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A graduate recently posted a great question in the Facebook, Spa Tech Institute Career Builders about the value of APTA, RPP and BCPP in light of the fact that Polarity Therapy is still relatively unknown and the view that the APTA has done little to promote polarity.

The acronyms stand for American Polarity Therapy Association (APTA), Registered Polarity Practitioner (RPP) and Board Certified Polarity Practitioner (BCPP). The BCPP is an independently administered certification exam that measures minimum competency to enter the industry and call yourself a RPP. The purpose of having an independent exam is to create a level of credibility that other organizations, most notably insurance companies, a credential that justifies authorizing insurance payments for the services. The insurance companies need to justify what they cover and this is the way they have chosen to sift out the thousands of options that exist.

Does Anyone See Your Facebook Posts?

It appears there has been a shift in the Facebook "surface" formula that is good to know if you want to build your social marketing effectiveness. The "surface" formula is what Facebook uses to determine what surfaces on your news feed and what remains hidden. Understanding the formula is critical to having your Fans actually see what you post.

This week the Patrick administration submitted a proposal to change some aspects of the Division of Professional Licensure to streamline certain areas as well address some fee issues. The intention is to make it easier and less expensive for small businesses in the state. The changes can be seen at the Governor's website. A few of the most important changes affect massage license fees as well as barbering, cosmetology and electrology which will now all be under one board.

Bright Future for the Spa and Salon Industry

It appears the industry is set for additional expansion into the future. According to a report by GIA (Global Industry Analysts) the world health spa market is supposed to grow to $77.2 billion by 2015. But what's really interesting is the finding that a lot of the high end medical treatments are in less demand while the stress and health related services like massage, facials and fitness have increased.

How does being a smoker affect your career as a massage therapist? This is a very delicate issue that affects clients and smokers alike.

It's important to not be judgmental. Everyone has their own path in life and no one is in a position to pass judgement on anyone unless you have walked that path. That being said, being a smoker or having clients that smoke presents challenges to a successful career. We will start with clients who smoke. There are two challenges.

The first is to understand how you can give the person the greatest benefit. Being able to support them in getting healthier is your primary responsibility. However, the only time you should address the issue of smoking with them is if they sincerely want your help in changing this aspect of their life, either by cutting down or eliminating smoking from their life. If they ask for this support, you need to proceed slowly and carefully and work to understand their needs, stresses and past experience.

The emphasis needs to be on helping them to get stronger so they can make change and learn how to make change. Based on the Law of Attraction (What you focus on you get more of) you will want to focus on how their life would be if they didn't smoke. If you focus on quitting smoking that can often lead to reinforcing the energy of smoking.

The second thing that you need to deal with is the residual smell that can fill your space. You need to have a good strategy for making sure the smell is completely cleared from your space, linens and clothing before you see your next client. For this reason you may need to schedule smokers for the end of the day so you can air out the space and have clean clothes. You may also want to invest in an ion and or ozone air cleaner to run during the night. No matter how you handle it, just understand that non-smokers and reformed smokers are usually very sensitive to the smell and can harm your professional practice.

The more challenging situation is if you are a smoker. Again, there is no judgement on you. That is your situation and this is about strategies to learn to minimize the impact it has on your professional practice, not to scold you for being a smoker. If you are a light smoker who is very careful about when you smoke in relation to your sessions, always being careful to wash your hair and having clean clothes that do not smell of smoke, is essential. One suggestion is that if there are smokers in your home, that you keep your session clothes at your office so you can change into them and put your everyday clothes outside of your office in your car or somewhere the odor will not get into your space.

If you are a more dedicated smoker who smokes between sessions, in your car and home and you cannot eliminate the odor from your clothes, you will probably find over time that the majority of your clients are also dedicated smokers. Sometimes this works particularly well for them because they are more comfortable going to a therapist that's a smoker so they don't feel judged or uncomfortable.

Of course, there are several considerations that you will need to take into account.

