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Pediatric Massage Therapy for Scoliosis

Pediatric Massage Therapy for Scoliosis

Pediatric Massage - Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition that millions of Americans are familiar with. You may have already worked with patients who suffer from pain, discomfort, and stiffness due to scoliosis. This condition is particularly detrimental to children, who may struggle with weak muscles, back pain, and fatigue from long periods of standing upright.

Luckily, massage therapy can be used to help treat scoliosis in children. A pediatric massage involves manipulating soft tissues with the aim of relieving tension and improving blood flow to affected regions. When done correctly, the symptoms of scoliosis in children can be significantly reduced.

 

 

Understanding Scoliosis in children

Scoliosis is a condition where the spinal cord curvature is increased more than usual. The spine typically has a mild curve as it runs across your back. However, patients with scoliosis have a spinal cord that resembles a C or an S shape.

Congenital scoliosis (in children) typically occurs during birth and affects children as they continue to grow. The severity of this condition will vary from one patient to another. Some spinal curvatures are barely noticeable, while others can even cause a deformity in the spine.

Some risk factors of scoliosis include birth defects, infections, cerebral palsy, or genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome. Adding pediatric massage therapy skills to your current knowledge base will help you provide adequate relief to scoliosis patients.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

Scoliosis in children manifests itself in many different ways. It can begin to develop in the womb due to the incorrect division of vertebrae, or vertebrae that don’t fully grow during early stages. Diagnosis may be done soon after birth- or even later on when the child is 10-15 years old.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

Chronic back pain
An incorrectly tilted spine and pelvis
Fatigue from standing upright
Uneven shoulders
Benefits of Massage therapy

Pediatric massage therapy is a useful technique that can treat scoliosis in children. For example, effleurage massage techniques target the soft tissues and warm them up for adjustment. Through repeated strokes along the length of a child’s spinal cord, the muscles can relax and ease pain, stiffness, or tension.

Massage therapy also uses a combination of lubricants to soften the muscles and increase blood circulation to affected areas. Children with scoliosis can enjoy significant relief from symptoms and live a healthy life with timely massage therapy sessions.

Massage therapy techniques you can learn in massage school

If you wish to advance your knowledge and skills in massage therapy for scoliosis, attending massage school is an excellent way to get started. With these advanced skills under your belt, you’ll be able to provide timely pediatric massage therapy to children who’ve been affected by this condition.

The Advantages of Attending a Clinical Massage School

The Advantages of Attending a Clinical Massage School

Seattle Massage SchoolsIs your career in the health industry? Do you want to join a career that will enable you to promote healthy lifestyles? If this is the case, going to Northwest Academy’s Seattle clinical massage school may be the best option for you. Clinical massage therapy is an effective form of treatment of different kinds of ailments, diseases, and injuries. As a clinical massage therapist, you will use specific techniques that will ease muscle pain, reduce stress, and contribute to the overall wellness of your clients.

5 Benefits of Attending a Seattle Clinical Massage Therapy School

  1. Graduate with the essential skills: Northwest Academy’s Seattle clinical massage school involves a lot of hands-on training. The qualified instructors will train you in anatomy, musculature, and other massage therapy techniques. After graduating, you will have the needed practical experience to work in clinics, hospitals, and spas.
  2. You will become licensed: Most states require that massage therapists be licensed. For you to obtain your massage therapist license, you have to first complete a certification or degree program at a recognized Seattle clinical massage therapy school and obtain the necessary massage therapy experience. One of the main reasons why massage therapy has become a respected profession is due to the strict requirements that massage therapists have to meet.
  3. Qualified and licensed massage therapists are in high demand: The value of licensed massage therapists is now widely recognized. This has led to job growth in this industry; in fact, the BLS has predicted that it will experience a job growth of 26 percent more than the average. This means that it has a faster growth rate than the nursing profession which is at 15 percent. There are always new massage therapist jobs being created in places such as office buildings and nursing homes.
  4. It takes a short time to become a licensed clinical massage therapist: When most people think of starting a new career, they imagine spending two or four years in college. However, a typical training program at Northwest Academy’s Seattle clinical massage school takes between seven months and one year to complete. Training programs are designed to equip you with skills, safety precautions, and techniques you will need to enter the employment field. Therefore, if you desire to switch careers, the short massage therapy training programs are a real plus.
  5. Flexible class schedules: If you’re thinking about switching careers or enhancing your career with additional training, your busy work schedule and personal life may prevent you from achieving your goals. Fortunately, Northwest Academy’s Seattle clinical massage therapy school can tailor a training program that can fit your lifestyle and schedule.

