Friday 13 April 2012

Y'all need to write a massage therapy case report!!

Yes, you do.
And know what?
There's no excuse now because I'm giving you SOOOOO many useful tips and resources in this wee eBook, it's going to be a BREEEEEEZE.

So do it!

Monday 6 February 2012

Monday 27 September 2010

Well, it's been a while......

Yup. I let my wee blog slip and you might wonder why.

Well, basically I got busy with one thing and another. I've had a good summer though, all in all. I renewed my lease and my rent wasn't raised (apparently they kept everyone's rent the same bacause most people are hurting financially and they didn't want to lose anyone). I had someone move into the next room (a nail tech) and discovered that a fan in the room covers SOOOO much noise. So if you happen to be in a noisy place, consider using one. Now that the colder weather is coming in, I'll probably have to switch it to a small heater. The white noise is also pretty relaxing. I didn't think it would be, and so I was pleasantly surprised.
What else? Oh, I'm just completing my first case study and that has turned out to be VERY interesting. If you are planning on submitting a case study to the MTF, remember the deadline is October 8th for the practitioner contest. I'm not expecting this first one to get anywhere, since the winners are usually on mega cool subjects (and I don't know if I'll even get it written up in time). The lovely monetary prizes are a good motivation too.
Oh, and if you haven't given to the MTF yet, remember that they're probably the most important organization in the profession and it's their 20th Anniversary, so PLEASE just send them $20 if you can.

OK.....I'm off to tackle a to do list from Hades.....

Thursday 8 April 2010

I hate doing Taxes

I hate it.
I just hate it.
Can I say that again?
I hate it.
It's a pain in the gluteal cleft.

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Has being nice become so rare...

...that it's unusual?

Has anyone seen those Liberty Mutual ads on T.V. where it shows a chain of people doing nice things for strangers? Is there not something weird about that?

I just find them weird.
Surely being nice and considerate to strangers isn't THAT unusual.
Or am I wrong?

Monday 29 March 2010

Wish I had some original ideas......

....I'm trying to think of some cool Mother's Day Specials, but I can't think of anything original or fun.
I keep coming up with the same promo ideas over and over again. I need something fresh.

Saturday 27 March 2010

Wish everyone would....

....just shut up!!!!!

Busy day today. Two new clients in the afternoon.
Thing is...I was about to kill someone since everyone in our little area seemed to be making a racket. It's not a usual thing. Normally our little area is quiet, but it seemed that 2 people in there today just forgot all about the fact that there were others there and had long conversations with people in the corridor or had their door open and made a racket inside.

Of course, it doesn't help that I'm hormonal.
Really hormonal.
Could tear a body part off level of hormonal.
Maybe I shouldn't be working at all.

Saturday 27 February 2010

Funny how things change

OK, so you know how they're going to be putting up walls in the place I'm in (which I blogged about a few posts ago)? So this means that there will only be me and 1 other LMT in our place, and only 4 of us sharing our little area.

Well, the other MT approached me today and asked if I did chair massage and if I ever did gigs that needed 2 therapists, she'd be interested. She also suggested that we market couples massage (although I did say that the wording would have to be different since the couples would be in 2 different rooms) so I said "Yeah, sure". So my theory is that since we're both comfy with each other and there is no worry of another therapist moving in on our territory, that we help each other out.
Know what?
See, she's got her business and I've got mine. Both of us are chugging along there with our client base built and I know she doesn't have that "Eeek...there's my competition - I don't want her around" attitude because I don't sense it. And I know she doesn't get it from me either.
She's cool.
So I'm going into coopetition mode with the therapist in the next room.
So now I'm putting my thinking cap on to see how to promote us...........


So it's coming close to the time when the period ends for the massage therapy profession to give comments on the second draft of the MTBOK.

For those that don't know about this document, here's how I view it - it's like a evolving blueprint for the direction in which our profession is going - it will have a huge influence on our legislation and our education. I think the fact that a bunch of folks have put together such a document is wonderful. It's unifying. It gives clarity to our profession. It's also a really interesting read. Here's the thing - they really, really want therapists and educators to give feedback. The fact that they are looking for feedback and want this to have a democratic element to it's development is fantastic in my view.

Giving feedback is very straightforward. After reading the document you just go to an online form and give feedback on a per line number format. When I entered my comments it took about a half hour. Some of the areas I thought needed clarification and then there were some that I thought should be removed or added to. I'd read the document and highlighted the areas with a yellow highlighter pen. Do you know I committed sacrilege by doing so? Yep, you see all Irish people should use green highlighter pens - but that just goes to show how important this document is. It's worth committing sacrilege for it.

So if you're sitting watching the Olympics and you're twiddling your thumbs during the commercial breaks, please put the time to good use and give the document a wee read and give feedback. By the way, there'll be a nice by product by doing so - by commenting you're giving back to the profession and you'll feel good about doing it!

Friday 26 February 2010

The importance of giving to the MTF

I didn't give to this organization last year and I should have.

