Stop selling single sessions: Offer Programs (NOT Packages!)

Many of you have designed your practice around selling ONLY single sessions….

Am I right?


Single sessions are needed in almost every practice, as stand-alone offerings, but I advise my coaching clients to create 6 individual service offering. (We call them the 6 Pillars of Service Offerings”!)

I will share with you a second Pillar, which is a Program.

This success strategy you’ll read about here, now, is one that will make a huge improvement in your business, because it fills up your appointment book very quickly AND your clients will really start to feel the benefits of your work with more consistent sessions. Another benefit is you can actually charge more for your programs, so it benefits your bank account, too!

This strategy actually begins when you have your very first booking conversation with a client.

When you are speaking with your new client for the first time, you’ll want to first be sure you understand what their goal is for coming to see you.

(example: Are they coming for pain in their neck relief, to reduce their high stress, or to improve their flexibility for a 5k running event coming up.)

Here is your first tip:
On the phone PRIOR to their very first session get information from them on what they are looking for.

Find out if this client is interested in just addressing this specific pressing issue (usually a symptom they are experiencing), or are they looking to ‘really take care of it’ through a series of sessions that will address not only the symptoms, but also the cause of the symptom.

Hopefully in the initial conversation, you will discover that they are interested in an on-going wellness program too.

(Until you have asked these questions… there is no way for you to know what they are thinking, so you are not sure how to support them to achieve anything.)

Imagine how disappointed both of you would be if they only came in for a single session, and their problem never really went away. In fact, that means they lost out on relief and you lost out on a bunch of sessions!

Big Bummer!

My second tip:

If they tell you the problem has been bothering them for a while and you feel qualified to help them, you will simply explain how one session with you is great, and they will feel results, but that it actually may take more than one or two sessions to help them get the highest level of change. Let them know that you have programs set up and you are happy to speak with them to see which program would be the best for them.


(I always say, “The Bigger the Problem, The Bigger the Solution!”)

If they want to know how many sessions they’ll need, it is completely appropriate to say you won’t know until they come in and you begin to work with them. (If you have an idea, you can give them an estimate of sessions needed.)

Explaining in advance that there may be a need for more than a single session, prior to them coming in to see you, positions you as a responsible provider rather than a pushy sales person.

It also begins the process of them recognizing that one session may not do it, and it is common to schedule a few sessions in a row or to enroll in a program, based on what you find in their first evaluative session.

Also, if they have considered receiving therapy on a regular basis, you will know in advance that they will be receptive to you asking them to reschedule.

Now, here is the secret magic sauce:

It works best to have your programs already established that you can offer your clients when appropriate.

The best way to create your program is to consider what are the core therapy-needs and how can you put it together in the best manner so your typical clients will get the most benefit from purchasing your program.

What You Can Do Now:

  1. Create your initial program which can include any combination of length, offerings, or services.

  2. Once you know what to include in your program, you need to price it. You want to give people an incentive to say yes to your package:

  3. Once you have met with your client for the first visit, you just confirm they would be a good candidate for your program and away you go.

With re-booking clients into programs, you will begin to see they get better results, you get a happy client with more consistent appointments & income, and many more referrals!

Once again, I suggest — don’t only sell single sessions, create your programs and everyone wins.

If you want me to help you create and price your programs, you can apply for a complimentary Business Diagnostic with me and we can go over the details of designing the most effective (lucrative) program that suits your practice perfectly!


I hope you now see how valuable getting your clients on a regular re-booking program is for both of you!


Need help planning your 2019 content?

2019 is just around the corner.  

Can you believe that the year has almost come to an end? Time flies when you are having fun they say, but you can’t have fun if you are constantly worried about what content you are going to create and when you are going to create it, or put it out there into the world.  


For the next next few weeks we are offering FREE 30 minute one-to-one calls to help you gain clarity for 2019, and create your 2019 content calendar so you know exactly what to create, when, and when to publish it.  

 Simply email us at with your availability and we will schedule a call with you. 

Are massage therapists spreading themselves too thin?

Are you a solo massage therapist spreading yourself too thin?

I’ve noticed a trend with recently with therapists, especially new therapists renting treatment rooms for existing establishments that they are juggling more than one or two locations at a time.
Now the reason for this could be as simple as their preferred location does not have enough availability to allow them to work there full time, but most often than not the reasons seem to be more about being placed in what therapists perceive are the spots that will allow them to have exposure to as many people as possible.

Exposure doesn’t always translate to clients.

It’s hard enough marketing and filling one location, when you take into account 2 or 3 locations you are increasing your marketing efforts exponentially.
No two locations and populations are the same.
What works for me at my little mining town clinic would not work at a city centre clinic.

