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Positive Influence – PART 3

June 18, 2015 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

_Ariana - Portrait with Hands on Client's Back - ZR - Excellent - IMG_3620Beginning Your Career as a Massage Therapy Instructor

There are myriad ways you can configure your career as an MTI. You can work part-time or full-time, you can use your experiences as an MTI as a stepping-stone to another career, you can focus on being an MTI as a second career, you can blend teaching with your current vibrant massage therapy practice, or you can supplement your retirement income by becoming an MTI. There are opportunities to work as an independent massage therapy instructor, like I do, you can work as an instructor at an established massage therapy school, and/or you can work for a nationwide company that provides massage therapy classes throughout the U.S.

Once you have been approved as an MTI and you have your MTI license and any other licenses and certifications you may need in order to teach, focus on setting goals for each of the massage therapy courses you wish to teach. Then choose the content and format that will make each course work for you and your students. If you choose a career as an independent MTI, you can utilize the information you gain in your MTI course to begin designing the content of your course notebook and structure. Remember to avoid using other people’s copyrighted material without permission and acknowledgment. If you choose to work as a MTI in a massage school environment, the school administrators will typically provide course notebooks and supporting media for the classroom. You should also think about how you will use technology in the classroom. Practice teaching your newly designed massage course to colleagues and friends and ask for feedback. It is not only an excellent idea to practice teaching, it is a NCBTMB requirement, as stated on their website, “Before submitting an application to NCBTMB for approval, you must have taught the course at least one time within the last year to a group of five or more participants. You must provide the participants with an evaluation requesting feedback on the course, instruction and material.” You could even videotape yourself practice teaching so you can study the pros and cons of your teaching style. An additional way to learn to teach would be to partner with another instructor during the beginning of your career or to serve as an assistant in a classroom.

Teach what you truly love and what you are qualified to teach. Think about how good it feels to have a positive influence in the lives of those around you. Create a structure for your classes in an environment that participants will enjoy. Utilize the information and resources presented in your MTI course material to create the ideal classroom environment. Make sure the classroom is well lit, properly ventilated, clean, comfortable, and that there are appropriate restroom facilities. Decide whether or not you are going to provide massage tables. Make sure to have a balanced percentage of hands-on experiential training and cognitive information. My preferred balance is 80% experiential and 20% cognitive.

Once you have developed your course material, if you are an independent MTI,, focus on setting prices, registering participants, and preparing rosters and certificates of attendance. Set up a spreadsheet to track your income and expenses on a daily basis so you can carefully monitor your progress. It is also important to remember that the first three to five years of any business, including massage therapy education, are building years as you lay the foundation for your ongoing success. Keep the appropriate tax records for the IRS. Also maintain  student records, rosters and course evaluations for NCBTMB and your state massage board. Please be sure to comply with all of your state board rules and regulations.

Develop marketing strategies by taking some marketing classes, reading books that offer tips for successful marketing and utilizing the services of mentors and consultants. The Ariana Institute’s MTI course includes information on marketing your courses as an independent MTI; however, not all MTI courses provide this component in their curriculum. Next, determine what marketing techniques work best for your business and budget. Think of ways to develop compelling descriptive titles for your courses to capture the attention of your students. Believe that you can be successful and surround yourself with competent people who support you in achieving your goals and dreams.

We will next explore ways of finding and creating opportunities to advance your career as an MTI.

Opportunities For Massage Instructors

Search engines come in handy for researching opportunities for massage therapy instructors. If you want to work at a massage school, simply search the name of the city where you want to teach and then enter “massage school” and find out the name of the director of the school and contact that person to see if there are any positions available for MTIs. You could also offer to teach one-time continuing education classes in your area of specialty as well as seeing about becoming a part of the part-time or full-time faculty. Create a proposal for the CE classes you want to teach at the schools and submit it to the school administrators along with your resume and cover letter. Go to events and CE classes at the schools where you are interested in teaching so that you become known in their environment.

If you are interested in teaching for a national massage company that hires instructors, you could do some online research for names and contact information and then follow-up to see if they are hiring.  You could take some courses offered by that company and talk to the instructor to see what his or her teaching experiences with that company have been like.

Another approach to utilizing your MTI certification would be to establish yourself as an independent MTI and CE provider. Design and develop your own course curriculum and market your class to the local community. Once you have achieved your desired level of success, consider expanding your market.

