Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Pillossage Class



I took Pillossage with Karen Kowal a few weeks ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It's no secret I love Mother Earth Pillows (they're like heaven!), and I've been wanting to learn the thermal connective tissue release technique that Karen created using them ever since I first saw it at NERC (AMTA New England Regional Conference) in 2008. I was working in the Ashiatsu Deepfeet Bar Therapy booth, but got a chance to check out the other booths and fell in love with the aromatic Mother Earth Pillows. I hadn't gotten a chance to receive the work at that time. (Bummer!)

I found in class that it's nearly impossible to stay awake while receiving this work!  It completely zones clients out while receiving it. It's a great addition to any session, especially for those chatty clients that can't seem to relax.

From that first feather stroke down the body wrap pillow over the spine, clients seem to just sink into the table a bit more and really open up to receive. It's a gentle technique making it work well for most clients.

My clients comment all the time on the great aroma of the pillows. I've been incorporating them into my work for a while (mostly just to help keep clients warm) but after Karen's class, I have all sorts of awesome tricks to add in to my sessions with the warm pillows.

I found this arm and shoulder work in class especially yummy:



Went to write this blog post and realized I didn't get any pics with Karen while in class! Looks like I might have to make a road trip to her next class sometime soon for the self-care workshop she teaches. ;)




Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Deep Feet Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Thursday, April 21, 2016

6 Problems Massage Therapists Solve Using Bodywork Buddy




  1. Phone tag with clients

    If using the online scheduling aspect of Bodywork Buddy, massage therapists can greatly cut down on phone tag with clients and the back and forth of trying to get an appointment time that works for both client and therapist.

    The online scheduler will show open appointments in real time to clients looking to schedule while still allowing the therapist to keep control over their schedule.

    Clients want the convenience of online scheduling, so not only does it eliminate phone tag but it gives your clients what they want!


  2. Being unprepared for tax time
    Have you ever waited until the end of the year or even April to go through your entire book and add up your income? Uh... me neither....

    BWB actually makes it really easy to make recording your income a daily habit. And if you don't do it for every session? Those sessions will stay on your dashboard as overdue appointments so you'll remember that you still need to complete those and add payment info.


  3. Setting boundaries and enforcing policies
    Policies are included on the email reminders sent to clients, and you can also add them to your online intake forms for clients to agree to.

    It's important to have clear boundaries and policies, and BWB helps you enforce those.


  4. Tracking growth of business
    Do you know where your business is for this quarter? This month? How have you grown since this month last year? BWB makes it easy to find out with just a few clicks.


  5. Tracking gift certificates and packages
    "Oh you have a gift certificate but you didn't bring it with you or you don't know the number? No problem! I have it on file."


  6. Having a professional online presenceThe BWB microsite design has been made specifically for massage and to help you have a professional online presence. With massage specific images and videos, our online scheduler helps show clients what you do and how you can help them. You can also add your own images and text to completely personalize your microsite.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

What's Your Definition of Success?


I've been mulling over this topic for a while now, and keep trying to put into my own words what I'm thinking and feeling.

But this story of the Mexican fisherman is so on point for me, that I decided to just share this today and also the 10 lessons from this story shared by Courtney Carver on her blog BeMoreWithLess.com:

10 Lessons From the Story of the Mexican Fisherman


It's a quick read and worth it. I promise.







Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Deep Feet Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stuck in a Rut?


I recently added an electric fireplace to my massage studio (it's cozy!) and to make space for it I moved my table and rearranged a few other key pieces in my space. I've been at this current studio for a little over a year and this was the first time I moved my table and furniture. It got me thinking that it's a great thing to do whenever we start to feel stuck in a rut with our work.

I found myself a bit out of my element that first week massaging with the new setup. (In a good way!)

Here's some other small changes that I think can help shake things up when we find ourselves getting bored:


  • Add products to your sessions.
    Essential oils, foot creams, heated Mother Earth Pillows for just a few ideas.

  • Learn a new modality.
    Ok, so I'm totally biased when it comes to Ashiatsu DeepFeet Bar Therapy, but it's only because it made me fall in love with massage again at a time when I was feeling really burned out in this field. Learning a new way to work can get you out of a rut and also keep your clients amazed that you're always adding new techniques to your practice.

  • Change your music!
    Man this one is huge for me. I get bored with my music quickly, so it's really important for me to keep it fresh and try new things. It can be like an instant pick-me-up to have some new music playing where I don't know what is coming next.

