Archives for category: professional body work

The three most important things about starting your massage practice: set clear goals, understand your budget and create a professional image.

Your Goals:  Write down specific concrete goals you would like to accomplish and the specific time period in which you would like them to be completed.  Some goals would be:  What amount of income you’d like to make by the end of your first year, any additional certificates you wish to earn, and other business related goals.  Also, write down what is standing in the way of you achieving these goals, and what steps you need to take to overcome these obstacles.  Seek advice from a mentor or successful colleague and try to connect with them regularly.

Your Budget:  Create a realistic budget before opening your business.  Make sure you consider your living expenses while you grow your cliental.  Being self-employed doesn’t always mean you will bring home a paycheck.  Figuring out your break-even point is crucial; what are the costs and overhead you need to stay afloat.  Depending on your location, keep in mind rent, utilities, internet and phone, furnishings, equipment, licensing, insurance, taxes, supplies, advertising, etc.  It’s always good to keep a plan B in mind.  If you need to book 18 services a week to break-even but are only booking 13, then you are losing money.  Most people can’t continue on without hitting or exceeding their break-even point.  Remember, you still haven’t even paid yourself at this point.  For example, if your expenses total to $1200 for the month and you charge $65 per service, you would need to perform at least 19 services that month just to break-even.  You also need to keep in mind your personal living expenses, rent/mortgage, car payment, insurance, credit card payments, utilities, phone and cable, child care, groceries, etc.  If your personal expenses, for example, total $2800, added to your business expenses would equal $4000.  This would mean, just to break-even you would need to provide at least 62 services at $65.  This means you would need to do about 15-16 services a week.  Again, this wouldn’t result in any salary of your own, nor would it account for any vacation time or adding unexpected expenses.  Make sure you’re realistic about the ability to sustain your business before you begin your transition to self-employment.

Your Image:  Create your image from day one and keep that in mind with all aspects of your business.  This image you present will be represented in many ways, not just the look and feel of your location but also in the way you and your staff dress, your logo and the way in which you market your business.  For example, most people don’t know what LMT means, consider spelling it out (Sarah Johnson, Licensed Massage Therapist) to ensure clarity.   You can also bring out the style you like to convey but still show the public who you are with your business name.  For example, Sarah Johnson Massage Center, Sarah’s Day Spa, Johnson Medical Massage Therapy or Sarah’s Mind & Body Healing; all of these have a clear message but convey very different atmospheres.  Remember not to use a vague name, like Sarah’s Center, people need to know what services you are providing.

You should, also, consider your image when it comes to your marketing.  This day and age people automatically assume all businesses have a website, this is crucial for your business and now websites are typically pretty cheap to make and maintain with many easily accessible templates available.  Offering your full menu, appointment booking, gift cards, and social media links, like Facebook, on your website can be a great way to maintain current cliental and intrigue new clients.  Again, don’t forget about your image when it comes to your online presents.  If you have a modern urban spa feel at your location, don’t put pictures of beaches throughout your website.  Business cards are also very important.  A great way to expand your business is to go to local establishments like banks, boutiques, cafes and hair salons asking if they would display your card, this is great free advertising.  Also, carry your business cards around with you at all times to hand to potential new clients.  Another great way to advertise in an inexpensive way, is to make reusable bags or t-shirts and wear/use them around town as you do your usual errands.  Consider your logo in this regard, keep your image in mind.  A logo of business card that includes a board certified image gives an entirely different feel than one with a yin yang symbol.

Lastly, think about what you and your employees should wear regularly to continue the image you are looking for.  Are you more medical?; then go with scrubs.  Or maybe you like a spa feel; consider a semi-casual all black look, this helps the focus stay on the client without being overly formal.  Whatever you choose, remember, cohesion is key.

In conclusion, set concrete but achievable goals, budget carefully and realistically, and create the image you want to make your business successful.  There are many visions of success, make sure this one is defined by you.

  1. Know you Intention: Say it out loud and keep it as your focus.  You have to image your success, talk about it often and stay focused on your goal.
  2. Source Experts: Find a mentor, hire an expert or create a partnership to cover areas you feel weakest.  Use your energy to focus on your strengths and instill help to alleviate stress of weaknesses.
  3. Identify Energy Suckers:  Be aware of what drains your energy.  Maybe it’s a bad habit, relationship or even social media.  Keep track of the time you spend, if you notice you are doing this often make a change.
  4. Highlight the Good:  Show appreciation to yourself and your team and you will continue to find that it will increase.  Positive energy will spread and grow.
  5. Avoid Gossip:  The negativity of gossip can destroy all the good you are doing.  Removing gossip from daily discussions can protect this good energy.
  6. Clear your Space:  Remove all clutter.  Use intense or a diffuser, have fresh water on hand and dust and sanitize regularly.
  7. Be Proud:  A great boost of energy is reminding yourself of your accomplishments.
  8. Stay Strong:  Discipline is needed to remain positive and focused.  Remember to review your intentions every day.
  9. Listen Well:  Listen to your partners, team and customers; you can learn important information from them.  Use this to improve training, appearance and vision.
  10. Surround Yourself with Positive Influences:  This will make you more successful, more motivated and happier.  Having like-minded people in your inner-circle is a must.