You can develop name recognition by offering to teach classes for local massage groups, such as massage Meetups and local AMTA chapters. On a larger scale, you can submit proposals for state and national conventions, for example, AMTA national conventions and The World Massage Festival.

Consider writing a book on the massage technique that you want to teach. This can help you market yourself as an educator. This can be done for every course, or bundle of courses that you offer.

In today’s technological world, another good marketing avenue is to create instructional videos for your courses and (1) publish them on the web, (2) send them to prospective students, (3) place them on your website, (4) include the URLs for these videos in the books that you publish, and (5) include the URLs in your course notebooks.

Resources for Advanced Information

The Ariana Institute’s Massage Therapy Instructor Course

CE Online

ABMP Instructor Resource Programs

http://www.abmp.com/instructors/ http://www.abmp.com/instructors/instructor_development.php

AFMTE’s Educational Resources for Massage Therapy Teachers

Teacher Education Resources

AFMTE’s National Teacher Education Standards Project (NTESP)

NTESP Core Competencies

Coursera Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education

https://www.coursera.org/course/instructmethodshpe

Educational Training Solutions

http://www.educationtrainingsolutions.com/about-us/

ELAP (Entry Level Analysis Project)

http://www.elapmassage.org/

Florida Board of Massage Therapy Education Programs Page

Education and Training Programs

NCBTMB Information for Continuing Education Providers

http://www.ncbtmb.org/continuing-education-providers/continuing-education-providers#general

NCBTMB New York Approved CE Sponsor

http://www.ncbtmb.org/continuing-education-providers/ncbtmb-approved-new-york-ce-sponsor

Now that we have explored many options on the MTI path, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts and insights. One of the most important things you can do is to impart the knowledge and wisdom that you have gained over the years. Teaching can be a rewarding and enriching process that benefits the teacher, the student and the recipients of massage. Take time to look inside and see what you can do to let your light shine and manifest your dreams into reality. As Nelson Mandela shared so eloquently, What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

 

The information above includes excerpts for an article “Positive Influence: Become a Massage Therapy Instructor,” by Ariana Vincent, originally published in the June 2015 issue of MASSAGE Magazine.

See more at: http://www.massagemag.com/my-path-to-becoming-a-massage-therapy-instructor-30192/

To learn more about an MTI course and to register for the Ariana Institute’s online MTI course, visit: http://www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/#mti

 

Positive Influence – PART 2

June 16, 2015 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

Ariana with hands on client's back - ZR - IMG_3624

What to Look for in a Massage Therapy Instructor’s Course

The first step would be to research and decide whether you prefer an online MTI course or a course that is offered in a classroom environment. Many people prefer an online course since the information presented in an MTI course is cognitive in nature and the online format lends itself well to cognitive classes, while other students prefer personal interactions in a classroom setting. There are also financial considerations to be contemplated; the tuition for an online course is usually less expensive than a classroom course. Online courses also take less time away from income producing activities while accomplishing the goal of successfully completing an MTI course and beginning a career as an MTI. Here is a testimonial from a student, “I was fully challenged to retain and learn new information. This course was accessible to me online which I love because I don’t have the time for traveling for CEs. Thank you so much giving LMTs like me the opportunity to excel in business and in life. Completing this course makes me feel self-sufficient. Thank you!” – Sabrina Quebe, LMT, MTI

Once the choice has been made regarding the online vs. classroom option, the next step would be to research instructors and review their qualifications and certifications in order to verify the course is being offered by someone who is well qualified to teach. Visit the instructor’s website, read his or her biography and confirm whether or not the instructor is nationally approved and approved in states that mandate MTI education. Look at the instructor’s educational background and see how long he or she has been teaching. Review testimonials from previous students and colleagues. If, after reviewing this information, you find that there are still unanswered questions regarding the instructor’s qualifications, send an e-mail or make a phone call and interview the instructor prior to registering for the MTI course.

Once you’ve determined that the instructor is well qualified and properly credentialed, the next phase in researching the MTI course would be to verify that the content of the course is centered on what you find meaningful, which might include the teaching process, classroom activities, lesson planning, technology in the classroom, developing assessments, learning strategies and theories, and marketing strategies. After researching the MTI course information on the website, if you have any unanswered questions regarding course content, contact the instructor and ask for a copy of the table of contents or an overview of the materials covered.