Take the Next Step to Become a Massage Therapist

Now that you know the several benefits of attending a Seattle clinical massage therapy school, enroll for a massage therapist course at Northwest Academy. You will learn anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, massage theories and practices, pathology, first aid and CPR that will prepare you for a massage therapist career. For more information contact an admissions assistant today.

Massage and Scleroderma

Massage and Scleroderma

Scleroderma massage therapy seattle

Let’s talk about a difficult condition called scleroderma. Massage therapy might not be among the resources you’d think of in addressing the patient’s challenges with this condition, but you’d be surprised. For a wide variety of conditions, massage therapy becomes a versatile tool for healthcare professionals who add it to their repertoire.

When you study the body from a massage therapy perspective, you also gain insight and ideas for your work as a yoga instructor, fitness professional, or other roles where you’re concerned with your clients’ physical wellbeing. It’s both a whole-body and localized treatment. Here’s how it helps with scleroderma when carefully used.

Scleroderma and its Stages

Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition which, like many such conditions, affects women much more frequently than it does men. It causes hardening of the body’s tissues, either locally or throughout the body’s systems, producing a thick feeling to the skin and other stiffness and internal damage.

The progression of a client’s scleroderma is an important factor in considering massage treatment. As damage to the body continues, its surface hardens and loses vitality and eventually internal organs can be affected. Massage therapy may not be advisable or may be of limited use during later stages of the disease.

The Advantages of Skilled Massage Therapists

Multimodal treatment, mixing massage therapy with treatment by physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers, can help a patient’s body to respond better to treatment in general. If you have one of these backgrounds, you can augment your clinical skills in a significant way by learning massage therapy. For example, it can help increase blood circulation and possibly delay the onset and worsening of symptoms.

Because there are many specialized massage techniques with varying effects on the body, a carefully designed massage program can be offered to clients to address medical concerns. Where deep tissue massage may help with some aspects of a condition, your skill and tactile sensitivity as a massage therapist can help you use a gentler approach, similar to that used for fibromyalgia.

Using the Unique Qualities of Massage to Help Scleroderma Patients

Medical guidance is essential when you are working with a client who is diagnosed with scleroderma. Depending on the type and extent of a client’s condition, deep tissue massage techniques may be somewhat useful, but attention to circulation and joint function, breath and relaxation may be more productive approaches.

You can provide gentle, repetitive touch to help capillary flow and relaxation, while breathwork and assisted joint movement can help the body stay resilient. Myofascial (muscle) techniques can conflict with the hardening of the body’s surfaces, and generally you should avoid this type of approach.

Patient Engagement Makes a Difference

Massage therapy training helps you understand the body from a client’s perspective. In addition to being a caring presence in each person’s life, you learn how to constructively use touch to assist bodies in healing from disease and maintaining health. The power of one human caring for another in a safe, structured setting allows one of the most basic human needs to be addressed — that of touch.

As an autoimmune disease, scleroderma is a complex condition and patients may feel at a loss in dealing with it. From nurses to fitness coaches, when people help us with our physical well being, it’s usually with a minimum of hands-on connection and mostly verbal. When you, as a massage therapist, address specific physical challenges which the client is experiencing, you also address the patient as a whole, helping her to develop an inner strength to deal with her life’s challenges.

To learn more about how massage therapy can be beneficial for Scleroderma contact our Seattle student massage clinic

Massage Therapy Job Outlook in Washington

Massage Therapy Job Outlook in Washington

Massage Therapy Job Outlook – A career in massage therapy gives you the power to relieve pain and promote health while earning a good income. Nationally, the field is expected to continue growing at an accelerate rate through the year 2024.

