Thursday, 31 December 2009

Twenty Ten or Two Thousand and Ten?

I'm going for the former.

Just sounds better.

Happy New Year!

Friday, 25 December 2009

A Massage Therapist's Right Thumb Wishes Everyone a Merry Christmas!


Yep, Artie likes to dress up in a Santa outfit every Christmas.
He's nice and snuggly buggly in his wee suit.

Have a good one y'all!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

My favorite client....

......gave me WAY too much for Christmas!
I just opened the envelope, D!
That was WAY TOO much!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

When a client loses a loved one...

...what do you do?
What do you even say?
I got an email from a client a couple of days ago telling me her son passed away suddenly and she wouldn't be able to make her appointment. I couldn't even believe that she had the presence of mind to email me. Her son was only 29 and he wasn't expected to die - he just got sick and things went from bad to worse very suddenly.
I've been in the same situation before - where clients have lost someone close suddenly, but every time this happens I'm at a new loss on what to do. I'll go to the funeral, send a card and have a the tissues near at hand when they return to getting massages. The thing is, I'll probably bawl my eyes out next time I see them. I'm not an emotional person. Seriously. But there's something about losing a loved one that just makes me cry, especially if it's someone young and the death is unexpected.
One time a client showed me a tattoo she had got to remember her brother by - he also had passed away young and suddenly. SHE wasn't crying, but as soon as I saw that tattoo I just lost it.
How do you handle it?

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Know What's Lovely?

When clients bring you all these wee lovely gifts at Christmas.
Lots of lovely gifts.
It's brilliant!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Six Word Saturday AGAIN!



DEARY ME. ANOTHER WEEK GONE ALREADY?


I've been busy.
I mean - REALLY busy.
For example, yesterday I had a chair gig all day. The day before that I had a 8 am start of a chair gig at an office until lunchtime and then table work all day- didn't get home til 8:30.
Wednesday was table work all day.
Tuesday was another chair gig and table massage.
It's been crazy.

I need to be better at promoting myself at the chair gigs though. On the Tuesday gig I was with 2 other therapists - both seemed really nice and the 3 of us had actually done the same venue last year. It was a mothers group get together at a local church - there were having raffles, food, pampering things with someone doing hand treatments etc. Anyway, one of the other therapists was WELL organized. She had cool promotional stuff, wee presents in bags and 10% off coupons in them etc. Now NORMALLY if I wasn't so busy I would have thought of this and got my act together and I was sort of kicking myself when I saw it.

So I'm thinking that when times are slow I should just put little packages together like that for the chair gigs and just have them ready for the next time.

Preparation is a good thing.

Where does the time go? I thought I'd only started playing Six Word Saturday yesterday!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Wee Sally Has Got Me Playing This.....

"TOO MUCH TIME ON THE COMPUTER"

I think that is pretty much self explanatory.

Friday, 11 December 2009

All I want for Christmas is...


- A Snuggie - with my business logo on it and matching snuggies for my husband, cats, friends, family, neighbors and neighborhood coyotes (they look cold).
- A good GPS designed for geocaching that makes me feel like Spock (yes, I use multimillion dollar satellites to find tupperware in the woods)
- A Kindle. (One of my brothers and I got my Mum one and I'm going to see her reaction over skype when he gives it to her on Christmas Day. How cool is THAT?)
- A Maserati - only because I like singing the old Joe Walsh song, that's all
- World Peace
- The cure for cancer to be found/let known and for the cure to involve having a massage every day.
NOTE: These are NOT in any particular order.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A Massage Therapist Strips

But not in the way one might think (which would be a bad thing. Really).

Today I stripped myself of reflexology. Yep, I took it off my website, including my Christmas Specials and I'm taking it off my trifold master copy and I threw away my chart the other day.

Mad, eh? Especially since I'm going to lose income from this decision.

I've been learning quite a bit these past few weeks. I mentioned the book in an earlier post and I've been doing some digging into research findings and answering some questions for myself. The end result has been that I now don't believe that reflexology works.

Something happened in my usually-vacant head. I had someone come for a session on Saturday and my "talk" was not the same. I felt like I was selling snake oil. Now, don't get me wrong. I think a lot of my clients felt something from reflexology, but it may well have been just a placebo effect or it may just have been from getting a relaxing foot massage, but I don't believe in the theory of reflexology any more - this has all come from reading and looking at research findings (plus some help from the folks on the website that I bailed from last week).

Isn't it funny how life is like a continual school?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Question


On the one hand the portly dude in red would bring joy to poor kids all around the world.
On the other there's pure diagnostic genius and a sarcastic wit that's just awe-inspiring. If Gregory really existed I'd work on his poor leg for nothing - now THAT'S saying something!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Unlearning "Stuff" from Massage School


Know how we were all told about having to drink water after a massage to get rid of lactic acid and other metabolic waste from the massage?

Well, scrub that out of your brain. It's wrong.

There has been research that shows it's wrong and here's a good article on the flushing out toxin myth


This article is by Eric Grant and the guy is a great source on information on all sorts of topics got to do with massage.Here is a list of his other articles


Happy reading, everyone!

Do you think that maybe someone should give their prize back?

Check out this bloggers cartoons on Al Gore. He's getting hit hard.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Get This Book and Wonder.....


(NOTE: if the amazon widget isn't showing up click here)

...WHY, WHY, WHY are we not taught this in school?
Canadians are. Canadians are way ahead of the game massage education wise, which I've wondered about a lot. Maybe it's because they've got better beer there or something. Maybe it's because our big political bodies here in the US have been at each others throats so much. Who knows?

Anyway, we're not taught research literacy in our massage schools and we should be. There's a reason for this. When we think about taking on new modalities it's very easy to find all sorts of claims on the internet and in books and magazines which are presented in the form of research. The only problem is I never knew the difference between a Systematic Review and a Quasi-Experimental Study or other types of studies. Turns out this type of information is pretty important. I mean, really important. I'm saying pretty dang amazingly mind-blowingly important.

Educate yourself and then research the research. Quiz your teachers too. There's a good chance they don't know this stuff either. They should. Everyone should.

"FRIENDS, ROMANS, COUNTRYMEN. LEND ME YOUR EARS....!!!"

Saturday, 5 December 2009

I woke up thinking this might be a good idea.....

...since I've been stressed, knocked about and disillusioned about things lately - most of which has been brought upon me by my own doing and stupidity.

But after working all day I got a glimmer of hope and the hope came from my clients since they're just so nice. I'm very lucky to have nice clients. Today I had 7 clients. Three of them were new, and three of them needed a prenatal massage.

I have a 'referred by' line on my intake form and some people say they just found me on the internet, but I probed one of the pregnant clients today to see where and how she found me. She said there is an infertility group discussion board and someone on there had recommended me. It was good to hear. Since the internet is playing a part in my stress, it's ironic that this came up. I did a wee search to see if I could find something on an infertility board, but couldn't find anything, but I did find this which I didn't know about. It's weird the way you find stuff that people are writing about you when you own a business.
It made me smile.

Yep, I'm glad for my clients, especially the ones that are pregnant - so I went off the idea of visualizing human extinction as the day went on! I think that might be a good thing.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

And ye keep on learning!

I'm getting philosophical here - sometimes things happen to direct you from "taking sides" in a situation where sides should not be formed.

Lately my inner she-geek was drawn to what I thought would be a bunch of gorgeous learning about stuff that's right up my alley - like boolean operators and maybe some sleek algorithms. I like boolean operators. They're logical, true and good.

Instead I found myself falling into an online blunder (created by my own stupidity) which forced me to bail a website, but I also started to come to the conclusion that a massive split is forming between the energy workers in our profession and the science based workers. The blunder forced me away, but I'm sort of half glad of it. I don't want to be a part of something that promotes "crapping on the other side", which was what I was witnessing in part. Progress really should be positive and a lot of what I saw wasn't positive. "Let's call the other side names" was what I witnessed the most. Not exactly productive or educational. Oh well.

I've a question - why does life have to have so many freakin' "sides" and we're always expected it pick a "side"? "Sides" suck.

