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Kitten34
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Hi

I've been thinking of doing a one day course in Hot Stones Massage run by Gateway Workshops.

I have slightly mixed feelings about it (and of one day courses in general) since I previously did a Deep Tissue course with Gateway and didn't find it to be technical or comprehensive enough.

So I just wondered if anyone has any opinions - good or bad - about the Gateway Hot Stones course?

Also, does anyone have any advice to offer on how much I should expect to spend buying a kit to get me started (heater, stones, etc)? I admit that I know nothing about hot stones massage at the moment, and my main reason (apart from the obvious of expanding my skills set) is to hopefully attract more female clients, since at the moment, most of my clients are male.

Thanks in advance for any advice or comments.

Kitten
x

23 Replies
Lynora
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From a client perspective, I've experienced a 'workshop' treatment, and La Stone treatment. The latter was utter bliss. The former I had to ask the therapist to stop as it was too painful. The way you have worded your post makes me think that you already have reservations!

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myarka
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Hi Kitten,

I've not done the Gateway course, but I don't think 1 day is enough to train a therapist in Hot/cold stone therapy.

The training I received was 3 days, spread over 3 months, where I had to complete case studies between training days.

If you want to get a good idea if this course will give you the comptance to practice hot/cold stone therapy, get hold of a copy of the [url]La Stone book[/url], and book yourself in for a treatment.

I'm not La Stone trained of use their products because I find them a bit on the expensive side. But their book, information, etc.. is top quality.

As for equipment, it really depends where you're going to practice, i.e. home, therapy room or mobile. I prefer to use natural stones and a basic kit with heater costs about £90. Some people use slow cookers bought from a supermarket that cost a fraction of the price. So there is room to start on a tight budget and "grow" your kit as business expends.

HTH,
Myarka

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andan
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Hi Kitten, i haven't done a one day workshop with gateway on it so can't comment on that, i did mine with Helen Mcguiness and found the one day course adequate for what i was wanting to do. I find the hot stone therapy popular and have done four this week and have two next week. Some of my clients only tend to have hot stone massage as they like it so much, so i don't personally feel that a one day course isn't enough time, as long as you practice after and dedicate some of your own time to studying in to it further. I did several practices after completing my course and still practice on friends to try out different techniques that i have come up with etc.

Although obviously if you could afford a course like the LA stone therapy one, then i think that would be a great one to do as its meant to be very good.

I paid about £80 for my kit which i picked off ebay from a previous massage therapist who was selling off her equipment. I am a mobile therapist and as such have one of the smaller heaters, but it does me fine.

I know what you mean though, about using it to try and attract more female clients! A large majority of my clients are men, which i am more than happy about, but it is nice to look at more ways to attract female clients.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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Kitten34
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Thank you all for your replies.

Jabba, you're right, I do have reservations about the course. I tend to be skeptical now of short courses in general.

Myarka, thanks for the book recommendation. I've just now bought it from Amazon and look forward to reading it. It can join the multitude of massage, anatomy and physiology books that are practically taking over my bookcase! LOL! With regards the mention of using a slow cooker - I noticed on this forum that some people said this was dangerous because it made the stones too hot (with the potential to burn). I know that's not what you use yourself, but do you think it's safe enough? Obviously with the course itself and the cost of the kit it's a bit of an investment which may or may not end up being worth it. So I suppose I want to balance everything to achieve safe, happy (and plentiful) clients.

Andan, I do tend to be a bit of a study-er! So perhaps a one day course would possibly be ok, because I do know I will put in the effort to learn more.

The scary thing is that after the deep tissue course I did with Gateway, I visited the website with the intention of complaining about the lack of technical knowledge and the delivery of the course in general. But I read some of the feedback reviews first - and I found pages and pages of glowing reviews! I couldn't fathom it out. How could so many people say how great this course was when I felt just the opposite? So I ended up not saying anything.

I'm just hoping that if I do this course (and I've still not decided) that I learn everything that I need to know - and that the information that's presented is accurate. Also, maybe since Hot Stones is perhaps less technical than Deep Tissue, the person running the course (I think it will be the same person anyway) will not struggle as much. Here's hoping anyway.

So, thank you again. I think at this stage I will read the book at least before I make a final decision.

Kitten
x

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cola
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Also, maybe since Hot Stones is perhaps less technical than Deep Tissue, the person running the course (I think it will be the same person anyway) will not struggle as much. Here's hoping anyway.