If you are in an area that may have a lot of businesses, do the hours that you work suit commuters?
Can you be available several hours before basic business hours commence and after close of business?
How are you going to market yourself for that time in-between?
Do you offer chair massage that you could provide within the businesses around you, how would you justify the cost of renting a space and it being empty while you do this?

If the area has a heavy footfall how are you positioned to make your services visible?
What type of offers or promotions could you run that would encourage people to stop what they’re doing and come in for a massage?

Home is where the heart is.

The ultimate goal with building a client base is consistency, you want to make sure that you can achieve a consistent level of clients to make sure you are able to cover costs and pay yourself. If you are constantly distracted by the marketing demands or business demands of other locations it can take away from your primary location.

Are the hours at your desired primary location in demand?
Can you increase your availability as client base increases?

What about your secondary locations?

Here is a scenario I would like all multi-location therapists to consider.

You work at clinic A Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Clinic B on a Tuesday and Saturday
And clinic C on a Thursday

Clinic B is your newest location, and to build your client base you have gone all out on promoting yourself there. You’ve had leaflets made up that are shared with local businesses, referral cards for clients to share with friends and family members, you’ve set up Facebook and Google ads targeting potential clients within a 3 mile radius of this clinic.

Let the appointments roll in

Then the clients start contacting you for appointments, but they can’t do Tuesday or Saturday and your other clinics are not convenient for them. Oh but they see that at this location there are other therapists who work the days that they would like to visit.
You’ve lost a client.

Sometimes, you can make arrangements with therapists for a referral fee or “kick back” but those arrangements can get messy.
Is it only for the first time the client visits the other therapist, is it a set fee or percentage, when does the client officially become that other therapists client and no longer yours?

Messy huh?

So why would you want to invest all that time and money marketing when your availability only allows you to accept clients 30% of the time?

Factoring in time costs.

The last thing you need to consider when looking at multiple locations is the time cost of travel and set up.
If you have a 2 or 3 hr commute to your other locations, plus an hour for set up and tear down.
That’s 4 hours you could be offering treatments at your existing location.
You could potentially see 2-3 clients in that 4 hour period, is the loss of income for the commute worth it?

Expand when you overflow.
How good is your ability to build a business in one location?
If you can successfully fill your books to the point where you can no longer see all the clients who want an appointment can you expand your availability at your existing location?
If not, then a second location may be the solution for you.

But if you are struggling to fill your availability in one clinic, what makes you think you can do it at two, or even 3?

Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Focus on building a solid client base where you aren’t worrying about when the next client will be scheduling an appointment.

What are some other reasons you may need to work from multiple locations?
Are you struggling with marketing your practice and worried about your clinic location?

I’d love to know what hurdles you’re coming up against in your practice, so I can hopefully help you overcome them.

How not to get hired as a massage therapist

Over the last few months we’ve been trying to recruit some new therapists at our clinic, and we’ve learned a lot about how not to get hired.

For a business owner, the recruitment process can be quite time consuming and very costly as it takes you away from your clinic time to schedule interviews and do research on your candidates, and it is not easy.

If you are a therapist looking to work in a clinic or spa environment this is our guide on how NOT to get the job.


Don’t have the requested skills:

This may seem obvious, but if you have never trained as a massage therapist, it’s probably not a good idea to apply for a job as one unless the listing specifically states that there will be on the job training.
Training relating to the operations of the working environment will be provided, however the basic training required to perform a massage is something that the company will probably expect from you.


Don’t pay attention to the job posting:

If the listing specifies that the position is for specific days (i.e Must be available to work Saturdays) it’s probably not a good idea to apply for the job if you can’t work Saturdays. Save both yourself and the recruiter time by making sure you understand what the role involves before applying.


Don’t research where you will be working:

At the very least, its a good idea for you to know where the business you are applying for is located, to make sure that if you have to commute to work you know how to get there.
It’s also a good idea to do some research on the business you are hoping to work for.

How long have they been around?
Who are the senior staff members or managers?
What services do they offer?
Are their business hours suitable to your availability?
What is the businesses ethos?

It’s highly likely you will be asked during an interview to share what you know about the company, and if it looks like you couldn’t be bothered finding out more about the company, they may feel you aren’t really serious about the business.


Don’t answer your phone:

The first stage of the interview process will normally be a telephone interview.
During this interview, the recruiter will probably give you an overview of the business and what they are looking for.
They will also ask you some basic questions to get an idea of what you are looking for in a position, what your future plans are, and why you were interested in the position enough to apply.

But if you don’t answer your phone at the agreed upon time, chances are the interview won’t go any further.


Don’t show up for your in-person interview:

If you’ve performed well during the phone interview you may be invited for an in-person interview, this is to let you have a look around the business. See where you would be working, chat more about the role and answer any questions the recruiter may still have.
It may also be an opportunity for you to meet other team mates and have a chance to chat to them about their experience working at the business.
Finally an in-person interview for a massage clinic or spa may involve a trade test. This is to ensure that you have the desired skill level, and clinical ability that meets the business needs.



