Podcast

Episode 387

Nov 19, 2021

Allissa and Michael discuss the common question of adding a new technique into your massage practice.

Listen to "E387: How to Add a New Technique to your Massage Practice" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 387

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • How to Add a New Technique to your Massage Practice

Quick Tips

  • The 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes of screen work, look at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will reduce eyestrain and is easy to remember (or program reminders for).

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by PocketSuite. PocketSuite is an all-in-one app that makes it easier to run your massage business. You can schedule and get booked online by clients and manage all your forms and notes and contracts and payments and reminders, all of the things all within the PocketSuite app. And it is all HIPAA compliant, my friends. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned business owner, PocketSuite helps you save time and make a good living. A massage therapist can be up and running on PocketSuite in 15 minutes. Our podcast listeners can get 25% off your annual premium subscription for your first year of PocketSuite. And for more information, you can visit massagebusinessblueprint.com/pocketsuite.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey everyone, and welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

I'm Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

We're your host. Welcome. We're glad you're here as always.

Allissa Haines:

We are.

Michael Reynolds:

Every single time, we are happy that you're here.

Allissa Haines:

So, we are on episode 387.

Michael Reynolds:

Holy cow.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, I know. We were just organizing a few things and I've prepped up through episode 390 and it just feels a little weird and overwhelming. So, there's that.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, that's a lot of episodes. I mean, we've been at this for a while.

Allissa Haines:

That's like probably whatever, 225 hours of hearing us talk.

Michael Reynolds:

So, if you're still listening to us, bless you.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, sorry. And you're welcome. Michael, what have you been reading and stuff?

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, I'm a sucker for these listical gift guide, fluffy articles. And I found one that was actually helpful to me. It's called the Ultimate 2021 Gift Guide Gifts the Whole Family will Love. Yes, I know the title is just cheesy as I'll get out. But it's from the positive parenting solution side, which is that course that my wife and I took for learning to be better parents, hopefully, which is an ongoing struggle. And it actually has some good stuff in it. So, I'm really bad at gift giving. I'm attracted to stuff like this that makes it easier for me. So, I'm horrible at just the whole gifting thing. And it's got some good ideas and especially for me in particular, so my son, Eli, is six and he's obsessed with all things, Minecraft, like obsessed.

Michael Reynolds:

And one of the gifts was... What's it called? An unofficial Minecraft lab for kids. And it bridges the gap between the screen time stuff on Minecraft and activities that we can do as a family and stuff. So, that was really cool to see. And there's a lot of interesting educational, non-tech gifts for kids and just stuff like that. So, anyway, that's what I've been reading. I'm going through that and trying to get some ideas that will be non-screen related because we've gotten carried away with the whole Minecraft screen time in our household. So, if that's helpful to anyone else, there you go.

Allissa Haines:

I'm scrolling it right now and it's got a couple of good ideas. I like it. I'm a big sucker for giving experienced things. So, for my grandson's birthday, I gave them a membership to the local zoo. And I think I'll probably give them a membership to the local children's museum for Christmas. I got them some clothes and a couple of books. Well, he doesn't listen to the podcast, so I can say that got... Let me just humble brag. I've done my Christmas shopping except for a gift for my stepdaughter. And I got a cribbage set, because we've been saying for years, we wanted to learn how to play cribbage together. So, yeah. Anyhow, I'm lame. I'm lame.

Michael Reynolds:

I got Arianna a massage for her birthday.

Allissa Haines:

That's nice.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Okay.

Michael Reynolds:

What about you?

Allissa Haines:

So, not so much reading, but I found an app. I don't know, somebody on Twitter tweeted about it and it's called too good to go. And it is an app you can put on your phone. And if you're closer to a major city or highly populated area, it's moving into the suburbs for a lot of areas. But the idea is to restaurants and bakeries and grocery stores will create like a surprise bag of food. And you'll know if it's like bakery and pastry items or if it's a meal or if it's just straight up groceries, they tell you that and they discount it heavily. And every day, a handful of these restaurants and grocery stores and whatevers will put up on the app a surprise bag. And they'll say we're worth 20 bucks, but you're only going to pay six bucks or whatever ever.

