Male Therapist needs help!

Discussion area for male practitioners on issues and topics related to their practice.

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bderama1286
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Male Therapist needs help!

Post by bderama1286 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:51 am

Hi, I'm new to massage. I graduated in June of this year and I am employed by a clinic but I am having trouble getting clients. I guess I might be setting high expectations but as a male therapist I believe it is a lot harder to build a clientele. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can market myself and get people interested in my massage? I don't have any special modalities yet as I have no taken any CEUs. Really, I am just lost in all aspects of promoting myself. Working for a clinic is nice but I work with a bunch of other therapists and even though male therapists are suggested first, most of the members seem to prefer a female. I would eventually like to have my own clients and work for myself. About how long does it take to have a steady flow of clients? Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

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JasonE
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by JasonE » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:50 pm

I see women face the same dilemma, but men do tend to have a little more trouble getting things started. If you comb through this "Male Practitioners" forum, look at the threads on professionalism, homophobia, etc. Also check the student forum thread on learning to drape. Then reread the thread on PROFESSIONALISM. To me, that is the key. Being a professional starts with working to project that image and living up to it.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
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Internet forums are like going to the zoo; if you get enough monkeys together, sooner or later someone will start throwing their poo.

Lrwlmt
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by Lrwlmt » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:31 am

I try to approach the issue in baby steps. If I have someone I know is reluctant, I offer to massage them through their clothes. You are limiting your techniques, but you can still apply compression, kneading, TP Therapy, stretching, etc. Just think of it as a chair massage on the table. If I do get them on the table, I make sure to talk about my wife for a little while. Especially if the client is male. It also seems to put female clients at ease. I used to work with a great front desk woman that had a very great approach. Once a man was almost in tears because the previous LMT (Female) left without telling him she was resigning. The front desk woman came in the waiting room and set with him. She told him that I was very good and easy going. And that she let me massage her and her family. Once he was on the table, that was it. I saw him 3 days a week with no issues for 6 months. At which point he was 90% rehabilitated.

kgwaves
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by kgwaves » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:25 am

I believe the opportunities for male therapists are getting better and better. A male therapist provides a much stronger massage (with proper mechanics). My trick is to treat your services like they need to grow. Especially if you’re a newbie therapist, your prices can't be that of someone that's been giving massages for 4 - 10 - 15+ years, well unless you have no problems scheduling clients. When I started, I gave lots of reduced price massages, and I told my clients, if they referred my name and referrals came to see me they would get free massages. You best advertising is word of mouth (it could also be bad advertising if you have bad intentions). So be smart and just because you have to give a free massage here and there, you’ve gain the chance to lock in a long time client that will pay for the future massages.

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pueppi
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by pueppi » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:35 am

kgwaves wrote:A male therapist provides a much stronger massage (with proper mechanics).
This is not always true. You are taking into account that the male is as dense, as muscular and technique savvy as the female you put him up against. It's not all about mechanics. I've seen some very weak male MT's, and even with proper body mechanics they won't provide a stronger massage than myself.

I mention it because it sounds like an absolute from your statement, and an absolute it is not.

For the OP, I suggest professionalism above all and really getting your name out there. You may have to go above and beyond most female therapists, if you are dealing with people who have gender issues regarding their therapist. The main thing is that you don't get discouraged and keep working at it. CEU's or personal study will always be helpful, as both can make you a better and more rounded/or specialized therapist.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

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Pete
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by Pete » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:02 pm

kgwaves wrote:<snip>if you’re a newbie therapist, your prices can't be that of someone that's been giving massages for 4 - 10 - 15+ years, well unless you have no problems scheduling clients.
I would disagree with this. If you are at least COMPETENT (meaning you do GOOD or better work), I wouldn't set your prices below market. I would set your normal rate at market (or even slightly higher) and offer introductory discounts to draw clients in. The rate we charge says a lot about how we view the quality of our work - if your rate is too low, people may view you as not as good as others who charge more. Set your rate too high and clients may not feel they are getting what they're paying for. It's easier to offer occasional specials and discounts than it is to raise your rates later.

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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by Raphink » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:17 pm

An excellent way to promote yourself is to bring your table to athletic events and offer your services, perhaps at an introductory price. Also, have your business cards always handy and tell people that for every 3 people they recommend, they will get a free massage. Consider yourself an asset to the community and always dress professionally, But above all, know your anatomy! When people ask you questions, you will know the answers, hopefully. Also, you might want to bring your table to retirement communities or establishments or centers. Start slow with a stress buster chair perhaps if you don't feel comfortable bringing your table. hope this helps. You can also try any public outing for self promotion, such as a classic car meet, at the beach, etc. Don't be disgruntled easily. Most therapists new to the field have to pay their dues. Hope this helps.

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tiger snacks
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by tiger snacks » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:02 pm

I too started this way. I got out of school and started at day spa inside plastic surgery office. What I found was "relaxation" and "pampering" doesn't sell well for males or hardly at all on the industry.

The fundamental is that massage therapy is about results. Relaxation has a few results bit no one knows enough about how to maker it. So here we go...

Instead of Swedish and Deep tissue, which doesn't mean anything to clients I used, Stress Relief and Pain Relief Massage when talking about it. I found one girl at my work and told her my pain relief massage routine is guaranteed to give her results that will make her feel different and better. I did my "top secret" routine and with a month she had sent me 12 people. And rinse and repeat.