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Beyond a caring touch, how you interact with your clients is key to generating repeat business, referrals and add-on sales! Do you carefully plan each customer experience?  Chances are your focus is primarily on the massage itself and not on your conversation with your client which can make the difference between an average experience and a great one.  Conveying your caring and concern about your clients’ well-being will generate both repeat visits and referrals.  So take a cue from other businesses and don’t leave anything to chance. Many companies script their employee/customer interactions. For example, you might hear “would you like to try our new mocha latte today?” in your local cafe. Although you are not selling coffee, you are in essence “selling” a wellness experience and can create your own scripts to follow depending on each customer’s need.

For example, you are always concerned that your clients receive the helpful benefits of the massage you give them so why not let them know how they can extend those benefits when they go home.

“You can extend the benefits of your massage today by…….”

Another key message is to let your client know that they may experience some discomfort a day after the massage and what they can do to manage it.

“Although everyone reacts differently, it is normal to feel some discomfort after your massage. It can be like a workout at the gym for some muscles. Also, massage increases the blood flow and releases built up toxins into your blood stream. If you feel any discomfort, I recommend you……..”
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You may opt to retail foam rollers, massage balls, creams, Bellanina Spa Mineral Bath etc. to recommend to your clients as a way to stretch and soothe at home. This is not hard-core selling, it is simply suggesting ways to help.

“Many of my clients have had success with this foam roller in helping them stretch at home. Let me show you how it works.”

Lastly, always have a script to book your client’s next appointment.

“Would you like to make your next appointment today or do you want me to call you to book one later?”

In addition to your hands-on work with them, scripting is a great way to make sure you verbally communicate that you care for your clients health and well-being.  Having your own standard phrases for your key messages will ensure you are consistent and thoughtful in your communications with your clients.  Create the scripts that will work for you, write them down and use them every time.

Changes in your skin should be examined by someone with extensive knowledge of proper skin care and conditions. But how do you know who to contact?

A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of skin. This means they have attended medical school (just like your regular doctor) and have received extra training to care for the skin. They are capable of prescribing medications and medical treatments for skin conditions. They are able to diagnose skin conditions and perform surgery.

An esthetician (sometimes known as a skin care therapist) has attended a trade school and passed a state board exam. Schooling requirements range by state (usually 3-6 months). Estheticians have received training on skin care treatment such as facials, body wraps, skin analysis, microdermabrasion, peels and other skin care techniques to improve the look and feel of your skin. They cannot diagnose skin conditions or prescribe medications however they can recommend over-the-counter treatments for common skin care concerns.

Now, how do decide who to see first?

That depends on your skin concerns, symptoms and medical history. These are all factors to consider and should not be taken lightly. A good rule of thumb is:

If you’re seeking skin care maintenance or cosmetic concerns, start with an esthetician. Estheticians can help with acne, dry skin, maturing skin and even some common concerns such as rosacea or hyperpigmentation. An esthetician may recommend specialized treatments or skin care products to help reduce or eliminate your problem.

If you have persistent symptoms despite home treatment, pain, sudden development of symptoms or reactions to chemicals, medications or anything your skin came in contact with, see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help to rule out any underlying medical condition and prescribe medications that will be more aggressive for the treatment or persistent issues. For example, if you have painful acne that will not clear up using standard over-the-counter remedies, a dermatologist can provide a higher dosage (prescription) to help treat it.

Unsure?

If you develop a skin concern and are still unsure who to see, check with your primary care physician (PCP). They can either refer you to a dermatologist if they believe it is necessary or advise you to consult an esthetician.

Conclusion

Never ignore any skin concerns you may have or develop over time. Your skin is the largest organ and requires as much care and treatment as your heart, lungs or any other organ. Do not assume that conditions will “clear up on their own” as this can lead to more serious conditions developing. If you are concerned, ask.

Learn more about better skin care at www.bellaninainstitute.com.