If you don’t care about finding a job, and aren’t really interested in getting a job with another business, these are great suggestions on how to screw the interview process up.
However if you would like to get a position with an established business and gain your own client base and build your experience, these tips should help you identify the things you should avoid during the job application process.

Good luck if you are looking for a massage job, but if you are currently looking, and would like some help identifying available positions in your area, let us know and we will reach out to our network and see what we can do to help you.

Looking for help in building your business? Have you considered working with us on some business coaching?

Texting your clients, Yes or No?

Recently I’ve noticed a trend mostly with solo practitioners that they tend to communicate with clients purely by text. So I reached out and asked the community how they felt about texting with clients and I’ve had some interesting responses.

Why did it become an issue?

So i’m obviously sharing my own opinion here, there is no right or wrong answer to this. At the end of the day, whatever tool makes it easiest for your client to schedule themselves with you, is the best tool to use. There’s just something about texting for me that feels a little intrusive.

Most mobile phone users have a deep connection with their phone, it has become another part of our bodies and is with us almost 24 hrs a day.
From a client perspective, I feel that receiving business related text, unless initiated by me, is almost like having those darn PPI calls coming through or having a door to door sales person show up just as your sitting down to dinner.

Our mobile phones are very personal, and unless we are invited in, I don’t think it’s a great way to communicate with clients.
It’s also a short form of communication and so much can be inferred or misconstrued in a text, when it may be more suitable for longer forms such as email, or even a phone conversation.


So when is texting ok?

As suggested above, I feel that if the conversation is started by the client, or the client has given explicit permission to be contacted by text message then by all means, go ahead. I know as the years go by i’ve picked up a bit of a phone phobia and for a lot of occasions prefer to communicate via text than talk on the phone, so it’s possible some of your clients fall into this category.

So as long as you have permission, and/or the client has triggered the start of the conversation by text, I think its perfectly acceptable.

If do text with your client base regularly here is a handy guide on texting etiquette.

When is texting not ok?

If you are discussing any specific details about the clients treatments, or information that would go on their consultation notes, this shouldn’t be done via texting.
Any conversations that may contain sensitive information about the client should be done either over the phone or more preferably, in person.

From the therapists side:

Here is where texting can get complicated, when we are discussing boundaries as a therapist.
Sure we can tell clients “I’ll be available on this number from 10am-8pm Monday-Thursday”.
However clients can and will text you or call you whenever it’s convenient for them, not necessarily for you.
If you have one mobile phone that you use for everything this can then blur the lines between work and personal time.
You wouldn’t want important rest or family time interrupted by pings from clients checking appointment times or asking for some quick advice about a recent injury or pain.

In an ideal world we would have a separate phone for business and personal.
When you are just starting out though,  this may not always be possible.

So what do you think?
How much do you text with your clients?
Are there any situations I may have missed when texting is more appropriate?

Leave a comment and let us know your opinion!

Keeping your practice cool in the summer

Speaking with a coaching client today, we realised that temperatures in some areas have been unusually high, which can pose difficulty when trying to keep your massage practice cool in the summer.

So when the temperature is on the rise it can often be difficult not only for you to remain cool and comfortable whilst performing a massage but also your client whilst they lay on the massage table.

Keeping the room cool:

Often opening a window is not an option in a treatment room as this can allow outside noise to filter into the room and impact the treatment. The simplest solution would be to use a fan in the room to keep the air circulating, and the room cool.
The white noise from the fan can be an added bonus, as white noise is known to induce relaxation.

Still not cool enough?
Why not try placing a bowl of ice cubes in front of the fan. It will dramatically cool the air and keep some moisture in the air.


Ceiling fans, if appropriate are a great way to keep your treatment room cool and circulate the air but did you know that they can also come in handy during the winter? By reversing the direction of the fans it will push the warmer air down into the room whilst drawing out the cooler air.

Keeping the client cool:

Do you offer Hot Stone treatments in your practice?
Have you ever considered offering Cold Stone treatments?
Great for keeping over heating clients cool and refreshed. You can use your regular basalt stones for this, but if you want to purchase stones specifically for cold treatments there are a variety of glass and marble based stones at affordable prices that you can use.

Other solutions would include placing small towels into a cooler/freezer to cool them down and you could use them rolled up under the clients neck when supine.

There are cooling ointments that can be used topically, cooling gel eye masks or cool compress wearables such as leg and arm compression wraps or cooling headbands.

