Three Podcasts for MTs

By Lisa Bakewell

Every time we turn around, there’s some sort of new technology staring us in the face. And often, it’s frustrating (and confusing) to know which of these new technologies is worth our time—or if we should avoid it altogether. To top it off, who has time to figure out how to use this stuff anyway?
Technology can certainly be frustrating and often involves a learning curve, but there is an exciting technology that will allow you to learn more about your craft—easily and while you’re doing other things! The technology is podcasting, and you’re going to love it.
In this article, you’ll learn the basics of podcasting (it’s easy!), and you’ll read overviews of three popular massage therapy podcasts that build community and camaraderie, expand your knowledge, and help grow your practice.

Podcast Basics

What’s a Podcast?

The best way to describe a podcast is to consider it an audio blog—similar to a radio broadcast—that is free from government regulation (although copyright laws apply) and not bound by Federal Communication Commission regulations. Originally developed in 2004 by former MTV video jockey Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer, podcasting has remained primarily an amateur endeavor. Although there are currently over 550,000 podcasts (per Apple at Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2018), most podcasters continue to broadcast from home studios.
Since podcasters do not rely on ratings (unlike radio broadcasters), podcast subject matter runs the gamut from the silliest to most serious topics. Many podcasts, though, are used for informational and educational purposes and typically cater to niche groups of listeners. By podcasting consistently on a particular topic, podcasters are able to increase their credibility and build an audience of loyal listeners.
Podcasts are generally spread over a series of episodes, which can be downloaded from the internet and played on various devices. The simplest method for listening is on your computer, where you can play the podcast directly through the podcast’s website. Just navigate to the podcast page on the site, find the play button, and listen. The downside? You’re stuck in front of your computer screen. To mobilize your listening, you can use a smartphone, MP3 player, or smart speaker.

Pick a Podcatcher

Listening on your mobile device is the most convenient way to follow your favorite podcasts while on the go. There are several podcasting apps, or podcatchers, that make it easy to subscribe. If you’re using an Apple mobile device (phone, pad, or pod), Apple Podcasts or iTunes is most likely already installed. On Android devices, Google Play Music is the installed player. In either case, you are not stuck with the podcatcher already installed on your device. If you want to make a change, just search “podcast apps” in your browser to find dozens of podcatchers, such as Stitcher, Castbox, and Spotify, among others. Once you choose your podcatcher, you’re ready to find a plethora of podcasts that will pique your interest.

Find a Podcast

Most people discover podcasts through word of mouth—via a friend, magazine, online article, or possibly a YouTube video. You might also learn about a podcast because a specific person, whose work you enjoy, announces they have an ongoing podcast or are starting one.
Another way to find interesting podcasts is through your podcatcher. Every podcast app has a selection of recommendations for you to browse, or you can search podcasts by topic or title. Some apps offer better recommendations than others, but you should be able to find several podcasts that interest you.
If you’d like a more comprehensive way to locate shows, Listen Notes ( is a search engine (think Google, Bing, or Yahoo! search) specifically for podcasts. Using the Listen Notes search engine, you can pinpoint podcasts by title, or you can fine tune your search for podcasts that contain certain people, places, or topics.
If you don’t have a particular podcast in mind, Listen Notes also offers recommendations, such as Podcast Interviews, Hot Podcasts, Best Podcasts, and more. There’s also Listen Later, which allows you to add episodes to your add-to-playlist button for future listening (similar to YouTube’s Watch Later list). Listen Notes has cataloged over 500,000 podcasts and 30 million episodes.

Subscribe … Yes or No?

When you subscribe to a podcast, it’s similar to a magazine subscription, except it’s free. As a subscriber, you will receive each new podcast episode as soon as it’s released. Subscribing to a podcast is simple. Just hit the subscribe button in your podcatcher, and the newest episodes will be waiting for you the next time you’re ready to listen.
Not sure whether you want to subscribe? Don’t worry. Subscribing is not a requirement. You can listen to individual episodes that interest you with no strings attached. If, after listening to a few episodes, you decide you do like a particular podcast, go ahead and subscribe. If you tire of a podcast, just hit the unsubscribe button. It’s that easy!

Three Podcasts for MTs

Massage Business Blueprint

(Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds)

Since their first podcast in 2015, Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds have grown the Massage Business Blueprint podcast to be one of the most—if not the most—popular massage therapy podcasts today. With close to 200 episodes and over 25,000 listeners, Haines and Reynolds strive to make learning about growing your business and the massage therapy industry both informational and entertaining.
With nearly 35 years of combined experience in massage therapy and marketing, Haines and Reynolds feel that podcasting is an ideal way to expand their teachings to more MTs. “The purpose [of the podcast] was to reach people who may not read blogs,” Haines explains. “And it’s just fun, for us and the listeners. It’s entertaining and helpful to hear two friends with considerable business and marketing acumen talk about issues that directly affect massage therapists.”
“MTs get enough boring lectures in school and continuing education,” Haines continues, “[and they] get enough written stuff on social media and magazines and textbooks. I think we’re way more fun than that.” With 25,000-plus listeners, it’s safe to say their podcast lessons are way more fun!
Massage Business Blueprint podcast listeners tune in regularly to hear conversations like “How Can I Prepare for the Future Growth of My Massage Business?” (Episode 173); “What to Do When Cash Flow Sucks in Your Massage Business” (Episode 118); and “How Can I Give My Year-Old Massage Practice a Shot in the Arm?” (Episode 36). Wherever you are in your quest to learn about the massage and bodywork industry and growing your business, Reynolds and Haines have plenty of interesting topics to choose from.
An additional feature, offered on their website (, is podcast transcripts (beginning with Episode 124) that allow listeners to read the podcast. According to Haines, accessibility was the motivator. “We’re big fans of accessibility,” she explains. “There are lots of MTs with varying disabilities, and it was important to us that the information on our podcast be accessible to people who may prefer (or require) reading versus listening.”
In addition to the podcast, the Massage Business Blueprint website offers further resources, including blog posts and other freebies, to help improve your MT business. There is also a Premium Membership ($17/month) available, which offers its members premium webcasts, templates, and articles; group video conferences; a members-only Facebook group; and premium marketing materials.

Massage Champions

(Elicia and James Crook)
Elicia Crook’s passion is showing MTs how to run successful MT businesses. After 16 years of running her own massage therapy business in Australia—and enduring several growing pains along the path to success—Crook discovered there are three major problems therapists face when beginning their journey: not enough clients to sustain a new business, sparse income during growth, and burnout during exponential growth in the absence of organized systems. “You got into massage because you want to help others,” Crook says. “And you are great at what you do. But when it comes to the business side of things, let’s just say maybe [business] is not a strength.’”
If you can relate to the growing pains associated with business success, you’ll want to listen to the Massage Champions podcast. With over 29 years of combined experience in massage therapy and business marketing, Crook and her husband, James, have learned what it takes to build a successful massage therapy business. And they want MTs to succeed. “The podcast fills an important gap in showing therapists that a massage business can be successful,” James Crook shares, “and there’s a bunch of other people out there who have made it work.”
According to James, their most popular episodes are not the ones with straightforward business training or advice. “The most popular are the people who are sharing their own stories of challenge, transition, and working out their success,” he says. “When another therapist shares what the journey has been like for them, part of the story is always about the challenges they have had to overcome. This gives hope and encouragement to the people who are traveling that path right now, as well as practical steps to try as they work through the challenges themselves.”
In addition to the podcast, the Massage Champions website ( includes blog posts, information about upcoming training classes and events, and student success stories. There is also information (and ordering links) for their book, Fully Booked Without Burnout. If you’re looking for Massage Champions videos, you’ll find them on the James Crook YouTube Channel (

How’s the Pressure? (Haley Winter)

