Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy is more than an online scheduler. It's a complete online solution to manage your massage practice.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Add-Ons


The hot weather has arrived!  I read a recent discussion on Facebook about using hot stones during the warm weather months... while some therapists may choose to stop using hot stones in the summer, you could add in some "cooling" add-ons for your clients.  (I think these could pair well with hot stones, or be just as lovely on their own.)

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Cold stones on the face and behind the neck while supine
  • Peppermint oil hot towels for the feet
  • Peppermint, spearmint & eucalyptus in a diffuser
  • Cooling essential oil blend or peppermint oil on the back
  • Sombra or Biofreeze added to sessions
  • Chilled eye pillow, cucumber slices or cooled tea bags over the eyes
  • Chilled towels for the back at the start of the session
  • Refreshing flavored water offered to clients after massage
    (See A Muscle Therapist's Thoughts for some creative ideas!)
What kind of summer add-ons do you like to offer?



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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Watermarking Photos


Using your own photos for your massage website is a great idea.  (Remember When Good Websites Go Bad?)
But when you're putting your own pictures out there, it's a good idea to watermark them so that others can't use and claim them as their own.
What is a watermark?  It's a recognizable image or pattern used to identify authenticity.
While you can create your own watermarks in Photoshop or Paint.net (I sense a video tutorial on this coming soon!), there's also several sites where you can watermark your images for free.  Below are two I use often.
Cindy teaching Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy.

Watermarktool.com
Picmarkr.com

  1. Select the file you want to watermark from your computer.
  2. Upload to the watermarking site and follow directions to enter text for watermark.
  3. Download watermarked image to your computer.
Quick & easy!  
Here's a photo that I have watermarked as an example.
Have you already been watermarking your images?  What are your favorite tools to do so?



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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com


Monday, June 25, 2012

Ideas To Soundproof Your Massage Room


I used to work in a salon/spa.  It was a beautiful place.  The problem?  It was designed by the owners, who had never even had a massage in their life.

The massage room was back by the break room. The entire place had beautiful ceramic tile floors.  Beautiful, noise-carrying, ceramic tile floors.

During every massage, not only could I hear the conversations happening in the break room, but the constant sound of the hair stylists high heels clicking on the tile floor.  (How they could work all day on their feet in heels is beyond me! But that's a whole 'nother blog post...)

The noise drove me nuts.  But never mind me... the real problem?  It was bothering my clients, too.
While I didn't end up staying there long enough to bother with trying for a solution, I figured there are many other therapists out there in possible similar situations.

While I'm no expert on soundproofing, here's some ideas on how to semi-soundproof your massage room, or at least make the noise less noticeable.  (Without breaking the bank.)

I like the concept in this video.  Remember, you don't have to do every wall, or every part of the walls, to make a difference.




I know what you're thinking... why would I want foam covered walls?  But, you could get creative.

One solution to hide the foam is these awesome curtain panels from IKEA.  This therapist has a layer of blue fabric in the back, and then a few decorative panels in front for a cool look.
Both the curtains and the curtain panels would not only hide the foam, but add texture and visual interest to your room.

If you don't want to do the foam/cover up approach and don't mind investing a little more material and labor, another way to do some soundproofing is with Green Glue.  Their site includes suggestions for soundproofing existing walls by adding a layer of drywall after using Green Glue.

So, this cuts down on the noise through the walls... but what about that ceramic floor?  It's wise to invest in a rug for you room, with some thick padding.
Also, a soundproof door bottom.  (who knew there was such a thing?)

If you're dealing with noise coming from windows, try some acoustic caulk.

Another approach is to create some white noise.  Fountains are great for this.  Or if you can't do a fountain, stream nature sounds - ocean waves, bubbling brook, thunderstorm, etc. or play an MP3 or CD in a continual loop.

The zenvi face cradle is a great way to have your massage music right at your clients level - so the main thing they will be focusing on is your wonderfully relaxing music.