An intro stone therapy course may not require knowledge of origin and insertion of muscles, but to do a hot stone treatment safely, there is a LOT of technical understanding, not just for the stones themselves but the big complication is the use of temperature. Got any idea of the effect of heat on metabolic conditions such as diabetes? I've not come across any one day course or DVD that covers that type of info, they are just about the physical handling of the stones (it may be in a list of contraindications, but no explanation so you can understand the reason enough to apply the same understanding for similar conditions). Even most 2 day courses tend to skip over the temperature side of things, they usually are still about handling the stones and learning some new stroke routine that you will promptly forget.

If you're just using enough stones that fit in a slow cooker for massage only, you're unlikely to be using enough stones to affect the core temp and so avoid any huge damage if the cooker is accurate to work with at a safe temp, but there is quite a bit of technical understanding about why and how the heat and/or cold works. If you start using stones for placement like you see in all the pictures of a stone treatment, there are a LOT of technical concerns, and since lots of people expect the placement stones because they see the pictures, you either need to not do what they expect, or get some quality training.

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myarka
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With regards the mention of using a slow cooker - I noticed on this forum that some people said this was dangerous because it made the stones too hot (with the potential to burn). I know that's not what you use yourself, but do you think it's safe enough?

Hi Kitten,

The stones can over heat in a stone heater as well, and therefore it's essential that you use a probe thermometer to monitor the temperature. A good quality slow cooker is theromstatically controlled just the same as a stone heater, yet it costs half the price.

Myarka

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Snitchley
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I did a one day Hot Stones Workshop with Gateway. So much was covered and the tutor was really good (i'd done another course with him as well and found him to be really knowledgeable). The morning we did theory, health and safety etc and in the afternoon we did practical. However, I did feel that one day wasn't really enough. We swapped over half way through afternoon so we each worked and had a treatment, but the second lot were rushed and didn't cover as much because we were running out of time. Even the tutor said he thought it ought to really be a 2 day course.

I also think that it is a case of practice, practice, practice. I felt awkward at first massaging with stones, it didn't feel as though it flowed and I think this would be noticeable by a client if you didn't get to griops with a routine first. You may get a cert at end of day, but I don't think anyone would really be in a position to go and do a paying client the very next day. It gives you an understanding of the treatment for you to work with and build on. That's my opinion anyway.....:)

Snitchley

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Mystic2003
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Hi Kitten

My name is Sue Bailey I am the owner of Gateway Workshops. I am sorry you hear that you felt our one day Deep tissue massage course was not enough tuition for you. We do encourage people to give us their feedback and usually it is very positive however we always encourage anyone who was not happy to also let us know.

We do offer a guarantee if any student feels that one day was not enough for them and they wish to come back and repeat the course to gain more practice or experience and to gain more confidence we offer this to all students FREE of charge.

I would be more than happy to offer you a free place so you can go through this course again and this will also be the case for the hot stone massage course too. If for any reason you feel one day was not enough you can come back and train with us again for no charge.

We do find most students find one day enough as we only have very small classes, and the tutors are experts in their field, however we do appreciate that sometimes one day can be short so we encourage people to come back for a second day if they feel they need it.

We also have DVD's for most of our one day massage courses covering the material you learn as a visual reminder which if you require one of these I would be happy to send you one without any charge for the first course you did with us.

It is very important to all of us here at Gateway that everyone who attends a course with us are happy so if there is anything we can do please do let us know.

I do hope you take us up on the offer to repeat your deep tissue massage course as I would not want anyone to feel unhappy with any course they attend. It is true we do have glowing feedback and after 13 years we do feel we are doing our best to get things right but want to hear if anyone is unhappy for any reason.

I personally will also pay your deposit if you do decide to take our hot stone massage course so the course is discounted by £40 as a good will gesture for not being 100% happy with the first course you did with us. Please feel free to contact me via the web site if you wish to take us up on this offer.

We look forward to hearing from you
Warm wishes
Sue Bailey

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Kitten34
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Thank you for your replies.

Cola, I guess I didn't anticipate that there would be a lot of technical knowledge with this treatment. But that's not unwelcome news to me. If I do take the course then I'll be prepared to study up on what is needed afterwards.

Myarka, thank you for the info on the slow cooker. Being a bit of a dunce in the kitchen, I've never actually had occasion to buy or use a slow-cooker before. So it's good to know that the temp can be controlled. I think I will probably opt for this to get me started - at least until I know whether it is going to be a popular treatment amongst my clients.

