We’re at the World Massage Festival! And we’ve gathered all sorts of advice for new massage and bodywork graduates, listen in to hear this helpful and heartening advice.
This episode is lovingly and exclusively sponsored by ABMP.
Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by ABMP. ABMP goes above and beyond great liability insurance to make it easier for you to succeed at what you love. The membership combines insurance you need, free CE you want, and the advocacy and professional customer service you deserve. New for 2019, ABMP certified members now includes the most free CE in the world with full access to the World Massage Conference vault with more than 400 on demand massage and bodywork CE course plus the 200 free CE courses available in the ABMP education center. And we are super excited about the new Five-Minute Muscles resource. The fast facts at your fingertips members-only benefit allows you to explore techniques and refresh your muscle knowledge. You can quiz yourself whenever and wherever you want. You can go to abmp.com to learn why you can expect more from your ABMP membership.
Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I am Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines And I’m Allissa Haines.
MR And we’re your hosts. And we are broadcasting on location from the World Massage Festival in Cherokee — is that where we are? Cherokee.
MR Cherokee, North Carolina. It is beautiful here in lovely Cherokee, North Carolina. And we’re happy to be here. We’re at the ABMP booth, as well, hanging out with our ABMP peeps.
AH And you’ll all be happy to know that I showed Michael what a rhododendron is. He was not sure.
MR They’re lovely.
AH I’m trying to teach him a little bit about landscaping and plants he should put in his yard. And they have this beautiful — at the resort casino here, they have this beautiful path by the river. And it’s just lined with this wall of rhododendrons fully in bloom. They’re the purple ones. I saw one that was a really light pink rhododendron, and they’re beautiful. So now Michael knows what a rhododendron is. Everyone can rest easy during landscaping season.
MR They were quite beautiful.
AH They’re lovely.
MR And we’re also excited because we have some of our partners here. Obviously ABMP, and we just talked to the Yomassage folks over — a couple booths down, Tiffany and Katherine, who are sponsors and partners of Massage Business Blueprint. And we also talked to Jojoba. Brian’s here.
AH Yay, we got to talk to Jojoba.
MR In fact, Allissa basically sold some jojoba for him.
AH I did.
AH I stood in front of the booth and talked to someone who walked up — and had heard our podcast, so that was really exciting — and did my whole jojoba shtick. So that was exciting. That was really good stuff.
MR I’m always impressed by your jojoba shtick.
AH I love my jojoba shtick. And I got to actually use some jojoba on my hands and tell the world that I travel with a little 1 oz. bottle of it because that’s what I use for moisturizer when I travel because I don’t do the whole checking a bag thing. I do the carry on. Anyhow, let’s chat a little bit about some ABMP stuff going on at this booth because it’s always so exciting to see how much people love ABMP at this event and it really struck us —
MR They really do.
AH It’s amazing. And so many people will actually renew their ABMP membership while they’re here because they have a $20 off show discount. So if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re going to be at the World Massage Festival this week, go renew your membership over at the ABMP booth. Michael and I are just here for the first couple of days. But it’s really exciting to be showing people — so one thing we did is I was watching as someone came up to the booth, and Hannah, here, working the ABMP booth, started talked to this woman about the Five-Minute Muscle resource that ABMP is now offering to their members. And it’s an amazing resource where you can quiz yourself on muscle origin, insertion, actions. And this woman walked up, Kay, I think her name was. And she walked up and Hannah was quizzing her on some muscles. What we didn’t know before this started, but was very clear after, is that Kay was an anatomy teacher. And she nailed every origin, insertion, action, and innervation even, and — as Hannah was testing her with this Five-Minute Muscle resource, which is amazing. And it’s phenomenal. You can explore different techniques and refresh your muscle knowledge, and it’s got these great charts that show actions of muscles, and it’s phenomenal. So being able to tell people about that is really, really cool. And they’ve got little tablets out so you can test drive the resource, which is awesome.
MR Yeah, it looks beautiful.
AH It’s beautiful. And as always, ABMP has beautiful nail files they’re giving away.
AH So that’s been really exciting just to show people what’s going on. And we’ve also been asking people what advice they would give a new massage and bodywork graduate. And it’s been really neat hearing what people have to say. You can visit ABMP’s Instagram to see how that’s going. And we’re also going to capture people as they walk on by our booth, so you’re going to hear a bunch of advice for new massage and bodywork graduates coming at you, as well, as people pass by our booth. And we’re going to totally snag Leslie Young, get her over here to talk maybe a little bit out what her keynote tonight is going to be. And I’ve already run into my friend Art Lindemanis of Artful Touch Music who dropped an album last week and also has this really cool offer to download his whole library, all 26 albums of massage music — massage and yoga and meditation and relaxation music that I’ve been using my massage room for like 10-plus years. And there’s a lot happening here, Michael. I’m a little overwhelmed.
