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Mobile Massage Sydney

Benefits of mobile massageLuckily for massage aficionados there are many different options for getting massaged in Sydney. There are remedial massage clinics, day spas, Thai massage spas, 10 minute neck and shoulder rubs in Westfields, student massage clinics and various other tyyes of establishments with varying ranges of legitimacy.

Assuming that you are after professional massage from a trained therapist then it is worthwhile considering some of the advantages of the different options when you are looking to book your next Sydney massage. Not all massage settings are the same.

Why book in for a Mobile Massage?
Convenience
You choose a time for the massage that suits you. If you find it hard to get to see a therapist at a clinic during their business hours then it can limit how frequently you can receive bodywork (particularly if you could really do with seeing someone at relatively short notice).

   
The convenience also extends to saving time – having the therapist come to you saves you the time of travelling to and from the clinic which can be considerable depending on where you prefer to go. There are also no hassles about parking or feeling rushed if you are running late because of circumstances outside of your control.

Save Money
There is a perception that mobile massages are more of a luxury and as such, are typically priced significantly higher than an equivalent massage would cost you at a clinic. This view is not uncommon by those therapists who prefer not to do mobile work. They feel that mobile therapists should charge a premium for travel, set up time and the inconvenience of carrying their gear around.
Now whilst mobile therapists will effectively include a component for travel and set up time within their fee, they do not need to include any fixed costs for renting space.
Charging a fee for carrying equipment is really only relevant for therapists who do not really want to do mobile work. Therapists who consider that mobile massage is an important part of their business, would accept that carrying massage table and towels is just part of what they need to do to be a mobile therapist.

Effectiveness
Imagine that you are climbing off the massage table and having had a great massage The therapist has loosened your tight muscles, freed up your stiff neck and eliminated the nagging headache that has been bothering you for the last few days.
Where would you rather be, at a clinic with the prospect of your drive home or in your home?
Seems to be a no-brainer that receiving great bodywork in your home will have more of an impact on your physiological wellbeing and reducing stress levels than having to drive immediately after a massage. This can be even more relevant if you are pregnant, for example, or wanting to be able to go straight to bed after a massage because of sleeping problems.

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It is acknowledged though that each persons personal circumstances so that some of the advantages listed above may not apply to you or there may be specific reasons why having a Sydney home massage is not right for you (such as lack of space or privacy).

However, if you do live where it is suitable for you to have a therapist come to you then please consider it the next time you want to have a massage. Hopefully you will realise many of the advantages listed here.

To find out more about the services offered by Inner West Mobile Massage Sydney then please check out the main website at www.innerwestmassage.com.au where you will find information re prices, therapists, availability, FAQs etc.

By Richard Lane

Massage Sydney – What Areas We Cover

We provide therapeutic remedial, sports, pregnancy and deep tissue massage to the Inner West of Sydney. However, different people have different ideas about what constitutes the Inner West.

Now, the areas we visit are shown in the map below. The colour code used in the map is:

  • the green area is the area that we formally promote that we provide mobile massage to
  • the red area is effective the Sydney CBD and inner city suburbs which some therapists are happy to visit. However, given that it takes longer to travel to the city we do charge a higher rate and also require any parking fees to be added.
  • the blue area is what we consider to be the fringe of the area we cover. Some therapists may go there at particular times. However, this is subject to the location and the particular circumstances of the individual therapists.
  • If you have any doubt about if any therapists may be available for your suburb then we do suggest that you ring 0421 410057 and we can discuss your individual circumstances. Unfortunately we do have to limit the suburbs around peak hour when travel times can become excessive and unpredictable.

      Travel Surcharges

    Occasionally we are asked to go to a fringe area or an area that we would not normally consider going to. The enquirer will say something along the lines of

    Well you go to the neighbouring suburb – we are only 5 minutes from them. Why won’t you visit me? I’ll even pay an extra couple of bucks for the travel.

      
    Unfortunately it is not as straightforward as that. Effectively we average our travel costs/time over the (green) area we cover. Sometimes the true cost for a job for a therapist will be less than this average, sometimes more, depending on the particular suburb and the location of the therapist. Typically the suburbs at the edge of our service area will take longer to get to and the cost of going to these suburbs can be say $20 more than our average.