If you are looking for an in-depth MTI course, determine whether or not the MTI course you are considering is designed for massage therapy professionals who desire to become effective massage therapy instructors as well as for current massage therapy instructors who desires to enhance and improve their skills. If you prefer an in-depth course rather than one that just fulfills the mandated requirements and offers an acceptable certificate of completion, choose the more comprehensive course. Here is a testimonial from an MTI student, “I thought the course was organized well. It certainly was challenging, at times, which I appreciate, but not to the point of discouragement. I feel as though Ariana Institute gave me the tools to expand my knowledge and skills. I am proud to have been a part of this program and will enjoy passing on my passion of massage therapy to the new generation of professional massage therapists. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you.” – Denise J. Glabau, LMT, MTI.

Choosing an MTI course is a multifactorial process that can be determined by contemplating your preferred learning style, your budget, your professional goals, your instructor’s qualifications, the value of the course content, and your anticipated return on investment of time and money. Many of my MTI students love being able to stay in the same profession in a different role, and they enjoy the balance they find in their lives as they focus on offering massage therapy to their clients and offering massage classes to their students.

My suggestion at this point in the decision to extend your education as an MTI is to project into the future and contemplate the images you have about your life once your have completed your MTI course. Visualize yourself teaching, imagine your classrooms, the students who are drawn to you, the subjects you will be teaching, the changes in your income stream, and think about your own feelings of self-worth as you let your light shine and contribute to the world in a meaningful way through your new role as an educator.

Now that the groundwork has been laid, we will next explore the requirements for becoming an MTI in some of the states that have rules and regulations for massage educators.

Requirements for Becoming a Massage Therapy Instructor

The requirements for becoming a MTI vary from state to state throughout the U.S. The majority of states have no requirements for MTIs. Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana do have specific regulations regarding MTI qualifications. New York will only recognize CE from sponsors or instructors who are sponsored by an approved entity, such as NCBTMB.

Texas Requirements

Texas is one of the few states that mandates specific guidelines for becoming an MTI. In Texas, in order to offer technique classes outside of the umbrella of a massage school, the MTI must also be an approved Continuing Education Provider and that requires a separate application and additional fees. 2014 statistics show that there are approximately 325,000 Licensed Massage Therapists in the U.S. and there are approximately 28,000 Licensed Massage Therapists in Texas. There are approximately 1,311 Massage Therapy Instructors in Texas. Unfortunately, Texas, and many other states, do not require mandatory reporting of CE credits by providers or by massage therapists and this has a significant negative influence on the level of advanced education in the massage community.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Massage Therapy Division, lists the requirements for becoming an MTI in Texas at: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/massage/mt_ainstructor.shtm.

“To qualify for licensure as a massage therapy instructor, a person shall:

(1) be a licensed massage therapist;

(2) have a high school diploma, a general equivalence diploma or a transcript from an accredited college or university showing successful completion of at least 12 semester hours;

(3) submit a statement of assurance that the licensee has been engaged in the practice of massage therapy for at least one-year and has conducted 500 hours of hands-on experience (does not include internship hours). Hours accumulated while holding a provisional license can be applied to the requirements of this paragraph; and

(4) complete a 30-hour course on teaching adult learners. Courses attended may include an instructional certification program, a college level course in teaching adult learners, a continuing education course in teaching adult learners, or an advanced program approved by the department in teaching the course of instruction.”

The provisional license referred to in item 3 above is described by the Texas Department of State Health Services as follows:

Sec. 455.1572.  PROVISIONAL LICENSE.

(a)  The department may issue a provisional license to an applicant for licensing as a massage therapist or massage therapy instructor currently licensed or registered in another jurisdiction who seeks a license in this state and who:

(1)  has been licensed or registered in good standing as a massage therapist or massage therapy instructor, as applicable, for at least two years in another jurisdiction, including a foreign country, that has licensing or registration requirements substantially equivalent to the requirements of this chapter;

(2)  has passed a national or other examination recognized by the department relating to the practice of massage therapy; and

(3)  is sponsored by a person licensed by the department under this chapter with whom the provisional license holder will practice during the time the person holds a provisional license.

(b)  The department may waive the requirement of Subsection (a)(3) for an applicant if the department determines that compliance with that subsection would be a hardship to the applicant.

(c)  A provisional license is valid until the date the department approves or denies the provisional license holder’s application for licensing.

