What do you specialize in?

Discussion of massage and bodywork techniques, along with holistic therapies, both generic and modality specific. A broad spectrum of discussion!

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What do you specialize in?

Prenatal
7
4%
Sports
10
6%
Chair or Seated
3
2%
Relaxation
25
15%
Thai
6
4%
NMT or Deep Tissue
38
23%
Pain Relief
28
17%
Energy work
5
3%
Watsu
0
No votes
Aromatherapy
2
1%
Other (please let us know what it is)
39
24%
 
Total votes : 163

Postby IntuitiveHealers on Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:20 am

I voted 'other' because I offer everything you listed! :lol:
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Postby NadoMassage on Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:32 pm

I can do all listed but I do more of Sports, Lomi Lomi and Hot Stone.
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Alexander Technique

Postby dav on Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:37 pm

I am interested in the Alexander Technique but I have never acutally known anyone who practiced our had experienced this as a consumer. Web sights give no insight. Also, I would love to get more information about ETF or tapping. If anyone has personal knowledge and experience I would appreciate feedback on whether they would be helpful to include in my Healing Massage Therapy Practice.
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Postby mtnlionz on Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:50 pm

Ortho-Bionomy® and CranioSacral
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Postby riversinger on Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:53 am

I also voted other, as I lean heavily toward an intuitive integrated approach, which includes everything from basic strokes to Active Isolated Stretching techniques, hot stone, and energetic healing techniques such as Jin Shin Jyutsu and chakra balancing, field clearing etc. In addition to that I also do some sound therapy as well, using Tibetan singing bowls.

I offer what I call blended sessions (with names) in the following time allotments:
Bliss 1 hour and 15 min.
Extended Sessions: Nirvana 1 1/2 hours
Ascension 2 hours

The most popular session time with all my regulars is the 1 and 1/2 hour

I've also promoted what I call a health maintenance schedule
which allows for giving my regulars special discounted rates based on how often they come in. Weekly $15.00 off
Bi-weekly $10.00 off every 3 weeks $5.00 off
Plus Senior citizens rates $10.00 off or $15.00 for weekly or bi-weekly sessions.
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Postby ladybug1 on Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:43 pm

I'm definitely going to specialize in Trigger Point Therapy. I went to school thinking that I would want to do Craniosacral work but after learning it, I realized that it wasn't for me.

I feel in love with TPT in school & got a year of experience to try learn new therapies to see if there was something else that I wanted to pursue. I can be very indecisive and don't jump into decisions- it can be a downfall.

Anyway, everything I've been doing points me right back into TPT and pain reduction.

And if I was to chose a therapist for a Lomi Lomi session, I'm going to go to the therapist that focuses on Lomi Lomi,,, not the therapist that does Lomi Lomi & 7 other kinds of massage.

Just my opinion.
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Postby AGWLMT on Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:26 pm

I voted other,

I am an advanced John Barnes trained Myofascial Release specialist.
I came upon this after I had been an MT for 11 years. I call myself a 'recovering deep tissue therapist' .
I was very good at that kind of therapy, still am when I need it, but my thumbs were a mess, and I was tired of not making real change. I wanted more.
My first class, and I knew I was home. I didn't choose this as a specialty, it chose me.
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Postby mac on Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:56 pm

I voted 'other' because I use a little bit of everything I've ever taken a course in, and bits and pieces of things I've learned while receiving massage from other therapists which worked well on me, and some things that I have studied up on on my own.
Most of my clients come for pain relief; work or stress related and chronic. I do Pre-Natal (the BodyPillow sounds like a time saver; I do them side-lying with bolsters). Sometimes I get to do a straight Swedish relaxation massage (and see if I still remember the routine).
I am trained in Swedish, Manual Lymph Drainage, Jin Shin Do Acupressure part I, Pain Relief Tecnique, Pre-Natal, and am currently taking a course in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatique techniques, which looks very useful (neuromuscular re-education & stretching in part).
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Postby Spock on Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:13 am

Hi all,

I specialize in chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I was challenged with it myself for years. In NJ we are told we not allowed to do this anymore, or so the fine print has said. (It's been very confusing in NJ of late, so no one really knows what's going on)

SO, how do I market myself and stand out in my community if I can't say I specialize in anything???
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Specializing or Main Attraction

Postby hargrcha on Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:14 am

I'm sure a few, if not all of us, have been to the circus one time or another. (Please don't be sensitive to the illustration.) They have basically the same shows - i.e. attractions. When they put on a "big top" show, isn't it basically the routine that you may have already seen but now with the focus primarily on it? (Notice that they will rotate these attractions.)