If you don't know about the MTF, then please visit their site and have a look around.

They're a huge player in massage therapy research, providing grants for MT research and they also publish an open access journal. They also do programs that provide massage for those in need.

I reckon there's a big reason they've a wee star in their logo - they're like the shining star of the massage world and one organization that we can all get behind.

So I'm coming up with ideas on how I can give. One involves selling some old CDs, which I'll blog about when I do it. The other is just having a wee box in my room in which I'll throw some money in that I know I won't miss and then I'll give it to the MTF every quarter or so.

Anyway, I'm embarrassed at the fact that I didn't give them money last year - it's not happening in 2010.

Oh, and I'm heading to their research conference in May in Seattle. Hopefully I'll be able to blog a bit about it when I'm there (although I might be too busy trying to cram stuff into my head - they've got a great line up planned ), but even if I don't have internet access, I'll be sure to ramble on about it when I get back - all being well.

Saturday 20 February 2010

My Wee Blog......

....has been going for a year.
Yep, my first post was on Feb 16th last year.

Time flies when you're blogging.

Friday 19 February 2010

Still needing more votes for the groovy hair contest


Also, forward this link ( on to your MT friends, teachers, neighborhood coyotes etc.


Thursday 18 February 2010

Case Study Info

So a couple of posts ago I told you about how I got a $50 amazon gift cert for giving an interview.

I ordered some books tonight and included one on how to do a case study.
Yep, I've been drawn to the whole research side of massage lately, and I'm thinking I'm going to enter a case report in this years competition with the Massage Therapy Foundation.

I'm not doing it to win since I probably won't (I think that those involved more in pure medical massage have way more of a chance), but I think the process of doing one will be interesting and I also think it might be a tool to help with my practice - maybe have me re-evaluate some things? Maybe? We'll see.

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday 17 February 2010

It's an Irish female thing...or maybe just a female thing

Yes, I'm a wee bit worried.

It turns out that they're going to be doing some construction where I work.

I'm not exactly overjoyed at this since there's not only the noise issue while that is going on, but there is the added worry of how it's going to turn out.

See, the way the place is set up now is that I'm in an area that was designed for massage therapists and aesthetitians, but they can't fill the rooms in our area (there's only 1 other therapist there and 2 aesthetitans). The main area of the building has nail techs and hairstylists. These are all individual rooms with individual businesses. So, they're doing to put up walls, knock down walls and basically incorporate half of our area into the main area, which is noisey and has hair-chemical smells etc. So the wall is going right next to my room which means that a hairstylist or nail tech will be in the next room to me AND I LIKE THINGS TO BE REALLY QUIET and NON-SMELLY.

So I'm not overjoyed at this.

The other thing that is happening is that they're tearing out the shower room. I haven't done one body treatment since I moved there (which is weird since I used to do about one a month when I worked out of my home), so I don't mind taking them off my list of services, but there's still that feeling that I'm NOT IN CONTROL.
Because I'M A CONTROL FREAK!!!!!!!!

I'm giving everyone the virtual thumbs up

Because I want to.
It's also a tribute to all thumbs everywhere in our profession.
I think we should have a national "massage therapists: kiss your thumbs" day.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Someone's water breaking while doing prenatal massage?

This isn't something that I hope ever happens to me.

However, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it did actually happen to me SOME day. (By the way, that whole "luck of the Irish thing" isn't true).

I had someone booked this afternoon for a prenatal massage. She called at around 11 am and said she wouldn't be able to make it since she'd just had her water break. I was totally impressed about the fact that she had the presence of mind to call me. You'd think there would be other things on her mind (like pushing a baby through a birth canal), so I thanked her profusely for letting me know. I also sighed with relief because I was booked this morning and she had initially wanted a morning appointment, so it could have been an interesting experience.


Saturday 13 February 2010

Don't you just love it.....

...when you "think" you recognize a phone number as being one of your friends and you answer it in an unprofessional way, only to find that it's actually a client?

I need to plug in phone numbers of friends into my contact list on my phone.

It wasn't "too" bad. I answered it with a big " are you?" instead of my normal "Good afternoon..." followed by my business name, followed by my name etc.

It could have been worse. I could have answered with "What the hec was that on your facebook page last night?", or "I don't know about you, but I'm having a crappy day" or just a blunt "What do you want?". could have been much worse.

Friday 12 February 2010

Always say thanks...

...because you never know where it will lead.

So a few posts back I wrote about being #14 on a bloglist on the site , so I sent them a "thank you" through their website.

They pinged me back and asked me if I'd be up to being interviewed.
"Why yes!" I said, feeling like a celebrity.

So after completing the interview they sent me a $50 amazon gift card!
That was so nice of them - just for answering some questions.
Just goes to show that saying thanks leads to nice things sometimes. I should do it more often!

Don't you just love it......

....when you're in a cubicle in the bathroom and you make some extraordinary noises and then you come out and find 3 people at the sink and one of them is your next client?