    Now it is not practical to have a price per suburb even though the true cost to the therapists does vary depending on when you live.

    But the situation does change when we go out of area. We are now going outside of the area we use to average our travel cost component and as such to go to the clients suburb then we would need to charge the true travel cost.

    And so although we may go to a suburb that directly borders yours, unfortunately were we to visit you then we would need to add a travel surcharge which may be of the order of $25 which can appear excessive and bizarre to travel an extra few minutes. As we do not feel comfortable quoting such high figures as a travel surcharge it tends to be the exception rather than the rule that we will quote to visits areas outside of what we consider to be the Inner West.

    Whilst it would be nice to be a Sydney-wide mobile massage companies, the logistics count against such a service. By constraining the area we cover then we can keep our rates both reasonable and competitive.

    By Richard Lane

Pain Between Shoulders

Although there are any number of reasons that people call for remedial massage, probably one of the more common is for pain between the shoulder blades. This can be an isolated pain or it can be in conjunction with neck pain and stiffness or headaches. The pain can be persistent and chronic or it can appear acutely after a particular activity or movement.

Many people will believe that the root cause of the problem lies in the muscles between the shoulders blades, namely the rhomboids. If they book in for a massage then they will expect that the therapist pays particular attention to these muscles and the muscles around the area to reduce the tightness and tension.

MHowever, often the problem is not associated with tightness in the area but weakness. Tightness in other muscles is causing the muscles such as the rhomboids to become irritated because they are over-stretched not because they are overly tight. A massage therapist that tries to eliminate the tightness by stretching and adding length to the muscles may even be adding to the problem.

Often postural professionals will refer this condition with terms such as forward head posture or upper cross syndrome. The pain between the shoulders actually results from the complex interaction of the muscles around the shoulder girdle. It comes about from an increase in tightness in the muscles at the front of the neck and upper chest and weakness with the upper back and back of the neck (technically muscles such as the levator scapula, pectoralis major, suboccipitals, SCM and upper trapezius tend to be tight whereas the lower trapezius and rhomboid muscles tend to be weak).

Typically when you have your posture checked, a therapist would notice that the shoulder blades (the scapulae) are depressed lower than they should be and they are spread apart towards the sides of the body. When the shoulder blades are in this position, the traps and the rhomboids are stretched to their maximum and they struggle to hold the weight of the arms. The force of gravity leads to a constant pulling on the muscles and nerves in the area. The results is pain in and around the neck, between the shoulder blades and even down the arms.

Postural awareness is the first starting point for reducing the impact of upper crossed syndrome or forward head posture. Left untreated it can lead to degenerative changes in the upper back and result in constant neck pain, back pain and contributes to the formation of the Dowager’s Hump and be implicated in TMJ dysfunction.

  
Being mindful of when you are performing repeated tasks with you arms extended in front of you (such as typing on computers or driving) is a good starting point. However, restoring the balance between the muscles of the shoulder girdle is of prime importance and this can often be quite a challenge as normal movement patterns may have been compromised by persistant pain.

Massage can help to address some of the issues associated with these problems, in particular by releasing those muscles that are pulling the shoulders blades forward and down. Your therapist can also suggest stretching exercises for the upper chest and strengthening exercises for the upper back.

Learn Massage Online

If you think that you would like to learn about massage then there are a number of options available for you. This is particularly true if you are looking for more of an introduction to massage rather than formal training (eg being able to give your partner a relaxing yet effective massage).

You could buy a book (or loan one from your local library. You could buy DVDs on the types of massage that you think you might be interested in be it for sports, sensual massage for your partner or relaxation massage. There are formal courses available either at massage schools or there are local colleges that offer one day or weekend introductory courses to massage.

However, the internet has introduced a further options, namely that of learning massage online. Now whilst this can be a convenient option, studying Youtube massage videos should not be considered as a substitute for hands-on tuition. It is not possible to really understand the finer aspects of massage from a random video (that is not to say that there are not good Youtube massage videos by any stretch of the imagination – just that some are good and some are not so good and a novice may struggle to differentiate between the two).

