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Massage Today
February, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 02


Touching the Massage Today readers one letter at a time...

By Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT

Author's note: Welcome to my monthly column, DearLyndaLMT, where I will be answering questions from you, the readers. I have been blessed this past decade by working with many experts in the massage profession who will serve as resources, mixed with a touch of Dear Lynda's views and advice.

So ask away with all those things you've wondered about but didn't know who to ask!

I can't guarantee that all of your questions will be published, but I will do my best to answer you, or at least point you in the right direction. Please remember, as with all advice, it is just that: advice. Always check to make sure that you're working within your scope of practice in your city/county and state.

Please send your questions to or:

P.O. Box 173,
Cocoa, Florida 32923


What is the best way for me to let my clients know that I am raising my prices?

-- Marie from Miami

Dear Marie,

Thanks for asking. Once you have done your market research (i.e., called all the other therapists in town to see what they charge) and you know that your local economy can handle your increased charges, price increases can be a good thing. I think that the key is giving your clients advance notice. Here is an example of how a successful massage practice in Florida recently raised their prices.

LeAnnRicke-Vergara, BA, LMT, CT, NCTMB, states that she recently went through a second price increase since beginning her practice. The clinic raises their prices every four years. "The way that we approached it the first and second time was to notify our clients by newsletter, a month ahead of time. We first created a new brochure and price list, which we could use as a mailer to our clients. We sent out the newsletter after Thanksgiving, and the price increase began January 1. We also posted the new price list at our front counter. We verbally informed clients, especially those who regularly buy a series or package of massages at a discounted rate. If they were near the end of their current package, they could buy a new package at the old price rate."

LeAnn happily reported that none of the clients seemed to object and continue to appreciate the quality of the clinic's work.


There is a lot of publicity about lymphatic drainage. I was wondering if there is any scientific evidence behind it?

-- Jack from Minnesota

Dear Jack,

Bruno Chikly, MD, developer of an original hands-on method of lymph drainage, tells me many scientific articles have been published on lymph drainage techniques. In fact, he stated it may be one of the most widely documented hands-on techniques. In 1967, Johannes Asdonk , a German physician, became the first to successfully test the technique on 20,000 hospital patients to verify its effectiveness, measure its efficiency and find its indications and contraindications. Since then, thousands of articles have been published about lymph drainage techniques.

Researchers can document the effects of lymph drainage techniques by injecting dye into the lymphatic system and watching its progression throughout the body as the techniques are applied. The reduction of edema or lymphedema before and after these applications can be compared, and the increase in immune system cells measured, to name just two verifiable outcomes. Lymph drainage techniques are routinely applied in hospitals, especially for lymph edema after breast cancer surgery; they are also reimbursed by Medicare in some states and have a CPT code (97140).


I've heard a lot about the research work done at the Touch Research Institute. Someone at work just mentioned that they offer a research workshop. Where can I get more information on TRI and this workshop?

-- Beth from New Mexico

Dear Beth,

The Touch Research Institute was formally established in 1992 by Director Tiffany Field, PhD, at the University of Miami School of Medicine, via a start-up grant from Johnson & Johnson. The TRI was the first center in the world devoted solely to the study of touch and its application in science and medicine. TRI is located on the sixth floor of Dominion Tower, at the Jackson Memorial Hospital Campus of the University of Miami Medical School. You can visit TRI on there website at:


Are there ways to incorporate spa treatments into my massage practice without a "wet room" and a minimum of cleanup?

-- Denise from Denver

Dear Denise,

Yes, there are. In my practice, we perform rock massage, royal foot treatments and body wraps, all without a wet room. First and foremost, it is important that you undertake the addition of spa treatments as seriously as you do your massage therapy. Understand the benefits and the science of these services, so you can promote them as effortlessly as you do massage.

I spoke recently with consultant Monica Brown. She told me you can incorporate all types of body scrubs and body wraps into your treatment room without a shower or even a sink! There are no-rinse wraps available; the use of hot towel warmer can take the place of a sink or shower; there are 'dry brush" treatments; hand and foot treatments; scalp therapies; and specialty spa treatments.

Speak to your product manufacturers; attend classes incorporate the new services into your menu; feature the benefits of these new services; then reap the rewards. Some scrubs cost as little as $4.00 per product to offer and some wraps as little as $8-$12.00 per service. When you consider that you can charge anywhere from $40-85 and up for such spa services, it becomes very desirable to expand your offerings.

If you have a question on the massage profession for Lynda to respond to, e-mail them to her at: , or write her at:

c/o Lynda Solien-Wolfe
P.O. Box 173,
Cocoa, Florida 32923

Lynda Solien-Wolfe is Vice President, Massage and Spa at Performance Health. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been in private practice in Merritt Island, Florida for more than 20 years. Lynda graduated from Space Coast Health Institute in West Melbourne, FL.


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