Newsletter: Massage Practice Building excerpts-- Feb 2017

Michelle Burns
February 9, 2017

Here is some of the information I recently shared in my August newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific focus.  This month is focused on business and ethics information. If you would be interested in receiving my newsletters, please head over to my contact page and sign up.

Tidbits, Updates and Resources:

  1. 1. "What to say when you're asked to work for free. If you own a small business or are self-employed, sooner or later you will be asked to work for free. The more successful you become, the more requests you'll get. But with the right response, you can turn these freeloaders into something positive."  Helpful information by Rhonda Abrams.

    2. Some massage therapists have team members working for them, whether it be employees or independent contractors. So how do we help them market themselves? This 19-minute podcast, Helping Massage Therapists Market, (includes some promotional plugs for products and themselves) by Michael Reynolds gives some very helpful suggestions

    3. ComoSense is a cloud-based solution for customer engagement and loyalty. It helps manage loyalty programs, communication plans, and other tools.

    4.  Another Insurance option is available for Massage Therapists and multiple modality practitioners. Massage therapists pay $96 per year plus $15 for an additional insured. Included: General & Professional Liability, Products and Completed Operations, Personal & Advertising injury, Damage to premises rented to you, identity recovery coverage, inland marine business personal property. Check out their coverages and policies at

    5. Love doing hot stone or the idea of incorporating hot stone work into your sessions? Check out Synergy Stone Heat Wave tools. They are hand sculpted to provide powerful coverage during use and application. Learn more at

    What is the definition massage? The answer to this question can have a significant impact on a therapist’s practice and the public’s perception of whether to seek a massage session. The article: “Clarifying definitions for the Massage Therapy Profession: the results of the Best Practices Symposium" by Ann Kennedy, is a major step in helping to define what it is we do. The article, published in 2016, can be found in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

    7. Great article on Commit Action (if you ignore the promo hype) about motivation and self-motivation. “How to get massively motivated in less than 60 seconds”.  One of the skills the most elite entrepreneurs have mastered is what psychologists call Self-Regulation. Self-regulation and the ability to switch your motivation on—precisely when you want it—is a totally learnable skill.  Included: 2 powerful techniques to switch on motivation like electricity and 5 tactical hacks to rocket yourself out of lethargy and brain fuzz. 

    8.  Digital Marketer offers a free download “The 60 second Blog Plan”. How to create a blog content plan in 60 seconds or less by filling in 5 simple blanks (Yes, it's really that simple). You can sign up for the download at Digital Marketer.

    9. I found 2 books, written by and for massage therapists, to offer some wonderful help in building and running a business. Both of these books can be purchased at Holistic Healing Arts Products page or through direct Amazon links.

    1. Before You Leap: SIx Secrets to Making Your Passion a Real Business by Kelly Bowers (Kindle only)

    2. Creating Lifetime Clients: How to Wow Your Customers for Life by Felicia Brown

Regarding Licensing

Massage Therapy licensing and oversight functions will be transferred to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation on November 1, 2017 (target date). The initial focus of TDLR will be to get the management of licenses smoothly transitioned. They will then begin working with attorneys to rewrite the rules to remove duplication, redundancy, and confusion. TDLR plans to hire significantly more compliance officers to ensure a crackdown on prostitution and human trafficking. In a recent statement, TDLR did state they would not initially change how CE’s are reviewed.

Ethics Situation for your consideration

  • You’re raising your rates.

    First of all, give yourself permission. Raising rates does not a mercenary make. Everyone knows costs escalate over time.

    Next, do your research. What is the going rate in your area?

    Finally, give your clients advance notice, usually at least a month in advance.

    One suggestion: Type a note outlining the increase and place it on the table next to their after-session water. Present your proposal in a way that will gain empathy, such as indicating that you’ve tried to contain costs against inflation. You will make the client an ally.

Practice Tip:

  • Keep Your Breath Fresh

    This may seem strange to think about, but if you are giving a massage after meal time, it is important to be very aware of your breath. If you just ate something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, your client will know it if you don’t take proper precautions. Even though you enjoyed your meal, bad breath can make getting a massage from you very uncomfortable. 

    Be sure to pop a few breath mints or brush your teeth before giving your next massage therapy treatment. Your client will appreciate it.

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