Allissa Haines:

And you register for one of the bags and you pay for it and you have to go pick it up at a certain time for the restaurant or for the establishment. And I'm making it sound more complicated than it really is. I apologize. But the idea is that it's all food that's good to eat. It's good and safe and not too old to eat, but food that would probably get thrown away the next day, if it didn't get eaten. So, it's a way for these establishments to recoup a little bit of their costs and not have to throw food away.

Allissa Haines:

So, there's a couple of bakeries around me that do it. I haven't actually done the whole process yet, but I've been keeping an eye on it every day, mostly because we did a lot of baking around here in the last few weeks. And I was like, I'm not going to go pick up a bag of pastries from somewhere else, but it looks really neat. So, if you're in a more populated area, check out the two good to go app. It's a great way to get some meals and for a super low price and fight food waste.

Michael Reynolds:

I'm downloading it as we speak.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. You're next to a city, so a real legit city. And you can search, you can set your parameters, so, for like five miles away from you or 10 miles away from you and you can change your area a little bit. So, when I go to work, there's actually a burrito place that's 10 minutes from my office. And they usually have a deal every day where if you pick up a burrito or you can get the meal, but you have to pick it up between 8:00 or 8:30 at night, which I'm like, that makes sense for me because that's when I leave my office. So, I've kept my eye on that one. There's a couple bakeries around and stuff, like I said, but anyhow, it could be fun.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. It's still downloading, but I'm going to check it out and see what's around me. Good idea. Thanks.

Allissa Haines:

Was our first sponsor, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, you know what? You would ask me that when I'm looking at the app and on a different tab.

Allissa Haines:

I'll say it, our first sponsor is ABMB.

Michael Reynolds:

ABMB.

Allissa Haines:

I distracted you with food. You can't be blamed for that.

Michael Reynolds:

True.

Allissa Haines:

What do I want to talk about today with ABMP? I want to talk about their apps. So, ABMP has the five minute muscle app and the pocket pathology app. You can find them all at abmp.com/apps, A-P-P-S, which makes me think of appetizers, but here we are. Anyhow, they are quick reference apps designed to help you quickly find information that you might need to make a decision in your hands on work or outside of a session to refresh muscle and pathology knowledge. I love the five minute muscle app. It includes short little videos, muscle specific techniques and palpation videos for the 83 muscles most often addressed by professional MTs. It's great. They use progressive web app technology so it doesn't take up a ton of space on your phone or device. These apps are included with ABMP membership and non-members, you can do a little sample demo of them at the website, abmp.com/apps.

Michael Reynolds:

ABMP. All right, what's our topic today? Sorry, I'm playing with the app. I'm going to fess up. I'm just still playing with the app. That's why I'm sounding really distracted because I am, and it looks like there's no restaurants within 20 miles of me that are on the app. So, that's sad.

Allissa Haines:

It's growing. It's started in the UK and it has emerged over here. There's a ton of places in Austin and there's a handful of places in Providence. And I feel like Indianapolis is a lot like Providence. So, it's not super huge city, but it's a good size city, secondary. I don't know, there's probably a term for it. But give it a little time, keep an eye out, whatever.

Michael Reynolds:

Click my phone down now. All right. Let's dig in. How to add a new technique to your massage practice.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, man. This comes up a lot because our members are super cool about taking lots of education and growing their skills. And it often comes to pass that people are like, okay, I just took this great class, how do I start doing this new technique in my massage practice? How do I start offering it? How do I practice it more? How do I make this actually happen? And I can say from personal experience that I've taken a lot of classes and then absolutely never integrated the work into my massage. And that's okay because not everything's going to resonate with us or our clients. But say you really like this technique and you want to, how do you do it?

Allissa Haines:

So, there's a couple of factors here. Is it a standalone technique or can it be integrated in the treatments that you already do as you already do them? So, a standalone technique might require different draping or clothing or no clothing if you're used to having your clients clothed. It could require equipment that is not conducive to the kind of massage you already do. It could mean that you have to chain your space. So, if I'm doing regular old massage and I take a Thai massage class and it's done on a mat on a floor, that's going to require some changes and can't necessarily be integrated into a regular massage, unless I do like a Thai on the table training, which totally exists but is a different thing.