For massage therapy Seattle and its tech-heavy culture make a perfect match. If you are thinking about a career in massage therapy Seattle is one of the best places in the country.

Washington State Requirements

Massage therapists are regulated by the Washington State Department of Health, Board of Massage. To maintain an active license, therapists must meet the following requirements.

Applicants must complete an approved training program that includes:

  • 130 hours anatomy and physiology
  • 40 hours kinesiology instruction
  • 50 hours pathology
  • 265 hours theory and practice, including technique
  • 55 hours clinical and business practices
  • Red Cross first aid certification
  • CPR certification
  • 4 hours HIV/AIDS discussion

Those who received training out-of-state or who are licensed in another location may not meet Washington state education requirements. To verify previous experience, a verification form must be completed by the jurisdiction or school where your credentials were gained.

All applicants must successfully complete the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) examination.

After completing the training program and testing, therapists must submit all necessary paperwork to the Board of Massage, along with any applicable fees. Once your application information is verified, you will receive your Washington state massage therapy license.

Massage therapy licenses expire on the holder’s birthday every year. They can be renewed up to 90 days in advance.

Every two years, practitioners must complete 24 hours of continuing education credits. These must include:

  • 8+ hours direct massage skills training
  • 4+ hours professional ethics, communication, or review of state laws and regulations
  • 2 hours review of professional roles and boundaries

Massage Therapy Seattle Area Employment Outlook

For those practicing massage therapy Seattle has a variety of job opportunities in different industries.

  • Personal care services, such as in-home aid
  • Working with other health practitioners as part of a team
  • Amusement and recreation, such as spas and high-end hotels
  • Hospitals and long-term rehabilitation care

Massage Therapy Job Outlook for Washington is great in general. For a successful career in massage therapy Seattle is a great place to set up a freelance operation. For mobile massage therapy Seattle is the perfect place to create your own career by making office visits.

  • When it comes to pay for those practicing massage therapy Seattle is one of the best paying locations in the country. Seattle area therapists command an impressive hourly mean wage of $26.89, well above the national average of $19.17.
  • Washington has the 4th highest demand for massage therapists in the country. The state also consistently posts high employment rates for those in the field.
  • Massage therapy positions in Washington are expected to increase by 41.3% in the next 8 years. The demand for new massage talent will soon cause a shortage of qualified applicants. This could drive wages up in the future, making the area even more attractive for knowledgeable bodywork professionals.

When practicing massage therapy Seattle offers opportunity and variety. Enjoy a fulfilling and profitable career as a respected health professional. When it comes to massage therapy Seattle is the best place in the country to learn, practice, and live.

For questions relating to the Massage Therapy Job Outlook in Washington State contact our admission department today!

Massage Therapy and Cardiovascular Health

Massage Therapy and Cardiovascular Health

Massage and Cardiovascular Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in every 4 American deaths is directly related to heart disease. Conditions like coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and other cardiovascular ailments kill over 600,000 people each year.

Massage therapy offers clients with cardiovascular issues many benefits that can help them improve their cardiovascular health and reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack.

What Contributes to Cardiovascular Disease?

There are three major factors that contribute to the development of heart disease.

  1. Congenital Conditions

These conditions are caused by structural abnormalities present at the time of birth.

  1. Viral infections

Myocarditis is damage to the heart due to certain viruses.

  1. Lifestyle Choices

Daily habits are currently the biggest contributor to heart disease.

  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Chronic stress

How Stress and Pain Affect the Heart

When a person experiences a painful or stressful event, the brain releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These chemicals prepare the body to fight or run away from dangerous situations. The body responds by tensing muscles, shortening the breath, and increasing the heart rate.

This response, however, is only supposed to be short-term. Too much of these hormones can fatigue the body, especially the cardiovascular system. Without relief, long-term stress or chronic pain will weaken the heart muscle. Combined with less-than-healthy lifestyle choices, these factors can lead to heart disease.

