First blog post of the year! I hope that 2019 is getting off to a great start for you. It has already been so busy for me! It is always pretty busy after the holidays. Everyone want to come in and de-stress as things get back to normal. Many have gift certificates to redeem and I usually get to see people I haven’t seen in a while. Then, there is all the “business stuff”—getting end of year stuff together for my accountant, tax prep, etc.
I also try to spend a little time reflecting on the past year, looking over my current menu of services—thinking about possible additions, deletions, or changes. Last year was huge! We opened our Breathing Room for our clients and it has been such a wonderful addition to the studio. I am so thankful to Margaret for all she did to help make that a reality. If you haven’t seen it, feel free to come early or stay late for a session and spend some time relaxing in there. We have a soothing fireplace and comfy chairs. 2018 also marked the 5 year anniversary Nature’s Elements Massage! Time really flies, doesn’t it? So, as I was looking over our menu and the most popular services, it was pretty obvious (and really always has been) that good ole massage and bodywork is the most popular service. Makes sense, since we are a massage studio. It seems that most of you just want a good massage—no frills, bells, or whistles. Well, maybe add a little stone in, some aromatherapy, or maybe some cupping. There is the occasional facial or body wrap, but those include lots of massage as well. Almost never do we get a request for any stand alone spa service or any service that includes a foot soak or scrub—while foot massage is very popular. I did experiment with some monthly complimentary “mini” versions of add-on services (like stones or bamboo), and that seemed to get people interested in some new services. Many of these services can be really beneficial when added to a massage—they can add elements of heat or cold, or alternate ways to achieve muscle release (like cupping or tuning forks). I found that folks like to experience “a little” of something extra, but they don’t want to give up the massage to get it. With all of this in mind, I have made a few changes to the menu, to reflect what you need.
Beginning 2019, I decided to make certain “mini” add-on options complimentary. But in order to be able to do a good, thorough massage, only 1 can be added to any session. (It would be really hard to include stones, bamboo and cupping to a massage and still have time to do the actual massage.) These options will include: warm stones, warm salt stones, cool marble stones, warm bamboo, massage cupping, tuning forks, and kansa wands. “Mini” will be defined as application to one body area (for example, the back or legs). If you would like the full body experience of an add-on, those are available for a small fee. Also, some of these options requite a little prep time (anything requiring heat), so please let me know when you schedule so I can have them ready. My goal in offering this is to be able to better help you achieve the goals for your massage session. I may even suggest we try certain ones that I think may help. I did remove some “spa” services (like any foot soaks/scrubs) from the menu, simply because they were taking up valuable space. They are not being advertised, but I will still provide them if requested. They will stay on the website menu and online booking, but not the printed menus.
One other major thing I am changing in 2019 will be my availability. This year marks my 19th year as a very active full time massage therapist. I have worked 6 days a week, performing an average of 4-5 massages a day (or combining teaching and massage) with no official vacations. I absolutely love what I do and would not change a thing. BUT-I am reluctantly coming to the realization that I can’t continue at that pace forever. My Saturdays are filled for at least a month ahead. I am so thankful to have such wonderful clients/friends who have stuck by me for all these years. And I want to cater to them first. So, I am going to take Saturday off of the ONLINE BOOKING schedule. No worries, I am still working Saturdays—I will always do that. But I want to take back control of the schedule for that day. I have so many standings and several on a “standing call list” for cancelations that I just don’t want to offer that day to new clients unless they contact me directly to be put on the list. So, heads up everyone—IF Saturday is your best or only day for massage AND you prefer to have your massage from me (and I love you all!), THEN you might consider trying to book ahead or scheduling a standing appointment, or try to figure a way to come a different day of the week. As for the rest of the week, I am going to strive to keep my appointments to no more than 5 hours per day. Depending on the length of session, that may be anywhere from 4-6 clients. Once I hit 5 hours on the book, that day will be closed to ONLINE booking. (of course, I will make exceptions for extreme circumstances when I am able to do so. You will just need to contact me directly.) This is a hard decision for me, but my body is telling me it would like a little of my attention. It has served me so well for all these years, so I am trying to listen. Just remember, if you are booking online (and I love that you do!) and you don’t see the availability you are looking for, just get in touch with me. If I can’t work it out or we can’t figure a different day or time, I can always put you on a call list. I often have cancelations and it is nice when I have someone I know would like the spot whom I can contact quickly. I also have a couple of good therapists I can refer you to if you just can’t wait.
I am excited to see what the year 2019 has in store for me, both personally and professionally. It is already shaping up to be a great year and I hope it will be for you too. I will keep in touch with you and keep you posted on any cool things that happen here. So, I know I am a little late, but Happy New Year to you all!