The department shall issue a license under this chapter to the provisionally licensed person if the person:

(1)  is eligible for a license under Section 455.1571; or
(2) passes the part of the examination under Section 455.101 that relates to the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the laws and rules relating to the practice of massage therapy in this state and:
(A)  the department verifies that the person meets the academic and experience requirements for licensing under this chapter; and
(B)  the person satisfies any other licensing requirements under this chapter.

 

(d)  The department must approve or deny a provisionally licensed person’s application for a license not later than the 180th day after the date the provisional license is issued.  The department may extend the 180-day period if the results of an examination have not been received by the department before the end of that period.

(e)  The department may establish a fee for a provisional license in an amount reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of issuing the license.

Arkansas Requirements

Arkansas regulates Massage Therapy Instructors. The following information is listed as part of the Arkansas Massage Therapy Laws, 2013, at: http://www.arkansasmassagetherapy.com/documents/Arkansas%20Massage%20Therapy%20Law%2011%2019%2013.pdf.

“(6)(A) ‘Massage therapy instructor’ means a person who:

(i) Before July 1, 2010, has completed no less than two hundred fifty (250) hours of practical experience as a master massage therapist, which may be gained, in part or in whole, as an assistant to an instructor in a massage school or may be gained, in part or in whole, as a directed instructor in a massage school and has completed no less than two hundred fifty (250) continuing education hours as approved by the board;
(ii) On or after July 1, 2010, has been an active and practicing licensee and registered as a master massage therapist for a period of not less than three (3) years preceding the application for an upgrade to massage therapy instructor;
(iii) On or after July 1, 2010, in addition to the experience under subdivision (6)(A)(i) of this section, has completed no less than two hundred fifty (250) continuing education hours as approved by the board as a licensed master massage therapist; and
(iv) Is determined by the board to be qualified to be licensed and registered to practice massage therapy.

 

(B) “Massage therapy instructor” includes a person who has previously obtained the massage therapy instructor license under prior state law.

(C) Massage therapy instructors may:

(i) Instruct board-approved continuing education programs;
(ii) Instruct any of the procedures in subdivision (5) of this section; and
(iii) Instruct basic curricula in a board-registered massage therapy school as required by § 17-86-306(e).”

 

Louisiana Requirements

Louisiana’s regulations for MTIs can be found at the following site: https://www.labmt.org/site312.php. The following qualifications are for persons who wish to teach at a massage therapy school in Louisiana.

“A. A person desiring to be approved as a massage therapy instructor of a specific massage therapy technique or clinical practicum-related modality shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Board of Massage Therapy that the applicant has met one of the following:

  1. that the person is a currently licensed therapist in good standing with the Board of Massage Therapy; and
  2. that the person has lawfully practiced massage therapy for at least four years, or has grandfathered in as stated in Subsection B below; and
  3. that the person has completed at least two times the hours of training in which he/she is responsible in the specific module, except that this Subparagraph shall not apply to instruction of basic Swedish and/or relaxation massage therapy.

B. A person may be grandfathered in as an instructor, if the person has:

  1. applied for and paid for a license as an instructor on board approved applications within 45 days of promulgation of rule;
  2. is currently approved by the Board of Regents; and
  3. is a licensed massage therapist currently in good standing with the Board of Massage Therapy.

C. A person desiring to be approved as an instructor of anatomy lecture, physiology lecture, or kinesiology lecture shall produce evidence satisfactory to the Board of Massage Therapy that the individual either:

  1. is a licensed massage therapist in good standing with the Board of Massage Therapy and has lawfully practiced massage therapy for at least four years; or
  2. has a minimum of an associates or bachelor’s degree from a college or university which is accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or a substantially equivalent accrediting body of a foreign sovereign state, with a major in one of the following: anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, sports medicine, exercise physiology, nursing, education with a concentration in biology or a substantially equivalent major; or
  3. is a licensed physician (MD), osteopath, chiropractor, or registered nurse.

D. A person desiring to be certified as an instructor of business practices and marketing shall produce evidence satisfactory to the Board of Massage Therapy that the individual either:

  1. has a least four years of experience as a full-time practicing massage therapist and owner/operator of a valid massage therapy establishment; or
  2. has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a college or university which is accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or a substantially equivalent accrediting body of a foreign sovereign state, with a major in business, marketing, or a substantially equivalent major.