MR Well, sounds like fun. Let’s get started.
AH All right, we’ve grabbed our first passerby, who I coincidentally already talked with this morning. But tell us who you are, where are you from?
Lynn Teachworth Okay, my name is Lynn Teachworth, and I am from Orlando, Florida.
AH And what’s your shtick? What are you teaching?
LT This weekend I’m teaching a class called Integrative Anatomy. It kind of takes the concepts of structural integration, functional biomechanics, and energy medicine. Put them all together. That’s kind of what we teach at my company, Trunamics, is combining all three levels of the body.
AH What’s — tell me what your classes are like. Are you teaching all over? Do you just teach out of where you are in Florida?
LT I teach in seven different countries: Japan, Germany, Canada, America, Australia, Ireland, the UK.
AH And who takes your classes?
LT Everybody from chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists. I mostly focus on massage therapy, though, and bodyworkers because they’re the ones that have the time to really do great work.
LT So it’s a little bit of anybody that’s going to do hands-on work. We tend to attract all those people.
AH Sweet. What advice would you give a new massage or bodywork graduate?
LT Well, what I would do is just say, hey, don’t underestimate your abilities, you know, just coming out of school is don’t be afraid to go out there and be bold and practice and get your hands on people and charge good money for what you do. But I say that the most important thing is never stop learning. You know, I’ve been a therapist for 27 years, and I’m still learning. I did 32 different types of massage and energy medicine, and there’re are so many great people out there teaching great stuff and I just want to keep going and going and going with that.
AH Thank you, Lynn. That’s really good advice. All right, we’ve rounded up another guest. Tell us about you.
Victoria Crawley Hi, I’m Victoria Crawley. I own Simply Velvet Spa out in Mechanicsville, Virginia. And basically I specialize in neuromuscular therapy and my — I would say my advice would be — for new therapists would just be to basically stick with it, and what’s for you is for you and what’s not for you is not for you. So enjoy the universe and let it do its job.
AH I love that. That is the best piece of advice I’ve heard today.
MR Thank you.
AH We need to talk a little bit before we let Victoria go —
AH — about what’s happening in front of us because we’re going to take a picture because we’ve got this purple hair situation and these purple nails —
AH — and they’re just beautiful.
VC Thank you.
AH How do you — do you have nails when you massage, or is that an “I’m out of the office this week so I went nuts”?
VC Well, I went nuts this week with the length. But normally I do have my nails done. I am a nail tech as well. And I kind of use them as tools for my clients. So I make sure that they’re a little bit thicker than the general public gets so that way I don’t have any sharp edges and things like that. And my clients really enjoy it. And it also gives me my creative outlet. So —
AH They’re beautiful.
MR Love it.
VC Thank you.
AH And you’ve got a real branding thing happening with the hair. And I’m looking — I was looking at your Instagram, which is pretty rocking, too.
VC Thank you.
AH So tell people your Instagram handle.
VC My Instagram is velvetkisses218, and then I also have velvetnailsglobal, which is my business business Instagram as well.
AH Nice. And you’ve been an ABMP member for a long time?
VC Oh goodness, 10 years now. Yeah. This is year 10 with you guys.
VC Thank you.
AH What do you like about ABMP? Why are you a member?
VC I’m a member because, number one, I’m able to have whatever licenses I decide to get. So nails, when I go back for aesthetics, I can have all of my insurances under ABMP for one price, which is very convenient. And then also the fact of how you all partner with Massage Book, which is really helpful. I found that to be my favorite online scheduler and way to keep notes. It’s just, you’re ahead of the curve on a lot of things, and I really appreciate that. And the people that I’ve met in ABMP have just been more about the meaning of massage rather than it’s about money. And that’s what I like. I don’t like for things to be just about money.
AH I think the mix is kind of important.
VC Yeah, it is important.
AH That’s why most of us go into this.
VC Oh, yeah.
AH I agree with you . I feel that way, too, about everybody I’ve worked with within ABMP. So thank you. Thank you so much for joining us, Victoria.
VC Thank you for having me.
AH We have snagged yet another guest who is kind of super famous. So who are you?
Laura Allen I’m Laura Allen. I have been a massage therapist for about 20 years. I actually taught some classes to my own class in massage school, which wouldn’t be allowed nowadays, but —
LA — the massage board didn’t exist when I started and there was no law against it, so.