Instead of viewing what we do as a specializing perhaps we should view it as having a "main attraction". Yes, we have all these other talents in other modalities but what "main attraction" are we a bit more focused on?

Just a thought anyway.
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My specialty

Postby massageclips on Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:50 am

I've found with massage it's nice to not just specialize in one thing as there's so many techniques to draw from that complement each other. My focus has allways been what I call therapeutic relaxation massage- using Swedish/Eselan, accupressure, Reiki, Polarity, .. and alittle of this and alittle of that. I've been putting up free video clips of massage techniques on our website. (Check the profile for the address) Thanks! :D
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Postby PremoMT on Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:26 am

I voted other. I agree with what many people have said on here, I incorporate alot of different modalities to make each session unique for each client each time I see them. I use a lot of swedish, some Trigger Point, some MFR techniques, stretching, and I just went to an introductory class on Craniosacral Therapy and I intend to use some techniques I learned there as well. I also offer hot stone, and pregnancy massage, but the calling is more for Swedish, or Deep Tissue.
I would say I am relitivly new to the feild (been licensed since 2003) and I am still learning. The Cranio class really piqued my interest, and I can't wait to learn more about it.
Nice Topic!
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Postby AngEngland on Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:23 pm

I found it interesting that "Pain Relief" was listed as a specialty. I would have thought of a decrease in pain level to be a desireable outcome regardless of massage technique. :-D

NFT (never solo but oh so helpful for specific work, certain situations. A great tool to have in your box of tricks)
Pregnancy and Infant Massage
Aromatherapy and Essential Oils (Completing higher levels of training in these areas as we speak)
Myoskeletal Release

So many choices - I wish I had three lifetimes to live and could experience it all!

I personally find it so fascinating how different therapists are drawn to different areas and techniques.

Angela <><
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Type of Therapy I do

Postby Tuinaman on Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:45 pm

I primarily to Traditional Chinese Medicine in the form of Chinese Medical & Sports Massage (Tuina & Sports Tuina).
I've been doing bodywork and Chinese medicine for over 35 yrs. I teach classes at colleges and schools in the DFW area, and around the country in acupressure & Chinese medicine. I sit on the Exam Committee for the NCTMB Nat. Exam.
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Postby massagecenter on Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:02 pm

My Other was Zen Bodytherapy ( Structural integration) Much like rolfing.
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Having an answer can be important

Postby teegralux on Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:01 am

I have been working in a spa setting and no one ever asked me about my specialty. I just started doing massage in a gym setting and the first thing that EVERYONE has asked me is what do you specialize in! I was not prepared. I have studied many things and did not feel the need to specialize. At first I would list a few of the modalities I work with but then I sat down and found an answer. I specialize Circulatory Massage with Trigger Point Therapy Work (for now anyway). I think it is a sign that clients are becoming more educated about massage. They are finding out what they are interested in and finding people trained in that technique. Not having an answer to the question could be awkward. I see the question now as a great way to start a conversation about massage and how it can benefit them.
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Postby merlescuz on Fri May 02, 2008 1:38 pm

I specialize in a blend of Swedish, deep tissue, NMT, myofascial, hot stone, watsu, energy work, hmmmmmmm.....what else? ;)

Forgot to mention, Sports, Pre/post natal, chair....did I miss any? :D
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Postby TracieJ on Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:02 pm

Hello everyone!