Snitchley, I'm glad to hear that you had a good experience with the workshop. And I take on board what you've said about practice.

Kitten
x

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JoJo2504
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I have done many cpd courses with Gateway, and they have been invaluable to me, the hot stone course was really good, every tutor gives something different to the course. I have come away with a lot of knowledge from the tutors, but like everything you have to practice practice practice, I feel totally confident in offering treatments that I have done in 1 day purely because of excellent training (prior/and cpd courses).

If you were unhappy then you should have contacted the owner/tutor instead of moaning on a public forum !!

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cola
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If you were unhappy then you should have contacted the owner/tutor instead of moaning on a public forum !!

That's a bit like saying If you were happy then you should have contacted the owner/tutor instead of praising them on a public forum !!

It's all just opinions. That moan on a public forum has prompted the owner of Gateway to participate in this thread, which was good to see. There are hundreds of posts on here with people saying they don't think one day is enough for most training and hundreds saying they did one day and it was fine. Some people want more details, some people just want a piece of paper for cpd, it just means that people are different, their expectations are different. A one day course things MUST get glossed over or left out due to time constraints. Often longer courses are just stretching it out for more money (I'm talking about some whole term subjects, not 2-4 day ones so much)

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Kitten34
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Hi all

Firstly, thank you JoJo for your reply. I'm pleased to hear that your experience of the Hot Stones course was a positive one. That gives me some confidence. I'm sorry if you felt that my comments came across as me 'moaning on a public forum'. It wasn't intended as a moan - more as a reach-out for advice from others who had done the Gateway Hot Stones course.

Secondly, thank you to Sue for your detailed reply and kind offer of retaking the Deep Tissue course and covering the deposit for the Hot Stones course. I am a wee bit confused about the post though. When I made my previous reply, your post was not there (I'm almost positive of that). I subsequently received a PM from you dated 22 Jun 12.19pm with the exact same content as in your post above. I didn't have time previously to reply to your PM - and I wanted to consider exactly what to say (because I don't want to get anyone in trouble). So I was surprised when I logged on tonight to see that your above post has appeared - dated 21 Jun 11.44pm?! I can only assume it has been inserted into this thread out of sequence, in error?

Regardless, I am very grateful for what you have said. I will reply to you more fully in private because I feel that the things I have to say don't need to be aired here. But I do just want to say that the course itself didn't leave me feeling like I needed to do it again. It was more the case that the knowledge I had already (from studying books, instructional DVDs etc) far exceeded what was provided on the course.

I don't for one minute mean to imply that I'm an expert - I'm definitely NOT! But I just had certain expectations that were not met. And I also had some concerns about aspects of the delivery of the course.

For those approaching the course with no prior knowledge of deep tissue massage it would perhaps be a decent introduction.

You mentioned the DVDs that compliment each workshop. At the time I took the deep tissue workshop there was no accompanying DVD yet. I asked to be contacted when one became available (because it would be good to see how perhaps another tutor delivered the same course), but I have heard nothing since. Do you know whether this course is available on DVD yet? If so, I would definitely want to purchase it.

Finally, thank you to Cola for your balanced viewpoint. x

Kitten
x

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Mystic2003
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Hi Kitten

Hi Kitten

I think there was a delay posting my reply to you so I thought I would also send it in a PM for you so you got it.

Yes we do have the DVD available now, if you would like to email me via our web site I will be happy to organise one free of charge.

I am going away later today until 4th July but will be happy to sort this out for you.

I totally agree that some people feel one day is totally sufficient and others prefer longer courses. We find some use our courses as an introduction to see if the therapy they wish to train in is something they enjoy and feel right offering. We would then always encourage anyone who wants more information and training to seek out a longer course if they feel that is what is required. We encourage this, we have for example ITEC Sports massage courses that a lot of people who train in our advanced massage go onto do which is a long course.

Then on the other side some experienced massage therapist come on the advanced deep tissue massage course as they just want to further their knowledge further learning about some new routines and techniques and find it very helpful for this.

I understand that for what you needed it did not live up to your expectations and maybe it would have been better for you to have booked a longer course. We do not claim to teach everything you would learn in a BTEC or ITEC Sports massage courses that is why we have both options.