Are you a massage therapist, esthetician or health/wellness provider seeking a way to build your business and learn a new technique that is less stressful on your body and beneficial for your clients?  Perhaps you are already a Bellanina Facelift Massage Practitioner who is looking for CEs in 2013.

Look no further than the Bellanina Facelift Massage! In 2011, Bellanina  “enhanced” their signature technique by incorporating Thai massage, acupressure and a full body energy release into their already time-tested approach to holistic skin care.  Our homestudy course is NCBTMB approved for 16 CE credits for all new students and for returning practitioners who want to learn the new and improved protocol.

Imagine an all natural, holistic approach to obtaining and maintaining younger, smoother and healthier looking skin at any age. The Bellanina Facelift Massage is the answer you have been looking for to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, tone facial muscles and release unblock stuck energy.

 Since 1989, the Bellanina Facelift Massage has been utilized by thousands of clients around the world. We have seen some amazing results including:

Decrease in bags under the eyes 

Firmer cheeks and jaw line

Neck appears smoother

Naso-labial fold lines soften

Skin looks smoother and skin tone evens

Youthful glow

Our clients tell us that the Bellanina Facelift Massage has been the best choice they have made to improve the look and feel of their skin!
                

Before & After (untouched photos)

What our students say…..
“I have taken many modalities as a massage therapist, reflexologist, etc., but your course hands down has such a fantastic income potential. In addition, I find it very creative and the results are amazing. I have done “Bellanina” on all ages, even those women who are in their 70’s and think this is it and they better make the best of what they have and then there is “Bellanina Facelift Massage.” I have a client who is 76 years old, when I finish the Bellanina Facelift Massage, her attitude and feeling of self worth becomes transformed. She told me, “I feel beautiful!”. I just wanted to share that with you and THANK YOU 100 times over for giving me the opportunity of learning and being certified as a “Bellanina Facelift Specialist”.Lauretta I, New York

Several times each month – Nina Howard (Bellanina Founder) hosts a FREE educational webiner at 3:30 P.M (EST) to explain the many benefits of Bellanina Facelift Massage, how this technique can build your business and answer all your questions at the end!

Visit our website www.bellaninainstitute.com to register for this event! Remember, this is a FREE webinar with master trainer, Nina Howard and a chance to learn about the most exciting approach to skin care available today!

Myofascial. You’ve seen it advertised but have you ever really stopped to learn what it is? Odds are good you haven’t, unless you’ve suddenly found yourself in need of this type of service.

Like most therapies or practices that are available but not well known, myofascial release is a specialized practice that can be learned by massage therapists. It is used to treat somatic dysfunction and the accompanying pain and restriction on movement. The primary goal of this type of therapy is to relax the contracted muscles, increase circulation, increase venous and lymphatic drainage and stimulate the stretch reflex of the muscles.

Back to Basics:

If you are confused, don’t be embarrassed. Understanding the nuances of massage therapy and what it can do for the body is a specialized practice that many people spend years studying and perfecting as a technique.

Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that supports and protects most structures (including muscle) in the human body. This tissue can become restricted over time due to a number of factors including: psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity. This can lead to pain, muscle tension and decreased blood flow to the affected areas. The result inflammation can occur and this is where myofascial release is utilized by therapists.

Myofascial is defined as a chronic muscle pain around sensitive areas called “trigger points”. This type of pain can be felt as headaches, jaw or neck pain, lower back/pelvis pain or in the arms and legs. This is not a temporary pain caused by working out or physical exertion – it is a chronic condition that persists over long periods on time.

There are two main types of myofascial release used: active and passive. In active therapy the client provides resistance, while in passive therapy the client remains relaxed. These can both involve direct and indirect techniques.

Direct myofascial release (also known as “deep tissue work”) works on the restricted fascia. This intensive method works on relaxing the contracted muscles utilizing the therapists knuckles, hands and other specialized tools. The therapist will work slowly through the layers of fascia until the deep tissue is reached.

Indirect myofascial release focuses on gentle stretching and allowing the fascia to “unwind”. This allows for the body to heal itself with the assistance of mild therapeutic techniques to assist in the process.

Consult with your doctor to determine what type of treatment will be best for your myofascial condition. Depending on the location and level of discomfort your doctor may recommend physical therapy, medications or certain injections. Do not receive treatment from a therapist without first consulting with your health care provider. Ask questions if you are uncomfortable or unsure about this technique.

Myofascial pain is a difficult condition to bear but can be helped several ways. Talk to your physician today and learn if a myofascial therapy treatment may be your next step towards pain relief.

Going for a massage can be a rewarding and relaxing experience. A professional massage therapist will work to relieve built up kinks and stress in your muscles and reduce this tension through carefully performed strokes and techniques designed to increase blood flow and stimulate the muscles.

