I Love My Job

Do you ever wonder why a person chooses to become a Massage Therapist?  It may seem like an easy job in a relaxing atmosphere. The atmosphere part would be right.

I got a job with the USPS when I was 19 years old.  I thought I had it made. A government job with benefits and I didn’t even need a college degree!  I started out working in mail processing. I, like most people, didn’t know that mail people worked at night.  Well they do, and I did for a good 10 years.  I hated it. I finally got a day position as a replacement clerk for the local post offices.  It was nice at first, but it slowly got to me. I never knew where I would be working or the hours I would be working from week to week. Finally, I lucked up and got a job at the Cottage Hill Post Office.  To this day, I still have people say I look so familiar. I run through the list of where they might know me from and when I hit the post office – Bam! that’s it.  Fortunately,, I was nice to people and  left a good impression, despite the depression I had fallen into. I HATED my job!!  I wanted out so bad, but who leaves a government job. I soon came to the realization that I would be one of those people that went postal if I didn’t make a change.  I quit after 18 years ( you can only retire after 20 years if you are at least 55 years old – I was not going to make that!).

I had to find another job and as I was contemplating applying at Wally World, I heard a commercial for a local massage school.  My husband had been giving me gift certificates for massages over the years and I loved getting them, perhaps I would like giving them. My first week in school, I was hooked.  I wished I had done this sooner – I had found my calling.

Upon graduating, I knew I wanted to run my own business – my way. The perfect office was pointed out to me and I took the plunge. It was rough at first, learning how to run a business and market myself. The massage part was easy. Then the economy started taking a turn for the worse. Luckily, I have been able to stay in this business, despite the tough economy.

Massage is an up and down business. When you’re busy – you are looking for that day off. Then when it slows down, you are scrambling to make sure you have enough appointments scheduled to meet the monthly bills.  It is also a very physically draining job.  I learned that I can do 4 massages a day max…. I will only fit in one more if there is an “emergency”.  My classmates who graduated and went to work in the Spas are no longer in the business because they were burnt out or injured from doing 8-10 massages a day. I want to do this job a long time, so I learned to pace myself.

I love my job.  I think it shows in my work as I am often complimented. Loving what I do has allowed me to stay in business and be successful.

Thank you to all my clients who allow me to have a career that I love! – Cynde

Are The Deals Worth It?

We recently ran a Groupon Deal to gain new clients.  Out of 460 sold, we retained about 8 new clients. Hopefully, some of the other 452 will come back again. Currently, there are 12 massage deals running on Groupon for Mobile and Baldwin County.  That is great for the deal seekers.

My reasoning for using a deal site is to try a new product or service. The average 60 minute massage in this area is $70. That is alot of money to take a chance on the service. We now have a new client rate to help with that risk. I have learned that our best advertising comes from our current clients (whom we love dearly for sharing!).

I decided to give one of those aforementioned 12 a try. I would get a massage and check out the competition. Here is my experience (no names will be included).

I have never been to this establishment before, but was looking forward to seeing the inside of what I had only heard about (expecting it to be very nice).

I arrived 10 minutes early for my appointment.  I was asked to take a seat and someone would be right with me. Twenty minutes later (10 after my appointment time), I was escorted back. The door was ajar and I tried to push it open, but it was blocked by the massage table. The room was so small, the door could not properly open. Not good on two accounts- 1) I am a bit large and the opening was not accommodating, 2) if there was an emergency, I would not be able to get out of there easily.

Once in the room, the therapist asked me a couple of health questions.  Not near enough in my opinion.  Health intake forms are required in my office to determine if there are any contraindications to receiving a massage. The room was obviously used for other services as it was quite messy. I was told to NOT put my clothing on the floor. The therapist warned me that they do waxing in the room and there was hair all over the floor. I should have left then.

The therapist left the room for me to undress and get on the table. It took me about 2 minutes to do this. I was in the prone position (face down) but had to prop myself up on my elbows. The place for your face to rest was in the table, covered by a sheet. If I put my face in it, I would have suffocated. After waiting another 10 minutes for her to return, she asked if everything was okay. Umm no, If I lay down correctly, I can’t breathe, Her solution was to remove the sheet- so now I am partially laying on an exposed table that I am sure was not cleaned after the last clients who were either massaged or waxed!! Why am I still there?