How Massage Supports Cardiovascular Health

Massage therapy helps patients with cardiac issues address some of the factors that may be contributing to their condition. In conjunction with doctor-prescribed protocols, massage also helps patients manage some of the side effects of treatment.

  • Induce states of physical and mental relaxation, which can help alleviate the effects of chronic stress and anxiety on the whole body.
  • Loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow, which improves overall circulation and decreases the chances of stroke-causing clots.
  • Alleviate chronic pain, which helps interrupt the brain’s “fight or flight” response.
  • Reduce anxiety before or after surgical procedures.

Some common side effects from traditional drug therapies used to treat heart disease can be treated effectively with massage.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches

Precautions

While massage is generally safe and effective, there are some cautions to keep in mind when working with cardiac patients.

  • Those on blood thinning drugs should avoid vigorous or deep tissue techniques, as these can cause bruising, inflammation, or tissue damage.
  • Massage is not recommended for those with low blood pressure.
  • Patients with a history of blood clots should avoid Swedish techniques.
  • Therapists should avoid manipulating the area around pacemakers, stents, or other implanted devices.
  • Patients with signs of congestive heart failure should start with short massages, and slowly work up to longer sessions, as tolerated.

Recent studies also who that consistent massage therapy can reduce blood pressure and heart rate. High blood pressure and rate are major factors in heart attack risk.

Patients who combine traditional medical treatments with massage techniques experience an increase in energy, physical relaxation, and mental focus. This can help them recover faster from surgical procedures, or avoid major cardiovascular events.

Scoliosis and Massage Therapy

Scoliosis and Massage Therapy

Scoliosis massage

Over 30% of the American population has some form of scoliosis. You may have already helped clients who suffer from this condition in your regular bodywork or therapy practice. While traditional treatments vary, massage therapy is a safe addition to any client’s treatment plan.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition of the spine. It causes the spine to curve left or right into a distinctive “S” or “C” shape. The spine compresses. This compression throws off the patient’s balance, and can contribute to a variety of health complications.

  • Sore, painful muscles
  • Difficult, stiff movement
  • Hunch back
  • Lung and heart problems
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness

If left untreated, the spine will continue to curve. This can lead to nerve, joint, and ligaments damage, as well as permanent disability.

What Causes Scoliosis?

Most scoliosis cases are classified as idiopathic. That means there is no known cause.

For about 20% of cases, doctors can point to a definite root condition. These cases are classified as structural or non-structural.

Structural scoliosis causes the spine to bend into a rigid curve that cannot be corrected. It is caused by underlying conditions like

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Birth defects
  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Marfan’s or Down Syndrome, or similar genetic disorders

The spine of a patient suffering from non-structural scoliosis works normally. The characteristic curve is caused by injury, weakness, or illness of surrounding body parts. When the cause is treated, non-structural scoliosis generally disappears.

Scoliosis can also be developed while still in the womb. Congenital damage to growing vertebrae can cause the spine to curve, not divide properly, or not grow completely. Some patients with congenital scoliosis are not diagnosed until they are between the ages of 10 and 15. During this time, many children go through several growth spurts, which makes structural malformations more noticeable.

Degenerative scoliosis is caused by the wearing of joints and discs in adults. Their damaged joints cause the surrounding muscles to strain, which leads to a curved spine.

Massage Therapy for Scoliosis Patients

While scoliosis massage cannot correct curved or twisted bones, including the spine, it can help clients reduce pain and increase mobility.

  • Massage relaxes muscles that are pulled out of place by shifted bone structures, which can significantly calm tight, uncomfortable sensations.
  • Deep tissue techniques increase blood circulation and break up scar tissues, which makes it easier for patients to move freely.
  • Patients who receive massage prior to chiropractic or neuromuscular therapies report better results from these treatments.
  • Massage is known to soothe the mind as well as the body. A decrease in mental stress is linked to a better ability to deal with chronic pain issues.

Early and regular scoliosis massage therapy, in conjunction with standard medical treatments like exercise and the use of a brace, can help scoliosis patients avoid complicated surgeries.