Soreness is a common “after effect” of receiving a massage, especially if it is the first time you have received any type of professional bodywork. A massage therapist is not providing an ordinary back rub but an intense series of strokes designed to relieve tension and restore the muscles to optimal functioning. Deep tissue massage is an especially intense technique that truly “works” the muscles and can lead to some next day soreness.

So what may be causing this?

Although you are lying still, your muscles are still working during a massage. Even the most soothing massage is still designed to stimulate the muscles and increase blood flow to the region. This means that your muscles are going to respond to that stimulation very much the same way they would respond to a work out. While you won’t shed pounds receiving a massage, your muscles will be reacting to the experience.

A massage is also a method of removing built up toxins from the muscles. Your massage therapist should recommend drinking lots of water following your massage to help flush the toxins from your system. It is a good idea to drink water daily anyway since this will help to continue to remove toxins that may build up over time. Your body will be less sore following muscle work of any type if it does not have high levels of toxins being released due to a healthy diet and drinking water regularly.

A massage should be an intense experience but not a painful one. Your therapist is not a mind reader and it is important to communicate your expectations prior to your massage and mention any discomfort during the session. Massage can be adjusted for individual needs and your therapist may recommend a different type of massage therapy depending on your preference and sensitivity to different types of massage and preference.

If you have never had a professional massage, it can be a rewarding experience. A massage therapist will work your muscles to remove toxins and relieve stresses that can be held in the muscles from daily living, working out (or lack thereof) or assist with disabilities caused by injury or illness. Massage is not only pampering, it is beneficial for the overall health and wellness of your body. Remember to help your therapist by communicating your interests from the beginning and know that although you may feel a little sore the following day, your muscles are actually getting healthier and will probably feel fabulous within a day or so.

Call your local spa or massage therapist to book your next appointment and experience the wonderful benefits that massage has to offer.

Getting up in the morning to head to the gym may not always seem like the most worthwhile plan but here is one more great reason to break out the sweatpants and do a little cardio: smoother, healthier looking skin.

No kidding. Taking care of your body in one way often impacts it (positively) in other ways we can’t even imagine. A cardio routine is great for your heart but its probable you never thought you could also be clearing up acne or preventing premature wrinkles at the same time.

So what’s the catch? It must seem too good to be true that a simple workout could be so beneficial in so many ways. The catch is consistency. Never expect a one time excursion to the gym or following that Jane Fonda workout DVD once will have long term results. Maintaining a regular workout schedule is the only way you are going to see healthier skin.

Now, the science!

Never accept any fact or statement without evidence or explanation. We don’t want you to simply take our word for it that exercise will benefit you in more ways than one, we want to show you!

Skin is the largest organ so the benefits can be pretty substantial. We’ll begin with one of the most noticeable differences people have seen: reduced acne. No joke. Exercise helps to reduce the production of testosterone hormones like DHEA and DHT. Testosterone is a part of why acne flair ups occur. Working out reduces stress levels and lower stress helps decrease production of this particular hormone.

Another great benefit working out provides is an increase in collagen production. Collagen is the connective fiber that “plumps” the skin. As we age and collagen production slows, skin begins to sag and wrinkle. By stimulating increased production it is possible to combat this problem. Exercise increases blood circulation and the delivery of nutrients to the cells: ideal conditions for collagen.

Bonus: Yoga is especially great for better skin because while toning the muscles through controlled movements, you are also “toning” the skin. The different yoga “poses” offer a variety of benefits to tone, tighten and increase blood flow to the face. This will keep skin looking smoother.

Cleansing the body of toxins is the last component we are going to look at (although there are several other benefits not discussed today). When we exercise it helps the body “flush” out toxins that can build up over time. Removing toxins from the body will benefit your health overall but especially help healthy skin cell removal and production. The build up of dead skin cells can lead to dull and wrinkles skin. When your body can remove these build ups and function properly, your skin will look much more youthful and radiant.

So break out those yoga pants and try incorporating a workout into your daily routine. We know that with a job, kids, school or any number of other responsibilities it isn’t always easy to squeeze in a workout but remember that your body needs you to think about the long term benefits it could provide.

Looking for more great skin care advice? Check us out online at http://www.bellanina.com. We have some of the best skin care products available to keep you looking young and radiant.

As a massage therapist or wellness practitioner you may struggle with constant questions about whether or not it would behoove you to expand your skill set and learn new techniques to offer your clientele. It is easy to argue both sides of the matter since learning new skills often requires a commitment of time, money and effort with no absolute 100% guarantee that it will work out. Looking at the situation that way, it is no wonder so many people end up in a professional “rut”.

