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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Put Some Steam On it [Portlandia Inspired]

For today's blog post, I thought I'd write about what I'm doing in my own massage practice these days. For several years now, I have been specializing in ashiatsu deepfeet therapy. I also practice massage cupping, hot stone massage, and ashi-thai.

In the beginning of my massage career, I had attended a spa therapies class at Aveda through my employer. That is where I first encountered the Steamy Wonder and have wanted one ever since! I didn't really think it would be easily incorporated into a dry room setting, (the only way I saw it in training was in a spa wet room), so I just kind of forgot about it.

And then a couple of months ago I met a therapist who uses the steam tent in her massage practice every day. After picking her brain a bit, I decided to take the plunge myself and get myself a Steamy Wonder.

I have been having so much fun with this!

Closeup pics of the pulley system before steam tent is attached.

Steam tent on my table and stored up by ceiling by pulley system.

For starters, I had a pulley system installed in my ceiling so I could easily store it out of the way. Because I have my ashiatsu bars directly above my table, I had the pulley system installed just to the side of my table.

After a few practice sessions, I was ready to offer it to clients. It's really simple and easy to use and takes no time at all to be comfortable enough with it to add it to your menu. I've started by offering a complimentary 20 minute steam add-on to my client's regular massage sessions.

So far, I would say about 2 out of every 3 people are LOVING the steam treatment. I have been doing some scalp massage while they are steaming, and afterward I wipe them off with hot towels with lemongrass essential oil before moving on to the massage. What's been amazing to me is how their muscles have softened before I even start to work with them. The steam literally melts tension so that by the time I get to doing the massage, they are already like butter on the table.

Not only does it make my job easier, but I feel like I'm actually giving them even more benefit to the massage with the addition of steam.

While I find myself wanting to "put some steam on it" for every session, it's still a bit too early to tell just how much steam I'll be doing overall as add-ons.  Once I've had it implemented for a bit longer I will update with a post detailing how it's going.  (I'm sure it will go over much better than the ending of the "put a bird on it" skit from Portlandia.)

I've included some pics of the pulley system going in, as well as pics of my beautiful new steam tent :-)
Have you ever used steam in your massage treatments? What have you found the benefits to be?

*A special thanks goes out to Mary who reignited my excitement about the Steamy Wonder and got me thinking again about the possibilities!

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 14 years. 

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