// Massage your way to a better business

Benefits of massage
  • Better circulation
  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Improved range of motion and muscle flexibility
  • Relief of tension
    Reduced stress
  • Clearer thinking
  • Enhanced self-image
  • Better digestion and respiratory function
  • Reduced chance of injury
  • Improved sleep.
By qualifying as a masseur you can increase client retention and build an additional revenue stream, says Heather Grobbelaar. And she should know, she’s done it.

Massage therapy is one of the most simple and satisfying ways to make people feel good about themselves. It is also a great way to increase client retention and add a new revenue stream to your personal training business.

With personal training and massage qualifications under your belt, you instantly expand your career options to include the resort, professional sports or leisure industries. Whether you open your own business, join a fitness centre, work for a sports team or on a cruise ship, your massage qualification gives you an extra income source as well as the ability to service more clients.

How can massage help your business?

Personal trainers and group exercise instructors are always looking for new ways to increase their productivity and their yield, and a qualification in massage provides the opportunity to do this while helping to boost clients’ recovery, rehabilitation and overall fitness and serving as a great retention tool.

Promoting massage to clients is also a natural ‘up-sell’ for personal trainers and fitness instructors. Consider if 15 per cent of your clients or members had previously had a positive experience with massage; that’s 15 per cent who are likely to take advantage of your massage services because they already feel comfortable with you.

By bolstering the mind-body component of your business, massage skills also help you stand out from the competition and give you creative options for packaging services to attract new clients and help retain existing ones. Like your best personal training clients, regular receivers of massage can be very loyal to their therapists.

How can it be combined with your PT business?

Most personal trainers will find that the majority of their client training sessions are earlier in the morning or in the evening, leaving the rest of the day available to offer massage therapy. Whether you conduct massage as a stand-alone service or offer it at the end of your personal training sessions, it is a way to expand your income-generating hours.
If you choose to add a massage qualification to your skills base, it is probable that the concept of massage already holds some appeal to you.  If so, it would be natural to highlight your point of difference by promoting and marketing massage therapy as both part of your business and an integral part of your business culture. It’s about taking a holistic approach to health and fitness that incorporates all aspects of your client’s wellbeing, not just their physical fitness.

Refer clients to yourself!

After tiring of sending my group training clients to local masseurs when they complained of aches and pains, I decided to become qualified in delivering massage myself.

Three months after completing the course, I’m amazed by the increase in income and the expanded client base that has arisen from offering massage therapy. Adding massage to my group fitness and personal training business has increased my income five-fold, if not more, as I can perform six or seven massages per day in addition to my training sessions. The work has come without me having to do too much in the way of external advertising, as my target market was my existing database of group training clients; via this initial group, other people have become clients through word-of-mouth.

When I was deciding on where to do my massage training I looked at a number of courses but ultimately opted for the one which offered deep tissue and trigger point therapy as a Certificate IV – this was the Master Trainer Advantage course with the Australian Institute of Fitness. Deep tissue is the type of massage people are now asking for; they don’t just want the type of relaxation massage you can get at a beauty therapist.

So, how can you get qualified?

Completing the Master Trainer Advantage course with the Australian Institute of Fitness will see you qualified as a personal trainer and massage therapist. The course combines the Institute’s Master Trainer L1 program (includes Certificate III in Fitness and Certificate IV in Fitness) with Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice. However, if, like most Network members, you are already Certificate III qualified (or higher), you wouldn’t need to do the bridging stage of the course, so your course fees would be greatly reduced.

The Massage Therapy component covers anatomy/physiology, communication, contraindications and disease states, as well as the skills to perform a variety of techniques such as relaxation massage, sports massage, heat and cold therapy, sports stretching, deep tissue massage and trigger point techniques.

The course has a very hands-on training approach, with theory taught alongside practical training, so as early on as day two you will be given the opportunity to put knowledge into practice. And rather than learning one competency at a time, competencies are combined in an integrated and practical learning style. For more information, call the Australian Institute of Fitness on 1300 669 669.

Logistically, qualifying as a masseur wasn’t as difficult as I had envisaged. Because I run my own fitness business, the idea of studying for additional qualifications seemed incompatible with my working day, but by completing the part time evening course I was able to keep up my regular business during the daytime.

Fortunately, the course assisted with the marketing side of becoming a masseur, and I also learnt how to sell the benefits of massage to clients and how to encourage repeat visits rather than single sessions. Now, feeling the benefits that regular massage brings them, nine out of ten clients come back within the month and again the following month – it’s hugely rewarding to get such tangible feedback for the service I’m delivering.

If you want to add another string to your fitness bow by expanding the services you deliver to clients – and increasing your revenue streams – massage may just be the natural progression you’re looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Grobbelaar
With five year’s fitness industry experience, Heather is a qualified personal trainer, group fitness and aqua instructor. In 2009 she graduated from the Australian Institute of Fitness as a massage therapist specialising in fitness and sport. She runs her fitness and massage business, Healthier Treatments, in Bunbury and Collie, WA.

NETWORK MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2010 • PP58-59