Massage therapy can be a very rewarding career.
It provides you with the education and clinical skills to serve others in a wide variety of settings while also offering the opportunity to build a successful business. However, many therapists struggle with the business side of their practice. When your income relies solely on table hours, you not only risk physical burnout but you stunt your own financial growth.
Massage can be very lucrative if you learn how to merge your zeal for delivering superior service to your clients with the business sense of maximizing your income streams. As we evolve as a community of health care providers, it’s important to make sure our business practices are keeping up with our professional growth by exploring other income options that compliment the services we provide.
Educating and empowering your clients to engage in guided self care outside of your clinic is literally the first step in improving your fiscal fitness as an entrepreneur and their well-being.
Taping, Topicals, and Extended Client Care
The ability to extend your clients’ care long after they leave your clinic is imperative if you want to grow financially. That care can be movement practices such as functional screening, gait analysis, corrective exercise prescription, kinesiology taping, etc. Furthering your education in hands on techniques is great (and necessary) but, it still keeps you locked in to hours on the table treating clients and provides only one avenue for income.
Pursuing client care that is clinically relevant, versatile, easy to administer, and adds additional revenue even outside of your office, is smart business.
If you aren’t already using kinesiology tape in your clinic, I highly recommend that you put it at the top of your “professional growth to-do list”. Kinesiology taping has more than three decades of history behind it’s medical based research and development in treating a wide range of things; fluid management, injuries, movement and postural re-education, and pain relief, neuro-stimulation, etc. Of all the tools in my clinic, I reach for kinesiology tape the most frequently.
Clients repeatedly request it because the positive effects they experience speak for themselves. That’s trust in a product that no amount of marketing can buy and that translates into two additional revenue streams for my clinic; billing for taping applications as well as offering tape at retail prices. In addition to offering tape as a clinical application and a retail item, I also use topical applications in the same way. Because my clients are already familiar with these products and feel the benefit of their use, they easily purchase these products with the mindset of simply extending their care outside of my office under my guidance.
Between billing for clinical applications and offering my client’s the option to purchase, I’ve turned one 60 to 90 minute session into several income streams instead of one. Depending on the kinesiology taping company that you develop a relationship with, tape can even be branded with your business logo, adding to that invaluable word of mouth marketing and exposure.
In addition to taping and topicals, I specialize in movement screening, and much of my clinical practice is based solely around this. I can take this skill into many venues, such as high schools or colleges to provide screening analysis for their athletes and instead of one client per hour, I’m seeing one every 15 -20 minutes at a premium price.
This is just one anecdotal example, however. Even if that scenario isn’t of interest to you, there are multiple ways to work smarter not harder, increase your professional reach, and your income streams.
The easiest way to start is by including taping and topical in your practice. Be selective, however. Not all tape and topicals are created equal. Delivering quality should be your number one priority. Seek a company that provides not only excellent products but superior education as well. Having products in your office that are inferior and you have no idea how to use them is a quick way to lose business, not gain it.
Widening your perspective on what constitutes as quality client care can also widen your business horizons.
About the Author
Stacey Thomas, L.M.T., S.F.M.A., F.M.S., N.K.T., C.F.-L2, has been dedicated to human movement and athletic performance since 1997 and certified as a sports massage therapist since 2005. She holds certification in Functional Movement Screen, Selective Functional Movement Assessment, Neurokinetic Therapy and CrossFit Level 2, as well as other training and soft tissue modalities. She is credentialed by educational organizations regarding human movement and soft tissue treatment. You can find her in one of her three Front Range, Coloado, clinics treating athletes or teaching courses for RockTape.