Last week, or the week before (my blog weeks are kind of like dog years or minutes waiting on the help line with a bank or airline), I ran a post about the perception that the massage field is “saturated” with therapists.
I specifically gave the following challenge for practitioners to share their elevator speeches, with the promise that the best answer would get a shout-out in this post: I am a potential client, and am open to conversation about massage. Why should I get massage or bodywork, and if so why from you?
I had a few posts here at abmp.com, but our ABMP page on Facebook lit up. Here are a couple comments from the Facebook thread (please note that all comments have been copy-edited by my editor for goodness’ sake) :
Dan O’Clair Les, if your numbers quoted in Massage Today are correct (and I have every reason to believe they are, then the market is far from saturated. “The current estimate is one massage therapist for every 1,036 people.” I don’t know of any therapists who have even close to that many clients! Even if you figure that half of that number are people who will never receive massage, the market is still wide open. Some smaller markets may be saturated, and some niches may be filled, but there is a lot of room for growth in good quality massage, delivered in all markets and at all price points. Yes, many of our schools are not the same intimate institutions we graduated from, but as the profession grows and matures the educational aspect will also go through growing pains. We as a profession (and as individual therapists) must continue to educate the public about what massage is (and isn’t) and provide a massage session that will raise the standard of each individual’s expectation of what a quality massage experience should be.
One clarifying point from our population estimate: there are approximately 225 million people in the United States ages 20 and over. Subtract a couple mil who are in prison, and you still have more than 750 men and women for every massage therapist. So Dan’s on the right track; there are lots of bodies out there who need your work!
Julia echoed my view in a different way:
Julia Morrow The question was: Is the market saturated and do we need to convince people to choose massage? Part of the comments so far veered off into a discussion of: are there too many massage schools? So, to answer the original question: Yes, we need to convince people to choose massage, and NO the market is not saturated. Look at the ABMP and AMTA surveys of the public. Only 26% of the American public has ever tried massage! If you know your stuff, there is enough work for everyone!
Chayo Jones posted here on ABMP.com, stuck more to the script, and offered this:
Massage should not be viewed as just a relaxing experience or something to pamper yourself with. It can be just that, however, that is just one small aspect of the THERAPY massage offers. One of its primary benefits is the lengthening of muscles. You do realize that every time you use your muscles they constrict. Without proper stretching (and let’s face it, most of us barely have time to exercise, let alone stretch) they stay in that state. This is why you can feel sore or as people say “feel knots” in your muscles. Massage therapy will help to stretch those muscles, creating optimum oxygen and blood flow. This type of therapy shouldn’t be an experience. This type of therapy should be a lifestyle. I can help you achieve that lifestyle with mobility, scheduling flexibility, ongoing promotions so that you can earn free massages and a chart so you can see the improvements we have achieved together over a period of time. How’s Tuesday of next week for you?
Chayo gets an A+! How can you resist that?
So big props to Chayo. That’s the talk we need to get more bodies on our tables, more citizens relaxed, loose, and happy, and more therapists with full and healthy practices. Dr. Chayo Jones has prescribed the medicine; time for all of us to take it regularly.
This week’s question:
How do you professionally fire a client?