Working on injuries:

Have you considered using ice or cooling methods when working on clients with injuries?
A nice home-made solution is to freeze some water in a small polystyrene cup, then peel back about an inch from the top of the cup, and grip the cup and use the ice to perform the massage as you would with your stones.

Let me know your cooling tips and tricks, would love to know if there are any methods out there that I’m missing out on.
If you try any of these solutions above, let me know how you get on

Podcasts to help your practice

How can podcasts improve your massage practice?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself over the last few weeks. As a consumer of a variety of podcasts for business reasons, self improvement and entertainment.  I thought it was about time I introduced you to the world of podcasts and shared with you a few that I feel could really help you take your practice to the next level.

So what is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio (or sometimes a video) show made available online that can be downloaded and consumed on your mobile device. Think of it as a portable series or news show, where you can choose exactly which shows you wish to subscribe to and ignore the rest available on the internet.

On an iOS device you have the native Podcasts app, which will allow you to search iTunes for shows of interest to you and then subscribe to them. Any new episodes can be automatically download available online or offline when it suits you. Android users can use the Stitcher app which has similar functionality to Podcasts.

My own favourite app of choice though is Overcast, it is a bit cleaner and has a lot of features I find come in handy such as increasing playback speed, receiving recommendations for new shows, and it’s integration with other devices.

Play around with the different available applications and choose one that suits the way you want to consume podcasts or that feels more comfortable to use.

I have a podcast app, now what?

Now it’s time for you to find podcasts that meet your interest.
So let me introduce you to two of the best Massage related podcasts available and explain how they are going to help improve your practice.


1: Massage Business Blueprint

If you are new to the idea of podcasts, this is a great entry level one for you to subscribe to, and I would suggest that you download every single episode and start from the beginning.
Each episode is relatively short, about 10-20 minutes at most and it’s presented in a Q&A fashion.
One question will be asked at the beginning of the episode and the presenters will then provide you with some insight into how to improve your business practices.

Its definitely a business related podcast, and focuses on the inner workings of a massage business.

I’ve admired Allissa Haynes for many years, and you can’t go wrong by heeding the advice she has to share with the world.


2: Research Perch

Now this is where we get into the deeper levels of knowledge a podcast can provide us.
This is a podcast that is hosted by the Massage Therapy Foundation. An organisation focusing on improving public perception and understanding of massage therapy through research studies, articles, case studies and case reports. If you don’t know the difference between those, don’t worry Ruth Werner and friends are there to hold your hand while they explain all of the academia side of the research world.

Each episode is structured on discussing one particular article of research. Explaining how the information can be applied in a practical way within your working environment or used to help educate your clients.

Additionally they also discuss how you can become involved in massage research. With resources helping you through the process of case studies, reports and how you could become published in a leading journal.

These episodes are slightly longer, and can last anywhere from 30-50 minutes.

When can I fit this in?

The beauty of podcasts is that they are completely mobile. If you have a commute to work, or shuttle your kids around. If you are pounding the treadmill at the gym or at home, simply pop your headphones on and hit play. Podcasts are a great way to multitask, allowing you to learn and grow whilst completing other tasks.

You could even enjoy your favourite podcasts while doing the housework, or relaxing on the beach.

I’d love to hear from you if you decide to give these podcasts a try. And if you already listen to some podcasts please share your favourites with me. I’m always looking for new and interesting things to add to my list.

Variable Pricing

Pricing your treatments.
One of the most difficult things to do when setting up your business, or branching out on your own and it’s often a topic that comes up across the internet and creates a very heated discussion.

Just today there was a discussion about charging $15 extra for deep tissue massage.
I responded to this discussion by saying “Horrible practice….” then continuing on with why I felt it was unacceptable.

So here is what I had to say:

I disagree with nickel and diming clients for a treatment that is part of your toolkit any way and costs no extra to administer. Now this is my personal opinion as with most others but techniques like this are used across any client treatment where the client intake suggests this is the treatment they require. Each massage I do is a combination of all techniques I’ve learned over the years and applied as necessary.

If you had a client who had booked in for a normal 60 min Swedish massage, then whine you are working on them (and continually assessing) you find that they have an area that would benefit from more focused “deep tissue” work, how would you handle it?

(1) inform the client of your findings, offer your recommendation and if client agrees perform the deep tissue as you see fit and then complete treatment
(2) follow through with current treatment, at the end of the session inform the client you found areas that could have benefited from another technique you can do, but you didn’t because they’ll need to book in for another session at a higher rate to have that addresses
(3) inform them that they could benefit from the deep tissue work but if they want you to proceed with this they’ll have to pay extra after the session.
Which of these do you feel would be better customer service?


So let me expand on that a little further, because yes it seems this is a controversial stance to take.

