Let’s take a look at some great new tools, technology and equipment picks that are quickly becoming mainstays in the massage treatment room.

  1. Kinesiology Tape: Kinesiology tape is a breathable, waterproof, stretchable tape that can be left on for up to 5 days. Kinesiology tape can be used for pain mitigation, fluid dynamics, scarring and neurosensory input. Taping is excellent for pain as it interrupts the pain cycle (pain gate theory) by simple application (with no stretch). Tape used for neurosensory input can aid in retraining muscles for postural and movement changes through proprioception.
  2. Bamboo Sticks: Bamboo massage tools can be used as a roller to lengthen muscle fibers. They can also be heated, allowing tissue to warm and relax under the pressure, aiding in further lengthening and relaxation of tissue.
  3. Essential Oil Diffusers: Essential oils can be very effective in reducing stress and promoting relaxation, and they make the atmosphere feel special as well. Essential oils can also be used to aid in reducing sinus pressure, as well as help in breathing during the winter and in reducing allergic symptoms in the spring and summer. An oil diffuser is a great way to offer the benefits of essential oils in the treatment room, without incorporating expensive oils into every service individually.
  4. Hot Packs with Vibration: The model I first noticed was not really marketed as a massage tool, but this combo caught my eye because it blends two tried and true massage therapy tools (hot pack and vibration) and I think this will an option to watch for in 2017!
  5. Microfiber Sheets: There are a growing number of options for the well-dressed massage table available in the marketplace, offering some great choices for clients and therapists alike. Enjoy picking out a few new sets of sheets.
  6. Bluetooth Speakers: There are several brands of Bluetooth speakers out right now that offer great sound and are portable. Look for a speaker that is chargeable, which can be used for outcall as well as in the office, and can be paired with music from your phone, tablet or computer. Speakers can get pricey, but a medium quality speaker is typically good enough for massage music – it’s not like we are jamming out in the treatment room!
  7. Streaming Music Services: There are several services that stream music from the Internet, such as Pandora, and this can work great with those Bluetooth speakers on most devices. Beware, however, if you are using a free service there may be commercials and they are typically VERY loud in relationship to the music, which can be quite disruptive to the session! You will also need Internet and/or Wi-Fi access for these to work.
  8. Online Booking Services: A good online booking service is an excellent way to free yourself from constant calls and messages. These services also allow clients to book late at night, long after you have stopped answering and returning calls. They can also change and, if necessary, cancel appointments without contacting you by following the link in the confirmation email. Look for a service that sends you either text or email messages to alert you of new bookings.
  9. Credit Card Services: There are several options for accepting credit cards now, many of which can be done through a cell phone, allowing the mobile therapist to accept credit cards for outcalls. This is becoming an essential tool for therapists as most people pay for services like massage with their credit or debit cards. You may need either a cell phone or Internet access for some of these services.
  10. Online Referral Services: There are many ways to market yourself online. One option is an online referral service. Register with the service, create a profile and list your specialties and qualifications. Potential clients can then contact you through the service.
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This year’s list includes some new technology tools that have become as much a necessity in doing business as a massage table and oil. The goal is to provide a comfortable office and treatment experience which allows the entire system to relax. By playing music, diffusing essential oils and streamlining the booking and payment process, we are able to offer our clients the best possible experience.