I got kicked off on a learning mode which I'll probably continue on my own though since my interest was peaked.

Note to self - be careful what you sign yourself up for - it mightn't be what you think.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Ye learn something new every day

It's been crazy lately.

Yesterday I did chair massage at the wee software firm all day and today I did seven hours of table massage. The reason for this masochistic behaviour is that I'm taking a bit of a break from massage next week (although I work Monday) and so I'd to pile a lot of people in today.

Anyway, I learned something new yesterday.

The phrase "Panties in a wad" is the American equivalent of the British/Irish phrase "Knickers in a Twist" (a client and I figured this out during a session - it's funny the things that come up during sessions, isn't it?)

Yep, and I'm thinking of coming up with a "Untwisting of Knickers" massage since everyone seems to have them in such a state these days.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

PTSD and returning soldiers


The Universe is a funny thing.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Chamber of Commerce Friday morning meeting, only I REALLY didn't feel like going. I wasn't feeling that great since I have "gut issues" and they're the worst in the morning.

Anyway, when I was coming out of the cubicle in the restroom (this is probably TMI, but I'm trying to give you a picture here!) there I came a across a woman who had tears in her eyes, so I asked if she was OK. I'll not say what was going on with her, but the situation ended with me giving her a big hug, we had a wee chat, I gave her my card and told her she should come get a massage and it would be on the house.

I found out from another colleague at the Chamber that the lady was involved in setting up a group to go to the airport to do nice things for the soldiers coming back from overseas. So I thought that she'd be a good one to ask about looking into getting a group of massage therapists to go out to the airport to work on some of the soldiers as volunteer work (just chair massage). I had it on my "list" of things to look into.

So. Weird thing happened today. When talking to a fellow MOST-EXCELLENT massage therapist blogger on the phone today, Christina, I mentioned what I was planning (plus a lot of other stuff since I'm SO excited that Christina is planning on moving to Texas).
THEN a couple of hours later the lady that I met in the restroom called to set up an appointment for her massage and we talked about the airport/soldier thing then too. She thought it was a great idea. So she's contacting the contact that I need to contact to see about getting this thing going.

Back to my favorite quotation of all time: "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous". The pattern of me not feeling that great/meeting the lady because I didn't feel that great/talking to Christina and then the lady calling right is leading me to get this thing going (and yes, that was an overuse of the word "contact").

Plus I think the lady that was upset deserves a free massage. She's obviously had a rough time of it and she's a nice person.

Just out of interest, I came across this good article on post traumatic stress disorder and massage .

Very interesting. Looks like chair massage will be as far as I'll go since the article suggested that I might need more training for dealing with PTSD clients on the table.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Rollercoaster day...


I'd an early start again - first client at 8 am. I did 6 massages today and it went good. I was GRATEFUL today though since a lot of the people in their businesses around me aren't busy these days. There is a lot of talk about how business has slowed down for most. After doing 6 massages I was tired.

So I came home and we got dinner in and I vegged in front of the T.V. I watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and was transformed into an angry mass on the couch.
I like that show but they brought up the "happy ending" crap in this episode. There's a "masseuse" that is handling...well...you know...and of course there's a big joke made of the whole thing.

It amazes me how much this "Joke" is brought up on HBO. It's not only with CYE (they've joked about the same issue before - this wasn't the first time), but I've seen it on "Entourage" too.

It really puts me in a foul mood.
What can we do about it though?

Friday, 13 November 2009

To Wait for Walk-ins or Not To Wait for Walk-ins

THAT is the question.
Well, yesterday was interesting. I had 3 people reschedule, so in the afternoon I was headed out when I ran into the manager of the place I'm in. She was telling me that sometimes she has walk-ins requesting massage and there's no one to work on them. So I explained that I lived within a 3 minute drive and asked her to always try me on the phone if there is a walk-in and I'm not here.

After I left I literally got a call from her within 5 minutes. Someone wanted a massage. I did a U-ey and went back. It was a 45 minute massage and I gave the dude $10 off because it was his first massage with me (my usual policy).
He gave me a $65 TIP. Nice!

So walk-ins are a good thing.

I think one of the things that may have increased the number of people asking is that they recently put a large "MASSAGE" sign on one of the windows at the entrance to the building. (I plan on taking a photo of this sometime and putting it on the blog).

Right now I'm now working on my laptop in my room and I'm going to do this more - just letting the manager know that I'm available if anyone is around.

Since I worked out of my home for so long the concept of "walk-ins" just didn't ring with me, but I've got to change my attitude, especially on days where I have a lot of people reschedule or if I'm just slow.
Change is good, right?
I'm just glad they have a wireless internet connection here!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Hotel talk

Word on the street is that The Four Seasons in this neck of the woods is in serious difficulty.

I know that some would fear for the loss of jobs and wotnot, but I'm not surprised they're in the red and I'm sort of glad they're in diffs. There's a reason for this.

A few years back I had an outcall to the hotel. So I pulled up in my little jetta with my fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror. I had to haul ALL my equipment (which included my table) on to one of those luggage trolley thingies and then park my own car AND NOT ONE OF THE BELL STAFF CAME NEAR ME.
I had my tips in my pocket ready to give out. Had someone helped me I would have tipped WELL because I work in a job where good tips are appreciated. I also used to work in hotels in my 20's so I know what is expected.

A woman that was driving a Mercedes that had Louis Vuitton bags had a plethora of people around her.

About a year after that I went to the "W" in downtown Dallas for work again (I normally don't go so far, but I liked the client). The guys there were really helpful, about 3 of them helped me with my gear. One of them even said that my little beat up jetta would go on for ever.

One other thing about the Four Seasons, I don't know what the attraction was about the hotel. The rooms are small and I've stayed in nicer accommodations in Crowne Plaza and Marriott hotels.

SO if anyone ever asks what the best hotel is in the metroplex, I have NO hesitiation in saying "The W. Don't go near the Four Seasons. They suck".

Just goes to show how things pan out and the importance of treating everyone the same, fuzzy dice and all.
I always try to keep this in mind when dealing with Joe Public.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Proof that I am not a morning person


I'd an early start this morning.
I have a little workflow pattern that I go through to set up before work and as part of that I put my lotion bottle in the towel warmer just to warm up the lotion.

Only this morning I was out of sorts.
I put a bottle of water in the towel warmer.
I caught on when I saw my bottle of lotion and checked to see what I'd actually put in the towel warmer.
If things had gone on in this mode, I would have given the first client a bottle of lotion to drink after the massage and I would have been massaging with warm water.

Then again, I supposed it would be OK to massage with water if the client happens to be possessed - holy water in that case.
Possessed clients aren't fun to work on though. I think it's the way their head turns 360 degrees that's just distracting and the fact that you've to use twice as much Oxy Clean on the sheets since they spew so much green pea soup.
They could do with a face toning massage though!

Happiness is...

...a new electric table warmer.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Big Magnets and No Business Cards

I went on a home visit yesterday and called in at Half Price Books (one of my favorite stores) on the way home.

When I came out of the store there was a woman wailing and shouting down the phone in the parking lot. I'd never seen anyone so hysterical. Anyway, I was walking to the car, when another woman approached me. I thought she was going to remark on the wailing Banshee, but instead she said "You're a masseuse?" (yes, I dislike that term as much as the next massage therapist).
She had noticed my car magnets and started a conversation where she wanted to know where I worked, how much I charged etc.
Meanwhile the wailing Banshee was getting even louder.
It was a sort of surreal few minutes. It was nearly like some sort of test whereby I was being tested on whether I could still talk about what I do when someone is having a total meltdown nearby.

Anyway, I didn't have business cards with me.

What's the first rule of thumb for every business owner/massage therapist? ALWAYS have business cards. You'd think I'd know that by now, right?
Anyway, the lady had a writing pad and wrote down my information.
It's funny, I always think that no one notices those magnets on the side of the car, but they do. They're an easy and cheap marketing tool and you never know who sees them!