I am not by any stretch of the imagination suggesting that by pursuing training in additional techniques such as Deep Tissue work, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofacial Release etc that you do not deserve to be paid for your new skills and education.
Far from it.
What I am suggesting as each of these techniques above, and many more that you will learn in your career are all interchangeable within the treatment room. You don’t require any additional product or tools to perform this work. Why can’t you keep your treatments open to the possibility of using these within a session if the client asks/needs it?

Let’s say you are a tradesmen, you fix electronics.
Your customers items over time change and require new/specific screwdrivers to work on the item.
You pay for that screwdriver once, but now it is available for you at any time so no matter what a customer brings to you , if you open up the item and find you need to use your new fancy dancy screwdriver it’s within reach, you can do the repair within the allotted time and your customer is happy.

You wouldn’t charge your customers each time you reached for that specific screw driver, even though the repair time is the same for all your other customers, or would you?

You want to mitigate the cost of acquiring this new screwdriver though right?

So what you do is once you feel confident and proficient that you can perform the repairs using this screwdriver NO MATTER WHAT ITEM is presented to you, it’s now a tool available for all customers, so you slightly increase your repair cost for everyone. That way it’s not a huge leap and over time you will recoup the cost of this screwdriver.

It’s not a perfect analogy, but I hope it gets my point across.

All your clients want to feel like they are treated equally and that they have access to all of your available tools should they need them, because lets face it sometimes we don’t know we will use these techniques until after we get our hands on our clients.

At the end of the day, how you run your business and what you charge your clients is up to you, but wouldn’t you prefer not to limit your treatment options because a client can’t afford a different technique?

What's in a name?

I received a call today letting me know that I was a finalist in the 2014 Scottish Hair & Beauty Awards, under the category of Masseuse of the Year.
When I first heard about these awards I cringed a little, because it isn’t one of my favourite terms for our industry, but it is one that is used an awful lot and mostly by those who don’t know any better.

According to the dictionary, a masseuse is:

  1. a woman who provides massage professionally.

In the same vain, a masseur is:

1. a person who provides massage professionally.

So technically, it’s not wrong it’s just that these terms have become synonymous with the more inappropriate services that use Massage as a cover.
Until there is legislature to define and regulate these clandestine operations they will use any profession and title they can to cloak their true operations, it’s just unfortunate for us that we have deal with it most often.

When I first attended Massage School these two terms, Masseuse and Masseur, used to really irritate me and I would often go into a tirade both in person and online when we were labelled incorrectly.
“The correct term is Massage Therapist, thank you very much!” Followed by lots of exclamation points to make my point.
What makes it even more difficult is when legitimate therapists refer to themselves as these terms.

It’s taken me a long time to accept that it will be a long time before we are addressed accordingly, and until that time the best that we can do is educate our clients, our fellow therapists and health care professionals and anyone who may be confused by what we do.
So let them call us what they want, as long as they understand our profession and if they don’t, then have a chat with them and let them know why it’s an unfortunate term to use and why “Massage Therapist” is more appropriate.

Whoever is lucky enough to win this years award, I hope that they accept it on behalf of all the Massage Therapists who are changing lives one massage at a time.
What do you prefer to be addressed as?

How do you define your profession?

What do you think would be the best way to separate legitimate Massage from “other” services?

True customer service

Interesting lesson from the insurance industry today.

Received a letter about my car insurance renewal, and although the policy had only changed by about £2 a month (increase) I was almost tempted to just keep my existing provider and get on with things.

At the last minute I decided to do some research, and found an insurer who for the same price offered additional services such as breakdown and legal cover. All of which were missing from my existing policy.

Part of the renewal paperwork advises you to contact them if you do not wish to renew. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to let them know why I was going elsewhere, and allow them the chance to keep me as a customer.

I was surprised to find that this wasn’t the case, just “ok, you don’t want to renew? No problem, have a nice day.”

This is why people have to brand/company loyalty, because long gone are the days of customers feeling cared for by the businesses they frequent, and this matters more than anything in our industry.

I can gladly say that in my own clinic, I can count on one hand the number of complaints I’ve received since I opened the doors, to be honest it’s not too surprising, in most cases if someone isn’t happy with your service they just won’t come back.
But for those who do reach out to you to share why they won’t be back, this is not a lost client.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to ask for additional details about why they are leaving you. It’s the best form of constructive criticism that you can get. Open, honest and sometimes revealing as we can all get a little blinkered when we get comfortable in our work and may not notice things that may not be appreciated by others.

So think about clients who have raised concerns, or maybe a client who used to be a regular and suddenly no longer came to your business. Reach out to them, send them a “hey, we miss you” card. Start a conversation and show them you not only care about your business but that you care about THEM!
Now THAT is true customer service.

Who do you think you are?

