The Young Thumbs Take Las Vegas

During Wednesday’s episode of The Massage Nerd Show, Allissa, Ryan and I made an announcement worthy of attention from the finest massage therapy news outlets and celebrity gossip magazines:

ON JULY 24th 2014, THE YOUNG THUMBS WILL TAKE OVER LAS VEGAS…AND YOU’RE INVITED!

That’s right, friends! Starting around noon on the day following the World Massage Festival’s four-day Vegas run at the Tuscany Suites & Casino, we are going to eat, workshop, eat, drink, conspire, eat, and shenanigize our hearts out! The festivities will be centered around the Fremont East neighborhood of Downtown Las Vegas, an area north of the Strip and home to lots of exciting, new and innovative development.

We’re still working on the deets, but so far we’ve decided:

  • This day will revolve around fun. If you’re looking for boring, we will only disappoint you.
  • Components of the event will be optional. Want to lunch with the crew, but skip out before the workshop (topic TBA) begins? Not a problem! Care to meet up later on in the evening instead? DO. IT.
  • The day’s expenses will be minimal. You’ll be responsible for paying for your own eats, drinkies, and any extracurricular entertainment. Know that we are totally committed to keeping the workshop super affordable too, because we love you.
  • Emergency Arts will be accommodating our workshop space demands. They are located at 520 East Fremont St., Las Vegas, NV 89101. If you’re looking for lodging in Young Thumbs territory, there are gobs of (affordable!) hotels in the ‘hood.
  • Further details will be posted on theyoungthumbs.com as we get closer to the blessed event.
  • Any questions? Please ask ‘em in the comments section below.

Watch the three of us talk about this stuff (and more).

Please save the date, and pack accordingly. :)

***

Andrea Lipomi is a licensed massage therapist and esthetician who lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada. She also peddles massage therapy ebooks and NCBTMB-approved continuing education courses at ConfidentMassage.com, will travel hundreds of miles for a fantastic spa experience, and craves dark chocolate and Depeche Mode’s upcoming tour dates on an almost daily basis.

So This Is Grieving

When I found out, I was halfway through an afternoon shift at my office. One 60 minute appointment to go, and somehow I managed to get through it tear-free. Stunned. Numb. I think that’s what they call “shock”.

Your death was so unexpected. It’s been three weeks, and I still have moments where I forget you’re not here with us, just a phone call away, planning a September trip to Vegas.

Your face (so often smiling, bright eyes twinkling) is still omnipresent: occupying memory in my head and on my phone; online, daily; scattered throughout our house, adhered to stubborn, crispy, yellowed photo album guts. Your fantastical brand of inexhaustible generosity is everywhere, to the point where I can’t take a shit without cracking a smile at a perfectly tasteless knick-knack in the room. Little Brother, you’re the carefree to my uptight, the effort to my ‘meh’, the Fool to my Hermit, and my only regret (if that’s even what it is – words don’t seem to exist to describe the vast glut of feelings in this realm) is that I wish I had given your influence so much (over)due respect while you were still on the other end of that line.

Kind SouI, you should know I miss you daily. The void is real, and today it feels like panic-attack-chest-wrenching. Tomorrow it will feel like something slightly – or entirely – different, probably painful at worst, or uncomfortable at best, and despite the high probability that tears will rain down my cheeks at some point throughout the day, I cannot be angry with you for leaving. You are so deserving of sympathy, love, and understanding insofar as my stunted brain cells are capable of providing. Truly, you are treasured and adored.

Dear Friend, I know I have to become a better person, because you are. I will strive to listen as you listened, and to be as thoughtful and as generous to others as you were to those you loved. It won’t be easy, but I am bound to honor your existence in this way. (Even if I come somewhat close, the world wins.)

Three weeks in, I no longer view the greatest division among humanity as a barrier between the haves and have-nots, political adversaries, or religious ideologues. This boundless chasm lies between the living and the dead. What the latter have forfeited, we are charged with honoring — by crafting the remainder of our own lives in the most kickass fashion possible.

 

To my beloved brother Petey, for all of this and more, thank you.

