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With 18 years experience as a mobile chair massage therapist, I sometimes have had some challenges in navigating in my chosen profession; a mobile chair massage business. Upon reflection and experience, I am hopeful to relay some of these suggestions to new/er therapists or others that are considering entering into the massage profession.
Caring for Yourself
The first thought that comes to mind is how to best care for yourself before caring for others. This is imperative to maintain your mind and body in this physically demanding profession. As some of you (may) know, 25 hours of body work per week is considered full-time. To continue year in and year out, I feel it is important to care for yourself both physically and mentally. What is meant by this? Regular exercise to the best of your ability most days of the week along with proper nutrition. For each person, this is different so make the best choices each day and at every meal and make it a priority. My strength comes from proper body mechanics along continued strength training, yoga, tennis and core work. All of these things combined allow me to offer mobile chair massage for six hours with short breaks for hydration during the busy weeks.
I have learned to set limits on what I can and cannot offer. Through the years, I have been asked more times than I can count to offer free massage in exchange for self promotion. As a younger therapist, I would often extend my services to large and small companies to eager clients seeking mobile chair massage. As time passed and my massage experienced increased, I finally had the courage to politely say no to most of these offers. I learned that those that get free services do not often pay for massage services. Thus, not an ideal use of my time, talent and gas money. I often compare massage to other health professionals; PT, acupuncture, chiropractors. Do they give out services to those seeking free services? In some cases, yes but I venture to say they would carefully weigh the decision with every request.
I now offer services to organizations that I am more closely tied to which gives me satisfaction before, during and following the event. What is your personal organization that you wish to support?
Building a Business
Over the years, I have found excellent professionals to support my business including lawyers, marketing companies, a great bookkeeper and recently social media gurus. With this team in place to assist me, I have the tools necessary to keep my business running with ease for challenges that are out of my scope. I have learned that it is best to outsource what does not come easy and focus on what you love; massage!
Hopefully these suggestions will help you create the business you have always dreamed of!
Here’s to 18 more years!
Blog by Janet Constantino of Massage Kneads