Massage Therapy Products Enhance The Bodywork Experience

Massage therapists use several different massage therapy products to enhance the effectiveness and comfort of massage therapy sessions. For the most part, these are products that are basic to all types of massage therapy, although different massage therapy products are chosen depending on the type of massage and desired outcome. An overview of these products and their general purposes is outlined here.

Massage Oils

The purpose of oils used in massage therapy is primarily to make the body more workable. Massage oils make it easier for the massage therapist’s hands to glide smoothly and evenly over the skin, which make the massage both more effective and more comfortable for the client.

Many massage therapists choose to use safe, natural essential oils that also function to repair and soothe the skin, muscles, and soft tissues. Among the more regularly used essential oil massage therapy products are almond oil, apricot oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, wheat germ oil, and hazelnut oil. Holy oil is also frequently used as a carrier oil (one that delivers essential oils into the tissues) for these essential oils because its molecular structure is easily recognized and safely accepted by the human body.

In addition to providing natural relief, essential oils are also used in massage therapy as a means of relaxation; a number of different oils might be chosen as aromatherapy agents to enhance relaxation and reduce stress and tension.

Massage Lotions

Massage lotion is a massage product that is often chosen to replace massage oils in certain types of massage; massage lotions are effective massage therapy products which are chosen for deep-tissue massages when stimulation requires a non-slip technique with increased friction. Massage lotions are not greasy, so they allow the massage therapist to moisturize and deliver relief to tissues while providing the friction necessary for deep tissue work. The massage lotions used in massage therapy may include essential oils in the list of ingredients, delivered in a workable medium. These lotions are carefully balanced so as to provide optimal skin and tissue conditions; these are not your normal over-the-counter type moisturizing lotions.

Massage Creams & Gels

Massage creams and gels are still other types of massage therapy products used by massage therapists. These provide the “happy medium” between massage oils and massage lotions. Massage oils may provide too much glide, and massage lotions may absorb into the skin too quickly to elicit the desired effects. Massage creams and gels balance out between the two, providing a slowly absorbing, medium-glide moisturizer. As an added plus, massage creams and gels are used in smaller amounts, so there is no need to excessively apply product throughout a session.

Other Massage Therapy Products

In addition to functional massage therapy products like the oils, creams, gels, and lotions mentioned here, massage therapists often use other products to enhance the mood and overall massage experience. Candles, incense, stones, and relaxing music selections might all be employed.

Many massage therapists are happy to offer their high-quality products to their clients for sale. This allows the client to benefit from the products and continue the experience in the comfort of his or her own home.

A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Lower Back & Pelvic Pain

A MASSAGE THERAPIST’S GUIDE TO LOWER BACK AND PELVIC PAIN describes in detail the background to the evolution of “non-specific” backache as well as the assessment and treatment methods ideal for use in combination with massage therapy, deriving from physical therapy, osteopathic, and chiropractic sources. The book describes these methods individually and then integrates them into a detailed description of a massage session focusing on the person with backache. This unique book takes care to consider the needs of the massage therapist, who previously may have had to adapt his/her own methodology from descriptions aimed at other health care professionals.

  • Abundant illustrations enrich the text and bring content to life to make it easily understandable.
  • Bulleted point text and summaries allow the reader to quickly find information and review important content.
  • Easy-reference format and accessible language help break down concepts.
  • Included DVD demonstrates real-life examples of the palpation and treatment methods.

The Function And Importance Of Massage Therapy Intake Forms

Massage therapy intake forms serve an essential function for both the therapist and the client. Massage therapy intake forms communicate vital information that serves as the basis for treatment.

Why Therapists Need Massage Therapy Intake Forms

Intake forms for massage therapy are the first part of your client file; these are used to give the therapist information that will allow him or her to treat you in a safe and effective way.

Massage therapy is not performed equally for all patients. Many things can impact the amount/frequency of treatment you will receive, as well as the intensity and length of each session. What might be right for you could cause harm to a person with a specific condition. The questions on the massage therapy intake form are designed to educate the therapist as to your

• Medical history
• Current medical conditions
• Activity level
• Objective for treatment
• Personal philosophy of massage therapy (for example, do you view massage as a viable physical treatment or simply as a calm, relaxing, luxury?)

The intake form for massage therapy will also detail the basic necessities such as contact information and privacy disclosure.

The answers you provide to each of the questions on the form will tell the massage therapist what target areas need the most work, what type of massage will be most beneficial and most comfortable for you, and if there are methods, products, or stimulations that are contraindicated for you due to condition or allergy and so on.

The goal of the massage therapy intake form is to provide as individual a massage therapy experience as possible for the best possible outcome.

What Questions Can I Expect?

Your massage therapy intake form should not be overly invasive, but some essentials are necessary. The typical massage intake form will include questions which ask about

• Your contact information and address
• Stress levels
• Tension
• Headaches
• Health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, cardiac and circulatory problems
• Recent procedures or conditions including surgery, pregnancy, broken bones, tissue damage, back problems
• Issues with pain including back pain, areas of sensitivity, pressures, numbness, or stabbing pains

In addition, you will be given the opportunity on the massage therapy intake form to tell the therapist what your specific area(s) of concern is (are) and what you hope to achieve with massage therapy.