 

***

Andrea Lipomi is a licensed massage therapist and esthetician who lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada. She also peddles massage therapy ebooks and NCBTMB-approved continuing education courses at ConfidentMassage.com, will travel hundreds of miles for a fantastic spa experience, and craves dark chocolate and Depeche Mode’s upcoming tour dates on an almost daily basis.

Time for some closure…

It’s been almost a year, since I was at the Boston Marathon.

It started out to be one of the highlights of my career, and I was excited to go there on behalf of Bon Vital, and the Massage Therapy Foundation.

The day of the race started out like any other day, and it seemed really calm…but with 1,000’s of marathon runners, and 1,000’s of fans cheering them on.

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I was set-up in the grandstand to videotape the MTF runners to cross the finish line. Then, an event that has changed my life occurred. I heard a loud sound right across from me, and quickly turned on my video camera to see if there was going to be more fireworks (that is what I thought it was at first). I then caught the second bomb on videotape, and slowly saw a lot of bodies lying on the concrete after the dust started to clear.

There hasn’t been a day that I haven’t thought about that horrific event, and it will forever be ingrained in my mind. It has gotten better with time, and seeing a counselor soon afterwards helped. I’m really looking forward to attending the marathon again in April of this year, and not only to see all the MTF runners cross the finish line, but also to put some closure to the memories that have haunted me for the past year. I will not allow last years event haunt me, and I know the marathon will be 10x’s safer.

My #1 goal this year, is to “NOT” be on national T.V.!

I’m ready to face my fears head-on, and it’s time to be “Massage Therapist Strong!
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12 Sales and Marketing Terms Massage Therapists Need to Know

John Gelb is a friend of mine, and the head honcho over at At Peace Media where you’ll find great massage music and outstanding webinar-style CE courses for massage therapists. John is not a massage therapist, but he understands us more than most civilians I’ve met, so I’m excited to bring you this guest post. Enjoy!

1. Friction

This is a perfect example of jargon. Friction might mean one specific thing in, say, massage, and then another when you’re talking about high or low friction in the sales process.

Low friction is the goal, because friction is anything that may impede the sale.

Example: Your homepage has a large clickable image inviting me to purchase a special spring massage package. I click it and instead of being able to purchase the deal on the next page, I find another link to click. Then I’m taken to a third party website and have to fill out a 2-page form before I can even enter my credit card number. That’s an example of high friction and as a customer, I’ll probably get frustrated and go check Facebook instead of finishing the transaction.

2. Scalable

Scalability is a characteristic of a system or process that describes its capability to cope under increased or decreased workloads. This is tied into “economies of scale” where ideally there is an increase in efficiency of production as the number of goods being produced increases.

Example: A scalable massage practice maintains or improves its profit margins while the clients and bookings increase.

3. Barrier to entry

Barrier to entry is a term used to describe the complex mix of barriers when a business enters a new market. The article, Barrier to Market Entry, on Inc.com describes the two extremes: “Entry into a market is always in some way possible yet also constrained in some ways—except in purely theoretical descriptions. The two extremes are described by a state-supported absolute monopoly on the one hand (an insurmountable barrier to a new entrant) and a market on the other hand where entry has zero cost (a totally barrier-free market).”

The major categories that translate into barriers are cost, capital, know-how, location, and state power.

Example: A small business owner like yourself benefits in an underserved area, with good location, and plenty of “differentiation” that makes you stand out from the competition. This would be a low barrier to entry.

4. Buying cycle (Sales cycle, purchase cycle, life cycle)

People go through stages as they interact with your company, and each stage requires different marketing actions. HubSpot calls this “Lifecycle Marketing.”

Depending on who is talking, the buying cycle stages can be defined differently, but it goes something like this for your ideal customer:

Problem recognition
I feel like I need a massage.

Information search
Where might I get a massage? Let’s ask Google (or my best friend, Kathy).

Evaluation
SmartCity Massage has a good deal right now. I trust my friend Kathy and her favorite massage therapist is Mark Jones. From my online research I’ve definitely ruled out E-Z Massage.

Purchase decision
Can I really afford this massage? Should I go ahead and book it now, or wait a week? Should I call or just fill out this form online?