E. A person desiring to be certified as an instructor of Louisiana Law, and Rules and Regulations, Ethics, pertaining to massage therapy shall produce evidence satisfactory to the Board of Massage Therapy that the individual either:

  1. is a licensed massage therapist in good standing with the Board of Massage Therapy and has lawfully practiced massage therapy for a least four years; or
  2. holds a valid license to practice law in Louisiana as evidence by a certificate from the Supreme Court of Louisiana that the individual is a member in good standing of a bar of that court.

F. A person desiring to be approved as an instructor of first aid, safety, hygiene or sanitary practices shall produce evidence satisfactory to the Board of Massage Therapy that the individual either:

  1. is a licensed massage therapist in good standing with the Board of Massage Therapy and has lawfully practiced massage therapy for at least four years; or
  2. is licensed as a registered nurse; or
  3. has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a college or university which is accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or a substantially equivalent accrediting body of a foreign sovereign state, with a major in nursing, or a substantially equivalent major.

G. A person desiring to be certified as an instructor of hydrotherapy shall produce evidence satisfactory to the Board of Massage Therapy that the individual is a licensed massage therapist in good standing with the Board of Massage Therapy and has lawfully practiced massage therapy for at least four years.

H. A person desiring to be approved as an instructor of CPR shall produce evidence satisfactory to the Board of Massage Therapy that the individual has been certified by the American Red Cross or The American Heart Association as an instructor in these topics.

I. A person desiring to be approved as an instructor of AIDS/HIV and infectious disease awareness shall produce evidence satisfactory to the board that the individual has been certified by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an AIDS/HIV counselor.”

New York Requirements

New York has its own requirements for being approved as a Continuing Education Provider. NCBTMB is approved as New York CE sponsor, and can help navigate the application process. The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, has instituted new requirements for continuing education (CE) and CE instructors. New York will only recognize CE from sponsors or instructors who are sponsored by an approved entity. NCBTMB is pleased to be an approved sponsor for continuing education in New York. If you wish to be sponsored by NCBTMB and are not a current Board-Approved Continuing Education Provider, complete and submit the Board-Approved Continuing Education Provider Application and the NCBTMB New York Sponsor Approved Provider Agreement.

The other end of the spectrum is California. According to the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC), “We don’t require or regulate continuing education. So, essentially anybody could teach that if he or she wanted. There really is no such thing in California as independent massage instructor. It would be up to the organization accepting the hours on whether they approved them or not. All hours for CAMTC certification must come from approved schools, so we only oversee instructors at those schools.” This lack of regulation of continuing education is noteworthy in a state that continues to lead the pack in the number of massage therapists, with an estimated 42,000 massage therapists in California in 2010, out of approximately 300,000 massage therapists nationwide that year.

Now that we have explored regulations and requirements in several states, consideration will be given to the steps you can take to develop your career as an MTI. In my next blog post, we will continue our conversation on starting your career as a massage therapy instructor as well as the opportunities available to you after the completion of your certification and training.

The information above includes excerpts for an article “Positive Influence: Become a Massage Therapy Instructor,” by Ariana Vincent, originally published in the June 2015 issue of MASSAGE Magazine.

See more at: http://www.massagemag.com/my-path-to-becoming-a-massage-therapy-instructor-30192/

To learn more about an MTI course and to register for the Ariana Institute’s online MTI course, visit: http://www.arianainstitute.com/CE/mti.htm

 

Prenatal Massage

April 03, 2010 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

THE BENEFITS OF PRENATAL MASSAGE

Ariana Institute offers online and onsite Prenatal Massage continuing education courses for massage therapists. These courses are approved by the National Certification Board as well as the majority of states within the US.  Please visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/ for registration and details.

Prenatal massage offers a wide range of physiological, emotional and psychological benefits.

Alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints and musculo-fascial structures.

Assists in remedying many of the common discomforts experienced during pregnancy:  muscular discomforts, lower back pain, upper back pain, headaches, leg cramps, sciatica, stiffness, tension and knots, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, heartburn and acid reflux, fatigue, varicose veins, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, edema of the lower extremities, neck pain, interscapular pain, sacroiliac and hip joint pain and constipation

Increases blood circulation which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and fetus and stimulates the lymph system, thereby increasing immunity and removal of toxins

Stabilizes hormonal levels and helps relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes

Soothes and relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the mother’s body. As a result, the expectant mother feels more relaxed and at-ease and will also sleep more easily and more deeply.

