There is always something to do (besides blogging). I have been busy watching T-ball games, weeding the garden, grilling, and just trying to enjoy this time of year.
I have also made a little more time recently for reading. Right now I am reading The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. I am reading this not because I need to start another business, but because I love Chris Guillebeau (the author of The Art of Non Conformity). I also really enjoy reading about the unconventional, entrepreneurial success of others. This must why I love Meagan Holub’s books about success stories of massage colleagues.
There is one section in Chris’ book that has stuck with me, and that I wanted to share with you. It made me appreciate my job as a massage therapist. It is from a story about Kelly, a lawyer that left her high-paying job to become a yoga instructor and studio owner. Even though her income decreased (at least temporarily) with this career move, there was one major benefit/discovery.
Kelly said she wouldn’t return to her old career. Here is how she put it:
“One time when I was a lawyer, having just worked with an outstanding massage therapist, I said to her, ‘ It must be so great to make people happy.’
And it is.
AND. IT. IS.
The book goes on…
Kelly discovered that the secret to a new meaningful career was directly related to making people feel good about themselves.
Kelly discovered something that we each may take for granted as massage therapists. We are lucky! We have the opportunity in our field/careers to help people feel really good, every day!
Why do you love your job? Is it the feeling you get when you see others happy, relieved from physical pain, or without the stress they had when they walked in your office? Or is it the entrepreneurial opportunities available in the massage field?
Enjoy your day at work tomorrow!
I wrote a blog today on my ashiatsu massage blog that I wanted to share with you. Yes, I have two blogs now. I do not want to overload you with barefoot massage details here. It is for your own good.
This blog post is not just about ashiatsu. It addresses the question, or myth, that home study massage ce courses are dangerous. So, who told you that home study CE courses were dangerous, that massage therapy flushes toxins, or that you could see the Great Wall of China from space?
Tell me here.
Have a good night,
I have a solid addiction to Pinterest. Combine this with my love of massage therapy and we have a massage therapy craft today.
I enjoy time with scissors, fabric, string, and my sewing machine. One of the gifts to my clients early in my career were homemade flax eye pillows. I understand not everyone has this same feeling about sewing. Today, no sewing machines required.
I have used these facerest covers for a few years. The idea came to me when I did not have time to buy disposible facerest covers for an event I was going to work at with my massage table. I had a ton of fleece from making those fleece knotted blankets. I got an idea to make “disposable” facerest covers out of this fabric. They work great during regular massage session, are very easy to make, and are quite economical (easily less than one dollar to make). I use them often as an extra bit of softness over the thinner cotton fitted covers.
What you need:
- Fleece, or other fabric (my favorite fabric is an ultra cuddle fleece)
- Washable Marker
- Something with a 90 degree angle that you do not mind getting marker on (I have a metal square)
- A helpful 4 year old (optional)
First, a few questions for you to think about.
1. How old were you when you became a massage therapist?
2. Were you too young or too old?
3. How did your age affect your starting a massage practice or business?
Recently I read Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption. I won’t beg. But really, read it.
Katie Davis was nineteen year old homecoming queen that had what she describes “everything the world said is important”. She left everything behind and moved to Uganda. In a very short time she set up a school for 400 children, started an organization to help the least of the least, and adopted fourteen girls that all needed a home and a mother. She is still only in her early twenties.
People might think she is too young to be living Uganda raising fourteen girls while running a large ministry. Luckily, if someone did tell her that, she did not let it stop her. While I reflected on her youth, I thought back to sitting in court in China a year ago. The judge looked up at me and said, “1980. You are the youngest person ever to adopt from China”. I did not know whether that was a compliment, or if she wanted an explanation from me. I just smiled at her and held my newest daughter a little tighter. I knew at that moment I was more than ready to be this little girl’s mother. We had both waited long enough for this day. [Read More…]
I was going to take a break and do quick, carefree blog on making no-sew fleece facerest covers. It is on hold for today. This is a quick blog about my day. It may not make sense, but that has never stopped me before.
Random thoughts, by Ivy Hultquist
I just got home from an appointment children’s therapy center. My daughter had a speech evaluation for her cleft lip/palate. The speech language pathologist sat and talked to my daughters, husband, and I for a while. We had tons of fun playing games and learning new ways to encourage our daughter to communicate verbally. Really, it was fun! Then it changed. They told us we needed to talk about insurance. It was clear the insurance company was now in control. We had to test and measure everything our daughter did. How she chewed, swallowed, breathed, signed, and closed her mouth. As we left, they told us were going to look into how much insurance would cover, how many times we could come in, and lots of other insurance rules. Rules, rules, rules. There were no decisions for us to make about the future of our daughter’s treatment. That was a decision for someone else, whom we never have met, to make now. It was much less fun at the end of the appointment for everyone involved.
Why are speech services covered and massage therapy is not?
Simple. They have found a way to show measurable results consistently. My daughter, who could not say ten words a few weeks ago, can now say 50. They have shown that their approach works. Insurance companies want to pay for something that works and shows results.
Will we ever get there ourselves?