Post-purchase behavior
I booked my appointment with Mark Jones, received a stellar massage, now I’m booking an appointment for next month! And I’m going to give Mark a shout out on Twitter.

5. Content marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating valuable content that will attract your target market to your website or brand.

Content examples: blog articles, infographics, how-to videos, and downloadables like ebooks and guides.

6. Call to Action (CTA)

Words, buttons, images that are used to get a visitor to take a certain action. A CTA at the end of a blog post might be a simple link or a button that says “Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!”

Or, something like this (subtle, right?) …

7. Conversion Rate

A conversion rate, generically, is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on a website. The action could be purchasing something (which is a conversion from visitor to customer) or they could be filling out a form (conversion from visitor to lead).

Example: If 100 people visit your online booking form, and 30 of them fill out that form, then the form has a 30% conversion rate…not too shabby. If the conversion rate is low, it’s time to fix the form or process to get a higher conversion rate.

8. Inbound marketing

HubSpot has been the leader of formalizing inbound marketing, and according to their website it is “the most effective marketing method for doing business online.” It is the process of turning strangers into customers and promoters of your business, through strategic use of tactics like blogging, social networking, keyword optimization, lead capturing, email marketing and more. This is the visual representation of how to attract visitors, convert them to leads, close a sale and delight your customers using Inbound Marketing methods:

Image credit: HubSpot

 9. Pay Per Click (PPC)

You’ll hear this whenever someone is talking about Google Ads or other kinds of online advertising. PPC is a payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying click-throughs (when someone clicks on your ad).

10. Memes

An internet meme is a concept that spreads from person to person throughout the web. It’s a term borrowed from cultural studies about the spread of information. Think of photos or images with text on them (like the original LOLcats have evolved into the many iterations of talking cat memes, like Grumpy Cat). Tip: You can use memes in your social media marketing!

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11. Downsell and Upsell

When a client or customer rejects a more expensive product, you might try to sell them something more affordable. This is the opposite of upselling a more expensive product or an additional item to a customer who wants to buy something less expensive.

Example of downselling: Client is interested in your (10) one hour massage package but hesitates over the price. You might suggest a (5) one hour massage package instead.

Example of upselling: Client buys a gift certificate, and you suggest a bottle of massage oil or lotion to go along with it.

12. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of choosing targeted keyword phrases related to a site, and ensuring that the site places well when those keyword phrases are part of a web search. Everyone gets really worked up about SEO because they want to be at the top of the Google search results page. Nice job, Young Thumbs! You are winning.

What are some marketing and sales terms that you’ve come across that made you scratch your head?

Why is using professional products and equipment so difficult?

We’re pretty psyched to bring you this guest post from Tracy Bradley. She smart, hilarious, and knows what she’s talking about. 

tracyWhy is using professional products and equipment so difficult? I really would like to understand. I’m all for saving money but raiding our pantry isn’t exactly putting our best face out there, you know? That’s right; I’m all in a tizzy about slow cookers, rice cookers and turkey roasters being used by massage therapists instead of towel cabinets and hot stone warmers.  And I guess I’m not really MAD exactly, I just don’t understand the resistance to professional equipment.

Let’s start with the fact that slow cookers are designed to cook. We aren’t trying to cook our towels and stones, are we? I know I’m not. I started out with a slow cooker when I first decided to try hot towels during sessions. I wanted to make sure I could incorporate heat into treatments and that my clients would enjoy it before I invested money in a hot towel cabinet. During that month I scorched quite a few towels. The smell of burnt towels and lavender doesn’t go away easily. Before you say it, yes, I tried different settings and adding more water. But the outcome was the same: my towels cooked in the slow cooker. I rejoiced with the Happy Dance of Joy the day my cabinet arrived! Woo hoo and squeals and “look at this!” were repeated for a couple of days.

My husband was happy when this piece of equipment arrived, too. He’s an insurance agent and was NOT excited about any extended use of a slow cooker for towels. He’s fun and funny most of the time but he tends to always look at things from a liability stand-point. Our insurance company might not cover claims upon finding appliances misused. Furthermore, the insurance of the building owner might not cover claims upon finding appliances misused. It’s been drilled into my head:

  • What if there is a fire?
  • What if you burn someone?
  • What if you burn yourself?
  • What if you don’t pass an inspection?