Allissa Haines:

So, you have to think through, is this something I can add into my current treatments or is this something that has to be a whole other menu item on its own? And we're going to cover the contingencies for both of these things. So, either way, regardless of what will happen in the future of doing this technique, while you are learning and as you are practicing after the class, be super loud about it. Make a big stink about it. You want your clients to know that you are taking a class, partly because it just in general gives you something to post in your social media or share in your emails. And we're all always looking for decent content that will keep us front of mind for our clients and potential clients. Also, clients like to know that their massage therapist loves their work and is excited about learning and growth.

Allissa Haines:

Clients feel special and they brag about us more and they, they appreciate us and value our work more. When they know that we are always looking for ways to continue serving our clients and improve how we serve our clients. They love that crap, man, share it. When you register for the class, take a screenshot of the website and share it on your social media. When you go to the class, take a few pictures that you are appropriate for sharing and your social and your emails and all of your client communication stuff. However you communicate with your clients, post your pics before the class, during and after post pictures of you studying and practicing. And that brings us to practicing. So if you take a course, but you need to do some practice afterwards, like most of us do to make something, you know, better. We can improve our skills and actually ingrain it in our minds is what I was looking for. There.

Allissa Haines:

Schedule, schedule some legit full practice sessions, either at no charge or at a really great discount. And you want to schedule those with a few trusted family or friends or a few trusted clients, even people who you feel cozy with, who, you know, will give you good feedback. So this all depends on your confidence level. Like when I come out of a new class, I am so not confident. And I don't even feel like I could charge someone like half price for an hour of me practicing it, at least for a few tries. So I get a friend or a family member who will give me an hour of their time and let me practice specifically this new technique or if appropriate for practice, a regular massage with this technique heavily integrated into it. But for me, that takes the pressure off. If the first couple times I'm practicing, it's on someone who's paying me like I'm a hot mess and I'll, I'll abandon all of the new stuff I want to try because I'm so afraid of it not being a great experience for the person.

Allissa Haines:

So do what works for you, maybe what has worked in the past or what you think would be helpful for you, maybe based on how you practice stuff coming out of your first massage school experience, whatever, and schedule a few practice sessions. When you start to feel like you do not stink at the new technique or whatever. Totally. If it's something you can integrate it into your regular massage, start adding it into your regular massage. And if you feel like you need some actual additional time and not just a subtle integration, ask a few trusted clients, when you next come for your next regular appointment, can I add 15 minutes on be, because I want to integrate some new stuff into your massage and I kind of want it to be an add-on. So because I'm practicing and I don't want to charge you for that time. Give that a shot. You could do this just in place of doing a, a few free practice sessions. Do what works for you and what makes sense. If it's something you can integrate in. I love doing that add 15 minutes or add 30 minutes to give you time to integrate that new technique without any pressure. And that has worked really well for me in the past.

Allissa Haines:

Remember that it's okay to be a slow learner. I am a slow learner and it took me a long time to realize that and accommodate that in the ways that I learn in classes. So for me to learn something new, I have to see it, practice it, see it again, think it through, read the written stuff and probably practice it again. I have to literally tape my workbook and my worksheets to the wall and read the things like as it's directing me to do a particular stretch or technique, I kind of have to read it out loud or at least read it in my head with my lips moving while I've got my hands on the client. So know yourself and know how you learn and recognize that it's a process that takes time. And if there's someone who's agreed to be your practice dummy on your table, they're going to be cool with that.