AH That was back in the Wild West of massage days.
LA So I have been teaching marketing and ethics to massage therapists for many years.
AH You’re probably the first marketing teacher that I cam across when I started looking for info. And this is why I’m super excited to ask you this question. What advice would you give a new massage or bodywork graduate?
LA Well, I would encourage you to have the mindset that your massage education really starts when you walk out the door of the massage school. Learn some skills in critical thinking. You know, I’ve found out over the years that I had to unlearn a lot of the things that I learned in massage school because some of them are just not true. (Laughter)
LA So learn critical thinking. And also learn skills that will serve you in your practice of massage, not just in the hands-on part of it, but in the business part of it and the marketing part of it. A lot of schools really shortchange people on business and marketing education. And Allissa, who is sitting here, was a contributor to my latest book, which is the second edition of a book that I wrote long ago called “One Year to a Successful Massage Therapy Practice.” It’s low cost and no-cost ways to build your practice because when I started out, I didn’t have enough money to buy one ad in a big newspaper. So these are just things that you can do that will cost you very little money or no money at all to build your practice.
AH Sweet. Thank you, Laura.
LA Thank you. Appreciate y’all having me. And thank you for contributing to my book.
AH Hey. So we have snagged another passerby to give us some advice, but first tell us who you are and what you do.
Kelly Lene My name is Kelli Lene and I hail from Oklahoma where I have a private practice, and I teach continuing education, and loving life.
AH And tell us what — you said you’ve done this 27 years?
KL 27 years.
AH Nice. So with all of that knowledge, what is — what advice would you give a new massage or bodywork graduate?
KL Undersell and overdeliver.
AH (Laughter) What’s an example of that? I’m putting you on the spot, sorry.
KL It’s okay. It’s all right. It’s all about going that extra mile. It’s about being present with that person because — remember, please, people, remember, they are paying for the attention, not just for the minute. So to be mindful and to be in that moment with them, to be a witness to their healing and hold that space for them is the greatest gift you can give — (break in audio).
MR All right, everyone, we’re going to take a quick break because this episode is sponsored by our friends at ABMP and we have none other than Leslie Young with us. Leslie, how are you?
Leslie Young I’m excellent and I’m just thrilled to be here with you today.
MR Awesome. Thank you so much. So we would love to have you tell our listeners a bit more about ABMP, what you’re doing here, the value you bring to members, and all the good stuff you guys offer.
LY Well, I’m completely biased.
LY I have been ABMP’s vice president of communication for more than 16 years now. So just thrilled to be part of an association that is so member-focused. We learn from our members what helps them be successful in the profession. And right now in particular, a lot of that is based around continuing education, so that’s one of the reasons why we love partnering with you, as well, at Massage Business Blueprint because you’re helping people have successful practices and bringing them some business acumen, and we’re trying to do the same kinds of things.
In 2018, we acquired the World Massage Conference, and so we have added that vault of continuing education, so we are now offering members more than 600 hours of online continuing education. So kind of of a full A to Z online and trying to help inspire them to be successful practitioners. One of the things we’re most excited about right now is Five-Minute Muscles.
AH I’ve been playing with that and it’s really un.
MR It’s a beautiful app.
AH It’s gorgeous.
LY It is wonderful. And I just had a new member burst into tears when we were debuting it for her. She has some problems with memory recall, and she said that her hands know the work, but she has problems with the instant recall on muscles. And so it has palpation videos and technique videos that are really at a practitioner’s fingertips. So when you’re in that session room and you’re kind of isolated, ABMP will be there with Five-Minute Muscles at your fingertips as a quick resource.
AH And I — what I found is I struggle to remember all of the orthopedic and the clinical-oriented stuff and the origins and insertions. And being able to bust out a tool like that — I’ve done it with my actual textbooks. But being able to bust out a tool like that and be like, hey, I want to refresh my memory on how this particular muscle works and why it makes a difference — especially with the suboccipitals. I never remember what is going on with what suboccipital. And it’s been really helpful. And clients really appreciate that. When you can bust out a tool, it shows, one, how excited you are about your craft, and it’s also super informative for clients to visually see what’s going on in a muscle and to help you palpate properly when you’re trying to do that. Oh, so that’s amazing, especially for someone with memory recall.
LY Absolutely, yes, you are singing our song on this. People are getting so excited about it. And what it is kind of a chic, high-tech way of accessing that information. I’ve also talked to practitioners that have photocopied sheets and kind of they’ve made their own encyclopedias on these things that they’re showing their clients. But to have something that’s as high-tech as this, yet as easy to use, is really helping wow clients and helping kind of power-pack their resources.
