From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “There’s A New Stone in Town: Carved, Quarried Basalt Massage Stones,” by Pat Mayrhofer, in the March 2010 issue. Article summary: Finding that perfectly shaped stone has always been a challenge when harvesting oceanic and river basalt, the type of stone from which most massage stones have—until now—been created. But carving from quarried land basalt results in massage stones of precise shapes that can reach all the nooks and crannies of the human body.

by Colleen J. Bryan

The familiar cliché—working smarter, not harder—through the use of stone massage is only half the equation when it comes to successfully integrating stone massage into your practice. The other half is selling.

Selling is a word feared by some massage therapists. But the only way to provide clients the ultimate healing benefits of your education and technical skills is to inform them of what you have available. That process is selling.

As professional massage therapists, we have a responsibility to continually learn and share our knowledge with our clients. We have the ability to inspire them to make the right choices for their needs through our enthusiasm and passion for what we do. If we don’t share our knowledge, they may never know they have options—and an opportunity for both therapist and client will be missed.

If you are a massage therapist who still thinks sales is not part of your practice, here are some ideas to help you get past that.

1. Find enthusiasm. Tap into your passion for stone massage and share it. You are a problem solver, a solution provider, a professional massage therapist with amazing knowledge and tools. Clients will find your enthusiasm infectious.

2. Take action. Improve your product. If you are bored or have lost your passion for stone massage, find it again by taking an advanced stone-therapy class or incorporating the new carved basalt stones into your practice. Clients will trust your knowledge.

3. Shift your perspective from selling to sharing information. You do not have to convince clients to have an upgraded stone massage. Simply sharing information with passion and enthusiasm will help your stone massage sell itself. The information you share will help clients understand how stones can improve and enhance their massage.

4. Do not prejudge your clients. Oftentimes we make value judgments about people—including their desire or ability to pay for an upgrade—within the first five minutes of contact. Stay focused on your clients’ needs. By sharing the wonderful benefits of stone massage with regard to your clients’ specific concerns, clients will sell themselves on stone massage.

5. Have fun! Get over feeling uncomfortable or guilty about upselling to a more expensive service. Find a fun, interesting way to share your knowledge and passion for stone massage. You are not just providing a service—you are providing a benefit.

Colleen J. Bryan is a massage therapist and part-time trainer for Nature Stones Inc. ( She also holds a full-time position as senior vice president of training and spa service development for Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa.