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Is there a market for light/soft massage


shelleywa
Posts: 28
Topic starter
(@shelleywa)
Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Hi all,

I have just qualified as a remedial therapist. I also work in a spa and I actually enjoy the relaxation therapies more, so have decided to stick with this and open my own business at home.

But my massage pressure is soooo light. I have been doing this for a few years now, so I know how to use my body weight for deeper pressure etc. but honestly, I just can't give a hard massage. Also, I feel that it's just not me. I'm petite, I'm sensitive, I'm gentle - and so are my treatments.

I don't feel that this is a particularly bad thing but I wonder how far it will get me. I can't tell you how many times visitors to the Spa ask me to "go harder" or say, "I like a firm pressure" (and I think "well good for you but this is the best I can give you!"). They leave wishing they'd had a better massage. But there are some people that LOVE my gentle massages. And they keep booking in with me time and time again. One of them is a Spa manager and massage therapist herself (which is encouraging), the others are generally pregnant ladies and the elderly. I don't really want to work with the elderly, though.

I just wonder if this preference for gentle massage is few and far between - can gentle massages really be a feasible niche market? Should I just jack it in and go back to office work before I waste a load of time and miney setting up a business? 🙁

3 Replies
Tashanie
Posts: 1924
(@tashanie)
Noble Member
Joined: 11 years ago

Hi all,

I have just qualified as a remedial therapist. I also work in a spa and I actually enjoy the relaxation therapies more, so have decided to stick with this and open my own business at home.

But my massage pressure is soooo light. I have been doing this for a few years now, so I know how to use my body weight for deeper pressure etc. but honestly, I just can't give a hard massage. Also, I feel that it's just not me. I'm petite, I'm sensitive, I'm gentle - and so are my treatments.

I don't feel that this is a particularly bad thing but I wonder how far it will get me. I can't tell you how many times visitors to the Spa ask me to "go harder" or say, "I like a firm pressure" (and I think "well good for you but this is the best I can give you!"). They leave wishing they'd had a better massage. But there are some people that LOVE my gentle massages. And they keep booking in with me time and time again. One of them is a Spa manager and massage therapist herself (which is encouraging), the others are generally pregnant ladies and the elderly. I don't really want to work with the elderly, though.

I just wonder if this preference for gentle massage is few and far between - can gentle massages really be a feasible niche market? Should I just jack it in and go back to office work before I waste a load of time and miney setting up a business? 🙁

I don't know the answer to your question but I suspect the elderly are one group that would appreciate gentle massage. So maybe that needs a little consideration

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Lynora
Posts: 4250
(@jabba-the-hut)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago

How much training have you done? Have you learnt more than one massage technique? Are you hoping to set up a sole-trader business straight away, or will you continue with the spa work part-time? I would strongly advise that you ease into sole-trader work rather than going cold turkey, if you hope to make a living. It took me years to build a client base to enable me to stop office work - whenever I had unexpected bills through the letter box, I would take on admin temping work to ensure I didn't get into debt. I've been a therapist for 37 years - a sole-trader for 32 years. I've been a mentor for dozens of new therapists over the years, and have to say that only a handful are still practicing - it can be a mercurial business.

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shelleywa
Posts: 28
Topic starter
(@shelleywa)
Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Thanks for your replies. I have my Cert IV massage (Swedish/relaxation) and have spent the last year completing my Diploma in Remedial massage. I am just about to start learning Lomi Lomi - the Spa I work at wants me to learn for their treatments but, after having tried a taster session, I also feel that I would really enjoy this style. I would love for my main client base to be stressed individuals, as I feel that stress (and stress-reduction) is an important issue but, on the whole at least, this won't be the elderly.

It would most likely be office workers/corporate managers, I imagine. Do you know of any techniques/modalities that are particularly good for people that want a firm massage? I feel that some workshops on deep tissue and modalities that use more knees/elbows would be beneficial for my CPD.

One of the modules for my Remedial Diploma was a business plan and I treated it as a real document that I could use later on (i.e. now). So I have done the leg-work already regarding market research and cash flow etc. I have a spare self-contained room at my house that will make a perfect treatment room. My ultimate goal is to not work weekends, which I know is a tall order but I work weekends at the moment and I just don't have a life with my partner/friends/family. I am prepared to work longer/evening hours Mon-Fri, though.

The Spa I work for is closed Tue-Wed, so my plan is to start building a customer base on those 2 days first and take it from there. I'm lucky in that I don't need to earn a lot of money straight away - my partner is supportive and earns good money and our outgoings are low. I also plan to make money in other ways, so it won't be my sole income.

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