As for cards - well, I REALLY should have been giving one to the Banshee too.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

I thought it was going to be a killer week


But things don't always turn out the way I planned.

I had 1 client sick.
Another 4 rescheduled (I thought the full moon was on Monday??? It seems that everyone was a bit crazy this week) and I had to reschedule 1 because of a gut issue.
It was still OK - 21 massages, but I thought it was going to be a 27 massage hour week.


Oh well....maybe next week

A Piece of Massage Equipment Going Haywire

My electric table warmer has turned menopausal.

I have no idea what is going on with it, but it's beeping and doing weird stuff and it just isn't working the way it should. Of course, maybe I've just configured some weird thing in it by mistake. I need to look at the instructions if I can find them. (Yes, I need the instruction thingy - how sad is that?)

The clients like a nice and cozy table. I think it makes a difference, especially since the cold weather will be coming in soon. I don't normally keep the table warmer on during the massage - except when someone asks for it to be kept on. Part of the reason is that I've I'm wary of the effects of electromagnetic fields on the body, but I do like to warm the table up before the client climbs in since it evokes that "Mmmmmm...this is nice" response.

Anyway, if the warmer has a hot flash, that's OK. It's what it's supposed to do anyway!

Friday, 6 November 2009

The epitome of professionalism


I'd a long day yesterday, so I came home and flopped in front of the T.V and watched the mind-numbing Housewives of Orange County.
After lowering my I.Q drastically I got up and felt my butt.
Something didn't feel right.
Sure enough, after heading to the bathroom mirror to investigate I found out there was a huge rip in the butt of my jeans.


I'd been wearing these jeans all day at work and I have no idea when the tear happened. It was no small rip but the only good thing was that I was wearing navy underwear (and no, I don't do thongs - I'm actually glad I wear big Bridget Jones's).

Yep, I'm just the height of professionalism!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Dusty Days

It always amazes me how quickly my massage room gets dusty.
Seriously. It seems that I've to go over things daily since it accumulates so fast.
And as for under the table? It's a magnet for dust bunnies.
I'm glad I have an easily "swifferable" and washable floor.
It makes a hec of a difference and I just feel better knowing the room is clean.

But then is it any wonder the room gets dusty so fast?
There are a lot of claims on the internet (and some that say the claim isn't correct) that dust is mainly comprised of dead skin cells. Since I work on skin all day, it's hardly surprising that just my work could create a lot of dust, even if I use lotion most of the time. I've also read that it is made up of fabric fibers (and every massage therapist's room is sheet city), bits of food and other dry stuff and just plain ol' dirt.
Taking it further, dust might contain: pollen, mold, fungi, plant and vegetable matter, insect parts and if there is a mattress or pillow involved it could have dust mites and dust mite poop. Dust mites apparently feed on human and animal dander (our skin flakes) and apparently we shed about 1/5 of an ounce of dander each week.

Lovely, eh?

I'm off to do a bit of swifferin' and moppin'......

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Wee survey....

If you're an MT please take a minute this wee survey for someone that is trying to gather info on wages/etc. She is especially wanting feedback from MTs that work for other people, so please send the link to your MT buddies too!
Cheers!

Monday, 2 November 2009

It's a full moon tonight, so no massaging after dark


Don't you just hate it when you're working on someone and then they start transforming into a werewolf right there on the table?
You end up having to feed them a chicken just to keep them from howling and using 10 times more lotion on them since they're so hairy.

It sucks.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Massage Therapists of the World: Save Your Thumbs!

OK, so you know how I love my thumb, Artie?
Well, there's a reason for that which I think is easy to work out. I love my thumbs because if I injure them then there's a good chance I can't work as a massage therapist anymore.

Last night I went to the local school to the intern clinic and got a massage. The massage was good, but I SOOOOO wanted to tell the student to go easy on the thumb use. I was waiting on her asking for feedback from an MTs point of view, but she didn't ask and I didn't want to appear to be a "know-it-all-pain-in-the-neck" MT (let's admit it, there are lots of them out there) who would jump on telling people what to do.

Anyway, I'll go back in a few weeks and get another one to see if she's changed up her style a bit. She'd only just started her internship and I think she's going to be really good - I just don't want to see her injure her wee Artie. If she's still using them a lot I'll maybe drop a hint or two.

Going to the school made me think of the first massage I ever did on Josephine Public in my internship. It was a disaster. I sweated like a pig and thought I was going to keel over on to a pile on the floor. It still makes me cringe to this day when I think of it - the woman still came back to the clinic - she just didn't ask for me!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Face Toning Aromatherapy Massage


The worst thing about working for myself is that I don't really have anyone to run ideas by. I can sit and have brainstorming sessions with my multiple personalities, but sometimes they refuse to surface.
I sat and thought of Christmas specials again and since I've REALLY got into aromatherapy I decided to do a Frankincense essential oil face toning massage. My aromatherapy teacher is cool since I sent her a quick email to see what she thought and she suggested adding sweet orange oil to the blend too since the two oils complement each other well - and she's right. I was SOOO glad to have someone to run an idea by over email. She's great.
Frankincense is "Christmasy" and it's also one of the best oils for the skin and it suits many skin types.
It'll be interesting to see if I sell many. Usually what happens with the face toning massage add on is that people try it once and then keep on getting it since it's so relaxing.
I sat up and updated my website last night with the new massage specials. Would you be tempted to try it?

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It also happens to be the most stressful
AND the busiest time of year for MTs
AND the time when we make the most money

I've got a list a mile long of things I need to do to promote gift cert sales, specials, wee things I'll sell and general promotional ideas I need to implement that come from being in a different location with 40 other little businesses around me.
Oh, and I need to include "Don't have a nervous breakdown" on the list too.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Holy Sheet


How often do we have to get our sheets together?
If there's one thing that we know about it's folding them.
OK, so taking 20 massages per week (I think that's the average), working 48 weeks out of the year, that's at least 1920 sheets per year that need folded and washed (approximately).

So over the past 6 years, I've probably folded round about 11,500 sheets just for work.
That's a helluva lot of sheet-folding.

Man, if only there were an Olympic event for it.........MTs would be ALL OVER IT.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Wee things this Massage Therapist has learned

1. When getting up to do 30 second commercials at networking meetings, be careful when trying to tell a joke since there is a chance no one will laugh BECAUSE NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION
2. When getting up to do 30 second commercials at networking meetings, don't be overly concerned about your gut hanging over your trousers or what you wear BECAUSE NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION
3. When you go to networking meetings and someone says "Is this your first time?" when it's actually your sixth, don't be alarmed, BECAUSE NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION

Or maybe it's: "BECAUSE NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO ME"

Sometimes I really wish I looked like Cheryl Crow.

Friday, 23 October 2009

It's REALLY nice to be missed

I spent most of today at an office doing chair massage. I also had 2 regular table massages, so I'm knackered, but the chair massage gig was a long one....but nice!

I'd been going to the office every month for ages, but then last January they started a ton of renovations to the office, so I couldn't go - there was nowhere for me to massage since the offices were being torn apart in stages. I thought I'd never hear from them again, but the office manager called about a week ago and asked if I could go today since they were having a health fair.
I was amazed at the number of people that said they missed me - all these wee software guys.
The office manager said that she sent out an email saying I'd be there today and that there would be a sign up list in the kitchen. She sent the email and she said by the time she got to the kitchen there was a line of people waiting to sign up!
Plus I got a free 'flu shot too - can't beat that.

We're going back to our monthly visit.
It's nice to be missed!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

I love the prenatal yoga teacher at Medical Center of Plano

Why?
Because I've had 3 new clients from her class over the past 2 weeks and another new one has just booked - 4 new clients from 1 person in 2 weeks - now THAT'S a good referrer. It could also be a "ripple" effect, you know, the people in the class that have talked about their prenatal massage, but at the same time, I know the teacher is giving out my cards to people. She rocks.

I gotta get over to the class and give her a gift certificate for a 1 hour massage as a thank you.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Obligatory Photo of Cows in the Field:


Can't have a photo of Ireland without cattle......these ones were at the back of the house, just hanging out, wondering who the dork was with the camera.

