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Posted by: Shelley Foster, 17 May 2018 11:48AM
Please do not use the forums to advertise courses.

Fed up

Hi all, I'm so fed up. Actually beginning to think "what's the point"? So many people doing the min amount of study they can, because you can get insured after a weekend course. Even beauty therapists - who study massage as a tiny part of a year course are offering massage, hot stones and in one case, Ayuvedic massage. I'm all up for collaboration and competition. But I can't compete with the saturation of massage offers in my area. And no, unfortunately, moving is not an option. I've even come across a school who offer massage courses certified by CThA who also offer Weekend Seated Acu courses; no minimum qualification needed to study; and insurance company details given out so they can get insured after the weekend. The situation is just getting worse :( Give me some positivity and some reasons to continue therapy hive!! <3


Yvonne Jevons
17 May 2018 6:24PM

Hi Shelley, indeed it can be challenging and I can only imagine what a minefield it must be for the general public. I chose to retrain in Dissolve and Resolve Emotions (DARE), away from the mainstream massage etc which thousands of therapists do. Perhaps you might consider that to be able to offer something truly innovative, inspiring and different. Wishing you the very best with whatever you decide. Kind regards
Frank Thorogood
17 May 2018 6:43PM

Hi Shelley, Do not give up, believe in yourself and your ability to provide the best that you can. Always stay positive and look at other therapies that you can incorporate into your work if you want. Enjoy what you do and put flyers and cards into all available sites. Good luck.
Rosemary Pharo
17 May 2018 9:50PM

Hi Shelley You sound truly fed up... If you're thinking 'What's the point' it sounds as if you are questioning where you are in your livelihood and what your path forward is. Do you stay offering what you have been offering? And focus on your USPs, find partners who will refer you - through word of mouth marketing? Or do you find yourself drawn to a new path, in a more niche marketplace? Is there someone you can sit down with and work through these questions?
Giuseppe Tomaselli
17 May 2018 10:20PM

Hi Shelley, In all kind of trade there will always be someone offering the same service as yours but, they are less qualified and, certainly, not as good. As long as you do your job to the best of your abilities, your customers base will increase via word of mouth. One important thing is not to lower your charges. If you are better than someone else, you should charge more. In my area I am the most expensive, there is also lots of competition. Nevertheless, I work from 09:30 till 21:30 Monday to Friday. I also have other therapists helping out. I only dsee clients who I have been recommended to. Once you will become more exclusive and with less availability, people will want to see you and not the less qualified, cheaper therapist down the road. Just hold on tight. Good luck Giuseppe.
Shelley Foster
18 May 2018 5:32PM

Thank you all so much for your replies. I really, really, really appreciate it. They have all been helpful. I love what I do. And I'm still really passionate about how much massage can affect you in many positive ways. I genuinely don't know what I would do if I wasn't doing this. Even if there was something else I fancied training, which apart from reflexology - there isn't; I can't afford to unfortunately. I'm also quite restricted with the time I can work as I'm a (unexpectedly) single mum and don't any help with my gorgeous 8 year old. However, I will just have to find a way. Got a few little glimmers of possibilities triggered by yourselves and others over the last few days. Been doing plenty of reiki and asking for answers. Thanks again for all your replies. Good to know I'm not alone <3 Shelley
Danila Ciencia
7 Jun 2018 12:29PM

I totally feel the same! I qualified as a Thai Massage teacher and during my research for courses organisation I came across so many courses that from my understanding should be CPD courses for professionals, but in fact hand out qualifications! Aren't massage therapists supposed to have a L3 APM before adding further qualifications? Are these courses what should be defined as 'illegal'? We work so hard to provide the best treatments and this all feels so wrong! But in the end it is our skills that move us forward and attract the right type of clientele!
Judy Patricia Luffman
18 Jun 2018 5:50PM

Hi Shelley, I agree with everyone who has commented already. I am also a Reflexologist, masseur and Reiki practitioner. I have a bit of a niche market because I frequently combine massage and refexology treatments into one therapy session. Every treatment I give is tailored to my clients needs, and this is where the added value in our treatments come in. Wishing you every success, and hope you keep going regardless of the competition. Judy
Nefra Germain
8 Oct 2018 10:48AM

I know I'm a bit late to the party on this one, but I hope you are feeling a little more upbeat now. It is a saturated market at the moment and it is very tough, but it's not a lost cause. I've only been full time 18 months or so but have been qualified and working part time within sport since 2007. I'm making enough to get by on at the moment, which I'm very pleased about! But I need to be earning more, so I'm looking at ways of doing that at the moment. I've joined lots of groups on Facebook some of which are more helpful than others. The US based ones tend to be really helpful. They're so over the top about everything it gets quite infectious and actually a lot of their strategies do work. I think the way forward is to specialise in something. I'm in the middle of reworking the entire structure of how I market and price. At the moment I have the usual Swedish massage £xx Sports massage £xx Hot stones £xx. But I have realised that most people don't actually know what the modalities are or what they can be helpful for. So I've started looking through my intake forms to work out, other than relaxation, what people are coming to me for most often and I'm going to market treatments for those specific things. I'm also currently doing my case studies for oncology massage, which I'm absolutely loving. I hope to be able to expand my offering there and also plan on volunteering at the local hospice. But because I've recently lost a friend to leukaemia they won't accept my application just yet. I think we need to be looking outside the box a little with our marketing now. We are more highly trained and better qualified than all these weekend course therapists, but I think that as therapists marketing isn't our strong point! It's hard work and it's frustrating but it is now a necessary evil if we are to stand out from those with less knowledge. So think about the aspect of what you do that you enjoy best and find a way to market the hell out of it!
Deborah Sheppard
9 Jan 2019 11:52AM

Hi Shelley, I know this is very late (I don't come on here very often these days) but I just wanted to say that I can completely understand and empathise with you. I only teach baby massage now as giving massage is too painful for me (I have osteoarthritis) and I was shocked to see on a facebook page that an organisation is offering a baby massage course online- no observation assessments at all! I commented on there, advising the person who had posted about it not to do it and to find a reputable organisation that would teach them, observe and assessment them properly. Surprise, surprise, my comment was removed. I know how hard it is at the moment. My business has been very quiet for the last couple of years; most of my business comes from repeat customers and word of mouth but I'm so fed up and tired of having to chase new business, pay a fortune for venues for classes, etc. I started a part time job, working in a library, last summer. The idea was that it would be a back up, but it's now my main form of income and I love it! I still have my baby massage clients but I'm not spending hours trying to find new ways to win clients. I actually have some time to myself these days :) I really hope things have picked up for you since you posted; as most of the other people said, it's important to believe in yourself. But it's also fine to get to a point, like I did!, when you think 'OK, I've given it a go, it was great while it lasted, what can I do next?' I'd love to hear how you're getting on but my membership expires tomorrow and I won't be renewing it, so I won't be able to sign in anymore. I emailed the CThA last month in response to their email about renewing my membership; I told them how badly my business was doing and that I wasn't sure if I could afford to renew as I don't feel I receive any benefits or support from being a member. They didn't bother to reply, so I'm leaving. I wish you all the very best, Shelley. If you'd like to keep to keep in touch, even if it's nice for you to know that you're not the only one who feels the way you do, my email address is Dsheppardmassagetherapy@hotmail.co.uk. Take care, Debbie
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