Have you worked in noisy environments?  What worked well for you to cut down on the noise level in your massage room?

Tweetable: The real problem? It was bothering my clients, too.







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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com






Friday, June 22, 2012

Create a Mobile Friendly Website



Notice how everyone is doing everything from their phones?  This includes visiting your massage website.  Is your website mobile friendly?

Here's a video tutorial on how to create a mobile version of your website for FREE.  (There's also a paid version - very reasonably priced - if you prefer some of the extras like click-to-call and ad-free.)  Sure beats hiring a professional for $500+ to create a mobile site for you!

Once you've created your mobile site, remember to follow the directions on the site to setup a redirect so your clients will auto-magically be taken to your mobile site when visiting from a phone.



Did you find this post helpful?  What other technology tutorials would you like to see?




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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com





Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10 Things I've learned From My Dog


Things I've learned from my dog that are crucial to running a massage therapy business:

  1. Trust your gut. Listen to your instincts. 
  2. Do what you love.
  3. Be open to receiving.
  4. Take sheer joy in everything you do.
  5. Play a little bit every day. (or even a LOT).
  6. When someone crosses your boundaries, let them know immediately.
  7. There's no such thing as too many squeaky toys.
  8. Discover new things and be open to learning more.
  9. Be a good listener
  10. Be authentic - don't pretend to be something you're not.
Thanks & big sloppy kisses to Iggy for these lessons and more.

What have you learned from your pets lately?




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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Late Client



Round table discussion time! 

Here's a common problem for massage businesses:


The Late Client Scenario 
Despite having a cancellation policy in our brochures, telling clients when they call, and even taking credit cards for evening and weekend appointments, I would say our #1 issue that upsets clients is if they are running late.  

freedigitalphotos.net
We do tell all new clients to arrive 10 minutes early to "fill out paperwork and use the bathroom so that it does not cut into your massage time" and most do.  However, on two occasions this past month, people call to say they are running late 10-15 minutes.  Our response, "Ok, just get here as soon as you can and we will have you do the paperwork afterward so you can get the most of your time."  Some are understanding, but there are others who ask if they will be cut short.
"Unfortunately, your therapist may be able to go over a few minutes, but she does have an appointment scheduled after you".  (We do have 15 minutes in between to change sheets, say bye to clients, etc, not to go over on time.)  This sends the client spiraling into why that's not fair, they want to reschedule, etc.  I apologize and explain their appointment was scheduled from 10-11, and while the therapist does have some wiggle room, that time was reserved for them.  "You were told at the time of scheduling about our cancellation policy.  Unfortunately, if you want to reschedule, there is a $30 fee."
I obviously let things slide as much as I can and make it work in the clients favor when possible (and when they are kind about it) but I would be interested in how other therapists handle this. 
 How have you handled this situation?  What has worked well in your practice to enforce a cancellation or late policy?  What do you do when a client gets upset over your policy?



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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com


Friday, June 15, 2012

How To Install a Facebook Timeline Cover Pic


Have you not added a timeline cover pic to your Facebook page yet simply because you haven't had the time to figure out how?  Here's a simple tutorial on how to add or change your cover pic.

Go to your Facebook business page.  (Or personal page, for that matter).
Click on the "Add a Cover" button.



Click on "Upload Photo".  Then choose a photo from a file on your computer and click "open".  (Massage pictures and directions on how to save them to your computer are in this post: 6 Free Marketing Posters).




The photo will then appear as your timeline cover pic.  You can left click on the pic and drag it into position. Once you have it where you want it, click "Save Changes".



And there you have it.  A nice new timeline cover pic for your massage business Facebook page.
I know many of you have already figured this out, but I have seen several pages without cover pics lately, so I thought this little tutorial might come in handy.

Are there other tutorials you would be interested in?  I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas for other how-to posts in the comments below.





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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Create a Colorful Resume


Check out this cool site where you can turn your resume into an online infographic: re.vu.