Our Meadow:


Just a typical Irish field, right? There is a little stream where the hedge is in the distance where my brothers and I would build dams and catch "spricks" (what we called tiny fish, and I have no idea what they were really called).

It's green. Very green. And there are no nasty snakes in the grass.

North coast of County Antrim


My family used to go on vacation to Portrush every summer when I was young and every time I go home I go there with my Mum since my sister lives in a neighboring town. This beach brings back a lot of happy memories for me. The north coast of Antrim has the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, but the water is a tad cold!

(oh, and if you click on the pics you can see it much better)

Where St. Patrick did a bit of meditation....

....and would you blame him for wanting to get away from those pesky Irish? Apparently in the year 445, (that's right, NOT1445, 445) St. Paddy headed off to a wee island on Lough Derg and the whole island (which is VERY small) is now a place of pilgrimage. I know Robin wanted some pics of the homeland and these photos weren't from THIS visit home, but from 2 visits ago. Anyway, on the island they had this little labyrinth-like path that people walk around, meditating or praying (or both) and then they'd leave a little stone in the center. What struck me is that the center of it sort of looked like the yin/yang symbol, the way that the two grass lines come around each other.
It's cool.
If I was rich I'd have one of these in my back yard and my back yard would be 3 fields!

I just watched a not so good movie...

...that had a couple of great lines in it:

"Don't be bitter, Mary. It leads to Botox"

and

"Check out the face lift at 2 o'clock. She looks like she's re-entering the earth's atmosphere". The funniest thing about this is that it was Candice Bergen saying it to MEG RYAN in the movie.

Did Ryan NOT realize that this would make some women watching pee themselves laughing? Or maybe that was the point. Maybe she's making the most of those mutilated lips.
Oh, and they are REALLY distracting - the whole movie was just a Ryan lip watch session.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Hmmmm....not too sure that's a good thing.....

A poor wee hurting client told me today that she's been using visualization techniques to try to help with her knee pain. She said that she's been setting her leg off to the side when she lies in bed and just imagines it as a disengaged piece of meat that's not attached to her.

Not too sure that's the right way of visualizing a limb....
We talked about it though.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

3 things that I hate...

1. Spammers. I have a community site for MTs in Texas and I had to turn off my spam protection since I had a problem with the third party software. I've to upgrade the site (which I'll do tomorrow) to the new version of the software. So what happens as soon as I turn it off? I get bloody well spammed out the whazoo. Spammers hitting the discussion board selling ED pills and the like. Arrggghhhh! If I ruled the world all spammers would be hung by their iliopsoas muscles - yep, open them up, pull those muscle out, hook 'em up and swing 'em.

2. Chicago O'Hare airport. Every time I come through there I have an issue. This time I was pulled over by immigration and kept in a smelly room with other suspicious characters for about 45 minutes (because a middle aged woman with red hair and blue eyes and a wobbly belly just looks like she's up to some badness). I'd to run through the airport to get my connection flight and deal with that line for security that's about 5 miles long. Next year I'm going some other route.

3. Snorters. I thought I was OK on the plane coming over from Ireland when a dude who looked quiet sat beside me UNTIL HE SNORTED. Not "sniffed". NO, this dude sounded like he had a bucketful of snot at his occiput which he managed to rattle in a most gag-inducing way I've ever heard. You know what I mean, right? When dudes do this weird snort thing that just makes you want to shout something really unladylike very loudly. This dude did it every 15 minutes FOR HOURS. It's a good job they don't allow sharp objects on planes anymore since I would have been slitting my wrists from the agony of listening to this dude's phlegm rattle. I even tried my iPod and the rattle came in over the top of Zeppelin. Uncool!

OK, that's my rant for today. I reckon the worst person on the planet would be a snorter who works in O'Hare who spams for a hobby.

Friday, 9 October 2009

OK...so this is proof that...

...I'm a total failure at reading people.
The woman that I was so paranoid about a couple of posts ago (the one that I thought she thought the massage sucked) emailed me to see if she could get in for another massage - and her daughter.
I could get her daughter in, but not her since I'm booked solid this week and she's out of town next week. The MT that's on maternity leave comes back week after next.
So this is a good thing, right?
Thing is, I think she was a bit miffed at not being able to get in. BUT I'm just back from vacation and it's always balls to the wall when I get back since everyone is looking for one this week.
Oh well.....maybe I'm just misreading her again!

Monday, 5 October 2009

The reason I've been so "non-bloggy"

I've been in Ireland visiting the folks and I only got back yesterday.
It's raining in Texas AGAIN.
I got good weather most of the time in Ireland though and it was a nice visit.

Got to go and sort out real mail, email and the like now so I'll be back later!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Oh well......


The massage therapist next door to me is on maternity leave at the minute. She was nice enough to give my name to some of her clients before she left and I worked on one of them today. I didn't get the impression she liked the massage.
What is it with me that I've got to hear "That was great!!!" after a massage? Is it an ego thing? I mean, she didn't say it sucked - she just didn't say much. Maybe I was just conscious of the fact that this was another therapist's client, that I am only a fill in and that she has been with the other therapist for years. So maybe all those facts came into play and affected the massage itself.
Or maybe I'm over analyzing things ......or I'm just paranoid....or completely nuts.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Benefitting from someone else's mistake...again

OK, so remember the story about flakey MT that used to be across the hall and her client that she never called and the fact that I benefited from her flakiness?

Well, I came across a similar situation today. A pregnant client had bought one of those membership deals at a local massage place and she hundreds of dollars worth of credit in her account. She can't get in to use them because they only have 1 therapist that does prenatal massage in the place and she only works 2 days a week, doing 4 appointments a day. Apparently this client has been trying since MAY to get in to get a massage. She was given the run around so much that she just googled prenatal massage last night, emailed me and I got her in this morning since I had another client that had to reschedule.
So I got a new client from their mismanagement. But then they still have her money that they have drawn out every month.
It's not a good thing when I hear of people being frustrated like that, but then if things had gone smooth, I wouldn't be working on her now!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I want.....everything

It's a slow day today so I drove to the massage store. I believe the store, Body Logic, is the only massage store in this side of the DFW metroplex these days. When I first started massage, 6 years ago, there were 2 stores, then it went up to 3 and one of them was only 2 miles from me, but now there's just one. Maybe it's because of the online competition or maybe there's just a drop in MTs in this area. I'm not sure of the reason of the drop.

I walked in there intending to buy 3 things for less than $25, but walked out with $100 worth of stuff. Needless to say, it's an MTs paradise. I could spend hours in that place as well as all my money. It even smells good as soon as you walk in to the place. I just want to buy everything in it.

The reason for the drive is that one of the 3 things I'd to get was a still point inducer for one of my clients. It only costs about $22, and I didn't want to order it online and then spend $10 for the shipping, although considering I ended up spending $100, maybe I should have done that! I used to have one and lent it so a client that I later fired. I don't want to ask them for it back since I just don't want to have any contact with the fired client. If you're wondering why I fired them, it was because they were not respecting my time - continually. It's a long story - one that deserves a post on it's own, but since I don't want to write about negative stuff, I'll probably not! I don't fire clients often, by the way. Most people are nice!

Anyhooooo.......if you don't know what a still point inducer is, here's some information and a wee picture.
I'm going to lend it to a client for her to try out and if she likes it she can purchase one for herself. If she doesn't like it, then it's no big deal. Just so long as she brings it back!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

A Massage Therapist's Right Thumb on Labor Day Weekend


It's a tradition, isn't it? Labor day = grilling day, so the picture above is of Artie about to fire up the grill. If you click on the picture, you'll get a close up view of Artie's little apron, complete with all the accoutrement necessary to be able to flip, nudge and poke.

Artie hopes everyone is having a great weekend!