We do find the majority of therapists 99% find this one day course gives them everything they need - we only allow massage therapists with an NVQ level 3 in massage and A&P to attend this course so they can add to their skills it is NOT open to beginners. Also we have the main professional bodies accrediting this course and I'm sure they would not put their name to anything of a low standard.

Having said all of that we have been offering courses for over 13 years and we want to make sure everyone is happy, we appreciate although in most cases we are delighted this is the case but unfortunately it was not for you. I do hope you take up our offer to do the course again for free maybe you will cement the information in better the second time around. We will do our best to make sure we can help in anyway we can as it's very important that students are happy.

Perhaps a longer course with us or another training school would be better suited for you it is very individual and a personal choice. We feel there is a place for both, I look forward to receiving your email and will reply on my return.

Warm wishes Sue

Hi all

Firstly, thank you JoJo for your reply. I'm pleased to hear that your experience of the Hot Stones course was a positive one. That gives me some confidence. I'm sorry if you felt that my comments came across as me 'moaning on a public forum'. It wasn't intended as a moan - more as a reach-out for advice from others who had done the Gateway Hot Stones course.

Secondly, thank you to Sue for your detailed reply and kind offer of retaking the Deep Tissue course and covering the deposit for the Hot Stones course. I am a wee bit confused about the post though. When I made my previous reply, your post was not there (I'm almost positive of that). I subsequently received a PM from you dated 22 Jun 12.19pm with the exact same content as in your post above. I didn't have time previously to reply to your PM - and I wanted to consider exactly what to say (because I don't want to get anyone in trouble). So I was surprised when I logged on tonight to see that your above post has appeared - dated 21 Jun 11.44pm?! I can only assume it has been inserted into this thread out of sequence, in error?

Regardless, I am very grateful for what you have said. I will reply to you more fully in private because I feel that the things I have to say don't need to be aired here. But I do just want to say that the course itself didn't leave me feeling like I needed to do it again. It was more the case that the knowledge I had already (from studying books, instructional DVDs etc) far exceeded what was provided on the course.

I don't for one minute mean to imply that I'm an expert - I'm definitely NOT! But I just had certain expectations that were not met. And I also had some concerns about aspects of the delivery of the course.

For those approaching the course with no prior knowledge of deep tissue massage it would perhaps be a decent introduction.

You mentioned the DVDs that compliment each workshop. At the time I took the deep tissue workshop there was no accompanying DVD yet. I asked to be contacted when one became available (because it would be good to see how perhaps another tutor delivered the same course), but I have heard nothing since. Do you know whether this course is available on DVD yet? If so, I would definitely want to purchase it.

Finally, thank you to Cola for your balanced viewpoint. x

Kitten
x

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anjimel
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Hi Kitten

Where did you do your course?

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Kitten34
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Hi Kitten

Where did you do your course?

Hi Anjimel

I don't mean to be rude (honestly :)), but I don't really want to say anything more about it. My main focus was looking ahead to studying Hot Stones massage, rather than dwelling on the past.

I realise now that everyone takes away something different from a course; and that what you do after the course to develop the skills you've learned is just as important as the course itself (if not more so).

Kitten
x

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anjimel
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No Problem Kitten,

Just that I have done several courses with Gateway and thought that they were fantastic. I have attended quite a few courses and came back feeling that I had learned
loads.

Mags

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Kitten34
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I just wanted to report back that I have now completed the hot stones course with Gateway. And I found it to be wonderful!

My experiences with receiving hot stones massage hadn't been all that great prior to doing the course, so I didn't really know what to expect. But the treatment I received on the day, as part of the training, was amazing! And it reassured me that this is going to be a fabulous addition to my list of treatments.

All I need to do now is practice practice practice!!! LOL!

I would definitely recommend the Gateway course to anyone else.

Kitten
x

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jeannie
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I just wish there were some Gateway courses available in the Durham area!

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David- Maldon
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Perhaps a longer course with us or another training school would be better suited for you it is very individual and a personal choice.

I've completed 2 day-long courses in recent weeks, and can honestly say I will probably never do another. I'm sure that there are folk who get a lot from these types of courses, but I'm not one of them. I felt I was being shown something that was padded out with "filler" to make a 10 minute treatment take an hour to do. There was little real therapeutic benefit, over and above any relaxation effect. I did get a nice shiny practitioner certificate though!