Haley Winter has been practicing massage for almost a decade, and starting his podcast was a personal growth project. “A particularly embarrassing high school blunder was the genesis of an acute aversion to public speaking,” Winter shares, “which I have carried my whole life.”
Not one to back down, Winter challenged his fear of public speaking by teaching bodywork, where an interesting thing happened. Students kept asking questions about his personal experience of bodywork.
“They recognized the importance of the techniques and the curriculum,” Winter shares, “but what they really wanted to know was what it was like to be a bodyworker in the real world. What were the challenges I had faced and overcome? How did I pick the modalities I worked with?
“I gave them the answers I could,” he says, “but I kept wishing there was some free resource with stories and perspectives of experienced bodyworkers that I could point them to. Pretty soon it occurred to me that if it didn’t exist, I would have to make it. The idea of it just so happened to spark that fear of public speaking, so it became a challenge I had to accept.”
Winter began hosting his How’s the Pressure? podcast in 2017, which has become a collection of interviews and conversations from the field of massage therapy. His guests include successful bodyworkers, business owners, and teachers, and his goal is to create a forum to discuss best practices and share meaningful experiences. Winter wants his podcast to be considered a go-to resource for both new and experienced bodyworkers—a place to learn about the leading edge of this industry.
“I want the podcast to be a repository of stories, thoughts, experiments, failures, and successes of the massage community as a whole,” Winter says, “generating a platform for the massage community to gather and discuss best practices.”
The subject matter of How’s the Pressure? ranges from table etiquette to the future of massage therapy. “I do think I tackle some pretty edgy material in some of my episodes,” Winter says. “One commitment I have is to keep testing the edge of my comfort zone.
“If I find a subject matter scary or anxiety producing,” he continues, “I make a point to investigate it. That’s how I found myself talking to sexological bodyworkers, somatic therapists, and expert witnesses. Staying at the edge of my comfort zone has kept me engaged with the project, allowed me to stay at a high rate of learning, and made the content of the podcast more interesting.”
The authenticity of the conversations and the real-world experience behind the stories are what draws Winter’s listeners. “To listen to how your favorite teacher or massage personality thinks, reasons, gets lost, educates, and conducts themselves in the field is not only refreshing, but is also a reminder that we are all struggling to do our best,” he says. “I think at a deep level, my goal for this podcast is to inspire massage therapists to reach their full potential.”
Winter offers a contact form on his website ( that lets his listeners email him. “I always write them back,” he says. “While this project is personally fulfilling, I am ultimately doing it for them. So, if they have something to say—whether it is a suggestion for an episode or a question about the podcast—I feel it’s important to take them into account.” Beginning in January 2019, Winter will be offering roundtable discussions from a pool of previous guests, making up an interdisciplinary team of experts, to highlight specific conditions.

Pro Tips for Potential Podcasters

Should I Start My Own Podcast?

Haley Winter: I would always encourage a person to do something that excites them, including starting a podcast. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you intend, you will learn something valuable from the experience. I think there are much easier ways to increase your online presence than podcasting. There are programs and consultants that are designed to help massage therapists with exactly that. That being said, if you want to start a podcast, know that it is really easy to get started, but it is hard to pull off a clean and well-produced product. I would only recommend doing [a podcast] if you are super driven to see it through—and have something that you believe needs to be out there. If the podcast is intended to support your business, be clear about how it will support that business and how it will engage the people you want to draw to your business.

James Crook: My advice is that it is easier to appear on an existing podcast than to start your own—especially at the start! If you are running a local business (like massage or health), then appearing on a local podcast that already has a strong following is a great way to become better known. You can also share the individual episode through your own social media so it boosts your authority with your current followers. If you are going to be a guest, have a clear message and know what values you stand for, so you are memorable and connect with your ideal audience.
It does take time and energy to run a podcast yourself, and they work best when consistent. So, only take it on when you know you’re at the right level. If you’ve already climbed the first few rungs in your business and you’re ready to take on a higher level of leadership and influence in your community, that’s when your own podcast is powerful. It is a more in-depth way of connecting with your audience to share your core ideas and personality. If you do interviews, it is also a fantastic way to open doors because you can invite prominent influencers on as guests. There’s a heap of training and support available for how to start and run a podcast, so connect with a group to help and encourage you along the way.

Allissa Haines: I would encourage it. I would suggest staying committed to a niche, really diving deep into what the therapist’s ideal clients are interested in, and keep it consistent. Weekly is ideal. Or twice monthly at the least. We put out two of our own podcast episodes on exactly this topic:
• Episode 146: “How to Start a Podcast for Your Massage Business” (www.massage
• Episode 162: “Niche + Podcast: A Massage Therapist’s Secret Weapon (3 Case Studies)” (

Lisa Bakewell is a full-time freelance writer/editor in the Chicagoland area. Her areas of writing expertise include health and fitness, travel, parenting, company/personal profiles, business, money-saving, and “how-to” articles. She can be reached at