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Massage Today
April, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 04


"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 answer 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


I really enjoy reading your column. I sat in on your marketing panel at the International Wellness Conference in Galveston in January. I really enjoyed what you and your panelists had to share.

You really seem to love what you do and have some great ideas. You handed out bookmarkers with massage themes on them instead of business cards. What a great idea. Where did you get them, and how much did they cost?

-- Mary from Texas

Dear Mary,

Glad you enjoyed the class in Texas. Panels are fun to do, and you get to hear many views on a subject. I get my custom-imprinted bookmarkers from a business in San Francisco, CA. They have different styles to choose from. I often use them instead of business cards. I paid $45 for 500. The price ranges with quantity. You can request a catalog by calling 1-800-561-6677.


Hello, my name is Kathryn and I am doing a speech on massage, mainly five tips to giving a great massage. This for my public speaking class. I was just wondering about a few things. I have always felt I would do well in the therapy field, but I prefer teaching.

I know a few strokes, I suppose that's what one could call them, and hand positions to give a good massage. I was wondering if there were any strokes and hand positions that have worked the best for you or that you know of.

-- Kathryn in the USA

Dear Kathryn,

Swedish is the most popular type of massage. There are five basic Swedish massage strokes. If I were you, I would get a basic massage therapy book for reference, such as Massage for Dummies by Steve Capellini and Michel Van Welden, for reference and assistance with your speech. I would start with the benefits of massage therapy. I would then simply verbally describe the five basic stokes (effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement and vibration) and their effects on the body. It is helpful to demonstrate the five strokes; I'm very sure that you will not lack for willing participants to demonstrate on during your speech. Describe the ideal setting (subdued lighting, soothing music, candles etc.) and needed equipment (sheet, towel for drape, ideally a massage table) and supplies (scented or plain oil or lotion) for a massage. My favorite strokes are a long, connecting, effleurage stroke (from the feet, up the side of the body, all the way to the shoulder then down to the hands), and deep friction on the feet, hands and shoulders. You will be sure to be a hit!

Dear LyndaLMT,

What does your office do to reward and encourage referrals?

-- Suzanne in Nebraska

Dear Suzanne,

At our office, we set up a system to encourage and reward referrals. On our intake information card, we request that new clients write down the name of the person who referred them to our office. We give all new clients a flyer on our referral policy on their first visit. A "thank you for the referral" postcard with a $10 off your next visit is send to the person who gave the referral. The person is expected to bring in the card during their next visit. We also review our referrals at the end of the year, around Christmas time, and sent out thank-you gift baskets to those who referred the most people as an appreciation gift.

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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