Blooper #6


The following happened on a looonnnnng day.
It was my first visit to to local Chamber of Commerce and since I was there as a guest I had to get up and speak for about 20 seconds about my business. It was the day before St. Patrick's Day and there were a lot of people dressed in green - some even dressed up as leprechauns. When I got up to speak I think people thought I was putting on my Irish accent and I became incredibly nervous - I started sweating. I could feel the beads of sweat at the back of my neck and on my lip.
After the meeting I'd to go and do a 1.5 hour hot stone massage, which was hot work, then I'd to get some lunch and rush off to a 3 hour chair massage gig in an office.
While in the middle of this session I had a bit of a panic attack. I discovered that my right armpit was stinking.
Well, if there's one thing that doesn't exactly "go together", it's massage therapy and B.O., and of course I had come to the job without any antiperspirant in my bag.
But I put my thinking cap on.
I spray my chair with Lysol every now and then to prevent the spread of any viruses.
So, yep, you guessed it. I Lysol-ed my smelly pit and know what? It worked like a charm!

The lesson learned here is to always carry antiperspirant on chair gigs and to load up on it on days that I know I'll be stressed out!

Blooper #5


Sometimes we get people wanting specific music played during massage, right?

I was pleased to have one of my clients request Pink Floyd since they're one of my favorite bands, so I put on Dark Side of the Moon.
The lesson learned is to NOT play this CD if your client has a habit of falling asleep during the massage. Although it starts of nice and slow, there's one point in the middle of the CD where alarm clocks are played very loudly. The client jumped up, startled, with the daylights scared out of her when the alarm bells woke her up.
It was kind of funny though.....

Blooper #4

This one happened on a chair massage gig and it really isn't that funny, but there's a lesson to be learned.

I was working on someones shoulders during the chair massage when I realized I was rubbing the color off her sweater. Yep, turns out the stuff I was using either to sanitize my hands or clean the face cradle (I think it was the cleaner) was taking the color off her clothes. I'd to give her money to replace the sweater.

Lesson to be learned: check your hands and make sure you've no cleaning materials on them before starting a new client. Also, check the hand sanitizer to make sure it won't remove coloring from clothes.

Blooper #1, #2, #3

OK, so on massageprofessionals.com there's a group where we write about bloopers in massage and I've written 3 on there already. I never wrote about them on here, so I'm re-posting them here so that those that aren't on that group can read about them here. Then I'll add more on here and just put a link to them from their site so that I don't take up that much room on their wall.

Capiche?

It's sad that I've got so many of these stories. I'll start posting the other ones after this....

OK, here are the ones I have posted already:

#1
I'm from Northern Ireland and over there "Erasers" are called "Rubbers". So when changing a client's appointment time in front of her I forgot what country I was in and said I needed to find a rubber before I could change anything. It was a few seconds before I realized what I had just said. I then had to explain (with a very red face) what a rubber was where I come from. She came back anyway!

#2
The following incident happened when I was working out of my home and it's a reminder to always ask the client if they want to use the restroom before leaving them to get ready.

I left the client to get on the table and went to the kitchen to warm up my rice back warmer. My house isn't totally open plan in that you can't see the kitchen if you come out of the room I did massage in, but you can hear what is going on. it took a couple of minutes to warm up the back warmer.
So I'm talking to myself in the kitchen and I come out and the client is standing there wanting to know if she can use my restroom.
The thing is, it's not so much that she caught me talking to myself - it's what I was saying.
I was practicing my Sean Connery impersonation.


#3
OK, here's another one that happened on a home visit. Luckily I'd been working on the couple for years (and still do) but there's a lesson to be learned from this one too.

I was setting up for the massage in one of their bedrooms. I'm sure they wondered when they heard me yelp pretty loudly. The woman comes into the room and finds me standing very awkwardly - I think I look like I was playing twister by myself, but without the actual game. I also had a very red face.
"What's wrong?"
"Um...well...underneath my right foot there is a bug. Could you do me a favor and get me a tissue?"
She gets me the tissue and I very quickly get the bug and squish it (apologies to any Buddhists reading this). Luckily there wasn't too much of a "bug gut" issue on their carpet!

OK, this doesn't sound too bad, right?

The thing is, this was a HUGE freakin' mutant cockroach that had come FLYING off MY sheets when I was shaking them on the the table AND HIT ME ON THE HEAD before landing on the floor.
Thankfully the client didn't get to see the thing. Nor did she ask where the thing had come from.
I used to work in software debugging code. Now when I do an home visit I do a little different type of checking to make sure I don't have to debug in the literal sense - I also make sure I don't ever put my bag in the garage.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

It's labor day weekend.....

.....and I was expecting to do very little work today.

But I did 5 hours of massage and 2 of the 5 were new clients. I've a home visit tomorrow to work on a couple. That's not too bad for a holiday weekend - normally people are too busy going to the lake or somewhere nice.

I better go and throw some sheets in the wash....

Thursday, 3 September 2009

I know I shouldn't get peeved.....

....but there's yet another new massage franchise place opening up near me. I got a letter today from them since they're hiring and they're offering $17 a massage. I just wonder if they're going to be successful in hiring therapists at all. I know I couldn't make a living at that rate without risk of injury. But then I'm old. Maybe I could have done it in my 20's. I worked like a dog for a few years in the hotel industry in my 20's, working in restaurants and cleaning rooms, so maybe it's just an age thing.


This new one is advertising massages at even lower rates than the one that everyone knows (I don't feel like improving their positioning on search engines by mentioning their name in a massage related blog!). Yep, their introductory price is $29.95 for a 1 hour massage. And USUALLY I don't get my knickers in a twist over the price cutting by the franchises, but C'MON, $29.95??????

But I've got to look at this in a way that I can get positive and proactive. The fact is that I can't do anything about them, but all I can do is make sure that everyone that comes to me knows that they get their money's worth when it comes to getting great customer service, extra attention to detail and a massage that is worth twice the amount they pay at that franchise. In essence, I have to be doubly better than them in every aspect.

Amen.

Now how do I do that again?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

I've been in the States 15 years....

....and I'd never seen a $2 bill 'til last week.
Someone gave me it in their tip.
I never knew such a thing existed!

I learn a new thing every day.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Massage Therapy and Swine Flu



If you wake up looking like this RESCHEDULE ALL YOUR CLIENTS. (NOTE: This does not apply if you already look like this before the outbreak.)

Networking to a More Prosperous End of Year

Yep, networking.
I don't know what most MT's think, but networking just "ain't my bag".
Don't get me wrong. It's not like I don't like people. If I didn't like people I wouldn't work in this field. But LARGE GROUPS of people?
And getting up and speaking in front of those LARGE GROUPS of people in a way that is supposed to grab their attention? Well, let's just say, the prospect doesn't exactly fill me with joys of spring.

A client of mine who worked as a corporate trainer once told me that there are two types of people when it comes to handling groups. There are those people that love to be around groups of people and they get re-energized from them. Then there are the second group that get re-energized from being on their own. The first group are extroverts, the latter introverts. Introverts can relate to people on a one on one basis very well. Extroverts handle groups better. BUT you can have a job dealing with groups, but actually be an introvert. She trained hundreds of people in big groups, but at the end of the day she had to be on her own to re-energize. She said that learning to deal with groups is just a matter of exposure. The more you do it, the easier it gets. So I've just got to keep on doing it. Thing is, when you get out of the way of doing it, going back to it can be hard!


Networking groups are good for business. I know this and I'm sure most small business owners know it too.
I've experienced it first hand and when I started my business I got to know the ins and outs of it. Consistency is a big thing. When I was consistent about going to one group and got to know people, I'd get clients. But over the past year or so I let it slip. My client base had got to where I didn't feel I needed to keep it up. It was a mistake to let it slip.

Last Saturday I ran into someone I knew from one of the networking groups I went to. I told her I was actually a member of the city's chamber of commerce, but didn't go to their meetings. She then said that she would start calling me on Friday mornings to make sure I was going. I like the lady since she has a good positive vibe about her and she speaks her mind about everything. She pointed out that I was wasting the membership dues if I wasn't going to the networking meetings.
I had a good think. I had got some referrals from their website which basically paid for the dues, but I wasn't making the most of the membership. Basically this was like getting a gym membership and never going. And just like going back to the gym can lead to sore muscles, I needed to get back into going and just get over that initial discomfort. So I've made a mid-year resolution to start going.