If you use proper equipment you are more likely to be covered for accidents. (Not a guarantee of coverage here, each claim/company is different.)

I’ve interjected my opinions about hot towel cabinets and hot stone warmers in Facebook group discussions. I’m of the minority. When I bring these things up people always remind me that fires and accidents happen with proper equipment, too. Yes, I’m well aware of that. My point isn’t to prevent accidents (although proper equipment COULD prevent overheating) it is to better prepare yourself in case of an accident.  Cover your ass. You have intake forms, SOAP charts and privacy policies so why skimp on equipment?

I also recommend the use of a professional hot stone warmer. Yes, they are expensive, but there are options. Shop around. Find a size that works for you. I like the ones with a digital thermometer on the outside. Mine is easy to control and easy to read. And it looks nice.

Slow cookers, rice cookers and turkey roasters don’t exactly look great in our treatment rooms. Some of the newer models are shiny and pretty, but really, they look cheap and unprofessional. (I’m not saying ugly because I realize that the professional things of which I speak aren’t exactly beautiful.) We spend a lot of time in Facebook groups venting because we aren’t being taken seriously by certain folks. Start getting serious. Upgrade one thing at a time. They are tax-deductible (check with your tax expert on exactly how). And you can find great bargains on auction sites.

You have a top-of-the-line table so why skimp on other equipment? Do you think the franchises use turkey roasters? (If they do, please correct me as I’m going by their advertisement photos.)

What do you use in your treatment room and why?

*Please note that I am not a mobile therapist.

Tracy Bradley is a Licensed Massage Therapist, kick-ass mom, and owner of The Comfort Zone Massage in Paris, Arkansas. 

Eleven Phrases to get Your Client to Relax, Without Saying “Relax”.

We all have those few clients who have a hard time relaxing. Some are chatty, some are extra tense and stressed, and some just truly don’t know how to physically relax. You give their arm a gentle shake and their response is to raise it higher…you rock their leg gently and they start rocking it for you…none of your non-verbal cues seem to be working, so you resort to “Go ahead and relax your arm for me…” on some clients, that gentle reminder is all they need to remember to release the tension in their arm or hips and the session progresses as normal. For some though, the mention of the word “relax” can be confusing and even in some rare instances perceived as accusatory. I find this particularly common with women, especially women with a busy family life.

The word “Relax” comes with all sorts of connotation. Everyone knows they need to relax more and stress less, especially everyone who ends up on your table. We live in a culture with numerous technological advances that were supposed to free us up to have more leisure time and do less work…but often times have had the opposite effect. So many of us (myself included) try to cram so much more into our days than is humanly possible to achieve…simply because we can. We strive for growth and excellence and sometimes we lose our balance in it all. The list of tasks most of us have is so long…scheduling in a massage may be the only down time we have (and thank goodness for that, and our opportunity and honor to be a part of that.) It is SO easy for anyone to say: “I know I should relax, but I can’t.” Letting go is hard. Getting on the table is the first step.

So when you say “relax”, the client can hear so much more. They can start beating themselves up in an instant if you let them. I have found it important, for this subset of clients, to avoid the use of the word “relax” altogether.

These phrases help avoid:

The annoyed, “I am relaxed”, as his shoulders are 3 inches off the table and he’s holding his breath, pointing his toes towards the wall.

The helpless “I just can’t relax” as she holds her arm up for you.

Or my personal favorite, “That’s just how my body is” as her arms are folded neatly over her stomach and she is sticking out the goods and elongating her neck, trying to look pretty on the table.