First, smokers tend to make up a small percentage of the population in this part of the world. This chart shows the percentage of smokers broken out be state. The rates vary from 13% in the New England states up to over 22% in several of the central and southern states. In New England and California, being a dedicated smoker means that you may be restricting your market significantly.

The other question is whether smokers are less likely to seek massage since they may be less dedicated to being healthy. My guess is that smokers may have a higher level of stress and are risk takers which may actually make them a more likely candidate for the benefits of massage. If that's the case, it could offset the clients that are harder to retain due to sensitivity to the smell of smoke.

Again, this is not judging anyone. It's just trying to share some ideas that may help you to be more successful. Whatever your path, know that being a massage therapist is about helping people to deal with life and be healthier.

By being a massage therapist you are making a significant difference for a lot of people. Thank you for doing this work and keep up the good work.

Sincerely,

Kris Stecker

Spa Tech Institute, Schools of Massage, Polarity, Aesthetics and Cosmetology

I just returned from Tempe where I spent a tremendously inspiring day with Jerry Johnson and his team. Jerry and his partner, Jessica Wolman are the owners of 20 cosmetology schools and a product company, to name a few of their ventures. I was there to learn about a school management software package they are developing. In addition to the information on the package I got a wonderful bonus: An education on business and leadership. But how did Jerry get from growing up on a chicken farm to cosmetology and to his current success?

Whether it's an employee who doesn't get it, a client who misses appointments or a squeaky massage table, if you tolerate it, it will persist.

Nothing is going to change.

And quite probably, it will drive you crazy. And here is a horrible truth: It is a reflection of you. You will get what you expect. You will also have what you will tolerate.

Every 7 or 8 years the massage and holistic community is swept with multilevel or network marketed products. It seems to take that long for people to forget or to have a sufficient number of new people in the industry who are at a point where they are looking for additional income streams. Every time it happens, it tends to first be enthusiastically marketed to other practitioners first and then the attempt is made to market to clients. Every time, it's a disaster that destroys relationships and businesses.

There was a recent article on physician burnout that brings to light a very important point for the massage and polarity therapy industries. The need for professional massage therapists and polarity therapists is more urgent than ever. Rather than people who come into the profession for 6 months or a couple of years, what's needed are therapists who come in to make this their life long profession. The demands on physicians with changing technology, medical financial challenges from new government funding models and the extremely high cost of becoming a doctor is making the profession increasingly less attractive to be a doctor.

On July 17th, the Massachusetts State Board of Cosmetology rescinded it's prior May 1st order restricting schools from offering 600 hour aesthetics programs in Massachusetts. The reasons for why the order was originally created are still not entirely clear. However the most consistent information was that it was due to some schools not informing students that they could take the exam once they completed 300 hours as well as not having curricula that prepared students for the exam by 300 hours.

I recently had the pleasure of having a session with Stephen Baglioni, LMT of Massage Therapy Unlimited in Beverly, MA. Having recently broken several ribs, I was in constant pain and a veritable minefield of sensitive pressure points. In short, other than burned skin, it was probably one of the most challenging injuries you could present to a massage therapist. Choosing to get a session with Steve just 10 days after the injury was based on knowing his work in the Spa Tech Institute massage program several years before.

Spa Tech Institute, schools of massage, polarity and aesthetics teaches the vital link between water, health and wellness. At birth the body is up to 79% water and it decreases into old age. As the percentage of water in the body decreases, the body's toxicity increases due to the reduction of flow of vital fluid, the mind is affected as well as most of the rest of the body.

Welcome to the Spa Tech Institute professional career blog. Succeeding in the health, wellness and beauty professions is easy if you have the right training, information and attitude. The Spa Tech Institute Professional Blog is a resource for everyone who is interested in succeeding is this field. Whether you are new or experienced, have a small or large business or are thinking of getting into the field, the purpose of the blog is to share important information from experienced professionals and companies to help the entire industry improve.

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