I think my running into the lady was one of those weird "universey thingies" that happens. (As Einstein says "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous"). My reason for this is because I had made it my goal to sell twice as many Christmas gift certificates this year over last year. I had only written this goal down a few days before running into her and I think that going to the Chamber meetings is going to be one approach in hitting that goal. There were at least 100 people at the meeting this morning and NOT ONE MASSAGE THERAPIST was there. So my "cunning plan" (sorry - Black Adder fan) is to be consistent about going and by the time December runs around my face will be well enough known to where people will consider buying certificates off me. I'll also give a discount to Chamber members. The other thing that will work in my favor is the fact that the lady who told me I should go knows a lot of people there so I'll give her referral cards and tell her for every 5 she send me, I'll give her a massage. She has had a couple of massages from me, so she knows who/what/where she is referring to.

My theory is that sometimes we've to do things that put us out of our comfort zone just to know ourselves a bit better and to make progress in business. And sometimes we get a wee nudge from somewhere directing us into that situation. My hope is that when December comes around I'll be back into the "groove" and my palms WON'T be sweating when I stand for my 30 minute commercial.

All I've got to do is practice..........

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Ever had one of those days.....

....when your cranium seems to be stuck up your gluteal cleft?

Well, I've just had one of those. I'm glad it's over.

I messed up SO bad with my first client, I'm embarrassed to even write about it, so I'm not going to.
Thankfully the client is a very regular regular and I think she'll still come back!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Freaky hand gif that I sort of like and I don't know why.....



Maybe it's because I'd actually love to have that many hands? But only if it wasn't viewed as freaky. But then if I was to worry about the freak factor, then what does that say about me? Just a conformist that worries about what people think?

That's enough ponderin' for now.....it's making my braincell hurt.

Heard this today....

"You've got REALLY strong hands"

I bet most MTs hear that a lot, but it's still nice to hear it from clients. Thing is, my hands may be strong, but the lateral rotators of my hip are hanging down the back of my knees!

I need to get those lateral rotators to the gym!

Gaelic lesson #68 "lamh laidir", pronounced "lam lieder", meaning "strong hand"

Thursday, 20 August 2009

There should be a significant reduction in my butt size...

....since it's being worked off me these days.


I definitely think the move was a good idea. My regulars seem to be re-energized and are booking more frequently and I'm starting to see more business come from just being in the new place. It was a LONG day today. I've another long one tomorrow - start at 8:30 am and finish at 9 p.m. I've a big break in the middle of the afternoon though, so I'll be OK, but it's still a loooonnnnggg day.

One other thing I've noticed is that the move has made me re-assess my workflow and processes and the like. It's a good thing - forced me to have a fresh eye on the way I do everything from documentation to preparing for a session.

Yep, sometimes change is good.

Monday, 17 August 2009

How come my list is never ending?

The list in question is "things to do".

Moving has added to the list, obviously, but when I take one thing off there seems to be more things added. One thing that has come to my attention is the number of listings for my business on the internet that I never entered. Some of them have the wrong address. So far I've found about 30 on sites that I knew nothing about - some of them have the business in 2 neighboring towns on streets I've never heard of.
I think one of the reasons is because I have a registered DBA for the business so I'm going to have to go to the county court house and see about it. My theory is that their database is incorrect or has been copied and then stomped on by some other entity that sells business addresses. I think the location change involves re-registering the DBA. Hopefully it will propagate into the sites with the bad info.

Anyone else have this problem?

Friday, 14 August 2009

2 Questions:

Who else has pulled back the sheet and found this?

Ever had the experience of getting a "footy" smell in your nose and it stays with you all day? It doesn't matter how much lavender oil you throw around you, it's just there, and it's not leaving?
I think there's been an invisible sock under my nose all day - with wings and a mission to annoy the crap outa me.

I'm off to use a neti pot......

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Monday, 10 August 2009

So much for customer service.....


You know how I just moved into this new place that has about 8 or 9 rooms for MTs and aestheticians ?

Well, on Saturday I had something strange happen that made me wonder about the MT that used to be across the hallway from me. Apparently she moved out not so long ago. Her sign is still above her door. I never met her, so she has been gone at least 3 weeks since it was 3 weeks ago that I looked at rooms there and hers was one of the options shown to me.
On Saturday my first appointment was leaving and I was waiting for her getting dressed in the little waiting area. There was a lady sitting in the area and we just started chatting about this and that.
Then my client came out and we got her sorted for her next appointment etc.
The waiting lady then said "Do you know if Kaye will be available soon?" And I said there was no one by the name of Kaye that worked here. I checked the sign above the door to see what the name was on there - sure enough, it was Kaye.

This lady had been calling her multiple times, wanting to know where she was at since she had an appointment with her that had been set up weeks ago. Apparently Kaye must have been even more disorganized than me!
Anyway, at that time I had a wee break, so I offered to work on her and told her that I wasn't trying to "steal" her away. She had a hair appointment later in the main salon, so it worked out OK - we did 40 minutes work on her arms, neck and back. At first she was feeling bad about Kaye "maybe" waiting for her somewhere else, but from what I hear about the therapist, she didn't have that many clients. You'd think that she would have been able to answer her phone at least. I think it was pretty bad form not telling her booked clients where she had gone to. And there was no indication where Kaye went to at the salon- no one seems to know anything about her.
Anyway, this new lady booked another appointment with me next Saturday. I've got a challenge on my hands since she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, so I'm on a mission. I'm also curious as to whether or not her former MT will call her back at all during this week. My bet is that she doesn't.

Maybe the fact that Kaye is neglecting her clients might be a good thing for me in this instance since I think I've got a new client, but on the thought that any MT would just leave their clients out in the cold like that just annoys me. It's just uncool and it tends reflect the profession in a bad way. But then again, maybe this was just a one shot deal and there is an logical explanation for it. Maybe Kaye is the unflakiest MT on the planet and this was just one mistake. I hope my presumptions about her are all wrong.

I'll keep you posted on whether she calls her back.....

Gaelic lesson #67 "Ca bhfuil tu?" pronounced "Ka will too", meaning "Where are you?"

Friday, 7 August 2009

Oh well......I kinda deserve it

I'm sitting here in my wee massage room, having just been no-showed.
The reason why is totally my fault and I shouldn't beat myself up about it, but hey, when you've lost $60 through being inefficient and disorganized, that's what happens!

Part of the reason was that I didn't remind the client that I would be here instead of my old place. I had told him after his last appointment (2 weeks ago) but I bet he forgot and was knocking on my door of the house. I sent his wife a reminder email this morning, but I bet she hasn't checked her email lately (I don't have his). Secondly, I forgot to put a note on that door (just in case). Thirdly, my client records haven't all been shifted over here, so I haven't got access to his phone number here - it's in a file on my desk by my computer AT HOME. I should have all my regular email and phone numbers plugged into my new fancy smancy phone, but I haven't got 'round to doing that yet.

The other weird thing is that this client is the only client that calls my home phone and I bet he was calling it - while sitting outside my home!

Sometimes not-so-great things happen for a reason. Organizing my client's information and getting all my stuff moved needs to be a priority, as is getting all their contact info into the iPhone.

One other thing I've noticed is that being no-showed here is totally different from being no-showed at the home office. I was twiddling my thumbs for quite a while. So the fact that there is not time wasting brought into the mix will be further motivation for me to get better organized......

We'll see how it goes!

gotta go here - at least I've 2 more clients to go. Just hope they show up!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Hmmmmm.......

I've encountered my first (and hopefully my only) odd thing at the new place.
I'm in ABMP and as a wee perk that I get this wee free magazine twice a year that is specifically written and designed to put in waiting rooms of massage clinics/spas. It's more like a health magazine that has interesting articles, one of which is always gauged towards educating the waiting client on massage. It's a cool little magazine.

