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Massage Today
April, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 04


By Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT


I was wondering if you have heard of "lypossage." I live in California, and there is going to be a four-day workshop in San Jose in the spring. Before I register and send in any money, I would like to know more about this therapy.

Thank you for any information you can send.

- Teri from California.

Dear Teri,

To answer your question, I contacted Mercedes Jordan, who co-owns Jordan Health Clinic and Day Spa in Deland, Fla. Mercedes is a certified lypossage therapist and a certified lypossage trainer; I asked her to tell us more about this therapy, including the average cost of the training.

Lypossage is a contouring massage modality that facilitates dramatic inch loss and smoothes cellulite. It is an intense, precise system which incorporates myofascial massage, lymphatic drainage and structural integration, and is based on research that Charles Wiltsie, LMT, performed in 1999 to determine whether deep tissue massage has an impact on the hips and thighs. In the study, 95 percent of participants lost an average of just under seven inches in their hips, abdomen and thighs. The study, published in Massage Magazine in March-April 2001 and in many spa magazines, is particularly important because it marked the first time research was done in the U.S. on the subject of massage and spot reduction. The added bonus is that clients not only look better, but feel better, because lypossage is also a detoxification process.

This modality can only be performed by a certified lypossage therapist. To become certified, a massage therapist needs to take three zones: Zone 1 covers the thighs, buttocks and abdomen; zone 2 covers the back, ribs, arms and chest; and zone 3 covers the face and head. The four-day course costs $1,190; a massage therapist receives 32 national and Florida CEUs. Marketing and product support also is introduced in the class. Some massage therapists are sponsored by a spa or a client, in which case the client receives lypossage at the discounted cost of paying for the therapist's class.

Lypossage is unique in that it is directly tied to a new source of revenue. A standard lypossage treatment takes 30 minutes, including measuring, weighing, and photographing the client. An 18-treatment protocol is necessary for each zone. Clients book the 18 treatments and pay a national average of $1,895 up-front for the series of treatments.

I have trained therapists and performed lypossage on clients for more that a year now, and have not had any disappointed therapists or clients. I have documented many success stories in the form of before-and-after pictures and inch loss that I share with the therapists and estheticians I train. The beauty of lypossage is that it is a win-win situation: Therapists increase their revenue, while clients receive the benefits of this beautifying, detoxifying treatment.

For more information on lypossage, contact Mercedes at or (386) 736-0465.


I am currently researching job prospects for aspiring massage therapists in the New York City area. I've e-mailed nearby schools, but received no responses as of yet. I've checked out massage member Web sites, only to be turned away empty-handed because I'm not a member. I've tried bulletin boards on Web sites, only to be told to check with local schools.

Do you have any helpful hints on where I can find such information as average salaries and typical places of employment for massage therapists in the New York City area?

- Laura from New York

Dear Laura,

I always find it useful to work with my local massage school and my state associations when I have questions such as yours. In this case, I contacted massage therapist Donna DeFalco, who owns an onsite massage company that works with many companies in New York City. Here is what Ms. DeFalco had to share in regard to your question:

As the owner of a corporation that provides an onsite massage program to many Fortune 500 companies in New York, and as a prospective employer, I think I can help answer your question.

The two schools in the New York City area, The Swedish Institute and The New York College for Wholistic Health, offer job opportunities through an onsite recruiter or school bulletin boards. Massage Co-op News has a Web site where job opportunities are posted. (Send an e-mail to for more information.) This posting is open to any and all, and I am sure there are more sites out there like it.

Many of the job opportunities in New York are by word of mouth or through newpaper advertisements. Yes, a few online groups post opportunities to their members only. I would suggest that your reader join and support the New York State Society of Medical Massage Therapists (only $75 annually) and/or get involved in the local chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), as a way of developing positive networking opportunities.

In New York, the major employers of massage therapists are sports clubs; the dozens upon dozens of spas, medical and chiropractic offices; or a company such as my own that offers chair and table massages to the corporate sector. Keep in mind that New York City is also home to a large arts and sports community, including the Geoffrey Ballet, NYC Ballet, NY Mets, etc.

A massage therapist, just like any other professional, should put together a cover letter and résumé, find the venues that best suit his or her skills, and send letters to the human resource contacts for those groups. Follow up with a call and an offer to do a hands-on demonstration; you could find your dream job in the process. Rates offered to therapists in the NYC area vary from as low as $12 per hour (usually clubs that pay only if you are working, so $30 per hour, averaged out over the length of a shift, comes to approximately $12 per hour), up to $40 per hour (rare). Therapists should be prepared to work for fair rates, but they definitely will be lower than if working for themselves.

This leads me to my last suggestion. An ad in local paper, or a mailer sent out to your neighborhood, could open the door to a flourishing personal massage business. It all depends on what you want to pursue.

Please contact me if you want help getting started, and I will do the best I can to get you on the right track.

Warmest regards,

Donna DeFalco

You can contact Donna at .

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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