If you have ever run into one of these problems, or notice clients becoming more tense when you use the word “relax”, try using one of these phrases instead:

  1. “Pretend you are a rag doll.”
  2. “Be a sack of potatoes.”
  3. “Don’t hold up the weight of your body, let me hold it for you.”
  4. “Let me hold that arm/leg for you.”
  5. “Let those joints go loose.” “Let that shoulder go loose.” etc
  6. “Let the weight of that arm/leg/shoulder fall to the floor.”
  7. “Allow those muscles to release” “Allow them to melt into the table.”
  8. “Give me a spaghetti arm/spaghetti leg.”
  9. “Allow that arm/leg to go slack.”
  10. “Let your full weight sink in to the table.”
  11. If you are stretching a leg and the client tries to stretch it for you try: “Release the tension in your lower back, now your hip, your leg, your knee, your calf and ankle, there we go.” Normally they will release about halfway through. You usually don’t have to repeat this sequence on the second leg…but sometimes you will. You can use this sequence for any body part, obviously, working proximal to distal in your recitation.
  12. *Edit: added 4/14/14* Bonus number 12! I forgot about this one but I use it a lot: “Soften your shoulder”, “Soften your elbow for me” “Soften your hip and knee” etc. It works very well.

I find that avoiding possessive pronouns when possible (using this/that/those/a instead of you/your), as well as using verbs that reinforce their control (allow/let) is more empowering for them, allowing them to live in their physical bodies and disengage from their vision and mental embodiment of Self. Don’t allow them to think that they don’t have the ability to relax. Through your words, you give them the power and help them recognize that they can make the conscious choice to release (obviously, only if they are physically able to and with extra practice for some who are very resistant mentally).

These phrases should be used in conjunction with your non verbal cues. I have found them to be very effective for most clients. If after this, they are still resistant and say something like “I’m just not a relaxed person” then I change my approach and start using different techniques on the body part I am working on, while using my standard reply: “No worries, it takes some time but we will get you there. There’s my job security.” and a smile. The next time, I try out a different phrase or combination of phrases…but I will usually find the right one for a particular client in the first session.

They haven’t made a liar out of me yet :)

I hope that this is helpful for some of you that might be struggling with this particular issue. If you have additional ideas/verbal cues to add please do so below in the comments!

(Author’s note: I just couldn’t resist the Dirty Dancing reference. Side note, I found this while googling for it. Hehe)

 

After 17 Years…

Yes, I’ve been in the massage industry for 17 years now, and I’m feeling like dinosaur! 

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While was in massage, received my first massage table from my parents as gift, 

and it was an Earthlite table. It was great table, and it met all my needs at the time, 

but recently have realized that it was time to get major facelift…I mean table lift. 

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Back then my parents paid over $600 for the table, and it wasn’t even the highest priced 

table out there at the time. There wasn’t much for cheaper tables in 1997, and I’m glad my 

parents got me quality table, because you must invest in your supplies. 

I have always told my students that the lowerend tables are great for starting out, 

and you get what you pay for, but you need to upgrade to something that can last a life-time…or at least 17 years :)
 

Below is my video review of the Infinity Conforma™ Massage Table from Earthliteand yes; 

did get purple table (because my wife and daughters love the color purple).

#AndreasBeautySchoolAdventures

This wasn’t how I expected my six month stint in nail school to end. Today was a surreal, jacked up day for a lot of people, and I feel a little bit guilty about being the luckiest girl in the world.

 

***

 

8:00 am: Ms. Lorraine, my nail technology instructor, sat on the metal steps outside the entrance to Destination Academy, a lit cigarette held with the assuredness of a military veteran turned hairstylist with a combined 40 years in the trenches.

“I’m glad you came to school today.”

“Ummm, why?” I asked suspiciously.

“It’s your last day. They’re closing down the school. You’re going to be the last graduate.”

“Oh shit.”

What followed was a chaotic morning of classmates (hair, skin and nails) arriving at school to be met with a frazzled “Pack up your stuff and hurry! The constable is here and he’s going to lock the doors. Your hours will be forwarded to the state board. Take everything with you. Quickly!” Teachers and office employees wore the same shocked expression as students. Panicked tears fell and tempers flared.

Some students had pre-paid their tuition in full (anywhere from $4,000 – $20,000), and still had several months remaining before they were scheduled to graduate. Teachers began planning their day’s trek to the unemployment office. The ethical office employees took responsibility for locating and rescuing everyone’s paperwork that proved their attendance. Countless boxes, cases and computers were shuffled out of the building into waiting vehicles.