Anyway.......when I worked at home, I'd sometimes have couples wait on each other getting in my living room, and it was handy for that. Since the area that I'm working in now has it's own waiting area that is to serve the aestheticians and MTs only (the hair stylists and nail techs are all in a separate area), I decided to bring in the current magazine along with a couple of other generic mags. I put a stamp of my business (name, website, number) on the front of the mag - they have specifically designed it that way to do so.

I brought the Summer 2009 one in on Thursday. By Thursday lunchtime it was GONE. The other mags I'd brought in were still there (my stamp isn't on them). So I brought the Winter 2008 one in on Saturday. Again, today it is GONE.

So maybe I'm being paranoid here, but maybe someone doesn't like the fact that I've got my mag out there with my business name on them. It may also be that the clients took the mag home, but it was the speed at which they went that makes me a little paranoid. Plus the fact all but one of the other mags are still there ("Health" magazine also disappeared over the past couple of days).
Or maybe it's just such a good mag that it was immediately snatched up?

Anyhoo, I checked with the manager (who is very good - that's one of the great things about this place - it has a great manager) to see if it was OK for me to put the mag around the whole place (they've got many magazine stands out in the hair/nail area), and she said it was fine, so I ordered half a dozen more (they're only a buck a piece to ABMP members). It'll be interesting to see how fast they disappear from the main area - I'll try another one in the little waiting room too.

Velllllly intellesting.....
I've put WAY too many parenthesis in this post. Sorry about that!

Gaelic lesson #66: "feithealann", pronounced "feyalon", meaning "waiting room"

Thursday, 30 July 2009

The only thing I have to fear is fear itself.

Yep, FDR's words are applying to me these days since I moved my business location this week. It's a change, but I believe it is for the better. It's a wee bit scary too!

I am no longer working out of my home. I'm renting a room at a place that is very near my home which has a separate area for massage therapists and aestheticians that has it's own little waiting area. I had a few reasons for the move. Firstly, my husband was getting fed up with not having his home available to him and he couldn't take vacation time if I was working all the time - especially since I work a lot in the evenings. Secondly, I think that I was going a little stir crazy with being in the house all the time, especially on busy days. Sometimes I wouldn't leave the house at all. And thirdly, I just wanted to try something different to see if it is easier to market my business with a different location. Even though I have a fairly decent client base and I think I have a good return rate, it's getting people in for that first massage that was difficult. I think it will be easier to do in this new place and it might give my practice a more professional initial feel. I get a lot of hits on my website, but I think people are reluctant to go try someone in their home - since most of my clients are referred by existing clients, I think I should get more people other ways. It will be interesting to see if I get more newbies from the website.

So I got a floor covering down in the room over the weekend and moved my stuff in on Monday. I was pretty busy on Tuesday and Wednesday and so far my regulars have been positive about the new location. The room is considerably smaller than what I've been working in, but it is forcing me to think of things that I really NEED rather than junk that was accumulating in the room I've been working in. I'm amazed at how much crap I've gathered up over the years. Old massage oils and lotions that I tried and didn't like (why did I keep them?) and tools and little do-dahs that I thought might be interesting to try. I need to have a garage sale for MTs only!


The new place has a shower facility so I can still do some foo foo stuff (salt glows and wraps) and it will be interesting to see if I sell more of them than I did at home. The only thing I can't do is a foot soak since the room isn't big enough to do that, but then soaks were only to get people's feet clean for a reflexology treatment and I can use hot towels for the same purpose - plus cleaning the foot soak thingy was a pain in the neck anyway, so I won't miss it.
The other major change is that I won't have my PC in the next room ready to check my email for people wanting appointments BUT SINCE MY HUSBAND BOUGHT ME AN IPHONE FOR MY BIRTHDAY (which is today and the capital letters is me bragging, yes, I have been assimilated into the iPhone Borg ship), I can check my email through it instead.


The place seems to be fairly quiet. The manager is nice and my next room neighbor is a massage therapist who seems to be very professional and cool. On the other side of me is an aesthetician who seems pretty nice too. She's even sending me 2 of her clients on Saturday which is a good thing in my book!


So we'll see how it goes. If I get on here in a few days ranting and raving about how much I hate it, then I'll just have to grin and get on with it since I've signed the lease for the year. I don't think that will happen though. My initial feel over the past couple of days has been a good one.

OK, I'm off to change a load of online listings!

Gaelic lesson #65 "eagla", pronounced "agla", meaning "fear"

Friday, 24 July 2009

Braveheartical thoughts......


OK.....so back to my movie-soundtracks-played-during-massage-even-though-I'm-starting-to-come-to-the-conclusion-I-shouldn't.

Yes, I'm still playing that playlist.

One track on my massage compilation playlist is called "For the Love of a Princess". You can hear a wee snippet with the little doo-dah at the side of the page - along with other tracks that I've referred to in previous posts. (Plus if you hit the "massage music" label below you'll see those other incredibly boring posts) . It has a bit of a Celtic-y feel to it, which one of the reasons I like it, plus it's nice and slow.

So you might think "What's better than the thought of long haired men in skirts who go a little overboard with blue eyeshadow?" Yes, that thought may come into the client's mind, but there may another:

What's more relaxing than the thought of some guy getting tortured by having his gut ripped open and his intestines pulled out of him like a string of sausages?

Not all that relaxing an image, is it?

Mind you, I think if it was possible to temporarily pull out the client's intestines it would be mighty handy for iliopsoas work!


Gaelic lesson #64 "aghaidhe gorm", pronounced "agee gurm", meaning "blue face"

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

How do you massage away grief?

One of my clients passed away at the weekend. She was a lovely lady and had a good vibe about her and I was sad to hear she had passed. She was referred to me by another client who is one of my favorite clients and the both of them were good friends.

I felt bad for my client this morning since I know she's hurting and I wish there was something I could do for her.

It's a pity there wasn't a "rip out grief" massage. I'd be all over that.

No Gaelic lesson today.......I'll get back to it in my next post.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

It's official...Massage Therapists have the Best Job on the Planet

OK, so guess what the above picture is.
Here's a clue:
Today I spent the day in an aromatherapy class and this was one of the pictures that was shown to us during the class.
Cool, isn't it? I bet someone will get it.

It was a GREAT class. The teacher , Katharine Koeppen, is a registered aromatherapist and it was obvious that she really knows her stuff. I wanted to do a Vulcan mind meld with her (I can't write too many posts without putting a Star Trek reference in here somewhere) so that I could get just a smidgen of the knowledge she knows about the subject. I've come away with a ton of new info, some new oils and a want to learn more - not only for my own clients, but for my own use too. The students in the class were cool too. It was interesting in that there were two people in the class that are not massage therapists - yet another sign that it is becoming more popular.

The fact that we get to use oils in our work just reminds me that we have the best job on the planet. Why? Because it's just COOL!

I'm off to slather some customized oil that I made for myself on the soles of my feet so that I will dream of Brad mistaking me for Angelina (well, there wasn't actually an oil for that......but there's always hope!).

Gaelic lesson #63 "briongloid", pronounced "bringloyd", meaning "dream"

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Your Head "Post" Massage

OK, so maybe most clients don't look quite as bad as the Phil fella, but you have to admit, some do look like they've been dragged through a hedge backwards. I know I do. In fact, the more "dragged through the hedge" looking, the better the massage.


SOOOO when I had a "think" about this problem I decided to get some combs with my business name printed on them and put up a wee sign in my room with some pics of people having a particularly bad hair day with "Got Massage Hair? Have a Comb With My Compliments" on it. I keep having to fill up the comb box - it seems to work well with my clients and I know they like getting free stuff. Giving them some goodies with the business name on it is good in my book.

Taking this FURTHER, I decided to make up a wee box of combs for my hairstylist. Instead of me having a funny sign with bad hair, I made up a sensible one with my logo. I attached a business card holder to the display thingy with referral cards that are specific for my hairstylist ("Terri's clients get $10 off their first massage") and on the back of the card I had a map showing people how to get to my place. Combs and hairstylists go together, right?

At the time I thought this was marketing genius. I actually thought my hair was going to be singed from the brilliant big idea bulb going off above it.