Allissa Haines:

I did this a lot when I was a massage student in my original training, because I kept forgetting the sequence we were learning and I finally just taped the worksheets to my wall. And when I practiced it was right there and it helped me a lot. And I remember when I used to like sing and perform and I would have to rewrite the words to the songs I was singing and rewrite my, my lines in a play. And that worked really well for me. So do what you got to do to accommodate your own learning habits and make it a more comfortable experience for yourself because a trusted client or friend or family is not going to give you too much crap about hanging things up to remind yourself or having your workbook open or even a great client will hold that workbook open on their own chest for you to read while you you're working on them it's, it's a good way to practice, you know, choose your test subjects well, but don't be shy about it as you are offering some no charge practice sessions, be real clear about the boundary on how long and how often that free or reduced price treatment will be.

Allissa Haines:

So if you had a great time massage class and you practice for free and a couple of family members and you wanted to practice on a real client and you offered them a half price session, be real clear at the start, how I would like to offer you one half price session for me to practice this Thai work. And then if you like it, we can, you know, add that into your regular massage schedule at the, the regular price. So be real clear at the beginning, what your boundary is for how long you will offer reduce or free sessions. And also I just want to say it's also okay if you don't, if you just add a technique and start charging full of price for it, I'm not going to give you crap for that. But I'm kind of coming at this from my own perspective and what I have heard from people who ask the questions.

Allissa Haines:

So let's say you've practiced it, whether it be something completely independent of your massage or something you've integrated in and oh Nope. I forgot. I skipped a step. No I didn't sorry. Listen. Okay. Literally squirrel there's like three squirrels frolicking outside of my office right now. And one of them started nibbling on a pine cone and it was adorable and I lost track of my notes. So, and you can't be blamed for that either. I can't be blame for that. It is squirrel and food related. So okay. Focusing on my notes here. So once you've done those practice sessions and you've kind of eased your way in, if you've done some of them on a friend or a client and you know, you're going to add this to your menu, ask them to leave you a review, say, Hey, if you liked that you could leave me a Google review and mention this particular technique, being fun for you or helpful for you or whatever you can do. One ask, put a link to your Google, my business page. So it's easy for them to leave a review if they choose to or on your Facebook page or wherever you take reviews, ask, that might be helpful. Okay. So what about adding it to your menu?

Allissa Haines:

So if it's a whole separate item, then it's a whole separate, you know, you do traditional therapeutic massage for whatever and you are also adding time massage. It is a new menu item. It is fun because you now have something to promote like, Hey, I do this whole different new technique. Here's what it looks like. Now you've got like a topic for some new you videos and some demo pictures and all that stuff. And you just promote the crap out of it. Yay. Some clients might say, would that be better for me than the, the treatment I've been getting from you? And you might say, Hey, yeah, let's try it. Let's do one or two of these treatments and see if you love it more than the traditional way. Again, it's a whole separate item that maybe requires different clothing and draping and equipment and whatever.

Allissa Haines:

So it's kind of easy when it's that, when it's that clear. What about when it's something you integrate into your typical massage? You could just start adding it like and not say anything to anyone or you could use it as a marketing point. So if it's, I'm trying to think about what, like maybe the warm bamboo sticks, bamboo fusion is what I was thinking of. You could just start adding it into a massage. You could create it as an add-on up, priced up. What is upsell upsell item or you could, you know, just slip it in there. Like when I started using the warm mother earth pillows in the massage techniques, I just started doing it like on people who I know like heat and I didn't upcharge for it. I just started doing it. And it's one of the things that differentiated me from other practitioners.

Allissa Haines:

And I realized that, and it became something that I would, you know, post some pictures of and talk about out and that my clients would kind of word of mouth about. So it might not even need to be announced, but if you're looking for marketing stuff and you're looking for differentiation, differentiation, yeah, differentiation, differentiation, then it, you know, could be something you do make a stink about, but it's also okay if you just start knowing it and don't worry about it. Do you want to just completely stop taking new clients for anything except that new modality because that's cool. You can keep your old clients, they can do their old thing. Anybody who doesn't want to try new modality, that's fine. And you only take new clients who want a new modality. You want to make that real clear on your website. You want to create a new treatment that new clients can book and they can't book your old treatments or you know, use whatever configurations or whatever communication you need to for that.