Destination Academy is (was?) located above Destination Manhattan, a day spa and salon owned by the same person. Upon emerging from the second floor, it became obvious that the shitstorm that had enveloped Destination Academy was relatively mild in comparison to the bedlam laying waste at ground level. Here, dozens of employees and chair renters scurried to remove their belongings – including large items, like furniture and stationary massage tables – from the building before the ever-present yet even-tempered constable had the locksmith change the locks.

Over the course of the next 90 minutes, moving trucks pulled up one after the other while fuming beauty professionals directed the movers on where to haul cabinets, bins, and gigantic hair dryers. Cell phone use was ubiquitous, as friends and family members were summoned to listen, calm, and ultimately show up in pickup trucks. Appointment cancellation calls to clients came next, and without warning. Not surprisingly, Gary, the hairstylist turned salon and beauty school owner — who apparently hadn’t been paying the rent for who knows how long – was nowhere to be found during this entire debacle.

I could tell you that this turn of events came as a complete surprise, but that would be a lie. I attended Destination Academy in 2008 to be educated in the science of skincare, and rumors of school closure ran rampant back then, too. Just last year, a handful of trusted sources informed me of bounced checks (both payroll and payment to vendors) and declined company credit cards. Kits and textbooks for newly enrolled students were on “backorder” for months, and basic items (gloves, hair color, facial products, etc.) necessary to perform basic services (hair coloring, facials, etc.) would run out, never to be replaced. But we tend to get lulled into a state of complacency when at the 11th hour we manage to make do with what we have. I mean, the lights were still on in the damn building as recently as 7 o’clock tonight, and rumors are just rumors, right?

As for how this affects your humble narrator, I just really hope it doesn’t. Thanks to my lovely teachers (and for everything it’s worth, I consider you ladies friends to whom I am eternally grateful), I was able to sign off on my attendance sheets proving 600 hours of instruction before I went home today. Hopefully the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology accepts my paperwork without incident, at which point I can schedule my written exam, and after that my practical exam (where I have my way with a fake plastic hand while state employees observe with a critical eye). If I can maintain any semblance of luck at all, I will be set up to do natural nail manicures and pedicures at Feetish Spa Parlor sometime this spring.

And that’s pretty much it for #AndreasBeautySchoolAdventures. I had begun working on a rather boring and uninspired blog post last week in anticipation of my red carpet-walking, certificate-receiving graduation extravaganza, but apparently life detests a dull blog post even more than I do. As a reminder, you can hit up #AndreasBeautySchoolAdventures on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to take a gander at how I’ve spent five long hours per day, five long days per week, over the last six long months. Hopefully the 202 morsels of hashtagged wonder that pop up prove that it hasn’t all been bad, or all for nothing.

 

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What a day.

 

***

Andrea Lipomi is a licensed massage therapist and esthetician who lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada. She also peddles massage therapy ebooks and NCBTMB-approved continuing education courses at ConfidentMassage.com, will travel hundreds of miles for a fantastic spa experience, and craves dark chocolate and Depeche Mode’s upcoming tour dates on an almost daily basis.

You might be a Mobile Massage Therapist if…

 

 

 

…you own 22 pairs of nail clippers and 1,684 nail files…and they are scattered in every room in your home, every bag you own and every compartment of your car. You know they are there…somewhere…

 

…stairs are your mortal enemy.

 

…you have learned Zen and the Art of Not Flipping Jerky Drivers off on the Freeway…because, you know,  your car has your phone number on it now.

 

…you know where the handicap accessible entrances are in every large building in your town.

 

…people in elevators have pointed at your table/cart and asked you why you brought a bed with you to the hotel.

 

…you’ve done a massage while someone held their dog/cat/infant daughter on their stomach for the entire session.

 

…you bring your massage table car shopping…and station wagons start looking like mighty fine rides.

 

…you get asked at least twice a week if you are creeped out by going to stranger’s houses.

 

…your other cup holder has been known to tote a backup bottle of massage oil.

 

…you’ve been amazed at how many people don’t know their own building number or gate code.

