashes clean and beautiful, the ingredients have also been shown to help strengthen the natural lash. That’s right, stronger lashes mean less fall out of the extension and possibly fewer or less fills. SHH… you may not want your eyelash specialist know about this.
So what is in this magic bottle?
Aloe: If you can’t tell we love this stuff and put it in everything we can. Also Aloe has 6 natural antiseptics. Some preliminary evidence shows that aloe can even slow the aging of skin. If you are curious about other benefits of this wondrous plant then check out our previous blog about our massage cream.
Pomegranate: Yep, its tasty and trendy and amazing for you, that’s why we couldn’t leave it out. Pomegranate is rich in anthocyanin and hydrousable tannins which have anti tumor properties. Here are a few more reasons we put it in our eyelash extension cleanser
* cell regeneration
* anti-aging properties
*helps create youthful skin
*strengthens hair. Eyelashes are hair remember
Green Tea: Loaded with free radical fighting elements, green tea extract has the ability to protect against skin cancer. Green Tea also reduces inflammation and can help destroy any lingering toxins or bacteria that may be hiding in your pores.
Cucumber: We have all done it. Put cucumber slices over our tired eyes, we do it because it works. Foster(10) eyelash extension cleaner has it because it works and has for centuries. In addition to the time honored tradition Cucumber extract also improves complexion, tightens pores, rejuvenates skin and helps reduce hair fall out. Oh and it smells nice.
Chamomile: This anti-anxiety tea also helps reduce inflammation in the skin, said to be anti-cancer, have anti-aging properties, have anti allergic properties so its great even for the most sensitive of skins and is great for the most fragile of skin.
Foster(10) has been developed for massage and body workers by massage therapists and estheticians. Foster(10) massage cream has broken the mold on your traditional massage cream, by replacing water with Aloe Vera juice. Our skin is a organ and we must take care of it as we would our heart or lungs.
Lets look at the benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
– Aloe Vera promotes hydration of the skin
– Aloe Vera gives your body the building blocks to replenish old cells and helps regeneration
– Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial
– Fights against Inflammation
– Boost Vitamin and mineral intake
– Has anti-aging properties
– Reduces acne and blemishes
Really this list can go on and on and on like a Dr. Seuss book, but you get the drift. In addition to this we added some other really delicious elements, like Argan Oil ( you know that stuff that your hair stylist keeps nagging you to put in your hair, yep great for the skin too.), Arnica Extract, Shea Butter, Green tea Extract and plenty of other things to have your epidermis do a happy dance. We also don’t use the stuff that makes shutter. Our lotions are free of Parabens, Dyes and Perfumes. We also don’t use any tree nut oils.
Okay, so seriously what’s up with that name? Foster(10)?
Well apparently all of our creativity has been used up in our formulas. Foster(10) donates 10% of our annual profits to foster care charities. That’s it, no secret reason or inside joke. We do however have a bear on some of our products. Why? We nick named our daughter bear, so we put a bear on our stuff; I guess that inside joke is out of the bag. If you would like to try a one ounce sample of our unscented massage cream just shoot us an email and we will rush to the post office to get it to you! I don’t have a picture of that size so here is one of the 8 OZ.