A Massage Therapist's Right Thumb Meets Another Massage Therapist's Right Thumb

This was actually from a couple of weeks ago when I got to meet my fellow blogger, Christina (of lucrativepain) when we went to lunch.
See that tree in our front yard? It's now covered in snow and the whole neighborhood is white.

Friends are a good thing to have, especially massage therapist friends.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Back pain

I got angry at something yesterday (something stupid when I look back at it) but it made me instantly angry to the degree that it made my hands shake. That's pretty angry for me. Things don't normally get to me to such a degree, but it just popped out of the blue.

Right after the hands started to shake I got a wave of intense low back pain. Scary low back pain.

I have a herniated disk at L5 that gives me problems with flare ups every now and then. So most of the time I get bad LBP it's from that and I've "done" something to fire it up physically.

But yesterday? That was ALL emotion.
It went away after a few minutes, but it made me wonder about how much pain I deal with in my job that is rooted in emotion. And anger mostly.

Then I wondered about what it would be like to have a switch to turn off "negative" emotions. Then I wondered about "negative" emotions and aren't they useful too when it comes to finding out things.

Yesterday I discovered that my own back pain is related to anger.
It funny the discoveries that we make about ourselves, isn't it?

Monday 8 February 2010

The godaddy ad

So a lot of therapists are upset with the godaddy ad that they showed during the Superbowl and petitions are being put together about it.
I've seen worse stuff on T.V on HBO mostly. The ad didn't impress me at all, but it didn't turn me red with rage either.

Anyhoooo....I'm posting the petition on here just in case anyone wants to add their name to it:

Here's the ad to review

And here's the petition

I like the way people are taking a stand and doing something. Too often MTs just sit back and let things happen. I think this is a good sign.

I like it.

Saturday 6 February 2010

Survey for MTs

OK, so take a minute to do this if you haven't already:


Friday 29 January 2010

New Site for Massage Therapists


Please go to a new site for massage therapy research and get involved in the coolness of learning about research.
Yep, it was created by yours truly.

Monday 25 January 2010

I had lunch today.....

...with a fellow blogger.

It was great. Yep, Christina of Lucrative Pain, fellow massage therapist is great and I know we're going to be good friends.

How cool is that?
We "met" through each others blogs and now we're having chin wags over lunch.

Makes me glad for blogging!

Thursday 14 January 2010

Nice wee surprises

I was checking my analytics tonight and found a link to my wee blog from here that really made my day.

I'm number 14!!!

I don't know if that actually means anything, but I'm taking it as meaning it's freakin' AWESOME!!!!!!

Sunday 10 January 2010

I'm thinking of getting one of these....

It's supposed to be a nose warmer, but I'm thinking of using it just as a nose-cover.
Don't you hate it when you've just got over a cold, only your nose is left with "scabbiness" that's just horrible?
ESPECIALLY when you've got new clients and you know that the only thing that they're looking at the first time you meet them is your nose.
I had that today.

Saturday 9 January 2010

The thing about modern conveniences..... that we are totally dependent on them in order to keep us SANE.

What modern convenience is every massage therapist TOTALLY dependent on?

Yes, you guessed it, our washer went kaput today and guess what else? It's going to be over a week before the repair peeps can get here.
A WEEK! Whoop-dee-freakin'-doo!
A WEEK of running to the public laundromat with the sheets from work (which I got back to today - I'm still a wee bit stuffed up, but not too bad).

Oh well, at least it wasn't a month.

You know, when I was young and I was living by myself I used to do all my laundry at the laundromat - now it just bothers me. I'm turning into a grumpy old woman!

And yes, that's a picture of a dude in a washer. Don't ask me why he's there - I don't know. Does anyone know what really goes through the mind of a man?

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Off sick today...

...woke up with a sore throat and a definite problem with the nasal passages.

So I'd to reschedule everyone today - 6 massage hours.

I think that's one of the major drawbacks of working for ourselves, right?
Sickness = zero income.

Sunday 3 January 2010

New Year "Stuff"

It's funny the things I learn from my clients.

I worked on New Years Day and I was the only one working in the location I work in. I was busy - five and a half hours of massage and I worked 'til 8 that night. I thought I may as well work rather than sitting around the house watching T.V., plus I need the money.

One of my regular clients and I were talking about new year resolutions and I said that I had the same one that I did last year that I never stuck to - to reduce the girthiness of my stomach, work out, stop eating rubbish etc.
She told me that she heard good advice on on the radio which was:
"Don't carry anything into 2010 that prevented you from growing in 2009"

I like that. It made me think. It even made me think about the reasons WHY I didn't stick to going to the gym. Also, I have plans that sometimes don't work out because I get bored with stuff easily. Hmmmmmm..............that whole self analysis thing is sometimes good.

I also think I'm going to keep a wee book of "Things I've learned from clients". But then, will I procrastinate with that too?

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!

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!


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.....


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


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.


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 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!

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


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

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"


"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 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 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.


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:

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!

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.

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.


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'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.