The massage field is working hard to show measurable results through evidenced-based massage. This will surely please the insurance companies and other medical professionals. And do you know what? We will get there. I am sure of it. Doctors will write more prescriptions for massage and many more insurance will cover massage. People will be lined up for more massages. We can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Or, can we?
Will these changes please our clients?
I have those clients (and I am sure you do too) where I sit down and ask them how they are feeling today. I ask them what has improved, and what I could do differently this time. They look at me.
I can see it in their eyes:
I am not here to be asked twenty questions, Ivy. I am not here to be measured; I am here for a massage.
I can hear it in their voice:
Ivy, just do what you always do.
Handing an insurance card to your massage therapist will take away some of the financial stress of paying for the massage, but it will also take away something special about the total relaxation of the massage experience. The part where client walks in and does not need to rate their pain on a scale of one to ten and answer twenty other questions. The part where you, the massage therapist, does not need to worry about pleasing the insurance companies rules during the massage session.
Some clients love the part where they check in their stress at the door, forget the questions, get on the massage table, and let us just do what we are trained to do.
We can easily measure pain reduction, but there are some things about a massage that are immeasurable.
Just some random thoughts for today…
What do you think?
This week I posted my new continuing education course, Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage.
I have worked on this course for years. The pilot for the course went great, and I am thrilled to finally see it up and available on Advanced Massage Techniques.
If you read my blog with any regularity, you know that I credit ashiatsu massage to long, happy massage career. I love the results I see with my clients and the reassurance that I can be a massage therapist as long as I want to be a massage therapist.
I discovered barefoot massage very early in my career. I have researched barefoot massage techniques and practiced barefoot work for years. It was the perfect modality fit for my clients and myself. I knew I had to share this modality with others, and I was pretty confident I could find a way to make this modality available to more people. I want other massage therapists to have long, happy careers and I think barefoot massage could be the answer for a lot of colleagues.
I invite you to visit Advanced Massage Techniques to learn more if you are interested in ashiatsu massage. I will answer your questions about whether you can safely and effectively learn this modality from home. You can find out about the requirements for the course and the benefits for you and your clients. The course is thorough . It is over 150 pages and includes photos, videos, and lots of fine details about how to integrate ashiatsu into your practice.
Have you have ever wanted to learn more about ashiatsu, but have not had the time or money to travel? Maybe you just want to see if barefoot massage may be something worth exploring further? This may be your opportunity.
As always, I love to talk to colleagues about questions or concerns. Feel free to contact me (see my email below).
Oh, and I have a new ashiatsu blog. This will be a place for all barefoot practitioners to talk about barefoot massage.
iPods, iPhones, and iPads are great tools (and tax deductions) for massage therapists. I love that my iPod runs far over an hour, I can delete songs off the playlist, and it never skips. My iPad has become a great client teaching tool and for record keeping, and an easy way to take credit card payments.
Here is a quick run-down of apps I think massage therapists may find particularly useful in their practices. I will continue to update this blog post with colleague suggestions that I receive, so I invite you to check back.
Use these stunning 3D apps for reference and to educate clients. You can show your clients about muscle movement and dysfunction while you explain the reasons you believe massage therapy will benefit them.
3D Bone and Muscle App – $7, a must.
Pocket body Another muscle app. This app is 19.99 on iPhone, $29.99 on iPad. Pricey, but wow.
Anatomy in Motion – Check them out on Facebook too.
PostureScreenMobile, The app costs $9.99 (There is a minimal fee for the screenings after the first 10). Someone suggested they are using it to document the postural changes before and after sessions.
Espresso Massage Therapy App – Android App that is not yet available for Apple users.
P.S. Does anyone have pathology or prescription drug app they use and like?
$ Money $
Square Up – Very cool credit card processor from the sounds of it. When you sign up, they send you a free little one inch by one inch square that fits in the ear piece to scan credit cards . There is no contract and your money (minus a %2.75 fee) is bank in 3 days. Available for Iphone and iPad.
A necessary evil in my opinion – Paypal. It a “square-type” tool also.
Pandora – First, sign up and pay the fee to end the ads. Try the “massage radio” station, build multiple stations, or let your clients build custom stations.
Every massage therapist needs a white noise app. Honestly, this is the one app I could not live without! I use this at home every night for sound machine (ahh brown noise), at work I use it for background noise (ocean noise, Tibetan singing bowls, rainstorms, running water, waves, wind, a vacuum- you name it). It also has a nice clock display or keeping track of the massage session.
Here is my old blog post about my favorite music selections to fill up your iTunes library.
You will want a docking unit to play music from the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I love my JBL Speaker Dock. I highly suggest one that plays music AND charges your device
You can also hook up your devices to your headrest if you have the Earthlite Zenvi – Sound & Face Rest Cushion
For those of you who have discovered the great world of online massage scheduling, there are a few apps available.
There is also
Stay Social and Build Your Business with these apps!
SOAP Note Apps
Massage Therapist Notebook $12.99 (Used to be $25) – I do not have this app, but it the choices for soap notes seem to be very limited. If you have something better, please share!
Here is a great GPS app to find your client’s house and the nearest Jimmy John’s.
Okay, now it is your turn to share with your colleagues other Apps you find useful for your business.
Back to the app store!
Photo Credit: smemon