Improving Treatments Through Product Knowledge and Retail Opportunities

Written by Bruce Baltz

This article will outline quality ingredients and step-by-step applications as stand alone treatments and as add-on services. You will learn how to bring more depth into your menu offering while bringing a greater impact to your client’s well-being. When you consider adding a new product into your treatment or adding a new service to the menu, a few steps are needed in order to increase your potential of success. First, make sure that there is a strong scientific tie to how the products are developed and secondly that you have a basic understanding of the product so that you can adequately answer questions your clients may have.

Most skin care and massage professionals are looking for a pleasant scent and streamed-lined packaging, but the ingredients must produce results. As a protocol is being determined, make sure to involve the core of your team that will be providing the service so they can have ownership of the treatment, thereby promoting its value to the rest of the team. It is also necessary for all services to have minimal clean-up and the foundation of the technique must be adhered to while allowing for the uniqueness of each provider to shine through.
As we take a look at spa treatments and their benefits, we will find many similarities between the massage therapists and aestheticians who will be performing these services. Most spa services are based on the product’s ingredients and the environment in which they are performed. This opens up the possibility of both categories for practitioners to offer greater depth and creativity depending on the client’s needs and the spa’s desired approach. When developing a spa treatment or add-on services, having a retail offering is very important. This is not just about selling product but enhancing your results and assisting the client’s home care and overall well-being.
Selling retail product has become an integral part of the skin care industry and massage therapy is now poised to move forward in the same direction thanks to leading manufacturers in the massage topical market. One of the age old concerns of spa management is “Why can’t massage therapists sell product?” It is really quite simple; until very recently there were very few products on the market that could be incorporated into a massage service, but that is changing. The other issue is that massage school students were only taught and encouraged to sell their abilities with their hands coupled with their knowledge of the human body. Luckily, this too is changing because of ingredient knowledge and the incorporation of retail products into many services.
When in the developmental stage of a treatment or enhancing an existing one, we need to look at the product and how it will improve your treatments. This first format is used to enhance a current service; in most basic massage sessions and in many skin care services, massaging the feet is quite common even if the intention is different. In skin care this is most often adapted into the treatment once the mask is on. When working on the feet, the practitioner needs to minimize joint movement from individual digits to protect their hands/fingers from overuse which would cause pain and dysfunction. This would be a greater concern for massage therapists due to the pressure applied in order to engage the muscle structure.
Now it is time to treat your clients to a foot treatment they will never forget with products that can stand on their own while you introduce a new level of home care.

This treatment can be part of a session or a quick five to 10 minute demonstration as an event promotion. For this foot treatment, look for ingredients such as:image-one

  • Foot balm
  • Austrian dwarf pine oil – Helps increase blood circulation on the dermis level.
  • Horse chestnut extract – Helps reduce the swelling of blood vessels.
  • Menthol – Induces a refreshing, tingly sensation.
  • Farnesol – Prevents bacterial activity that are responsible for unpleasant odors and Athlete’s foot.
  • Cooling gel
  • Menthol
  • Lavender – Used as a remedy to alleviate poor circulation and joint pain.
  • Lemon peel – Low pH makes it antibacterial.
  • Melissa – Antibacterial and antiseptic.
  • Juniper Berry – Antibacterial and antiseptic.
  • Peppermint – A rejuvenating oil and assists in muscle recovery.
  • Cinnamon –Warming and stimulating.
  • Clove flower oil – Known to reduce muscle aches due to its analgesic properties.

These ingredients will have a cooling and refreshing effect on overworked muscles. When getting ready to start this treatment, starting with your client’s face up (supine), and with one lower leg exposed from the knee down is suggested.

Foot Treatment for All Walks of Life

  1. Apply the foot balm to the lower leg and foot, working one leg at a time. The foot balm should have enough glide without the use of any other lubricant. You might want to use your preferred massage lubricant when doing a longer treatment such as reflexology in which case, you would use the foot balm toward the end of your treatment.
  2. Once the foot balm has absorbed into the lower leg, apply a cooling gel to the same leg.
  3. Repeat step two. (Your strokes should be going toward the heart and the average time would be five minutes on each leg.)

You have now used two products with quality ingredients that offer outstanding home care for your clients and provide you with an added income.

Hand and Neck Treatment

This fast track treatment is ideal for a business promotion or add-on service while you educate your clients on two outstanding products.

  • Shea Butter – A pharmaceutical grade shea butter promotes cell regeneration while moisturizing deep within the layers of the skin.
  • A facial massage cream – Should have anti-aging complex with a blend of firming active botanicals and vitamins which restores and maintains skin’s youthful appearance.

For this 15 minute treatment, you can start on the hands or neck; discuss with your client the order they would prefer. Typically, this treatment can be performed on a massage table, massage chair or any standard chair; however, for this protocol we will start on the hands and use the massage table.

image-twoHand and Neck Treatment – Shea Butter

  1. Expose your client’s arm from the elbow to the hand and take out the amount of shea butter necessary to complete this first step.
  2. Do a general application from the elbow to the fingers.
  3. Start the strokes closer to the elbow as you travel down the arm with strokes going toward the shoulder to encourage the venous blood supply to travel toward the heart.
  4. Work on the hands and fingers with strokes ending toward the heart.
  5. Repeat step four on the other arm/hand; each side should take about five minutes.
  6. With five minutes left, you will move on to the neck. If your client is agreeable, massage the face and/or scalp.

Hand and Neck Treatment – Facial Massage Cream

When performing this treatment, you should find a facial massage cream that has a very good glide so a small amount will go a long way.

  1. You will be sitting at the head of the table and your client will be in a supine position.
  2. Apply the cream to the upper traps and the neck.
  3. Work both sides of the neck equally with strokes that are part of your repertoire.
  4. Now, you can do some mild stretching.
  5. Leave a minute or two at the end in case your client would like a scalp and/or face massage.
  6. The strokes, when working on the face, should be in an upward or horizontal motion; never downward.

This 15 minute service will also give you the opportunity to retail both of the products for home care. It is our responsibility to educate our clients on the products we use in our treatments and how they tie into their overall health.
As you start to learn more about the products and how they can enhance your service and gain confidence in communicating your knowledge, you will experience a new level of trust. This trust is essential in client retention and increasing profit margins. More so for my fellow massage therapists. Selling quality products that provide a home care outlet for our clients is a needed service and is no longer taboo. Whether we acknowledge it or not, most successful practitioners are great sales people! Skin care and massage professionals must describe their treatments in terms their clients can understand in order to gain the trust necessary to obtain the best results. Education is the key to moving our service industry forward and adding quality products while advancing our clients outcome is great for all involved and is our responsibility. As we increase our knowledge base we will set ourselves apart from our competition and client retention will improve. Your clients will be drawn into your passion and your desire to learn more as they reap the rewards of your efforts.

BruceBaltzBruce Baltz is vice president of education and business development for Bon Vital, Inc. He is coordinating an in-house CE program focusing on product awareness and the science behind ingredients. Bruce is an internationally recognized educator with over 28 years experience in the fitness and bodywork industry, a licensed massage therapist in New York and Florida and nationally certified by NCBTMB. In 2010, Baltz was elected to a three year term as a Board Member of NCBTMB. He developed Deep Tissue Healing; “The Art of Stone Massage” in 1999 and in 2003 founded SpiriPhysical, Inc. In 2004 he brought Active Isolated Stretching (AIS): The Spa Method to the spa community.

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