Questions for those already working as MTs.

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alwayslearning
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Questions for those already working as MTs.

Post by alwayslearning » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:35 pm

Hi. I will be testing soon and hopefully licensed by April. I wanted to ask those who have been working as a Massage Therapist a couple of questions. Just in general about your experience with the profession. Thank you for the advice and taking the time to answer these for me.

1. What is the one thing you wish you had known in your first year, that you know now?

2. What is the biggest challenge in the Massage field/career?

3. For those who have their own practice, what's the greatest piece of advice you have for those who are just starting out?

4. Is being and work as a Massage Therapist as great and rewarding as you thought it would be?

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HandsDown
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Re: Questions for those already working as MTs.

Post by HandsDown » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:19 am

Good questions, I'm curious to see the replies you get! I'm a student I can't answer them yet.......soooooon enough though :altwink:

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akashafive
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Re: Questions for those already working as MTs.

Post by akashafive » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:53 am

alwayslearning wrote:Hi. I will be testing soon and hopefully licensed by April. I wanted to ask those who have been working as a Massage Therapist a couple of questions. Just in general about your experience with the profession. Thank you for the advice and taking the time to answer these for me.

1. What is the one thing you wish you had known in your first year, that you know now? I think I knew it, but I wish I had believed that I would get better with time. I am amazed at how different my work is now from when I first started working in 2007. I can even see the change in my current practice now from when I opended in 2010. You have to be confident in your work.

2. What is the biggest challenge in the Massage field/career? My biggest challenge was opening my practice from scratch with absolutely no money! I had moved in the middle of summer and used my savings to get my new state license. All the jobs were full with students and I didn't have any friends or family in the area to help spread the word.

3. For those who have their own practice, what's the greatest piece of advice you have for those who are just starting out? Brand yourself! Take the time to make sure everything is consistent, from your email, website, and practice name, to your logo and color scheme with your marketing. Find something you really like (or at least something that can easily be altered without changing too much), and stick with it! Don't use a red and brown scheme on your website with a url like balancemassage.com, then use green business cards and an email like [email protected] I know someone who has done this and it is really confusing! Make it match! ;)

4. Is being and work as a Massage Therapist as great and rewarding as you thought it would be? YES! Even on the days I feel kind of blah, I'll work on a client and immediately am reminded just how much I love helping people feel better! It has given me the ability to make my own hours, work with people on my own terms, and run my practice the way I want to. I don't make much yet, but it has allowed me the luxury of findng a part time job I WANT to do until I do make more.
-Akasha
"Happiness is a journey, not a destination."
-Nancy Giles

peacenut
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Re: Questions for those already working as MTs.

Post by peacenut » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:08 am

1. What is the one thing you wish you had known in your first year, that you know now?
Don't set your prices to low when you first start out. Give extra time or add ons, don't discount your basic rate only. If you do discount, make them earn it with a referral.

2. What is the biggest challenge in the Massage field/career?
Charting, I hate it. I save charting for insurance clients only. SOAP charting for relaxation massage is stupid in my opinion.


3. For those who have their own practice, what's the greatest piece of advice you have for those who are just starting out?
Don't compete on price alone. Set a higher price and have packages available (threes and sixes is what I have) to those who want to pay less per session.

4. Is being and work as a Massage Therapist as great and rewarding as you thought it would be?
Yes, I love having my own business. It's not just about the hands on work for me. I love marketing and print out my own brochures, referral cards, postcards, etc...
I'd let you watch, I would invite you, but the queens we use would not excite you.

eyesofblue
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Re: Questions for those already working as MTs.

Post by eyesofblue » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:40 pm

alwayslearning wrote: 1. What is the one thing you wish you had known in your first year, that you know now?
can't think of anything, really. I guess knowing that it takes time to become the therapist you want to be, that a time will come that I will not only know what I'm doing, but I'll be confident and feel like I know what I'm doing.
2. What is the biggest challenge in the Massage field/career?
As for me personally, the biggest challenge is balancing my time between family life, kids, home, etc. with my professional life, massage, marketing etc. Seems to never be enough time to do either well. and never mind spending time doing my "hobbies" or other things I love to do (of course I do love to do massage...) The field - in the bigger sense? educating the general public, battling the beliefs of many people about what we do, how important massage can be, that it isn't just rubbing someone and it certainly has nothing to do with sex. and then there are the issues of licensing, testing, what makes an MT competent to work and who decides that...
3. For those who have their own practice, what's the greatest piece of advice you have for those who are just starting out?
set yourself a schedule of being in the studio and be there. be present. I spent a lot of time at home doing the office work, marketing and putting together website etc. and those times I was in the studio working, someone would often pop in to see my space or ask me a question. or they would see me there and remember they should schedule a massage or maybe they've seen me there many times and finally get the courage to speak to me. the more people you connect with, the more people will be interested in booking a massage.
4. Is being and work as a Massage Therapist as great and rewarding as you thought it would be?
Being a massage therapist is definitely exactly what I need to be doing. It is rewarding, it has lots of variety and the learning is ongoing, never ends and I love that. I can get all excited all over again every time I learn something new.