Assists in maintaining good posture and adjusting to a changing alignment caused by the baby’s increasing weight. Massage increases muscle tone and flexibility, enhancing the ability to carry this extra weight while also relieving aches and pains, leg cramps and muscle spasms.

Eases the load on the heart and helps keep the blood pressure in check

Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues

Supports the return of blood to the heart and increases blood flow to the uterus and placenta. With the enormous demands placed on the circulatory system during pregnancy, blood volume may increase up to 60% over pre-pregnancy levels. As pregnancy progresses and the uterus enlarges and presses deep into the pelvic bowl, venous return to the heart is hampered.

Prepares the mother-to-be for an easier delivery with its sedating effect on the           nervous system, promoting relaxation and stress relief.

Offers a natural, safe, drug-free alternative choice for pain relief because taking medications are often limited during a pregnancy for the sake of the unborn child

In addition to the physical benefits, prenatal massage provides expecting women with the emotional support and nurturing touch provided by non-sexual human touch and energy.

For information about online Prenatal Massage classes at Ariana Institute, visit www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.

For information about onsite Prenatal Massage classes at Ariana Institute, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/#prenatal.

Ariana Vincent directs the Ariana Institute in Austin, Texas, which offers continuing professional development for massage therapists. Ariana is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Massage Therapy Instructor who has practiced massage therapy and bodywork for thirty years. Her highest aspiration, personally and professionally, is to facilitate the integration of mind, body and spirit, and to ultimately allow a state of balance to effortlessly and peacefully become an integral part of everyday life.

Successfully Marketing Massage

March 27, 2010 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

SUCCESSFULLY MARKETING MASSAGE: PRACTICE BUILDING TIPS

Ariana Institute offers online and onsite Practice Building and Marketing continuing education courses for massage therapists. These courses are approved by the National Certification Board as well as the majority of states within the US.  Please visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/ for registration and details.

Take time to create a clear vision of what you want and need based on your values.

Think about tangible and tasteful ways to cultivate referrals, increase your presence in your client’s lives, and fill your practice, all the while staying true to your values and principles

Examine how attitudes about money, value, socioeconomic class, and the age-old clash between commerce and healing, can affect your ability to truly useful to those you serve.

Appreciate what you have.  Focus on what you’re grateful for in your life.

Networking – Attend networking events and let people know you offer massage

Effective use of e-mail and direct mail – let people know you offer massage sessions

Newsletters – add information about Massage in your newsletters

Gift certificates – offer gift certificates for an introductory discounted massage.

Web sites – feature massage on your web site

Follow up – call, write or e-mail customers who have come in for a massage

Letters of appreciation – send a letter to customers and friends who refer people for massage

Publishing articles – publish an article about massage and share copies of the articles with colleagues and clients

Print advertising – include massage in your print advertising

Referral incentives – offer a free massage for every 3 referrals or offer $10 off of the next session

Brochures – add information about massage in your brochures

Business cards – add information about massage on your business cards

Diversify and prosper – offer a variety of services, including massage combined with Aromatherapy

Keep a file box on your desk with all your ideas in it on separate cards.

Send out birthday cards with a gift certificate offering a discounted offer.

Call customers that you haven’t seen in awhile and let them know what times you have available that week.

Do market research and find out what others in your area are doing and how they are marketing.  Ask them to send you their flyer, card or brochure.

Return all phone calls and e-mails within hours or at least the same day.  Many clients and potential clients have a list of massage therapists and they schedule with whoever is available first.

Focus on your goals and intentions.  Rich people see opportunities, poor people see obstacles.  Rich people see potential; poor people see potential loss.  Rich people focus on rewards; the poor focus on risks.

Ask for regular feedback from your customers.

Call your client the next day after a session to see how he or she feels.

Set up a regular treatment time for repeat clients.

Develop a give away product for your clients after each visit

Give free consultations.

Develop a one line slogan that can be associated with your practice

Give free lunch time seminars where people can find out about your services.

Ask for referrals.  Ask the referring people for information about themselves too so that you can refer to them.

Have a ready made list of contacts for referrals.

Become a great learner.  Attend conferences, workshops and CE classes.

Get set up to take credit cards through your business account.

