Demystifying Massage: Modern Approaches to Clients and Budgeting
There is no arguing that the tension relief resulting from a massage is a treat worth splurging for. However, the benefits of massage do not have to be experienced only seldom, nor thought of as an indulgence reserved for special occasions. These essential facts and tips can help clients shift their perspective and professionals improve overall experience – making massage a regular, essential, and lucrative spa service.
Generally, when people think of the term massage, they associate it with luxury, indulgence, and pampering. It is seen as a treat and something people may allow themselves once or twice a year.
With the pressures and demands of life these days, the notion that massage is purely an indulgence no longer rings true. The benefits of massage are endless and something that, often, people outside of the profession are unaware of.
Massage can help with balancing emotions, anxiety, circulatory issues, joint and muscle pain, insomnia, and much more. It is important that professionals share the benefits of massage with their clients, educating them that massage can be integrated into their overall wellness, rather than an occasional treat. Regular massages help to establish and maintain good health and wellness. When clients understand this, they may re-think their intermittent massage visit and make it part of their overall health routine, with regular massage appointments.
It is easy to see why massage is commonly described as a luxury. It makes clients feel amazing! The release of endorphins that occurs during massage produces a feeling of well-being, while stress-inducing hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol, and norepinephrine, are reduced.
MASSAGE FOR MIND AND BODY
Cortisol is a stress hormone and, unfortunately, when a person feels anxious, their body pumps out even more of it, fuelling and increasing stress levels.
For people who suffer with depression or anxiety, massage can be very beneficial. Massage therapy helps the body relax by relieving muscle tension and relaxing the mind. Massage is not a long-term or sole treatment for depression or anxiety, but it can help temporarily alleviate some of the symptoms. Those who suffer from these conditions should feel happier and more energized after a massage. Integrating massage into a holistic treatment plan, that incorporates things like counselling, medication (if required), exercise, and good food, is encouraged.
While many people may not be aware of how massages can help on an emotional level, most people are probably aware of how good a massage can be for their body. Aches and pains in muscles and joints is one of the most common reasons people book a massage.
RELIEF FOR EVERYDAY MUSCLE TENSION
As technology has changed, so, too, have careers. People are less physical on average and many careers require sitting at desks for long periods of time. Certainly, desk workers can develop issues from prolonged periods of sitting, but even in a profession as a therapist or aesthetician, standing all day and the work performed can also result in postural stress, which generally manifests in the shoulders and neck.
It does not matter the career, a repetitive routine and minimal movement is taxing on a body. Sitting or standing in the same position all day means muscles do not get the blood flow they require, leading to muscular tension.
Luckily, regular massages can somewhat counteract these imbalances and side effects. A simple massage can alleviate neck, shoulder, and back pain while improving blood flow. Improving the flow of the circulatory and lymphatic systems allows the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to other areas of the body and remove toxins more efficiently, leaving bodies feeling cleansed.
Professionals often treat people when they are in pain and need some quick relief. Problems can present after a long, hard week of work or when clients are doing something unusual at work which makes them a bit sore. Encouraging clients who work in manual jobs to put a preventative program that involves remedial massage in place can help them reduce or avoid musculoskeletal disorders, as well as joint and ligament injuries.
People think they are indestructible, but wear and tear catches up with everyone. The goal is for clients to lead a relatively pain-free and functional working life, and it is certainly something professionals can help them understand and put into practice to help prevent injury and promote recovery.
IMPROVING SLEEP THROUGH MASSAGE
Getting a good night’s rest is important on so many levels. In fact, it is vital to everyone’s well-being.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions – such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression – which threaten our nation’s health.” The negative effect sleep deprivation can have is concerning.
Massage aids in the production of serotonin, which is essential for the production of melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It helps control the body clock so one can function properly during the day and sleep properly at night.
The everyday pressures of life and the increase in screen time can have a big impact on the amount and quality of sleep, which can lead to sleep disorders. Regular relaxation massage is highly recommended as a natural and effective treatment for people who are experiencing sleep difficulties.
FACIAL AND HEAD MASSAGE
Facial and head massages are a fantastic add-on service for clients. Just like the rest of the body, facial muscles require exercise to help individuals look younger. People tend to carry a lot of tension in their head and face. There are some fantastic benefits to offering facial and head massages as part of a treatment menu.
When facial muscles tense up, they are more likely to harbor wrinkles, which is why they need to be massaged regularly. Always massage in an upward, circular motion – work against gravity so that everything heads north!
Facial muscles require the same TLC that tender shoulder or back muscles require. Increase blood and oxygen flow to the client’s face by massaging the soft lines around the mouth, eyes, and eyebrows. Also, massage the décolletage area, gently working toward the forehead and tending to the pressure points along the way. Concentrate on the delicate skin around the eye area with gentle, circular motions.