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pueppi
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Re: Questions for those already working as MTs.

Post by pueppi » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:00 pm

alwayslearning wrote:Hi. I will be testing soon and hopefully licensed by April. I wanted to ask those who have been working as a Massage Therapist a couple of questions. Just in general about your experience with the profession. Thank you for the advice and taking the time to answer these for me.
My apologies for not replying sooner. I know that you are hoping for as many MT's to answer as possible. I hope I will be able to help you in your journey.

  • 1. What is the one thing you wish you had known in your first year, that you know now?

    Had I put myself in the middle of an extremely high-income area (which we actually have here), I would have probably had a better potential for growing the practice quicker.

    I definitely think that had I actually considered this and had the money to set up in the higher-end area of our city, I would have probably shaved quite some years off of practice-building. Of course, you have to have the money to stay afloat. And, that can always be a little tricky if you are "doing it on your own". But, it's something to look into.



    2. What is the biggest challenge in the Massage field/career?

    At first, it was "massaging" slower. As in: I was working wayyyyy too fast! A lot of clients ended up with two hours worth of movement via my hands, in a one hour session so-to-say. Oh, my! :lipsaresealed:

    Then it was establishing boundaries. Especially learning how to say "no" to last minute appointment requests and learning how to enforce a "late cancellation" fee. This can still be difficult for me.

    Now, it's finding time to create the space in my mind to work differently (and, creating the time to stay in good health). I plan to continue until I retire. I'm only in my mid-40's, but I have to start preparing early to create this shift in the future - that means I am working on gaining knowledge in effective and different types of bodywork than I currently practice, so that I can decide how I will work as I get older.



    3. For those who have their own practice, what's the greatest piece of advice you have for those who are just starting out?

    Stick with it and plan to stay in business for the long run. It takes time to build a solid practice. If you are particular (like me) when someone rubs you the wrong way, go ahead and refer them out, early on.

    There is no need to build your practice with jerks, as "like" begets "like".

    Take the time to cultivate the kind of clients you want. As you grow, they will send you more people like themselves.

    If you cultivate a garden of prima-donnas, entitled-types and those who don't see you as anything other than a servant, it will be harder to encourage the good ones to come along.

    I love my clients and my office, specifically because of the people who walk through my doors.



    4. Is being and work as a Massage Therapist as great and rewarding as you thought it would be?

    Yes! I love my work. I also love that I can create any type of practice I like and that it morphs with me as I grow and learn. I certainly don't practice the same as I did when I first started. :)
My sincere best wishes as you graduate!


I am adding this sentence after my reponse: So far you have wonderful answers to your questions. I tried to answer this without reading them first, so I could give you my own perception with a clean slate. But, some of those up there certainly must be "ditto'd"!

-=-

Someone sent me a PM and asked about "slowing down" and how I corrected the issue. Here was my answer:
I literally wore myself out! I had no choice but to start to learn how to work slower! :shocked:

Now, granted, it took about a year... but I eventually figured it out. If you do enough "faster paced" bodywork in a day, something *will* have to give.

For the clients, most never thought I was working too fast... and when I did slow down, I even had a few of them remark that they liked the other type of massage better. As I recall, those few, didn't like the idea that they would need to come in more visits to get the correction they were getting in the prior fewer visits (when I was working faster).

{I surmise that this had to do with the techniques I was using at the time and that I was covering more area to instill change in that "faster" bodywork. As I have grown over the years, I have learned how to instill this change in fewer sessions than I would have in my early years..}

The best way to learn to pace youself, is to slow everything you are doing by ¼. Once you've mastered that... repeat and slow down by another ¼. Repeat as many times as necessary until you get to a more efficient and relaxing pace.

A few related links from BWOL:
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

rwhoski
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Re: Questions for those already working as MTs.

Post by rwhoski » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:08 am

1) Never sell myself short! The boundaries we make when were learning to be massage therapists will impact us our whole careers and they can mean the difference between a job you love or a job that doesn't make you happy.

2) My biggest challenge is that i just don't get out much anymore. Sometimes it feels like I don't know how to be anything except a massage therapist.

3)Learn to believe in yourself. You clients will pick up on your confidence and that in turn will make you even more confident.

4)I have the best job in the world!

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MTSI
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Re: Questions for those already working as MTs.

Post by MTSI » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:11 pm

my two cents as follows

1. What is the one thing you wish you had known in your first year, that you know now?

to diversify my skill set more and learn more modalities of massage

2. What is the biggest challenge in the Massage field/career?

building repeat client base and learning the human body

3. For those who have their own practice, what's the greatest piece of advice you have for those who are just starting out?

focus on building a strong book of business before branching out on your own completely. carry adequate insurance. take advantage of all the tax breaks available to a business owner

4. Is being and work as a Massage Therapist as great and rewarding as you thought it would be?

most definitely. you do have to take care of yourself first to be able to take care of others
http://www.massagetherapyschoolsinformation.com/
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN MASSAGE THERAPY

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