 
…you have come up with at least 4 alternative designs for your massage table cart, all while walking some distance with it. You’ve never fabricated any of them, but you can dream.

 

…you’ve had recurring dreams of being stuck in traffic while your poor client waits for you across town.

 

…when someone complains about how long it takes to drive somewhere, you bite your tongue and smile.

 

…you’ve ever forgotten your table cart, and the stretch of hotel from the parking area to the guest elevators might as well be the Sahara Desert.

 

…you carried it all the whole way anyway, and regretted it later.

 

…to you, your client’s cute yard ornaments look more like an obstacle course, complete with booby traps.

 

…and last but not least, though this might be a southwest LMT exclusive… you might be a mobile massage therapist if your massage table has ever gotten snagged on a cactus.

 

 

Thank you, and good night!

Please feel free to add more mobile massage specific ones below! :) 

MassageNerd’s Year In Review…

2013 has been a wild year for me, both good and bad, and I’d like to share it all of you.

I started off the new year, by deciding to take better care of myself and to start dropping some pounds (I actually started November 2012), and I have shed 50 pounds so far, and just 15-20 to go, so I can fit into size 32 pants again. I first started doing it because people kept commenting on my videos that I was fat, and finally decided to do it for myself, because I had borderline sleep apnea and that is totally gone now, and the biggest benefit for me is my wife says I hardly snore at all.

I launched my Consulting Business in January, and I’ve been videotaping and shooting photos of REAL massage therapists ever since. So many massage websites have photos with non massage therapists, and horrible body mechanics, and my goal is to bring it back to the true vision of massage therapy. I plan to continue on building this business, and I really see a need for it, and I hope others do to.

April was a hard month for me. Bon Vital’ and the Massage Therapy Foundation asked me to go to the Boston Marathon to videotape the three runners as they cross the finish line. Well, I never got to videotape them, because when I first heard a loud sound (I thought it was fireworks), I then turned on my video camera. I videotaped the second bomb going off, and it is a memory that will never leave me. It took me over a month to get back to somewhat normal, and I still deal with it from time-to-time, but I received counseling soon after it happened, and I needed that. I now know the true effects of PTSD, and my biggest hang up was; I felt bad for feeling so crappy about the incident, because so many people were injured, and I didn’t have any permanent damage. My physiologist classified it as survivor’s guilt. In the first 12 hours after it happened, I was interviewed over 30 times by news stations all over the world, and the next day I was on Katie Couric.

Here is the video I shot of the 2nd bomb.

Youtube has still been good to me, and I recently crossed the 165 million mark, averaging over 40,000 views a day, uploaded over 4,700 videos, and I have 40,000+ subscribers. Youtube is now the 2nd largest search engine, and I think I‘m contributing to that, by being on it 10+ hours a day :)

Facebook has been another story. I love facebook for the most part, but it can be addicting, and it’s really hard to express your true feelings and emotions on social media. I started the MassageNerd Group this year, because my FB page was getting too many questions asked, and it was filling up people’s news feed. I wish social media could become an in person platform, but we have what we have, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

I went on my first vacation, that didn’t involve work or visiting relatives. It was a cruise to celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary, and we renewed our vows after the cruise. I think I’m hooked on cruises now, but I wished I lived closer to a port.
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My daughters are in 2nd and 6th grade, and they have exceeded my expectations in their schoolwork. My youngest was at the bottom of her class for reading level, and she recently shot to the top of her class…funny how 30+ minutes of reading a day will make you excel.
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November was a hard month for our family! The typhoon hit the Philippines, and most of my wife’s relatives were right in the path of it. Most of them live in Palompon, Leyte (just a few hours away from the hardest hit areas). It was five days, before we knew if they were ok, because all the power and cell phone towers were destroyed. They had to travel to another island to buy a generator and call us to let us know that they all survived. My wife is part of the Philippine American Association of Rochester MN, and they have been organizing many fundraising events, and they have raised over $5,000 so far. We have been sending money over to her relatives regularly from our own money and some of my friends also sent me money to help them out in this disaster.

Her hometown…before and after.

Core Products
giving back.

That’s my year in review…how about yours?