The Spice Girls asked “Who do you think you are?” And lately this question has been running around in my head. This is when I realised that it’s not about who I think I am, but about who YOU think I am. After all, here I am asking you to trust my knowledge and judgement relating to the Massage Industry, and even more importantly, I’m asking you to fork over your hard earned cash for the privilege.
You don’t know me from Eve. I could be some scary University computer intelligence written for some Science Geek’s final project. Thankfully I’m not. Surely they would give a computer better taste in music than the cheesy pop-antics of the Spice Girls.

You definitely don’t want to read through another boring Bio: “Hi I’m Sally. I live in Scotland with my Husband and daughter. I love to read beaches and take long walks in books.” It’s like a horrible, cringe worthy dating profile.

So rather than bore you with that, I’ll share with you why I launched Dynamic Bodywork Academy (hereby referred to as DBA because let’s face it, it’s a bit of a mouthful) and what I aim to offer the massage world. It’ll be like my own little promise to you as Students and therapists, which means I’m happy to stand behind my work, being accountable to deliver on goals and giving you everything you’d expect of DBA.

  • Why is Massage Education in the UK so loose and open to interpretation?
  • How can Therapists gain respect from the NHS and fellow healthcare practitioners?
  • What can we do to ensure a minimum standard of education throughout the UK?
  • Where are the research papers from UK establishments studying Massage?
  • Why isn’t there a Massage clinic in every town and city?
  • Why are we so unsure of massage here in the he UK?

Five years ago I moved back home to Scotland and these were the questions I started to ask myself, while at the same time trying to set up my own practice in a small town where the people aren’t exactly tactile. Let me tell you, these past few years have been rough but I love being a Massage Therapist. With the friends and connections I’ve made over the years I wouldn’t change that for the world. That’s not to say I haven’t encountered hurdles along the way. Sometimes I’ve tripped and could quickly picked myself up – and some have felt like a major wobble – but each stumbling block has taught me something new which I look forward to sharing with you. It’s important to me that as a community of therapists, we help each other to avoid the pitfalls and this ethos of community is at the core of what makes DBA such a special learning environment.

What you gonna do about it?

Did hear that sentence in a mafia like “Goodfellas” style accent? I did, because this is the way I want you to challenge me here at DBA. Like any business I’m here to solve problems, so the primary problems I aim to help you solve are:

  1. Meet requirements for Continued Education.
  2. Improve your Anatomy and Physiology knowledge.
  3. Introduce and develop advanced techniques for better massage results.
  4. Encourage business and marketing skills that may take you out of your comfort zone.
  5. Be involved in Massage Regulation and Industry standards improvement.

I’m going to do this by offering a range of classroom lead and online courses, and career coaching. All designed to ensure that you go forth as a confident and successful therapist in whatever Massage career you decide to pursue.

I love new ideas, am open to feedback and will always approach new perspectives with opens arm.


When you are having fun, you won’t even be aware of just how much you are learning, and it will suddenly all seem second nature to you. At the end of the day I am here for you, so it’s important to me that you challenge my material and my resources. Make me prove myself to you.

This is where I trust it, use it, prove it and groove it and show you how good I am.

No Spice Girls were harmed in the creation of this blog post.

Why continued education

I often see discussions about therapists who aren’t happy with needing to meet a minimum requirement of education every year for their associations or insurance. They tend to feel that it’s forced upon them. That they should be able to choose as much or as little education as they like as they continue on their career, and to some extent I can agree with them. Maybe some minimum CEU/CPD requirements can seem a little high, but in the grand scheme of thing, these organizations (more often than not) don’t have a financial gain in you participating in these courses.

What they do have, is an investment in the profession.

An investment to ensure that the therapists who represent them are highly skilled, and highly educated and are devoted to doing good for the profession as a whole.

I’ve been personally working on a lot of self development lately. After all, how can I offer you the best advice, guidance, course offerings if I am not actively working on my own education?

Whilst reading The Miracle Morning, the author Hal made the following statement and I feel it sums up the continued education need for our profession perfectly:

“If you wanted to master Karate, you wouldn’t learn the techniques once and then think, “I got this.” No, you’d learn the techniques, practice them, then go back to your sensei and learn them again, and repeat the process hundreds of times in order to master a single technique.”

The one thing I would say that differs in my belief from the above statement is that you don’t have to have ONE sensei. In fact I highly encourage seeking out as many teachers, schools, training systems as you can that interest you in your particular niche. There are bound to be at least one course out there that covers it.
When you find it, simply follow the idea above.
Once you’ve learned and practised from the first class, try the next, and the next.

The biggest difference in massage education between institutes and instructors is the knowledge and spirit that each instructor brings on the day of the class.
Some instructors you will automatically click with, and every word they share, and every technique they demonstrate will feel like you’ve had this amazing breakthrough.