You can add any education, previous jobs, interests, skills, etc. and it creates a visual graphic of your story.  Choose from several different themes to match your resume to the kind of work you do.  (There are several that are zen-like, perfect for massage).  You can even upload a custom background.

I thought this could be a neat way to showcase your education and skills in massage. You could post your infographic resume to show clients your experience.  The site makes it easy to share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +.

Here's just a little example of what it looks like when filled out:
http://re.vu/bodyworkbuddy

Did you make your own infographic resume?  Post the link in the comments.  I'd love to see it!







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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Monday, June 11, 2012

What If You Couldn't Work Tomorrow?


So... I cut my thumb last week while working in the kitchen.  First thought? WORK!  How am I going to work!?
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I only had to cancel the appts I had scheduled for that day... but it got me thinking about more serious injuries.  How would you handle your finances if you were to get hurt?  If you haven't thought about disability insurance, you may want to look into it.

Think about it: if you were to break a bone in your hand or arm, how would your business survive while you're on leave to heal?  Not only should you have disability insurance, but it's also a good idea to have an emergency fund set aside.

Most financial gurus suggest having 6 month's worth of living expenses saved in case of an emergency.  While this is no small task to save up - don't get discouraged if you aren't able to do this right now.  Start with a goal of saving up $1,000 for your emergency fund.  ($25/week will get you to your goal in less than a year). That in addition to disability insurance can make the difference between an emergency being an inconvenience or detrimental to your business and livelihood.

Most disability insurance plans don't kick in to affect until you've missed 7 days of work or more (depending on your plan).  So disability insurance wouldn't have helped in the case of my kitchen accident... but luckily I have a little emergency fund saved up, so missing a day or two of work wasn't difficult to recover from.

LIFE happens - so be prepared!
Do you have disability insurance or an emergency fund?  And if so, have you ever had to use it?




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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com



Friday, June 8, 2012

Hide Your Ugly Ceiling


Check out this awesome ceiling drapes aglow idea - what a great way to beautify your massage room!
Especially if you don't have a particularly pretty ceiling.  Remember, clients are laying on your table and looking directly up at your ceiling.


What a creative way to hide fluorescent lights, water stains, or other less-than-desirable ceiling issues.
Have you implemented this idea or something similar for your massage room?  I'd love to see some pictures!









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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

10 Gift Ideas For the Massage Therapist In Your Life


If you're reading this blog, you're probably a massage therapist yourself.  So, this list is likely no surprise to you... but hey, maybe this list will make it's way into the viewing eyes of a loved one who needs some ideas. <wink, wink, nudge, nudge>
(easy ways to share this post in the right hand column.)

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  1. Massage / Spa magazines
  2. Table warmer
  3. Mother earth pillow
  4. holster
  5. Bolster
  6. linens
  7. Earthlite cream & oil sampler pack
  8. essential oil sampler pack
  9. candles
  10. a MASSAGE!

What other items would be on your wish list?

*These are not affiliate links, these are just products I truly love!



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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sheet Folding Trick



Great video from Massage Nerd and Massage Warehouse on how to fold a sheet set perfect for mobile therapists to take on the go!  Thanks to LizMarie for demonstrating for us.

I seem to be fitted-sheet-folding impaired... so I found this video extremely helpful and wanted to share.
Have you tried this, or do you have your own secrets for folding fitted sheets?  Or are you like me, and tend to avoid fitted sheets like the plague so you don't have to fold them? ;-)




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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com




Friday, June 1, 2012

5 Things I Didn't Do On Vacation


I took a little break from massage last week, made a road trip for a few days, and didn't do any of the following:
  1. massage
  2. schedule appts
  3. wash linens
  4. work on my website
  5. Trim my nails
And it was fabulous!!!  You know you're a massage therapist when one of the highlights of vacation is about your fingernails, right?  ;-)

And now, bonus points to anyone who can guess what bridge this is - from my vacation:




























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 of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com