That was 4 weeks ago. I still haven't had 1 referral from it. That's what I get for thinking it was marketing genius!


Oh well.......gotta keep on trying!

Gaelic lesson #62 "gruaig", pronounced "grewig", meaning "hair"

Friday, 10 July 2009

A Reminder to all of us to ALWAYS GIVE GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE...

Word of warning - NEVER give a bad massage to anyone, but most of all, MUSICIANS.

I just wonder how many more songs we'll be seeing about bad customer service......

Saturday, 4 July 2009

A Massage Therapist's Right Thumb Celebrating July 4th

Just in case you don't know it- AMERICA ROCKS. Artie knows it!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Ughhh.....

Hard-sellers. Salesmen. Online social sites. Condescending attitudes. I've just been verbally bombarded by all of them today.

I got a call today from someone that has some sort of internet radio thing, where they interview me, then they take that interview and "set up" pages for me on facebook, myspace and twitter. The lead in was the fact that I'd have a recorded "interview" in which I could talk about the benefits of massage and aspects of my business. When they first talked to me it sounded like they just wanted to interview me on an online talk show, which sounded good to me, but of course, if it sounds good then it's usually too good to be true. This whole thing where they do the twitter/facebook/MySpace thingy was added in later in the conversation. This whole thing would of course "promote my business, get me more clients and have my current clients coming back more often".


Of course, I found out after I'd talked to them for a while that they'd charge me. First price was $250, then they went down to $99 and I was passed off to someone else to try to do more selling. The first dude said that he needed to know today since his job could be on the line if I didn't get signed up and he also said that I was late in calling him back (they'd left a message on my voicemail saying they wanted to interview me initially). Ooops. Really? My bad. I was a bit confused since was I not the one supposed to be enticed into giving him money? Was the way to do it through "guilt"?


The second dude I was passed on to sounded like he had shiny shoes and goop in his hair. If there's one piece of advice that I would pass on to young women everywhere it's NEVER TRUST A MAN WITH SHINY SHOES AND GOOP IN HIS HAIR. He was Mr. Smooth salesman that talked to me as if I'd the intelligence of a neanderthal.


When is it ever good to try to sell something through talking to someone as if they haven't a clue? When is it ever good to tell someone that they have put someone in a difficult spot and their job is on the line if they don't buy whatever it is their selling?


In the end I just told them that I just didn't want to use twitter or facebook for business uses. I really wanted to tell them that if I did want to use it then I think I could figure out how to do it myself since all those sites are set up so that neanderthals could actually set up accounts. But I held back. I wasn't rude. Maybe the pint of whiskey I had for lunch helped.

It's got to the point where I don't answer my phone if it doesn't have a local area code. This is just one example of why I've decided to do that.

Gaelic lesson "61 "uisce beatha" pronounced "ishke vaha", meaning "whiskey"

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Who says?

"Who says 'that time of the month has to be every month'? Who says? Who says?"

MOTHER NATURE, THAT'S WHO !!!!!!!

The T.V. ad for that new pill is really annoying me. Most ads for prescription drugs annoy me to some degree, but this one is really irking my mellow calmness.

Next thing you know we'll be seeing:

"Who says we need to have a bowel movement every day? Who says?"

Maybe that's actually part of the problem - maybe the pill makers are using another pill that makes them "full of it" - ye know?

Gaelic lesson #60"socair", pronounced "sucker", meaning "calm" (yep, irony is lovely)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Why?

Why do people think that they can get in to get a massage on the same day they call, especially if they call in the afternoon expecting to get in during the busiest part of the day (5 p.m. or after)?

I could understand it if they'd call a place that has multiple therapists. I could also understand it if they have called before and have got in, but when they have called a lone therapist MULTIPLE times in the past and have not got in MULTIPLE times in the past (because, lo and behold, most people actually book ahead of time which is why I get booked up in the evenings), would you not think that they would learn to book in advance? Why?

Gaelic lesson #59 "abair liom cad chuige", pronounced "aber yum kad hooigah", meaning "tell me why"

Saturday, 20 June 2009

I heart Constant Contact

I do.

I was late getting myself organized for Father's Day this year as far as advertising specials. BUT I got a little constant contact email sent out on Tuesday which took about 20 minutes to put together and got $420 worth of gift certificate sales just from it alone. I love the way they have it formatted to where you just have to tweak a few things, upload a couple of images and add a bit of text, some paypal buttons and there you have it - people can buy the GCs online without me ever having to meet them. I either email them the certificate or pop a card to the recipient in the mail.

I love the Internet. If the Internet was to be re-manifested as a human, I'd buy him/her a pint of Guinness (or several hundred).

Gaelic lesson #58 "pointa", pronounced "point-cha", meaning "pint"

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Practice what they preach?

Saw this bumper sticker today:

"Doctors should teach nutrition
Not pharmaceutical addiction"

Thing is, the car that had it was at the drive through window at Braums - not a whole lot of good nutritious stuff on their drive through menu.

Just seemed weird.....

Gaelic lesson #57 "uachtar oighir", pronounced "oochter eeher", meaning "ice cream"

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Simple things.

I went out driving at lunchtime today and I saw this little Chinese man on a bicycle. He was probably in his 70's and he looked really fit. He looked as happy as a clam too - big smile from ear to ear as he was pedaling away. I wondered if he'd just received some good news or if he was always that happy.
I'd just seen him when I came up to a red light. I looked out the window and there's this young fella on a really flash, expensive motorbike. He was obviously annoyed that he was at a red light and was sitting on his flash bike cursing and going on. Fancy bike, fancy clothes, but obviously in a foul mood.

So I sat there and wondered who I'd rather hang out with. That one was a no-brainer - even if the wee Chinese dude and I couldn't communicate, I'd rather be in his company, plus the fact that Mr Flash-bike didn't have on a helmet indicated that he had little brains to protect.

Then I wondered if I had to swap places with one of them in body and life, who would I choose to be? That one is a bit harder!

Gaelic lesson #56 "sonas', pronounced "soan-is", meaning "happiness"

Saturday, 6 June 2009

A sign that Aromatherapy is becoming more popular...

I just worked on a client who had just purchased a lot of oils and she was excited about using them in her home and as a natural alternative for many uses, including as an insect repellent for her kid. So we talked about the best carrier oils and uses of some of the oils. I was impressed that she was getting into it so much and not just viewing it as something that her MT uses in her massage session. She said she's become inspired by watching "Everybody Nose" on Veria T.V. I have to admit that I've never watched it, but apparently an aromatherapist talks about different recipes for different uses on it.

There are 2 Veria Wellness centers here in the DFW area. I know they're a big operation and if I'm not mistaken I think that Veria actually owns Massage Envy.
I'm amazed a the fact that they have their own channel on FIOS. (I think it's channel 162 in this area).

I'm going to check out the show. I think it's great that it's educating the viewer on the use of aromatherapy for everyday use. Maybe some day everyone will be using oils for most uses in the home rather than chemically loaded alternatives.

Well, we can dream!

Gaelic lesson #55 "ola", pronounced the way it looks!, meaning "oil"

Friday, 5 June 2009

A Texas Massage Therapist's Garden in June.....





I know I shouldn't brag, but here's the deal. I think a couple of my neighbors have hydrangea envy.

Roses are my favorite. The rose at the top was put in a long stem vase in the massage room and I've noticed that when most people come into the room, they will "take time out to smell the roses" and "BOOM" - they're instantly in a better mood.

So I reckon we should all be tweaked a wee bit and have rosebushes growing out of our armpits. How handy would that be?

Someone cuts you off in traffic? Have a wee sniff of the armpit and you'll instantly feel better.
Come across some crappy customer service? Raise your arm and have a whiff of loveliness.
Some sporting events would become a veritable flower show. Volleyball games would be rose gardens on a court.

I tell you one thing though - after the day I've had today the one thing my pits DON'T smell like at the minute are roses. I'm off to have a shower.

Gaelic lesson #54 "blath", pronounced "bla", meaning "flower"