There is no cure for scoliosis. However, it is highly manageable. The goal of treatment is to reduce the progression of spine curvature, reduce discomfort, and restore or improve mobility. Scoliosis Massage therapy can help your client achieve these goals more quickly than with standard treatments alone.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: What is it? And How Do I Relieve it?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: What is it? And How Do I Relieve it?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Massage Therapy

In our fast-paced, technology-addicted world, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common complaint. The stiff muscles and shooting pain sufferers experience can have a significantly negative impact on daily life. As a professional therapist or bodyworker, it’s likely you will work with a client who has Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Understanding this increasingly common condition will allow you to help your clients achieve maximum relief.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when pressure is exerted on the median nerve that runs through the arm and wrist. This nerve controls motion and feeling in all digits except the little finger. When the nerve reaches the wrist, it runs through a narrow structure of bone and ligament called the carpal tunnel. Constant pressure on the nerve causes it to press against the bony parts of the structure. If left untreated, the nerve will sustain damage that can cause a variety of symptoms.

  • Numbness
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Tingling
  • Pain in fingers, hand, or forearm
  • Many sufferers first notice their symptoms at night.

Getting a Diagnosis

As always, patients should seek an official diagnosis from their primary medical physician. The doctor will start with a medical history. People with arthritis, hypothyroidism, and diabetes are at higher risk of developing the condition. The doctor will ask about recent injuries or accidents affecting the head, shoulders, arms, or hands. They will also examine your daily routine. Those with jobs that require small, repetitive movements of the hands and wrists have a greater chance of their symptoms being caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

The doctor then performs a physical examination. They will check muscle strength, sensation (the ability to feel), and the general appearance of the head, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands. Some specialists may order blood or nerve tests to verify results.

Traditional Treatment Methods

Depending on the severity of symptoms, conventional treatment options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome vary. Milder symptoms can often be treated effectively at home.

  • Stop any activities that may be causing symptoms. If that is not possible, try to rest your wrists and hands often.
  • Place an ice pack on wrists for 10-15 minutes at a time up to 2 times per hour to reduce discomfort.
  • N-SAIDs, like Ibuprofen or Naproxen Sodium, reduce painful swelling.
  • Wearing a wrist splint while sleeping can lessen pressure on the median nerve.

If symptoms are allowed to progress, more severe interventions may be necessary. Powerful anti-inflammatory medications, called corticosteroids, can be prescribed in pill form or injected directly into the wrist. While these medications can significantly reduce pain associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, they do not provide permanent relief. Surgery is an option for the most advanced cases.

Other Self-Treatment Options

There are some simple steps everyone can take to decrease the intensity of symptoms and frequency of attacks caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

  • Regular Stretching 
  • Get treated for contributing conditions.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Exercise regularly.

In addition to lifestyle changes, sufferers should take measures to protect their wrists and hands.

  • Keep wrists elevated when using a keyboard.
  • Keep shoulders relaxed and at the sides while typing or working.
  • Use the whole hand to grip items rather than just fingers.
  • Switch hands during repetitive motions.

Massage Therapy for Natural Pain Relief

Certain massage techniques have been proven to relax tight muscles and fascia in the arm and shoulder and reduce pressure on the median nerve. For clients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a muscle specific massage will help address holding patterns associated with repetitive use while also increasing blood flow to the affected region. Leaving your client feeling loose, refreshed, and hopefully pain-free.

Contact us today to learn more about how massage therapy can be an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Low Back Pain Relief with These 8 Tips

Low Back Pain Relief with These 8 Tips

low back pain seattle

Low back pain is experience by over 80% of Americans during their lifetime. It is one of the most common complaints medical professionals hear. You’ve probably had clients complain about a stiff, achy lower back. Therapeutic massage and any other types of bodywork can relax stressed muscles and temporarily relieve pain from acute attacks. But if your client has chronic low back pain issues, they may need more structured interventions. Offer these tips to help your clients achieve a strong, flexible and injury-free back.

Causes and Impact

Low back pain can result from many causes.