I provided a service they felt they could only receive with me. In actuality Medical massage is my core of what I do for stress management massage and pain management massage.

Step 1. Find your niche. Mine was fixing stress and pain problems.

Tell me what your niche is and we will move on from there. Plenty of good advice I can give. I've got some ways I've gotten people in the door standing by my office door. There are ways to drag them in. I just want to make sure someone is interested before I go typing all this out.(I'm on my phone)
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JasonE
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by JasonE » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:19 am

tiger snacks wrote:I too started this way. I got out of school and started at day spa inside plastic surgery office. What I found was "relaxation" and "pampering" doesn't sell well for males or hardly at all on the industry.

The fundamental is that massage therapy is about results. Relaxation has a few results bit no one knows enough about how to maker it. So here we go...

Instead of Swedish and Deep tissue, which doesn't mean anything to clients I used, Stress Relief and Pain Relief Massage when talking about it. I found one girl at my work and told her my pain relief massage routine is guaranteed to give her results that will make her feel different and better. I did my "top secret" routine and with a month she had sent me 12 people. And rinse and repeat.

I provided a service they felt they could only receive with me. In actuality Medical massage is my core of what I do for stress management massage and pain management massage.

Step 1. Find your niche. Mine was fixing stress and pain problems.

Tell me what your niche is and we will move on from there. Plenty of good advice I can give. I've got some ways I've gotten people in the door standing by my office door. There are ways to drag them in. I just want to make sure someone is interested before I go typing all this out.(I'm on my phone)
Tiger snacks has made some good points about ways to develop a clientele. Find ways to talk about what you do that are meaningful to potential clients and not laced with a ton of jargon. Male therapists can do as well as female therapists, but how we discuss the work with others can make a huge difference.

I can do a wide variety of work, but I am best known and most sought out for my therapeutic work. I don't use the terms "medical massage", "stress management massage", or "pain management massage", but I know others who do. When people ask me what style of work I do, I usually joke, "Jason's goulash", then explain I may use a lot of different methods depending on their needs. I make it clear that I will do whatever I reasonably can to help them feel better and achieve improved physical function. If a specific method seems likely to be of greatest benefit, I may educate them about it to peak their interest. I tend to ask a lot of questions right away, and have found that I tend to bring in more clients that way.

I loathe relying upon a routine. I have some habits that have stood the test of time, but I often change things up, and I rarely do a "traditional" full body massage with (relatively) even attention for each area of the body. Many of my clients love that every therapeutic session is a different experience, and that I attend a lot of CE classes and study to update my knowledge base.

Due to lots of additional (and ongoing) study and discussion, I have become reasonably knowledgeable about a broad range of medical topics, including diagnoses, surgeries, treatment procedures, rehabilitation concepts and applications, pharmaceuticals, medical history and trivia, etc. Many of my clients come with diagnoses and/or notes from their medical providers (PTs, DCs, MDs, etc.) and very little understanding of their situation. Part of my reputation comes from being able to explain their situation and medical treatment(s) better than their medical providers did. I take a LOT of notes and invite them to bring in any medical records and/or images that they have. Most people are very pleasantly surprised, and I think that the way I do client intakes accounts for 30-40% of my success as a therapist.

It also helps to have a sense of humor.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer
http://www.CSTMinnesota.com

Internet forums are like going to the zoo; if you get enough monkeys together, sooner or later someone will start throwing their poo.

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JLWmassage
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by JLWmassage » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:36 am

I have a male MT in my office. And the way I book when I have a client on the phone is who ever is open first gets the client. And I just state the name of the MT that is open. I never ask if a client prefers a male or a female. And so far no issue with getting him clients

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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by athletica » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:06 pm

Find your niche. Obviously its important whether the therapist be male or female, but I agree with others that relaxation massage is difficult niche for males to succeed in.

The patient intake definitely sets the tone for whenever I have a new patient. But I suppose this would be the case for any type of injury treatment. I do find as a male the inatake allows me to gain the clients trust, whereas the women mt's tend to be able to jump into the treatments a bit quicker.

I like the suggestion about saying __ joe___ is available. As opposed to to giving them an option of male or female.

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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by holley » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:39 pm

"Be open, but not attached to, an outcome".
'Every Day is a god, each day a goddess and holiness pours forth in time."

RodCainMassage
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Re: Male Therapist needs help!

Post by RodCainMassage » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:41 pm

Spas can be a grind, a conveyor belt of massage. What they offer is a great opportunity to get experience with a variety of bodies from which a new massage therapist can greatly benefit. If you are in a high volume spa, even males can get plenty of work. This is a great way to hone your skills. Continuing ed is great too...we should all continue to learn in this field, no matter how many years of experience, but this is especially true as a recent graduate. The niche that others have spoken about can also be a great help. Mine is deep tissue, I enjoy receiving and giving deep tissue work. Find something that you really enjoy and expand on it. Don't be afraid to take risks....find another therapist and rent a space, invest in a website to add legitimacy and promote your biz. If you are passionate about your work, live it everyday. Do something to let others know what you. These are few ideas I hope can help you despite the sexism that persists in this industry. But the key to success in any field is persistance and belief in what you do. Good luck!
Rod Cain
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http://www.rodcainmassage.com

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