Some instructors, on a personality basis you may not quite jive with, that’s ok too. But maybe they have been in the industry a very long time, and they have a different spin on the technique you are learning. They may use their body in a slightly different way when performing a technique that is perfect to help you with your body mechanics.

Or it could be you don’t necessarily agree with the philosophy behind a certain practice, but there is merit in the technique, and experiencing the class helps highlight positive changes you can make in your own practice.

So don’t look at having to attend continued education courses as a chore. Embrace the experience. Look at it as an investment not only in your practice and as a way to boost your income, but look at it as an investment in yourself.
Take notes on not only what you learn, but how you feel about the course.
You’ll be amazed at what you learn about yourself on the way.

Webinar: Back Pain

We ran our Back Pain webinar last night, and had a great time chatting with you about the source of back pain, the potential treatment options as well as showing you a case study of my own regarding Kyphosis.

Here is the replay for you:


I will be following up with this webinar next week with some “After” Photos from the Case study and answers to any questions we may receive following this webinar.

We would love your feedback on our webinar serious, and welcome any questions you may have, so don’t hesitate to send us an email.

One Minute Tip: Get a landline number

Clients need to contact us, and most often that will be by calling us, there’s just no way around that so they need a phone number to reach us.

For those who are Solo therapists, mobile therapists, or who work from our homes we tend to just give our mobile numbers as they are convenient, no need to get a new number, it’s with us 24×7.

But what happens?
We get those unwanted calls. You know the type. The caller is a bit sketchy, or a bit breathless. They ask questions you think should be pretty obvious, and they seem obsessed with knowing whether or not they NEED to be draped during the session. It’s icky, and now this icky caller has your mobile number.

The best way to reduce these types of calls (we can’t prevent them 100%) but a great deterrent is to use a landline number instead.
Some mobile providers offer a landline mobile number, which means that you can have a landline number for the business that can then ring through to your mobile.

There are some companies that would allow you to purchase a landline number specifically for business, but this can be cost prohibitive.

A great solution if you have a smartphone, is to purchase a Skype number. You can then simply run Skype on your phone, and business calls will come through that app. Skype allows you to choose a landline number based on region, so you can make it a very local number, or a number specific to cities that you may work, and it’s relatively low cost at around £12 for 3 months service.

If you are in the US, a great low cost solution for you would be to use Google Talk, which can set up your landline number, and it will forward to your mobile line. Google Talk can also record Voicemails, texts and can transcribe your voicemails for you.

So why is this a deterrent?
Having a landline number tends to offer the illusion that your massage business is bigger than it is. It will let people think that you are a large clinic or Spa, with dedicated offices/locations, and the idea of this visibility and scale will put off someone who is looking for services not appropriate to our profession.

Give it a try, stay safe, and go get those massage clients!

One Minute Tip: Low cost fitted sheets

Do you like fitted sheets on your massage table?
Have you struggled with buying sets that have everything you need (fitted sheet, flat sheet, face cradle cover).
Are you frustrated having to buy each component individually?

I tried for the longest time to locate a UK retailer of the sheets I fell in love with when I practiced in the US. I couldn’t find them anywhere, and decided to swallow the shipping cost and order them from the US.
After a year, my clinic was getting busier, and I was struggling to keep up with the laundry to ensure I had enough sets for the clinic each day and decided to invest in some more. A lot had changed in that year though, and this time the cost to ship the same order of sheets was double the cost of the sheet sets themselves and I just couldn’t justify that.

After venting my frustration, I came up with a great idea of using regular sheet sets normally used for Single beds.
I located some nice sets that felt great to the touch and had a variety of colours but most of all were very nice to my wallet and I purchased a good 10 sets.

But there was the problem of the face cradle covers, thankfully my Mum likes to sew, and took on the challenge of taking apart an old cover that was due to be thrown away and using that as a guide to create new ones from the pillow cases from the sheet set. Even better, the pillow cases had enough material to create TWO face cradle covers per sheet set.

If you are on a budget, but looking for some new covers for your tables, this is a great way to do it.

One Minute Tip: Update music often

Most of the time our clients enjoy the music/playlists we have in the clinic, but if you have been in business for several years and have had clients who have supported you this whole time, there comes a point where they have probably heard everything in your music library…..MANY TIMES.

It’s important we keep our music library fresh, and change things up a bit every now and again and coming into Spring is the perfect time to try something new.

Why not ask your clients for music that they would like to hear, although you will want to listen first before adding to the rotation for all clients just in case. Or you could create different playlists which are themed, to seasons, to massage techniques, to specific clients and then allow them the chance to choose what they want to listen to during their session.

Just make sure you always have your music license up to date, or are using license free music.

Why not consider using something like Spotify to let you try out different music styles, or to discover new music when you are feeling stuck.