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(@reiki-pixie)
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Hi

Re: Learning hot/cold stone massage therapy in one day. Personally I can't see how you can be a practitioner in that short period of time. Considering the physical and energetic effects of such a treatment, a period of supervision with case studies would be necessary.

May be a one-day training course could give you a level of competence to provide a basic treatment which may have some therapeutic value. But why not go the whole hog and polish skills to a level where technique is outstanding and hence provide a quality service. Doesn't your clients deserve this?

I have often noticed to the CAM world that therapists like to jump on the latest bandwagon or looking for that new thing to revolutionise their practice. Personally I'm not into fashion! Speaking to many colleagues about this, the conclusion I've made is this: One day workshops are fine for CPD and additional skills, but the hard core deeply structured course of therapeutic technique/style with a deep emphasis on philosophical insight into the nows and whys of the system, has a greater potency for healing/therapeutic intervention.

By all means explore various techniques, but once you discover what you like to do and are best at, just go for it. Be a specialist in your own field, not a jack of all trades and a master of none!!

RP

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AMG
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 AMG
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Some advice please?!?!

Hi Kitten, i haven't done a one day workshop with gateway on it so can't comment on that, i did mine with Helen Mcguiness and found the one day course adequate for what i was wanting to do. I find the hot stone therapy popular and have done four this week and have two next week. Some of my clients only tend to have hot stone massage as they like it so much, so i don't personally feel that a one day course isn't enough time, as long as you practice after and dedicate some of your own time to studying in to it further. I did several practices after completing my course and still practice on friends to try out different techniques that i have come up with etc.

Although obviously if you could afford a course like the LA stone therapy one, then i think that would be a great one to do as its meant to be very good.

I paid about £80 for my kit which i picked off ebay from a previous massage therapist who was selling off her equipment. I am a mobile therapist and as such have one of the smaller heaters, but it does me fine.

I know what you mean though, about using it to try and attract more female clients! A large majority of my clients are men, which i am more than happy about, but it is nice to look at more ways to attract female clients.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Hi, I was reading through your reply regarding the hot stones. I am also doing mobile massage and will be doing a Stone Therapy course in a couple of weeks. I've started looking for heaters and stones just now so that I can practice asap. Can you tell me what heater you got from ebay and how many stones came with that. Any advice appreciated. I have just started out and have a long way to go but hoping that I build up a good client base soon. I get calls from men but I don't do them unless it's a referral. Have you not had any problems going to men't houses that you don't know or do you do it on a referral also. Don't want to be sexist but also don'twant to get into any awkward situations. Again, any advice apreciated. THANKS x

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andan
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Hi, I was reading through your reply regarding the hot stones. I am also doing mobile massage and will be doing a Stone Therapy course in a couple of weeks. I've started looking for heaters and stones just now so that I can practice asap. Can you tell me what heater you got from ebay and how many stones came with that. Any advice appreciated. I have just started out and have a long way to go but hoping that I build up a good client base soon. I get calls from men but I don't do them unless it's a referral. Have you not had any problems going to men't houses that you don't know or do you do it on a referral also. Don't want to be sexist but also don'twant to get into any awkward situations. Again, any advice apreciated. THANKS x

Hiya, sorry its taken me so long to see this post, don't know if what i have to say will still be relevant, but here goes.

I bought a stone heater off someone who was getting rid of their kit on ebay. I bought a 6qt stone heater and it came with around 64 stones. I find the 6qt plenty big enough for me. When i travel around i put my stone heater and stones in a cooler/picnic style bag. Sometimes i heat them up before i get there, sometimes i stick them on as soon as i get there and by the time i have set up their warm enough to start working with. I have my stones get a little hotter as the treatment goes on, as i tend to find people get used to the heat as i go along. I also take a fold away table with me so that i have somewhere to put the stone heater on. I don't mind transporting my kit around and i find the hot stone treatment popular and people love having it in their home.

I do men and women and don't have a problem with treating men. I tend to ask an array of questions before the treatment so i can source what they are after and i find mobile treatments are more popular for men as certainly the clients i work with, aren't keen to attend a salon. Some told me that if i had worked at a salon or had a base they wouldn't have come, because they wouldn't have felt comfortable. I also do deep tissue, so i see a lot of male clients then. If i have a new male client then i do tell my partner and leave that person's contact details with him, just to ensure my safety.

Hope that helps and i hope you enjoy your course.:)

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Mtbw
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 Mtbw
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My personal opinion: this is nothing to do with quality

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