In taking time to pause and reflect, I came up with THE TOP 5 WAYS THE MASSAGE INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED IN 29 Years....
1. CALLING vs. CAREER
Back in the day when Massage wasn't quite accepted and popular, it was a big deal to meet another body worker or massage therapist. There weren't many of us and we formed our own little tribe of passionate pioneers who had a calling to share the healing power of TOUCH.
We traveled the country and around the world seeking out masters and gurus to teach us, obsessed with learning everything it takes to become a GREAT therapist. Back then, it was a calling that turned into a career and livelihood. Over time, we grew into becoming healers.
More often today, people are entering the field seeing it as a career and sometimes just a job. When approaching the work as a technician, there is a lack of the qualities that come from a deeper calling to learn more and serve better. We can FEEL it...it's immensely different to be touched/massaged by someone just going through the motions-doing a routine and someone who truly has their heart and soul in it.
2. Customized vs. Commercialization
It's wonderful that massage has gone mainstream and lots more people have discovered the healing powers of touch. It's downright amazing how Massage franchises have popped up everywhere in the last decade or so BUT at what cost...
It used to be that massage businesses were privately owned, solo individuals and boutique establishments with hands-on owners who knew and understood what it takes to create a truly healing experience. That's changing...
With the globalization of franchises, it's become big business and with that de-personalized. Sadly, it's losing some of its heartfelt touch and much of the essence of healing. Massaging people cannot be seen or approached as an assembly line process. It doesn't work that way. It's like comparing fast food and fine dining.
I'll always treat my business as if we're a fine dining experience by paying attention to the very small details and offering a quality and personalized experience!
3. 30/60/90 vs. 25/50/80
It used to be that a one hour massage was 60 minutes. A 1/2 hour massage was 30 minutes and an hour and half was 90 minutes. It makes no sense to me that now more than ever with stress levels being off the charts higher to shorten the time on the table. One thing I will never stand for is lessening the time on the table for the sole business purpose of squeezing more treatments into a day to increase profits. I don't believe in therapists having to rush through a full body massage in 50 minutes with only 10 minutes between clients. Call me old-fashioned but I like a full hour on the table and don't want to feel rushed whether I'm on the giving or receiving end. Why can't we SLOW DOWN and not rush our massage time PLEASE!
4. It's Harder to Find Good Massage Therapists
There's lots more massage therapists out there today but it's not easy finding really great therapists. We've been lucky over the years and have an extraordinary team of caring and talented heart-centered therapists. It's not easy finding the "right" person who shines with positivity and fits in with our holistically minded culture. Lucky for us, many of our therapists have stayed on for up to 20 years and longer.
Hard to believe with summer right around the corner and only a couple weeks before our busy season, I'm still looking for one more massage therapist. If anyone you know comes to mind, don't be afraid to send them my way. I promise they'll be in really good hands! 💜(wink wink)
5. LUXURY vs. NECESSITY
More and more people are recognizing the benefits of regular massage therapy. Even though massage has been used throughout the ages for health and healing, only recently has evidence based research help to open the doors taking Massage Therapy mainstream. It's finally time to dispense with any notion of massage as only a luxury, feel good splurge with no real health benefits. On the contrary, massage is true hands-on-healing. Scientific studies indicate that massage lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, lowers our cortisol/stress hormones and raises our levels of health boosting hormones: serotonin and dopamine. So yes, while massage feels like a luxury, it is also darned good medicine! 😊
Shout out to ALL the massage therapists and allied health professionals around the globe working hard to create TRUE HEALTH CARE and are committed to the EXPERIENCE vs. the PROFIT.
I'm grateful for all the teachers, mentors, healers and gurus that are helping to change the world. Thank you for answering the CALL. We sure have come a long way but we still have a long way to go!
Heartfelt gratitude and thank you!