  • Injury
  • Improper posture
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Strained ligaments
  • Medical conditions like disk disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and some infections

Regardless of the cause, the impact on daily life can be immense. Stiff, achy muscles and swollen ligaments make it difficult to perform normal activities. Persistent pain can lead to lost work hours and a lower overall quality of life.

Get Moving

When the pain is at its worst, your client will be looking for fast relief. After therapeutic massages, exercise is the single best solution to muscle pain and tightness.

  • Sitting or standing in one position for too long cause tension and pressure that can add up over time. Encourage sedentary clients to get up and exercise. Aerobic activity triggers the release of endorphins. These chemicals reduce your perception of pain, and acts a mild muscle relaxant.
  • Regular exercise strengthens weak muscles, which reduces strain on the lower back. Suggest some simple exercises to strengthen your client’s core muscles.
  • In addition to aerobic and strengthening exercises, advise your client to include stretches to increase flexibility in tight, knotted areas.

Correct Posture

Talk to your client about using good posture throughout their day.

  • Educate your client on the benefits of ergonomically correct workstations and lumbar supports. Maintaining a healthy curve in the spine reduces stress on ligaments, discs, and joints.
  • If you do not offer chiropractic services, refer your client to a trusted colleague. Periodic spinal adjustments, in conjunction with therapeutic massage and exercise, will correct misalignments that cause lower back pain.

Relax and Heal

After your massage session, suggest some self-care procedures your client can do at home to help them relax overworked muscles and let their bodies heal.

  • Alternate ice and heat. Heat increases the flow of warm, nourishing blood to speed healing. Ice calms irritated nerve endings and decreases painful swelling.
  • Talk to your client about sleeping positions. Lying on the side with a pillow between the knees reduces strain on the lower back and hips. Those who prefer to sleep on their backs should place a pillow under their knees. Sleeping on the stomach should be avoided.
  • Some lower back pain has been linked to mental or emotional stress. Suggest balancing activities that soothe mind and body, like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

Talk to your client about their pain. Take a few minutes to help them make a personalized plan, tailored to their current level of physical ability, pain tolerance, and commitment.

Low back pain doesn’t have to take over your client’s life. With the right combination of self-care and professional treatment, you can help your clients achieve a strong, flexible, and healthy spine.

Learn more today about how you can help people with low back pain with a career in massage therapy

Easy Spring Exercises for Summer Preparation

Easy Spring Exercises for Summer Preparation

easy spring exercise running

With winter’s end looming near, the thoughts of many are turning to shorts and bikini season. After months of thick, shapeless sweaters and holiday indulgence, your clients are probably looking for simple spring exercises to shed extra pounds and firm up neglected muscles. Offer these easy spring exercises to help your client achieve a their beach-ready body.

The Basics

Before starting any workout plan or routine, have your client check with their primary physician to make sure they are healthy enough.

The effectiveness of any exercise routine depends on commitment and consistency. Even light, low-intensity workouts can have a significant impact on general health and physical appearance, if done on a regular basis. Workouts should be done at least 3 times per week. For faster results, do spring exercises up to five times per week.

Most fitness experts suggest 30-60 minutes of vigorous activity each day. Those who can’t commit to a large block of time will still see benefits with a series of 10-15 minute workouts.

  • Always start with a light warm-up, like jogging in place.
  • Fat-burning aerobic activities are just as important as muscle-toning moves.
  • Start off easy. Weight and repetitions can always be added later. Don’t overdo it!
  • Finish your spring exercises with some easy stretches.
  • You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Caution clients to limit calories for ultimate results.
  • Hydration is important. Health experts suggest at least 64 ounces of water each day.

Easy Spring Exercises

A beach-ready body has toned arms, legs, buttocks, and a strong core. These simple moves can add some perk to your clients’ spring exercises. All of these easy spring exercises can be done without special equipment.

  • Burpees

Burpees are a wonder exercise. There are variations for every fitness level. When done correctly, Burpees hit almost every major muscle group in the body, but are especially good for the quads, abs, and shoulders. They also increase heart rate to aerobic levels when done quickly.