Your massage therapist will only need you to fill out a massage therapy intake form prior to your first visit, and periodically after ongoing treatment. The information you provide will allow your therapist to tailor a massage protocol specifically for you so that you will be able to reach whatever goals you have for your personal massage therapy experience.

Basic Massage Therapy Supplies For The New Massage Therapist

Good massage therapy relies on the use of a number of massage therapy supplies. New massage therapists will need to invest in a good stock of basic massage therapy supplies to get their practice started.

Massage therapists may be self-employed or find employment as part of a larger massage therapy business; additionally, a masseuse may be employed as part of a larger establishment such as a gym, fitness center, or sports team or facility. In some of these arrangements the new massage therapist’s supplies will be provided by the business they are working for, but in many instances massage therapy supplies are the responsibility of the masseuse. Even in situations where supplies are provided by the parent organization, many therapists choose to purchase their own stock of supplies to be able to operate on their own outside the facility.

By and large, most massage therapists find a need for a base of supplies and massage therapy equipment; though basic massage therapy supplies and equipment are enough to get a new therapy business started, there are several essential supplies any new massage therapist will need.

• Massage therapy table
A massage table is the most basic and most important piece of equipment. There are many options for new massage therapists, but often the most versatile choice is a portable table that can be folded and carried from office to office or client home. The benefit of a portable table (besides being able to make ‘house calls’) is that the table can easily be moved to a new office if the therapist decides to move on—as is often the case in the beginning.

• Oils
Massage oils serve a number of different purposes in massage therapy; some are used mainly for aromatherapy to relax and rejuvenate the client; others are used to treat certain conditions or relieve muscle tensions, and still others are used to reduce friction and enhance the experience. A basic set of massage therapy oils often includes almond oil, grapeseed oil, apricot oil, avocado, jojoba, wheat germ, hazelnut, and holy oil. Other creams and lotions may be preferable depending on the service offering and type of massage.

• Carrying/Display Case
Of course, a therapist will need a way to transport those oils if they are offering traveling services; a sturdy case that allows for secure transport is needed. If therapy services are offered only in an office, a display case is needed for access and for sales of oils offered to clients.

• Towels and Sheets
Comfortable towels and sheets are necessary for client privacy and hygiene. An investment into a good stock is one of the most essential massage therapy supplies.

The hands being the most important tool for a new massage therapist, only relatively few massage therapy supplies are needed to get a new business rolling. The massage therapy supplies suggested here provide a fairly comprehensive base that can be built upon as the business grows.

Best Buys For Massage Therapy Liability Insurance

Massage therapy liability insurance is critical for the protection of massage therapists and their businesses; in the majority of states in the U.S., liability insurance for massage therapists is required in order for a therapist to legally practice.

The regulations that cover massage therapy liability insurance vary from state to state; and since massage therapists comprise a relatively small portion of the working population, finding good insurance coverage at good prices locally can be very difficult. Local insurance agents do not usually have the experience and expertise to know what types and limits of coverage are needed, and their access to insurance for massage therapy liability is very limited in many cases; limited availability translates into increased price and decreased value.

To meet the variety of liability insurance needs of massage therapists, professional associations and organizations offer insurance coverage. In the vast majority of cases, a professional massage therapy organization or association is the best place for a massage therapist to buy massage therapy liability insurance.

Therapists who buy liability insurance through professional organizations benefit from

• Knowledge and expertise—professionals who know what types of coverage are needed to not only meet state liability insurance requirements, but also provide adequate additional insurance for the protection of the therapist, his or her business, and his or her property
• Large group buying power—with insurance, the larger the group, the lower the liability insurance rate; professional organizations are able to combine members into one group and negotiate the best rates available to massage therapists for massage therapy liability insurance.
• Ease and convenience—it is much easier to purchase an established, detailed insurance policy through a group than to spend hours educating local agents as to your professional liability needs and regulatory requirements. Buying massage therapy liability insurance through a member organization is a fast and simple application process. In some cases, liability insurance is included in membership packages.
• Exceptional coverage—the insurance requirements of states are not always realistic in the event of a claim against a massage therapy business. Insurance offered through professional organizations is usually better than average and will provide very good protection.

Therapists should be aware, however, that they need more than the required malpractice insurance for the best protection of themselves, their property, and their business. Professional liability will protect in the event that treatment results in a lawsuit; general liability may also be necessary, and will afford protection in case a client is injured on the therapist’s property. In addition, it may be prudent to purchase product liability to cover product injuries and reactions for both product used and sold by the therapist. Renter’s insurance and personal/advertising injury insurance may also be beneficial.

The cost of massage therapy liability insurance is relatively low (starting normally under $200). The protection, however, is well-worth the price if a client should claim injury or negligence, and so massage therapy liability insurance quickly proves its worth in the event of an unfortunate circumstance.