Set up regular business hours so people know they can count on you.

Keep track of everyone who comes to see you and Keep your mailing list up to date.

Focus on you.  You are the root of your financial success or failure.  If you work on the roots, the “fruits” will take care of themselves.

Develop an information kit for new prospective clients telling them everything they need to know about receiving a service from you such as location, cancellation policies.

Develop detailed educational material.

Research rates and price structures in your area to make sure you are charging fairly.

Enhance your energy.  Everything is energy.  Money is energy.  Big money takes big energy.  So get into shape, eat properly and get enough rest.

Increase your value.  Become an expert in your field and be the best at what you do.  To get paid the best, you must be the best.

Keep up on techniques and methods, always improving yourself and your treatments.

Make copies of interesting, informative articles to distribute to clients and colleagues

Believe you can be successful.  Put your attention on the traits, strengths, and virtues that allow you to believe you can – and deserve to be – successful.

Selectively consider offering a senior citizens’ discount, a students’ discount, a teachers’ discount, a military discount, and a professional discount to colleagues.

Volunteer your time to charities and non-profit organizations.  Give back.

Find other businesses to network with such as health clubs and gyms, beauty salons, florists, and retirement communities.

Find several successful mentors to work with one on one.  Contact www.micromentor.com

Associate with successful people.  Birds of a feather flock together.  Energy is contagious.

Review your business success plan often and share your review with supportive friends and mentors.

Choose your thoughts wisely.  You can choose to think in ways that will support you in your happiness and success…instead of ways that don’t.

Be mindful.

For information about online Practice Building and Marketing classes at Ariana Institute, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.

For information about onsite Practice Building and Marketing classes at Ariana Institute, visit http://www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/#practicebuilding.

Ariana Vincent directs the Ariana Institute in Austin, Texas, which offers continuing professional development for massage therapists. Ariana is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Massage Therapy Instructor who has practiced massage therapy and bodywork for thirty years. Her highest aspiration, personally and professionally, is to facilitate the integration of mind, body and spirit, and to ultimately allow a state of balance to effortlessly and peacefully become an integral part of everyday life.

Reflexology

March 20, 2010 by Ariana Vincent, CEO of the Ariana Institute

HISTORY OF REFLEXOLOGY

 

Ariana Institute offers online and onsite Reflexology continuing education courses for massage therapists. These courses are approved by the National Certification Board as well as the majority of states within the US.  Please visit www.arianainstitute.com for details.

Reflexology has been used for more than 5,000 years. History suggests that foot reflexology was used by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Japanese.

The most concrete evidence of the practice of Reflexology in ancient cultures was the discovery of the wall painting shown below depicting the practice of Reflexology in the tomb of Ankhmahor (highest official after the Pharaoh) at Saqqara, which is also known as the Physician’s Tomb. This Egyptian wall painting is dated at the 6th dynasty, about 2330 B.C.

Similarly, North American Indian shamans are believed to have manipulated and stimulated the feet as a part of their healing practices.

As additional information is gathered, it seems that variations of the modern practice of Reflexology existed in many of the ancient healing cultures.

The precursor of modern Reflexology was introduced to the United States in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. (1872-1942), an ear, nose, and throat specialist, and Dr. Edwin Bowers. Fitzgerald claimed that applying pressure had an anesthetic effect on other areas of the body.

Reflexology was further developed in the 1930s and 1940s by Eunice D. Ingham (1899-1974), a nurse and physiotherapist. Ingham claimed that the feet and hands were especially sensitive, and mapped the entire body into “reflexes” on the feet. It was at this time that “zone therapy” was renamed Reflexology.  Her nephew, Dwight C. Byers, continues her work today. His lifelong association with Eunice Ingham has given him nearly sixty years of practical and teaching experience in Reflexology.

For information about online Reflexology classes at Ariana Institute, visit www.arianainstitute.com/ce-online/.

For information about onsite Reflexology classes at Ariana Institute, visit www.arianainstitute.com/conted10.htm.

Ariana Vincent directs the Ariana Institute in Austin, Texas, which offers continuing professional development for massage therapists. Ariana is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Massage Therapy Instructor who has practiced massage therapy and bodywork for thirty years. Her highest aspiration, personally and professionally, is to facilitate the integration of mind, body and spirit, and to ultimately allow a state of balance to effortlessly and peacefully become an integral part of everyday life.