  • Lunges and Squats

Sleek, muscular leg and gluteal muscles are the best accessories for summer outfits. Lunges and squats sculpt and strengthen the quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings. Add in some weighted arm motions to increase heart rate to fat burning levels.

  • Curls

Bicep and triceps curls focus on two out of three major muscle groups in the arm. The triceps sit at the back of the arm and can become loose, flabby, and unattractive from disuse. Curls with hand weights, or using a machine at the gym, can reduce unflattering pockets of cellulite.

  • Planks

One simple spring exercise that is guaranteed to challenge is the plank. Planks can sculpt abs without a single crunch or sit-up. They also work the glutes, back, and chest for an all-over toning session. This move can be easily modified to avoid pressure on injured body parts.

  • Bridges

Bridges target gluteal muscles, where stubborn pockets of fat can be hard to shape up. They also strengthen the hamstring muscles in the back of the leg for a smoother looking limb.

The number of sets and repetitions depends on current physical condition. Those who are just starting their fitness journey should shoot for one set of 15 repetitions of each move (hold plank for 15 seconds), and add sets as strength increases. Those who are more active should add 3 to 4 sets of 15 repetitions to their regular spring exercises.

Help your client achieve their best summer body. Get them started with these easy spring exercises today, and they will be sure to thank you in a few weeks!

Bookkeeping & Taxes in Massage

Massage Therapy Bookkeeping

The dreams of owning your own business are layered with the benefits of doing so: making your own schedule, doing something you love, being your own boss, leaving the time clock and name badge to the annals of history. You may not, however, be prepared for the required work that must be done as owner or co-owner of a business.

If you purposely or accidentally neglect massage therapy bookkeeping requirements, you may have to pay for it later. It is better to be prepared, organized, and aligned with both state and federal requirements for entrepreneurs so that you can focus even more of your energies on the mission of your massage therapy business.

Tips for Massage Therapy Bookkeeping and Tax Requirements as an Independent Massage Therapist

  • Get educated, knowledgeable, and licensed in the field. There are great massage therapy programs available to you wherever you are located. To be in compliance in most states, you will have to provide licensure. A good massage therapy program will also give instruction about how to run a business, how to file with the state revenue departments and the IRS, and how to keep the paperwork under control.
  • Taxes – Taxes can be the bane of any business owner, yet they are mandatory. It is best to have a system that works for you. While some massage therapists may choose to do their own personal taxes or quarterly business taxes, many also contract with a licensed tax professional. There are books and online courses available for learning the process of taxation, but as other therapists therapists for advice.
  • Keep accurate and precise financial records – The key to efficiency in massage therapy bookkeeping is routine. Figure out a system that works for you on a daily basis and then keep it. Having accurate, precise records of your business expenses, appointments/sessions, and income will save you both time and money when the records are needed. Whether you are using a computer-based system, cloud-based system, or file folder system, keep it organized. Poor record keeping inevitably leads to lost time, and as a small business owner, time has financial value.
  • Keep thorough records – No one ever wants to be a part of a legal suit, but it can happen. Medical and health services professionals are often called as trusted witnesses for a variety of legal suits. When this happens, you want to have records that explains the specific reasons each patient was treated, the ailment or reason for their making the appointment, and the level of comfort after.
  • Estimate monthly expenses – One of the basic demands of owning a business is estimating your projected expenses so that you can create a reasonable, reliable budget. Many business owners estimate both monthly and annually, adjusting based upon need.
  • Familiarize yourself with accounting software – If you do decide to save on the cost of hiring a tax professional, you will need to look at various accounting software packages that keep your massage therapy bookkeeping accurate and documented. The good news is that you have many options. QuickBooks, Sage, and FreshBooks are three of the leaders, but there are others that may work best for you, depending on your need and level of detail.

You’re going into business, in part, for financial reasons. You want your own work to result in your own profit. To make this dream real, you have to be concerned with implementing organization and accuracy in your massage therapy bookkeeping from the first time you turn the sign in the window to say “We’re Open.”