Massage is gaining popularity fast. More people than ever are making appointments and more are talking about the positive benefits. It is no longer a surprise to see a massage station at an airport or gym or to talk to people who incorporate massage into their monthly wellness routine. With the increase in access to massage, however, many business owners see a need to differentiate the customer experience by offering “unique massage experiences” to grab customer eyeballs and increase sales.
Enter the massage menu
Just about any massage establishment features a menu of services featuring your choice of Swedish, deep tissue, hot/warm stone, Shiatsu or other modalities. The challenge is that the average consumer a) is unfamiliar with the differences, and/or b) is unfamiliar with which service to choose for the particular massage goal they are seeking. That means people are choosing right sometimes, and wrong sometimes. The result could be an ineffective, unfulfilling massage session. Luckily, the fix has an easy two-part answer: better client education and trained reception staff.
What to do to get the right kind of massage for you?
Our massage clinic has seen thousands of clients in our nearly five years in business. While we have a menu of services, about 60% of our clients came to us with a specific goal such as relaxation, pain relief, increased flexibility and mobility, or pre- or post-event sports massage. Our guest services team adeptly steers clients toward the therapist that can best meet their needs and we charge the service accordingly.
The remaining 40% came in with a less clear idea of what they want. They got the massage as a gift, or they wanted to treat themselves to some “me time” but don’t know exactly what that looks like, or perhaps they are getting their first massage. With each of these scenarios, the pre-massage conversation skills of the reception desk and therapist really come into play. For most who aren’t used to identifying a goal, the answer is a personalized, multi-modality service performed by a qualified massage therapist who has created a plan for the service based on discussion with the client and information on the client intake form.
To help make our clients more comfortable about the process of selecting a massage, we we introduced the “Signature” massage. This therapeutic massage is essentially a “massage therapists’s choice”. That means the therapist uses their knowledge and experience to custom design a session using whatever massage techniques they believe will most help the client achieve their goals. Our expert therapists are completely free to use any tool or technique at their disposal. They educate the client as they work and identify massage modalities and techniques most effective for the session. And the clients are completely pleased with the results. Our rebooking rates for these “signature” massages are sky high.
Whether you’re new to massage or just exploring the benefits, you’ve probably heard lots of terms used by therapists and in advertisements for services. Like any profession, massage therapy has it’s own vocabulary (jargon). Here’s a quick dictionary of ten common terms to help you understand some of them. “
- Deep Tissue. Releases the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the grain of muscles, tendons and fascia. It is called deep tissue, because it also focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue, not because the therapist necessarily uses firmer pressure.
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Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle
Everybody has two of them and they’re very often the storage point for stress and strain. Say hello to your Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscles. The muscles are attached to the base of your skull just behind your ear and extend down your neck and toward the front of your body and attach to the clavicle (collar bone).
What does the muscle do?
The muscle is responsible for rotating and flexing your neck. The SCM also helps you breath in (inspiration). Interestingly, while the muscle seems to store stress, it rarely hurts. Instead it just causes strain on other muscles and tension can present itself in the form of headaches, facial pain, jaw tension and even dizziness, blurry vision and muffled hearing.
Continue reading “Sore SCM?”
What is deep tissue and how is it beneficial?
Many people think “deep tissue” means “huge amounts of pressure” and “it should hurt a lot”. The fact is, deep tissue really means neither of those. True deep tissue work is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning and invigorating layers of muscle and connective tissue that are deeper inside the body. With deep tissue, the therapist can use specialized techniques to reach muscles positioned “under” or “behind” surface muscles.
Deep tissue is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and issues like a stiff neck and/or shoulders, sore upper back, low back pain tight leg muscles, and more.
According to the August 2005 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine and over-the-counter drugs.
What happens during the session?
Continue reading “What is Deep Tissue Massage, Really?”
If you’ve got a headache, it could be coming from your shoulders.
Muscles make up, on average, between 36-42% of your body weight. With that much mass, they have a significant impact on your health. When all is in working order, muscles allow you to perform normal activities with ease. When your muscles experience trigger points (also known as “muscle knots”), you can experience pain, stiffness, tension, a loss in your range of motion and sometimes severe limitations of your normal function.
Trigger points are an extremely common cause of pain. There are more than 600 potential trigger points possible in human muscles. Light pressure to active trigger points reproduces the pain and gives the therapist a clue as to where to look for the cause. Trigger points have a special property called referred pain. Referred pain means that a trigger point in one muscle can actually create pain in another area.
Continue reading “Trigger Point Therapy”