Stimulating the facial muscles with regular massage helps to bring oxygen to that area – which is a natural facelift. More blood flow to the area increases collagen production – giving a healthy and natural glow to the complexion.
PREGNANT AND PAMPERED
Expecting a new child is an exciting and wonderful time of life, but, to be realistic, growing and carrying a whole new person inside one’s body is not easy. For some, nine months of morning sickness, aches, hormonal swings, and discomfort, topped off with a good dose of pain at the end, can make pregnancy an ordeal.
The good news is, massage is a non-pharmaceutical option that can make life as an expectant mother a little more pleasant. Massage can provide an effective relief from the emotional and physical demands of pregnancy. Make some adjustments for expecting clients. Being pregnant certainly does not preclude someone from enjoying the benefits of massage.
As the stomach grows larger, adjust the client’s positioning, using additional cushions or specially-designed cushions placed on the table to support the growing stomach and, often, tender breasts. This allows the client to lie face down. If this is uncomfortable or if this position is not appropriate for the mother, she can also lie on her side with pillows to support her head, stomach, and legs.
Often, aches and pains that a client carried before they were pregnant, such as shoulder and neck complaints, become more acute. Other moms may just want to take some time out and relax with a soothing massage. An important consideration is the higher risk of blood clots forming in the legs during pregnancy, so a lighter form of massage should be performed. This type of massage may also help to decrease swelling in the legs, which can be quite common in pregnancy.
Even if the relief is short-term, massage treatments give expectant moms the opportunity to have a rest, sometimes sleep better, go about their daily activities with greater ease, or just enjoy that mental break from discomfort. Massage is one of the few times an expectant mother can completely focus on herself.
There is much more to massage than just being a yearly indulgence. These are just a few examples that demonstrate the power massage can have on general health and well-being.
MONEY SAVING ESSENTIALS
Many professionals run small- or medium-sized businesses and are continually looking for ways to minimize waste and reduce costs.
But, when it comes to saving money, professionals need to look beyond the dollar sign on each product. Sure, the product with the lower price tag may seem like the obvious choice, but is it really the most economical? The quality and performance of a product plays a much bigger role than its cost. Choosing products based on price is not the way to save money – often they will end up costing more due to a number of factors. When it comes to massage, in particular, choice of oil alone can save money.
Choice of Product
Using water-dispersible oil is not only a pleasant surprise for clients (who rejoice when they leave without the sticky, oily residue of their treatment) but also a pleasant surprise for a spa’s budget.
Oil can stain uniforms, towels, equipment, and flooring. The cost of continuously replacing these items every couple of months is proof enough that a water-soluble option is going to save money in the long-run. Water-soluble oil is easy to wash off. And, quality oils should not go rancid.
The packaging may seem like a very minor aspect when choosing a product, but can play a huge part in the amount of waste there is. For example, oil that needs to be poured into a secondary container inevitably results in some product being left behind in the container. Another risk is over-pouring and over-estimating the amount of oil required for a treatment.
An easy way to minimize waste is to use an oil with a metered pump spray. This allows for a thin layer of oil to be evenly dispersed over a client and gives professionals full control over how much product they use.
Buying in Bulk
Using unscented massage oil and adding essential fragrances is a cost effective alternative to buying multiple oils.
Look for oils that will not alter the fragrance of essential oils once added. Oils that are made with inferior ingredients can alter the fragrance, so it is something to be mindful of. Generally, professionals will receive a better price for buying in bulk, making the concept of customizing unscented oil a great way to save money (not to mention some storage space). Just make sure to use a funnel to avoid spilling and wasting the oil when re-filling.
Finding products that can be used for more than just one purpose is a great way to save a few dollars. There are other mediums on the market that can be used in massage treatments, such as creams and gels. Not only can they be used for massages but they make great bases for other treatments on a menu. This is great for spas that offer pamper treatments such as facials, manicures, and pedicures. Gels, in particular, are extremely lubricating, which means a little goes a long way and they give fantastic grip and glide. They can be a more economical choice than some of the expensive face creams on the market where professionals generally do not get a lot for their money.
These are a few small, but effective, changes which are easy to implement. It may be easy to look at these suggestions and wonder “how much of a difference could it really make?” Put them to the test! Every single dollar matters in business. Smart businesses will always save on costs and minimize waste, wherever possible.
Massage really is an important part of the industry and is growing due to the changes in work habits, lifestyles, and level of self-care that is being focused on to ensure people have long, happy, and pain-free lives.
Never stop learning. Continually upskill employees and stay abreast of the latest trends, methods, and tools of the trade, to offer the quality services that clients need.
This article was published by Dermascope Magazine: https://www.dermascope.com/treatments/9521-demystifying-massage-modern-approaches-to-clients-and-budgeting