Allissa Haines:

Is this something, if it's something you can blend into your regular massage, do you just want to blend it into everyone's massage? That's cool too. My guess is a lot of your clients won't even notice. They won't even realize they're getting something all that much new. Do you want to not do the old thing you used to? That means that your current clients need to transition to the new technique or they need to find another massage therapist. I would suggest that you find a great person. You can refer them to, or a few people you can refer them to, to try. I don't like to just leave clients high and dry, but you could have a transition period of six months or a year where you only take new clients for the new modality and you slowly move your current clients over to that modality. And if current clients don't want that, they get referred out and then in a year or so, you've got a whole practice of just the modality you want to be doing.

Allissa Haines:

And these are there's no right or wrong are all legit options. And that's kind of the whole shtick. I think the trick here is just to do it mindfully to really, you know, advertise that crap when you learn something new, because it's a great selling point and be really be excited and be really mindful about how you want to move forward with your practice and be unapologetic about it. Like when you stop doing something, there will be clients who are disappointed, but just as much as we are in this business to serve our clients, our business has to serve us. And I, I have never regretted no longer doing hot stones. There were three clients I lost. I referred them to somebody else in my office at the time. And I have never regretted giving away my stones and never touching a hot stone. Again, the clients were a little disappointed, but they found happiness with someone who did hot stones much better than I, and that's all. Okay. And that's kind of the end of my stick, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

I like it really good stuff. Really useful, actionable stuff. So thank you.

Allissa Haines:

You bet. I have something I was thinking about on my own too, because I am going to take manual lymphatic drainage next year and probably make some adjustments in my practice and we'll see how that goes. So check back with me in a year people

Michael Reynolds:

And we'll see, can't wait to hear the follow up.

Allissa Haines:

Right. And can I practice what I preach? Who's our next

Michael Reynolds:

Sponsor. All right. Our friends at ho Ho-Hoba.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. Ho-Hoba you know how I feel about Ho-Hoba? You're probably a little tired of me saying it, but I am going to point out that the Ho-Hoba company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first press quality. Ho-Hoba. This means that they do a light pressing on the Ho-Hoba seed and they get a little less oil, but it's a much higher quality oil. It does not go rancid. So it can sit on your shelf for a year or two and not get nasty. Your sheets won't get nasty and rancid it's because it doesn't have any triglycerides. And also it is non-allergenic so you can use it on any client and every client without being concerned about an allergic reaction. And if in your head you are saying to yourself, well, I used Ho-Hoba one and my client reacted. You were probably using a crappy quality ho Hoba with other crap in it. So maybe you want to try the original Ho-Hoba company. You as a listener can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massage business blueprint.com/ho

Michael Reynolds:

Hoba. And that is J J OBA. It is quick tips.

Allissa Haines:

What do you, I love this. I love your quick tip because it's something that my eye doctor told me last month.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh nice. Okay. So I had no idea if it was legit or not. I just saw it somewhere and I'm like, well, sounds legit. So I'm going with this. So I I've been trying to follow the 20, 20, 20 rule for my eyes, which is easy to remember because Hey 2020. So the rule as every 20 minutes of screen work, look at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds. And this supposedly reduces eye strain. And it's easy to remember because you just have the 20, 20, 20 rule as the, the device to remember it. Or you can program reminders for it. You can, you know, do a time every 20 minutes. So I'm glad to hear that your eye doctor recommended it because I had no idea if it was based in, you know, reality or science, but it sounds like it is. And it sounds useful. And I've been really focusing on this, no pun intended because I've been doing lots of screen work lately, like tons and tons of screen work.

Michael Reynolds:

Cause I got a lot of stuff going on that is screen related and my work is in front of a screen and not all of us have as much screen time maybe as I do or Alyssa does, but I think more and more our lives are filled with screens more. And I think it's, I've noticed my eyes just feeling the strain of being in front of a screen for so long that even before I found this rule, I've been like trying to like get up and look far away and go outside for a walk and just like get my eyes rest from screens. So trying to be more intentional about this and that's, that's what I'm working on. Anything else? Do you have a quick tip? Nope. Okay. All right. So with that, we will wrap up there. Thanks everyone for joining us today. As always, you can find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. And if you have a note for us, you can email that to us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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