Evaluate your professional development. I just got back from the World Massage Festival and as usual I am humbled by the generosity of practitioners who have focused on and mastered an approach. I don’t always agree with them or integrate their offerings, but I am always grateful for the amount of knowledge that they make available to us. If you are only picking internet CEU’s to fulfill your license requirements, then you are missing the point.
Continuing education is a wonderful way to:
Enliven your practice
Refresh your approach
Improve your effectiveness
Plan for the longevity of your career
Set yourself apart from the rest of the market
With thoughtfully chosen courses you will take all these benefits back with you to your treatment room.
Evaluate your market. We are an aging population. The overall physicality of our clients will become more fragile and require changes in technique. Their needs won’t diminish but we need to rethink how we get results. I for one have spent weeks so far this year exploring different modalities in order to add these techniques to my toolbox, and I am not alone. Take an inventory of your tool box and evaluate what you have available that can address the increasing issues presented by our seasoned clients.
Evaluate your massage protocols. It is often noted when a group of massage therapists get together that three areas of the body are often ignored or underworked in a massage - Scalp, abdominal, and feet (hands). I know that a lot of times this is due to clients being skittish about them but you’re the expert and it should be in your long term treatment plan to address these areas. They are major health markers and vital to a truly stress less experience. I know at least three levels of protocols for each area to address client concerns.
For example for the Scalp I offer:
No oil/ no muss dry scalp massage
Aromatherapy scalp massage with minimal product
Hot oil Champ massage scalp extravaganza
Every one of you should know and perform a really good scalp, abdominal and foot massage that will match the needs and comfort level of every client.
Evaluate your credentials. People check people out on the internet. When was the last time you Googled your name to see what website listings you show up on. Even if you do not have a website or market yourself that way, you need to know. It is every bit as important as checking your credit score. You might be pleasantly surprised at the number of sites that will have you listed if you are certified with them. Not bothering to become certified? You might want to rethink that as well. Finally, when was the last time you updated your credentials on the AMTA profile or other professional organizations you belong to?
Evaluate your customer service. People won’t remember what you said, they might remember what you did, and they will always remember how they felt when they were with you. Bottom line – what is your retention percentage and referral rate?
Over the rest of the year I will be exploring these five important career indicators. But let me give you a little lagniappe now:
No fuss No muss scalp Massage: Great finish to a massage no matter what kind it was.
Apply a couple of drops of Lavender essential oil on your finger tips and have client take a deep breath of the relaxing aroma.
With your nail beds, run fingers through the hair at the scalp. Apply a gentle tug from the root of the hair.
Using fingertips, apply small, stationary inward/downward circles all over scalp.
Place thumbs one on top of the other at the crown point of the head. Apply firm pressure for a 3 long breaths.
Cover the client’s ears with your palms, and apply medium pressure around the ear as though you are creating suction. Hold for three deep, gently audible breaths.
Briskly rub your palms together and slowly cup their eyes. Hold for three deep, gently audible breaths and release.
Warning - Side effect: marriage proposals lots and lots of marriage proposals
Be well, do good work, and write often – I double dog dare you to touch every clients head this month