I'm brand new to this forum and this is my very first post here. I would have to say that at present, I specialize in Deep Tissue Therapy. At least, that's what most of my clients ask for and need. I have started to dabble in Reflexology as well.
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Postby eyesofblue on Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:08 pm

interesting thread, interesting discussions about specializing. I have some questions for the experienced MT's who have lots of tools in their tool box. How often do you do plain old classic swedish massage? Do you do Swedish and add in deep tissue, energy or myofascial or whatever as you go? or has Swedish gone by the wayside, do you "lose" it as you learn new modalities? does anyone specialize in Swedish?

The reason I ask is that I have gotten massage a few times now from other professionals, MT's who have been working for years with a long list of what they do on their brochure. and so far, the massages have not had much flow to it. I didn't enjoy them. I even asked one MT for Swedish and didn't get what I consider and what I learned is Swedish. I know I have amny more massages to receive to even begin to sample what is available in my area, but I was just curious about this. Are those giving Swedish massage mostly the newly graduated because its the basics one learns?
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Postby Timedess on Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:16 pm

In reading the responses, I see that some see the term "specializing" a bit differently than I do. I don't think that it means "using only one modality", but "using all the resources at my command to effect the specific- or SPECIAL- results that I and my clients desire.

My husband is a darn good "pain management specialist". He uses a variety of techniques and modalities to help his clients. he does not "specialize" in any particular modality, but in a particular "functionality", if you will- pain relief/management.

I, on the other hand, desire to "specialize" in prenatal massage, expanding to infant and then (way in the future) "special needs children" massage. I don't even know what that would look like, "modality"- wise, but it's what I want to do. I am taking a "specialty" course to become certified in prenatal massage next month- not to stop with that course, but to learn what I need to know in order to begin pursuing my career as a 'prenatal specialist".

I will add modalities/techniques as I learn them, building and layering upon the basic foundation I received in school, and then on the somewhat more specific foundation of this course I am about to take.

I wish to become the very best "pregnant momma's friend" that I can possibly be- I can really relate to this demographic group, because I have been and I am a member of this group. But I don't think that saying that I "specialize" in pregnant mommas' massage is limiting me to "just that modality". For one, it is not a modality, but services geared towards the special needs of a specific group of clients, who will require different techniques, modalities, "touch", and as much intuition to work with as any other "niche" group.

It's not the same as saying that I "specialize in Swedish" (Or NMT, or MFR, or Reflexology, or any of the myriads of other modalities, tips, tricks, and techniques that are out there).

eyesofblue, I haven't been practicing long enough to be able to answer your question with much authority at all. I can say that as my husband and I have worked on putting together our menu of services and price list, we have decided that it does not work for us to "differentiate" various modalities. We, rather, price based on time, and each uses the techniques we see fit to use on a case by case, client by client basis. When folks ask if we do "deep tissue", I point them to him, not because he "does deep tissue", but because to a T, the ones who know about it and WANT it, want it because they have "issues" of the sort that he is most adept at helping with (even if he is not using specific "deep tissue" techniques), while we know that those who "Do. Not. Like. deep tissue" always seem to prefer my lighter touch.
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Postby palpable on Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:12 pm

Timedess, I really appreciate your thoughts on this. I especially like the idea of specializing in a functionality vs. a modality- interesting and astute observation.
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Postby pueppi on Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:09 am

Somehow I missed this thread over the years.

I am going to take some of the things others mentioned and build on it.

I am definitely a specialist in neck work. It is my passion. And, I am quite good at it. It fits my hands/fingers. Most of the neck work I do is supine (face up) and generally I can spend an hour just on the neck and related regions (traps/upper back). Now, that does not mean that I don't believe there are other regions that affect the neck, but when someone comes to me for very specific neck related issues, what I find is that I can clear out many problems by focusing on this area alone and that it is what many people are searching for when they come into my office, because they have been referred to my by someone else who got help from me in this same manner. Generally this work starts firm and gets deeper as the sessions progress. In the end, this work is significantly deep tissue.

I don't push people and so if they will let me move into the other areas of the body I will do so in future sessions, but their initial 8-10 sessions are structured in a way that most all of the work is neck, TMJ, trap related.

So, that's my specialty.



