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Bodywork Buddy Blog

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

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Member Spotlight: Justin Wellman

Today's Bodywork Buddy member spotlight is Justin Wellman of Hadley, Massachusetts. 

Q: What inspired you to be a massage therapist?

A:While putting myself through college, I had taken a job a local boot factory. I was working in the order fulfillment center. One day during a shift, a forklift operator backed into a six-tier stocking shelf, tipping it over onto me and pinning me down against a conveyor belt. The injury caused a four vertebrae bulge in my thoracic spine—and without the care of a massage therapist and chiropractor I might still be suffering from the injury. Their care set me on the path to receiving regular massage care and ultimately opening my interest into the field.

Q: How long have you been doing massage?

A: I am recent graduate of Massage School and have been practicing for about 9 months.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being an MT?

A: I work with quite a number of athletes in my private practice. I am a CrossFit athlete myself, and treat a number of other CrossFit athletes. When I see one of my clients pushing through their last Personal Record (PR) to set a new one it always makes me smile knowing that I've had a role in their continued improvement. I especially enjoy the delight on their faces when we have a breakthrough in their treatments that improve range of motion, or decrease tension and tightness, or maybe just give them that moment of total relaxation. It makes the difficult work of treating heavily muscled athletes worth every bit of effort. Helping them improve their game is such a rewarding feeling to me.

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

A: The stigma that still lingers once in a while in peoples impression of the industry. As a male massage therapist, the most challenging part is lingering societal "norms". Its unfortunate that we live in a culture where women fear for their safety and where men feel uncomfortable being worked on by a male therapist. This is something that those in this profession must be hyper-aware of and vigilant to change the paradigm. I always find it interesting when its assumed that because a therapist is a male they must give deep/painful pressure, or that a female is the only one to give a gentle relaxation massage. Some of the deepest pressure I've ever received was from female MT's and my personal MT (male) gives wonderfully relaxing massages. In my private practice I embrace a body positive, queer supportive, safe, and professional environment for all my clients.

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

A: It takes time. You will not grow your entire business overnight, or in the first week/month/year. Be patient. 80% of your first year will be spent on marketing yourself. You are the brand, and you have to treat yourself like a brand. Representation is vital. Word of mouth will always be the most effective means to grow your business. A recommendation from one of your clients is more lasting and impacting than an add, or coupon. Treat your clients well and they will tell their family and friends. Be willing to try everything. Be willing to take CE classes even if you don't need CE credits. The more you know the better you are able to serve your clients. Never lose your hunger to improve yourself and your practice. Be professional, and perfect your draping!

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