  • Change your routine.
    Even if you don't learn a new modality or add in new products, you can easily shake things up by making changes to your routine. Usually start with the client supine? Try starting prone. Always end with the face? Try ending with the feet. It's simple but gets you out of your comfort zone just enough to make it interesting.


What ways do you find helpful to re-inspire your work when you've gotten bored?



Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Deep Feet Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bodywork Buddy Member Spotlight: Mary-Claire Fredette


Today's member spotlight is Mary-Claire Fredette of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mary-Claire owns Affinity Massage Studio





Q: What inspired you to be a massage therapist?

A: The 1st massage I ever got was way too deep, and it felt horrible. I only went back to the therapist because I had a gift certificate. She had a poster hanging on the wall about craniosacral, so I asked her about it and if she could do that on me instead. It was amazing—I felt so relaxed and calm afterwards. I had been looking to get my Master’s degree in something at the time, but I didn’t know what I wanted to go to school for—just that I wanted to help people.  She told me all about where she went to school and what was involved, so I went to the library and checked out some books about massage careers. (The internet wasn’t so helpful back then). I just thought that if I could make people feel so much better after an hour or so, how beneficial it would be for them physically as well as possibly emotionally.




Q: How long have you been doing massage?

A: I graduated from school in 1998 and got my LLC in early 1999. 





Q: What is your favorite thing about being a massage therapist?

A: I think my favorite thing about being an LMT is knowing how much I can make a difference in people’s lives—not just physically, but in creating ongoing relationships with them. Sometimes, our clients need someone to talk with, and that can help them as well too. Plus, I always feel better after I’ve given a massage.




Q: What do you feel is the most challenging issue for massage therapists?

A: Probably the most challenging issue that I see is how massage therapists can differentiate them from all the others with a specialty and to garner clients for that. 




Q: What advice would you give to other MT’s to help build their business?

A: Without a doubt, I tell them that if they’re looking to increase business, that having a website with online scheduling is a must. While word of mouth referrals are a great way to increase business, that can take a long time. Using the web, which almost everyone uses now daily, is the best way to educate the public about your business and what you specialize in. My clients love having the ability to use BWB online booking 27/4, and it saves me a ton of time.

Friday, February 12, 2016

How To Use Bodywork Buddy As Your Website (With or Without Online Scheduling)


Do you want to use Bodywork Buddy to keep track of your income, expenses, client files, gift certificates, etc. but don't want to offer your clients online scheduling? You can choose to not enable your microsite, so it will never be live online... but another option is to still have your microsite and use it as your business website but without the scheduling aspect.

To do this, you can set all of your services to private instead of public from Dashboard > services > main > click on each service under service code > select private from visibility dropdown box > save.






When all of your services are set to private, your microsite will look similar to this:



Want to use the microsite for your regular website and have your own domain name direct to it? You can purchase your own domain name and then contact us to help you point it to your Bodywork Buddy microsite. 

Of course you can also always offer online scheduling by having your services set to public, and still using your microsite as your main website that includes online scheduling.

Try Bodywork Buddy free for 15 days and see for yourself how it can make your life easier at tax time and year round!

Monday, February 1, 2016

How Can Optimized Scheduling Help You?



I recently wrote a blog post titled "It's Time To Kill These 4 Online Scheduling Myths" in which I talked about therapists who are afraid they will lose control over their schedule if they make the switch from paper.

A fellow MT commented that she likes to cluster her appointments together so that she doesn't have large gaps in her day and she didn't think there was any online scheduler that could offer her that option.

This is actually exactly what Bodywork Buddy's "optimized scheduling" does!




Optimized scheduling is an optional feature you can turn on or off at any time within Bodywork Buddy. When it's selected, it will cluster your appointments together so that only openings before or after an existing appointment will be shown to clients booking online.

Some benefits to this are:

  • eliminates large gaps in your day
  • makes you appear busier than you are / more in demand
  • gives you more control over your schedule


Let's take a look at just how this works. On this day, my entire schedule is open except for a noon appointment:



When I have optimized scheduling selected in my settings, this is what my clients will see when scheduling online. Only a 1:15pm appointment available because it is immediately after my 12:00 appointment with my buffer time of 15 minutes built in:



If I don't have optimized scheduling selected, my clients will see all of my open appointment times that day, starting with 1:15 and going all the way until the end of the day with the last appointment opening:



Pretty cool, right? This is just one of the ways Bodywork Buddy can help you maintain control over your schedule and make your life easier.

Want to try it out yourself? Signup for a free 15 day trial (no credit card required).






Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice since 1999, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Deep Feet Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com