resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
Building the Ultimate Massage Room
By Terry Russell
We as massage therapists dream of having our own treatment room, especially when we are schlepping our table across town to an appointment. Furnishing our own rooms with the best of the best is a closely held dream and for many, making this dream a reality comes later in our careers.What to do with that empty nest bedroom? That unfurnished bonus room? That really good deal advertised at the local market for "space available."
When making a list of the items found in your dream massage room, it's always good to include everything you can think of to enhance your practice, as well as everything that will make your life easy. From there, prioritize the items on the list from, "I desperately need," to "I desperately want." Be honest here as there is no room for greediness in your new room.
Equipment and Furniture
Let's take a look at equipment and furniture used in treatment rooms. Keep in mind, at this point these are in no particular order. Starting with the obvious, the table needs to be considered. Is your current table in good shape? Does it squeak, creak, crack or moan? Is it still rugged or do you find it a little wobbly at times? Are the legs still attractive or do they have the used look with scratches and dents? These are the important things. The things your clients see, feel and hear. The things your clients will remember and share with their friends. If your current table is still good, with a little cover make over you can make it look clinic/spa ready.
If your current table has seen better days, then it is definitely time to consider a new purchase. Stationary tables make a great statement on your behalf and do not have to be expensive. Manual adjusting stationary tables are quite affordable and come with many options to fit nearly any budget. This is a capital expense so keep your receipts, record the day it goes in service and share this information with your tax accountant. While adding an electric adjusting option will increase your cost, there are several options to consider while making sure you add the best option for your budget. There are basically three types of stationary tables:
To decide on the proper table take a hard look at your modalities and see what options would better fit your style. Also, consider not only your current clientele, but the future clients and their needs. A little planning ahead can help maximize your new table.
In addition to the table, a rolling stool works nicely in a stationary room. Again, a few options come to play. Some come with a back, without a back or a removable back. Some manufacturer's give you height options as well. The shorter range stools work better in a pedicure environment, while the taller, more standard range performs better for massage and esthetics. Also available for your comfort choice are round bottoms, square bottoms and saddle seats.
Now, on to the fun stuff. The things that before your stationary room were only accessories and that as a mobile therapist you learn to learn without. Stone warmers are a great addition. The six quart will work, but the 18 quart is multi-talented. It can double as a towel warmer if you don't have one and also heat your oils and lotions. A good alternative to stone warmers are the self-heating stones. A pair of these will stay warm allowing you to perform a full massage with just two stones. The beautiful way they charge may intrigue your client into upgrading to a stone massage. These also work great when you only need a stone or two for deep tissue work.
If the budget allows, a towel warmer is an excellent addition to any room and any modality. Towel warmers come with several options and sizes. Basic options include a side open door (like a refrigerator) or a pull down door (like your stove); some have a UV Sterilizer light and a choice of a single or double wire rack option. Towel warmers also come in colors with the most popular being white, chocolate or stainless. Warm towels are a great ending touch for Swedish and a recovery touch in deep tissue.
Oils and Lotions
Now that we have things heating up in the treatment room, don't forget your oils and lotions. There is an option to fit your style by choosing between single bottles, double, triple or quad holder. Also, the unit comes in white, gel colors and stainless. This is a good investment to always be able to treat your client to warm lubricants.
Paraffin warmers allow a nice add-on to earn you extra money and do not take up much space in a treatment room. Smooth the rough hands and heels of your clients, as well as ease joint tension with warm paraffin. This purchase can also go for self-care to ease your over worked hands and to ensure you always have soft hands to work on your clients. Dual benefits to your clients and yourself make this a product to put on the "must-have" list.
Now that you are stationary, why not take advantage of the many bolster sizes and shapes that are available. No longer do you have to make one size fit all. A few different sizes and shapes can make your massage flow smoother and bring even more comfort to your client. Options include, full round, half round, semi round, fluffy and ladies comfort to name a few.
With all the new equipment in the room, now comes the daunting task of storing them neatly while keeping access to them. A trolley or cart is a good supplement to any room. The options are vast with trolleys. The frames are either a lightweight poly, metal or wood. It can come as simple as two shelves and as complex as three shelves, a drawer and a power surge strip. Depending on your needs and space, you can get a trolley that will store your equipment while giving you easy access with a professional touch.
While you are creating the ultimate room for your comfort and ease, don't slight your customer. Be sure to include a hook and clothes hanger for their clothes/robe. A chair is always a nice touch in case they need to sit down while removing their shoes. Consider adding a small tray or bowl to hold their rings, watches, bracelets and necklaces. If room permits, a small step stool is always handy for the shorter or older clientele to help on and off the table.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for your new room. As you settle in the new space, more things will come to mind. The second list could include the expansion phase.
For this initial phase, it's time to prioritize what we have so far. It goes without saying the table comes first. If your table is in good shape then on to the items for the rest of the room. I would suggest the first half of the list be devoted to you and your client's needs and the second half devoted to your wants. At this phase, list everything you can think of. Prioritizing is a personal thing and there is no clear cut solution on what should go where. After you have prioritized the list, set it aside for a day or two, then go back and see if the order you have still makes sense.
Once you have a prioritized list, time to source your potential purchases. Always check with more than one company. Our industry has the luxury of having several multi-line distributors and manufacturers that can offer you competitive quotes. Don't be afraid to ask for a discount. While discounts are not always available, sometimes a company can offer savings, especially on larger orders. Freight and shipping cost are not easily discounted, but always ask for options, especially when talking stationary tables that ship by tractor and trailer. Most equipment quotes are guaranteed for at least thirty days, plenty of time for you to research your buying options. Most importantly, get your quote in writing. This will make it easy for you to compare cost and lead times.
So whether moving into that permanent room for the first time, expanding to a second room or still dreaming of the day you get your own treatment room, dream big, start a list, prioritize and work to make that dream come true.
Terry Russell has been involved in the massage community since 1999. His previous career includes being a full time therapist at Spa Palazzo in the Boca Raton Resort & Club, as well as owning a successful private practice. As the Director of Sales – Schools, Distributors & Franchises Division at Universal Companies, his efforts are now focused on bringing schools, distributors and franchises the best of equipment and supplies with outstanding customer service. For more information, visit www.universalcompanies.com.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.