October 31, 2007

Announcing Find Touch Service Beta Release!

We are pleased to announce the Beta release of Find Touch – new online job marketplace for the Massage industry.

Find Touch makes it easy for Massage Employers and Massage Professionals to connect for short-notice work opportunities. It provides Employers with a smart search mechanism to quickly locate Massage Professionals based on job requirements such as modality practiced, years in practice or minimum hourly rate of compensation. Find Touch communicates with Professionals and Employers by Email and Text Messages to shorten the communication cycles involved in a job match, recognizing that time is of the essence when trying to staff same day job openings.

Massage Professionals use Find Touch to build a profile that Employers see and to maintain their Calendar availability so that Find Touch knows which jobs match their schedule. They then receive job invitations and notifications about publicly posted jobs for which they can apply.

The Find Touch Beta release involves no transaction charges, but is otherwise is a fully functioning version of the service with core functionality enabled. Find Touch Beta is being made available in the greater Seattle area and is accepting new registrations from Seattle-based businesses and licenced massage therapists interested in trying out the service.
Those interested to learn more or to register should visit the company’s website at http://www.findtouch.com/

Ready-to-use SOAP charts for your massage practice

So I got a question in my email and I wanted to share my answer as it contains information that could be useful to many therapists.

The question that was posed to me is "Do you know of where I could find clean SOAP charts to use in my practice?" This is great. I figured if one person has a question like this then there are definitely others who are wondering about the same thing.

An exceptional resource is a book out there called Hands Heal by Diana Thompson. (3rd Edition) The great thing about this book is that if you are unsure or do not have the SOAP charting skills you would like to have, she teaches you how to SOAP chart and gives you great examples of all kinds. Examples range from a treatment oriented SOAP to chair massage SOAP's to wellness and spa SOAP's. You will definitely have all your bases covered if you are using this book.

But you're probably wondering, "Well, that's great, Julie, but where are the forms to be found?" To answer this, I will say that Diana has included a CD-ROM that has the forms on it. She's also given full permission for you to take these forms and make them your own. Yes, that's right all you have to do is print the appropriate form and add your header and logo to the top. She makes it easy!

Hope that is information is useful to you. I do wonder also, how many therapists are out there that have actually taken continuing education about SOAP charting? I know that I've had the opportunity because I am an instructor in massage but what about the rest of you out there?
Is SOAP charting a priority to include in our practice? Would love your take on this subject!

October 21, 2007

Male practitioners, the underdogs of the industry

The industry is filled with amazing practitioners from every walk of life. We all have a vast amount of knowledge to share with the world around us. We, massage practitioners take a huge pride in facilitating the healing power of another individual. It's monumental, the influence we have on the people we are around. Yet there is still a huge difference in the male population of massage practitioners versus the females.

Why is that? The last time I came across a statistic from the AMTA (about six months ago), it said that the female percentage versus male was/is 85/15. This is huge!! In few other industries do you see such a huge difference.

The encouraging thing is that I am finding more and more male students coming through the doors of massage therapy schools. But the challenge doesn't just end with school enrollment. You see, there is a double standard, female clients hesitate to be touched by males and male clients are reluctant to be touched by males. I've actually seen where male practitioners have left the field because of this. So this puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on the guys to figure out how to build a client base.

I'd like to hear from you all. What are your thoughts on this? How can we get the general public to grow past this and more the industry further into a more balanced place? How can we educate the public?

Growing number of Massage Therapists and Longetivity

As a massage therapist and instructor at Ashmead college, I find it interesting it seems like the Seattle area massage community is saturated. I hear concerns from current practitioners as well as from students to the effect of "Am I gonna be able to make it out there?" or "It seems like there is a massage therapist everywhere I look, I find it hard to build a clientele."

Another seemingly obvious situation is that more places are offering massage now. Chiropractors are offering massage to complement their spinal adjustments and injury treatment. Spas are not only offering foo-foo type massage but are really looking into the revenue generation that massage brings in. Even high end hair salons are coming to the same conclusion, if I offer in a massage service I can generate more. And while all these examples may be good business type decisions, where does it leave us practitioners? Is supply getting ahead of demand?

And yet there are more and more massage students going through school. Massage schools are aggressively advertising to increase their enrollment. They are offering special referral programs to their alumni to increase their numbers. There are so many new students coming into the field everyday! With so many new practitioners coming into the field, what is happening with the more seasoned practitioners? Are we healthy and practicing or are we hurting ourselves; are we only doing massage part time; is the community actually supporting the increase of practitioners in this area?

I guess I am trying to get a handle on what is really going on with more and more people entering our field. Does anyone have a thought on this? What is the biggest concern current therapists have regarding longevity in this career?


Hey there!

In our new 'blogsphere' age, there seem to be a zillion blogs for just about any topic you can think of. But not many I have discovered that provide a convenient and open forum for us, Massage Therapists, to talk about issues facing our profession, to share tips and best practices.

As the saying goes, 'if you can't find it, create it,' and so, as a massage therapist and co-founder of Find Touch, I wanted to help create this missing place of connection to bolster our massage community.

One question that has been on my mind lately is this - What makes for a good place to work? I mean when you apply for a job at a spa or medical office your resume says something about you, but what about the flip side? If we were to request a 'resume' from a prospective employer, what information would be on it - good pay, clean space? What else? Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Welcome and I look forward to hearing from you!