The massage finally starts and the routine and pressure were actually decent. I tried to relax, but the other workers in the establishment were very loud and there was no relaxing massage music.

Nearing what I knew was the end of the massage, just biding my time at this point, the door comes slamming open into the table. Person opening the door “oh I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was in here”. AARRGGHHH!!!!!

Massage now over, I am getting dressed. Notice the therapists’ license on the wall. At least it was a licensed massage therapist…. or was it??  At the desk she was waiting  so I asked for her card.  She did not have any cards, but told me if I called back to make another appointment to ask for __________ as she was the only massage therapist.  The name she gave me and the name on the license in the room were completely different. There goes the licensed massage therapist idea. Who knows whether or not the person who just massaged me is licensed by the State of Alabama??

Even at a discounted price, I did not get what I paid for (and the time turned out to be a 40, not 60 minute massage).  I should have listened to the red flags going off in my head and left before it started.

I just don’t understand why price is more important than quality to some people. Massage is not just a spoil- me -treatment.  It is beneficial to your health (if you go to the right place). I needed a drink after that experience to calm down!

Alas, I will continue to run my business as I always have and the right people will find me. I am no longer worried about the competition.

When picking any professional service provider, professionalism and cleanliness will always trump price for me personally.






Have You Heard This Before?

I was taught some things in massage school that I have learned over the years, are just not true. It sounded good and in theory seemed right, but scientists have done actual research to debunk some of the myths that massage therapists promote. Here are some of those:

Myth #1 – The sign of a really good massage is that you feel quite sore the day after

Everyone is different and some people are more sensitive than others but just because you don’t feel sore the next day doesn’t mean you had a bad massage.  The sign of a good massage is that you feel better than you did before – it may take a while to feel the full benefits but you should experience some of the following:

  • Relaxation
  • Renewed energy
  • Increased mobility
  • Less pain
  • Better sleep
  • Alertness
  • Reduction in headaches

Myth #2 – You shouldn’t have a massage if you’re pregnant

Massage Therapy does not induce an early labor and is perfectly safe for both mother and baby during normal pregnancies.  It can be extremely beneficial for the Mom-to-be and offer a way to relax and unwind during a physically and mentally tiring time.  Post-natal massage can be equally beneficial too.  Ask your Massage Therapist about prenatal massage.

Myth #3 – Massage will get rid of cellulite

If Massage Therapists could really banish cellulite we’d never see a dimpled thigh ever again. However, cellulite is persistent subcutaneous fat and it’s appearance, mainly in women, is determined by hormonal factors, genetics, diet and lifestyle.  Eating a healthy, low fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber and taking regular exercise is the best option to prevent and reduce the appearance of cellulite.  Massage is an excellent addition to your healthy lifestyle and wellness routine.

Myth #4 – Toxins can be flushed out of the body via Massage

This is an interesting  myth as it’s probably the most popular.  The body processes excess waste (by-products of food, drink, airborne pollutants etc.) in a variety of ways i.e. sweat, urine, feces, or if you’re ill by vomiting.

Your liver, kidneys and skin do a remarkable job of getting rid of these ‘toxins’ on a daily basis.

Massage does, however, increase blood supply to various parts of the body and can regenerate a lack-luster circulation.  This may be what is actually being referred to.  Drinking water is a pleasant thing to do after a massage and is a great reminder to drink more fluids that aren’t laced with sugar, coloring or other additives.

Myth #5 – You shouldn’t get a massage if you have cancer

Until recently, it was thought that the action of massage could actively spread cancer cells throughout the body.  However, we now realize that cancer cells are caused by the body’s immune system malfunctioning and cells that turn cancerous will do so regardless of massage therapy stimulus.  If massage did cause cancer cells to move through the body then the same could be said of any form of exercise.

If you ever have any concerns. please do not hesitate to discuss these concerns (in private) with your massage therapist.