So what are the two sides of this particular issue?

The question boils down to one simple matter: if you take the time to learn something new, will your clients want this new service? Which of course leads to further questions about expanding your business in the future.

If you are worried that adding new services may alienate your existing clientele, don’t. Experience has taught many practitioners first hand that new services are often more exciting to existing clients than they are to the practitioner! Remember, a massage or facial is a treat and finding something new on the menu can be a great way to mix up an old routine for you and your client. Keeping your service menu fresh and updated will encourage your clients to come back for more. Although you may have some that resist change, they can always stay with their tried and true without harm to your business.

What about attracting new clients? An important part of business growth is knowing how to reach new clientele. Offering the “basic” services everyone already expects from a masseuse or wellness practitioner will not put you ahead of the pack. In fact, not branching out can hurt your business as it may appear out of day or obsolete. We are a culture that thrives on change and innovation – two concepts that do not rhyme with stagnation.

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Continuing education classes have never been more available or adaptable to your schedule. Many courses are available as a seminar or even a home study course for you to learn on your own time. Taking the effort to expand your professional career and techniques will benefit you as a business owner or as a employee. The more you know and the better you market yourself as a specialized expert, the better your business will be.

Take a chance this year and try something new to shake up your business. The Bellanina Facelift Massage continuing education course is a great way to entice existing clientele to try something new, encourage repeat business and market to a new and expanding market base. As the baby boomer generation grows older, they will be looking for treatments that are non-invasive and effective. The Bellanina Facelift Massage is time tested and can offer an amazing choice for your clients.

Contact Bellanina Institute today to learn more or to register for your seminar today. Bellanina Facelift Massage home study course is approved by the NCBTMB for 16 continuing education credit hours and the 3 day seminar is approved for 24 continuing education hours.

Have you ever tried to nod your way through a conversation without really understanding what someone is talking about?

It is not your job to understand every skin treatment available but when you receive a service at a spa it is nice to understand what the heck they are doing and why. Paraffin wax is one of those delicious spa terms we hear all the time but may have no clue about what it truly means.

Why is it important to learn? The same reason it is important to read instructions before you take a medicine. Anything that touches or enters your body will have an effect on it and as a wise consumer it is important to know about what a product is doing, why it is being used and most important – any possible side effects.

So what’s the skinny on paraffin wax?

In the simplest terms, paraffin wax treatments are utilized in spas to moisturize and soften the skin. They are usually reserved for the toughest areas of skin on the body such as the hands and feet. Many spas will offer this treatment as part of or as an optional addition to manicures or pedicures.

Paraffin waxes are different from other types of waxes used in spas in that it is softer (due to paraffin oil). It melts at a much lower temperature than other waxes and will not burn or blister the skin when it is submerged. In many spas, the wax is heated in special vats prior to a treatment.

So what does the treatment entail?

Paraffin wax is designed to coat the skin and left to absorb for up to half an hour to see the full benefits. An esthetician or beautician may have the client submerge their hands or feet several times in container of this wax to create an even coat over the surface. The hands and feet would then be wrapped in plastic (or some other type of non absorbent material).

After the treatment the wax is removed in a single piece. Because of the oil, this wax does not bind to the skin and can come off easily without pain. Skin should feel soft and smooth following a paraffin treatment.

When would I get one done?

Paraffin wax treatments can be done all year but they are especially ideal in the winter (colder climates particularly) since they can help to repair dry and cracked skin. Remember the skin needs moisture to stay smooth and during the winter it can lose a lot of moisture throughout the day without being properly replenished.

Who should avoid this treatment?

People with diabetes tend to have trouble with submersion of the feet into warm liquids so this treatment is not recommended.

Pregnant woman can receive this treatment but should remember that chronic foot swelling is common and a treatment that utilizes heat will not benefit this condition. Try looking for treatments that use cold or cooling methods to ease this problem.

If you have any type of foot condition such as fungus or athletes foot it is important to tell your therapist prior to treatment. To avoid contamination of the wax they may need to prepare an alternative way of applying the treatment.

Final Thoughts

Trying out a new treatment is always an exciting prospect at the spa. Paraffin wax is an excellent and soothing choice for those seeking an effective solution for dry or rough skin. Call your local day spa to set up an appointment. Go with confidence now that you know what you need to know!

Other Choices:

After receiving your paraffin wax it is important to maintain that soft and silky skin. Why not try a baby smooth foot creme to keep for toes and heels looking great all year! For your hands try the soothing touch hand cream – guaranteed to keep your fingers luxuriously soft!