Chinese Cupping Webinar

On March 31st we held a Live Chinese Cupping Webinar to give people a bit of an insight into what we will cover on our Certificate of Chinese Cupping course.

I have included the Replay for you below.

There were also a few questions that didn’t come through the chat window properly during the Q&A portion so I have included these for you below:

1: I Plan on working in a Sports Centre, how can I incorporate cupping into my existing clientele, and use it to attract new clientele?

A: Chinese Cupping has been successfully used in a wide range of Sports related injuries, some of which we cover on our course including ITB Syndrome, Shin Splints, and the follow example of an Ankle injury.

Ankle sprains are one of the most common sporting injuries that we will see in our clinics, and can be extremely painful causing restrictions in movement, swelling, and bruising or even both.

By applying small to medium cups in strengths from medium to strong on either side of the ankle on the soft tissue just in front of, or behind the malleolus, we can increase blood flow to the injury site encouraging the healing process and free movement of fluids which should reduce swelling and inflammation.

Generally you would introduce cupping to your clients gradually by educating them on the benefits of including cupping into their treatments. You may have been treating a regular client for some time but were starting to feel that progress had slowed, you could introduce cupping by saying something like “I’ve recently been trying out a new technique called Chinese Cupping which I think may help us to treat your current condition. It works by…(explain how it works) and could really help because it would (insert client specific benefits here).”
You could then suggest they consider it the next time they come for a treatment (unless they’re already excited to try it) and provide them with some literature that explains the treatment.

Writing a few articles on your use of cupping, and making your case study information available for clients to review (with the removal of personal information of course to maintain privacy).

Instagram and Pinterest are HUGE right now for business promotion. You could post pictures of cupping applications, linking to articles on your website or elsewhere so that your followers and clients can learn more about the technique. If you have a Youtube account, create as short 30-60 minute video of you applying some cups so that they can see what is involved in the application of the cups, and it may ease their concerns about the process.

When you are working on your case studies for the class, you will also want to ask your clients/practice partners for permission to take before/after pictures showing the “cupping kisses” that they receive.
All of this is great evidence collection to share with, and educate your clients.

2: What is the difference between using Glass cups and Plastic Cups.

The plastic cups create suction using a handheld pump. These types of cups are generally smaller than their glass counterparts; the advantage is that the amount of suction can be adjusted depending on how many pumps are used.

When glass cups are applied, a flame will be used to create the suction. This is accomplished by using a pair of forceps to grasp a cotton ball that is soaked in alcohol or an alcohol swab; then it is set on fire and placed inside the cup.
When the flame enters the cup it burns out all the oxygen and creates a vacuum. The cup is then placed on the client which will pull the skin into the cup.

So the main difference is in the application, but at the end of the day it is personal preference which method you use. If you travel around a lot or offer in-home services you may find that using plastic cups with a handheld pump is a better option as it reduces risk of damage to the equipment during travel.

You will also want to consider hygiene when using plastic vs. glass cups as plastic can at times be porous, or get scratched/nicked potentially creating risk of bacteria build up.

I hope that this has helped understand Chinese Cupping that little bit more, so if you are curious in trying this technique, please be sure to sign up for our course and experience this great tool to add to your techniques.

One Minute Tip: Add Value

When business is slow, or when you are just starting out and trying to build your client list, it can be very tempting to throw discounts around at every opportunity because it encourages people to schedule with you because it’s a bargain.

But once we start offering these discounts, it can be very difficult to stop or slow down these offerings and charge what we are really worth. This issue was highlighted with the emergence of group discount services like groupon, livingsocial, amazon local etc, and when therapists are offering 60 minute massages for £15 it can be scary to think about charging full price.

It doesn’t have to be, and you want to make sure that you attract clients who value your services and skills, and not just the discount you are offering so to do this you need to ADD VALUE.
You have to over-deliver on your clients expectations, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to do this.

You can do something as simple as alter your treatment environment to create a sense of luxury, sheepskin padding on your table, warmer rooms, or table warmers.
You could offer extras after the treatment, from home made infused water, fresh fruit, mints, just little things that show your clients that they are valuable to you and that these are little things that set you apart from other therapists in the area.

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Yes! Webinar replay

Did you miss out on the Live webinar last week?
If you did, you missed out on me dancing a little, and having a few technical hiccups here and there, but overall we had a great webinar looking at how we can use little changes in our behaviour to encourage our clients to say “Yes” when you ask them to book their next appointment.

The video can be viewed below, you’ll see that at a few points the screen goes back, that’s part of the technical issues we had, and was where our presentation slides should have been but NEVER FEAR, I have included them for download below as a nifty little PDF so you can follow along with the video.

I hope you enjoy this webinar, and if you have any topics you would like to see covered, or any comments you would like to make on the content, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

For now, ENJOY!