I am quite flexible and offer general and varied techniques ranging from swedish/relaxation, deep tissue, myofascial and sports. Much of my practice revolves around pain relief and the sessions are generally combination in application. Each session, even with my neck work is going to be quite unique to the individual client.

hargrcha wrote:Instead of viewing what we do as a specializing perhaps we should view it as having a "main attraction". Yes, we have all these other talents in other modalities but what "main attraction" are we a bit more focused on?


I do not view the specialty neck work that I do as a main attraction. It is definitely a specialization. Not many people in my area do the kind of work I do, and enough therapists get gritchy when asked to focus on just one area. In my office, I try very hard to give my opinion without getting upset if a client requests I provide some other type of work/or combination of work for their session.



I consider my "signature-type" work to be a very firm to deep swedish massage (doing my best to make it feel like 4 hands instead of 2), however, I don't get many opportunities to provide this. I call it my signature work and not my specialization, because it is the type of swedish that I don't find provided in many other offices in my area. But, doing swedish for me is not a specialty. Of course, it could be considered as such, but I personally consider specialties to be more of specific area work, specific types of people (autistic children/pregnant women) or advanced education training (MFR, Dubbing, CST, Rolfing, etc.) above and beyond the basic swedish style.

Not that swedish is not important. And getting an excellent swedish therapist can be the difference between night and day, but as a base-type work, I see it as more "signature" than "specialty".

Oh, I hope I don't offend. Finding the right words, seems to be difficult for me in this particular instance.



Speaking of "Dubbing",
massagecenter wrote:My Other was Zen Bodytherapy ( Structural integration) Much like rolfing.

massagecenter, I am wondering id the Zen Bodytherapy you do is the offshoot of Dubbing, I had heard in the past that it was. I know your post is old, but I am hoping to boost your interest to add a thread about it in the Massage & Holistic Therapies (Techniques, Modalities, etc.) Section
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Postby palpable on Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:43 am

pueppi wrote:I am definitely a specialist in neck work. I can spend an hour just on the neck and related regions (traps/upper back).


I SOOOO want to schedule a session with you!!!!




In my office, I try very hard to give my opinion without getting upset if a client requests I provide some other type of work/or combination of work for their session.



Could you expand on this? I think I am following you, but not sure.
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Postby pueppi on Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:32 am

palpable wrote:
In my office, I try very hard to give my opinion without getting upset if a client requests I provide some other type of work/or combination of work for their session.

Could you expand on this? I think I am following you, but not sure.


Sure. Let's say a client comes in and has migraine headaches (easiest example I can think of right now, because this recently happened). This client was referred by another migraine headache client I have. I explained that in the past when I have worked with this problem we need to stick to about 45 mins. of the session in the neck / especially the occipital region getting some pretty intense work. It may be uncomfortable but with the way I work, it can be effective. Intervals would be once a week for at least about 6 weeks. The client only wanted moderate to light neck work for about 30 mins. with the other 30 mins. of her session to be for the right hip (some other issues regarding an old tattoo there). After three sessions (not weekly, but every two weeks) the right hip pain was diminished substantially, but the migraine was hanging on. She had now had a headache for at least three weeks straight. I had gotten it to at least be intermittent, but it was still there.

I had to explain to her that if she was unwilling to let me work a little deeper into the area and was not willing to come in more frequently, it would be difficult for me to guage where we were going with the complaint and it would be extraordinarily difficult for me to try to duplicate the results I had on her friend who had come in weekly and regulary (BTW, the friend has been a client of mine on and off for a few years now, so I am able to guage the results quite easily in her case -- every two to four weeks keeps her migraines at bay and has reduced her medication to occasional instead of daily).

Some people would get very upset with this client, because she is not listening to advice based on years of experience. But, I just keep doing what she askes for and encouraging her to let me do my work that will most likely help her. After another 2 weeks of this mess, she finally started letting me do what I do best. In 2 more weeks I was able to kill the headache - after that she did not continue with her care (she had also been complaining of a related shoulder issue since the initial visit) because of her work schedule. I figure she'll show back up in about four to six months when her schedule lessens or the headaches re-appear. :lipsaresealed:
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Postby Timedess on Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:45 pm

pueppi, when are you coming up this way? :grin:
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