AH Sweet. Where can everybody find all of this ABMP information, Leslie?
AH Thank you. And we’re kicking Leslie out now because she’s got people at her booth who want to know more about ABMP, and I don’t want to keep her. Thank you so much.
LY Thank you.
AH This is extra exciting because we’ve got Irene Diamond in front of us, ready to answer the questions what would you tell a new — what’s the bit of advice you would give a new massage and bodywork graduate?
Irene Diamond There we go. All right, question — a good question, and here’s my answer. So at the beginning when you are first starting, absolutely get your hands on as many people, as many conditions, as many situations you can, get exposure. Figure out what you like, what you don’t like, who you like working with, who you don’t like working with, what conditions you excel at, put all that together, and after you’ve been in practice for — I’m going to say — three months-ish, then I would encourage you to start specializing and figure out your dream client.
AH So we’ve — it’s cool to have you in front of us because — people, if you don’t know, Irene teaches all kinds of stuff. You teach some hands-on stuff —
ID Active myofascial therapy, The Diamond Method.
AH As well as all kind of business building. So what — I lost track of my thought and my question that I was going to ask.
MR Well this is about niching because (indiscernible) specialize and we always preach niching as well, so. Yeah.
AH That’s what I was going to ask. So in your hands-on practice, what is your niche?
ID Yeah, my niche is migraines and neck and back pain. That’s my niche. So if somebody comes to me with a foot thing or an ankle thing or a knee thing, yeah, sure, I can work on it. But bottom line is I’m better at migraine relief, neck and back pain.
AH How long did it — do you feel like it took you in hands-on practice to figure that out, like to under — to figure out —
ID Well, that’s why I’m saying at least three months. So at the beginning when I first started my practice, my clinical practice, I thought I wanted to work with professional athletes: football players and cyclists.
AH Totally though that, too. Turns out I did not.
ID I did and I didn’t like it for a number of reasons. And then I went into musicians and I would be working backstage at concerts, and that was really cool, and I got to hear free music and meet really amazing people. However, that was backstage at midnight and, you know, it was a lot of work schlepping. So it took me a long time to recognize the value of not being a generalist and to be a specialist.
So my own personal experience is I had a spinal cord injury and broke my neck, so necks and migraines are my own understanding of conditions and pain. And therefore I can see it from the patient/client’s perspective as well as from a therapist perspective, so I think that’s really valuable. It took me about a year or two until I kept niching down, niching down, niching down. And I know it’s really scary, and I know people don’t want to do that because then you may turn people away, but that’s okay. I have a thing I teach. It’s called the neon sign formula. And the more specific you are about who you do really good work with, then your neon sign is flashing louder and brighter and the arrow’s pointing right at you because you become the specialist in that — either in that symptom or in that population.
AH That is sweet and —
MR Preach it.
AH (Laughter) It’s always so exciting to hear someone —
MR Everyone’s so sick of hearing us talk about niching and beating people over the head with specialize, specialize. (Laughter)
ID Yeah, and it is scary. It’s really scary because, again, you feel like you’re limiting who you can work with. And we all know, yeah, we can all work with all the people, but why not focus on the people you do really good work with, your best work. And I’m all about a guarantee — a 100% guarantee. So if you’re doing your best work with your best clientele, you can easily do a guarantee. If it’s somebody who has a condition that maybe you’ve never worked with before, well, ethically, I don’t think you can even touch a guarantee because it’s not something you have experience with.
AH And really, if you’re spending the bulk of your time on stuff that you feel really confident and good at, you’re going to feel better when you’re walking into the office every day and better when you’re leaving at night.
AH And setting yourself up to win.
ID Yeah, that’s right, exactly.
AH (Indiscernible) clients as well.
ID When you design your dream practice around your sweet spot, then there’s no stress. You look at your book and you’re like, cool, I get to work with all these people today that I really like and I really like their thing that I’m helping them achieve or you reduce, and it’s a win-win for everybody.
AH Sweet. Thank you so much Irene Diamond for popping into our podcast with some wisdom.
ID You’re welcome, Allissa and Michael.
MR Thank you, everyone. Well, that was awesome talk to our attendees and get some great tips for new massage therapy and bodywork grads. Again, happy to be here with ABMP as our sponsor today. And we are going to do one more of these tomorrow, aren’t we?
AH We sure are.
MR All right, let’s do it. So we’ll do one more tomorrow because we were here for a couple days here at World Massage Festival 2019. So stay tuned for the next episode, and thanks for listening today. We’ll see you next time.