There are a number of online massage courses and DVDs which are intended to assist people obtain an introduction into the world of massage. One of the more established online massage courses which could assist you improving your (and your partner’s) massage skills is:

If you choose to buy the massage course online and video workshop you’ll get

  • 15 Online massage lessons (video). This include the basic strokes and routines for parts of the body including back, neck, legs, arms, feet, head etc.
  • Basic anatomy relevant for massage.
  • Step-by-step massage instruction to attack critical hot spots of the body – key areas of tightness on most people that ‘demand’ to be released.
  • Tips on how to perform massage safely.
  • Hard copies of the full body massage sequence to make it easier for you to remember.
  • Member support and other helpful resources.

One of the beauties of massage is that the power of touch can be so strong that it is difficult to go too far wrong giving a massage even with minimal training. Rubbing your partner’s shoulders isn’t that challenging particularly as they will be instructing you on what feels good and what doesn’t.

Probably for most important people can learn from an online massage course is what doesn’t feel good and what are the most important massage contraindications. If you are interested in understanding more about massage then you would do worse than check out this course.

By Richard Lane

Massage Videos – Fun

There are many massage videos on Youtube, some provide good instruction, tips and advice. Others try to offer good instruction, tips and advice but fall short. Many are tacky and there are a few that are just good fun.

The videos below embedded below are a couple of my favourite humorous massage videos. If you have any suggestions for other ones to add to the list then please let us know.

How Not to Massage – “Massage from Hell”

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Tough Jobs: Massage Therapist to Models


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“Day in the life of a massage therapist”


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David Beckham massage prank

Disadvantages of being a mobile massage therapist

We recently wrote about the advantages of being a mobile massage therapist compared to working in a clinic or day spa. To balance that article, we are now discussing the corresponding disadvantages.

Traffic facing mobile massage therapist in SydneyNow many of the advantages could also be considered as disadvantages depending on your point of view. For example, I enjoy the flexibility and variety that comes from being a mobile therapist whereas others may perceive that the more irregular nature and the variable hours of the work are a disadvantage. The reality of mobile massage Sydney is that the majority of clients want their appointments in the evenings (often relatively late at night when kids have been put to bed) or at weekends when they have the time. Being out and about at night in locales that you might not be familiar with is not for everyone (and particularly female therapists need to mindful of their security).

Similarly it can be argued that calls for mobile massage need to be screened more effectively than clinics. If you are working at a clinic then it is likely that there will be people you can call on at short notice should ever the situation arise. When you are out and about on the road then, although you can always take security measures of making sure that someone knows where you are, ultimately you are on your own. This is particularly relevant if you take appointments at relatively short notice.

As a male massage therapist, though, this has never really been an issue for me and only occasionally have I arrived at a clients house with a sense of unease about the fear of the unknown. In virtually all cases when this has happened, my concerns have been unfounded and the clients have often gone on to book regular appointments.

The previous comments are relevant with respect to the disadvantages of doing mobile massage and should not be underestimated. However, for most therapists the number one disadvantage when compared with being in a Sydney massage clinic or day spa comes down to the logistics.
Traffic hold ups and delays can be stressful and add significantly to your total time for a given appointment.
Parking can be a challenge in some locations (such as when someone books in for a hotel massage in Sydney CBD). You may have to park a significant distance from the house/unit/hotel and have to lug your massage table, towels and equipment to the venue. Some clients don’t realise as well that if you have to park in a car park it can take a considerable time and effort to get to the room
Stairs. If you working in a block of units then if there is a lift you will be on the bottom floor, no lift top floor. Without fail.
Room layout and environment. You are working in someone else’s house. The space may well not be ideal for massage in that it is too small, too noisy or the wrong temperature. Unfortunately, whilst there may be steps you can take to improve your working space a little, ultimately you are governed by whatever the client provides. In a clinic, you can (normally) control the environment to ensure that it is conducive to the bodywork session you like to provide.
Limit to what you can carry. In a clinic you can make sure that there is all the equipment that you require eg bolster, pillows, blankets, heat pack etc. When you are working in someones home then there may be occasions when you simply do not have something that you could really do with. Whilst it may be possible to improvise, often once client is on the table you just have to accept that you may have to work in a sub-optimal way.

  
Ultimately if you consider yourself to be a mobile massage therapist, then it is just a case of accepting the disadvantages and working around them as best you can. If you only do outcall massages to occasional clients (and you would prefer not to do them) then many therapists will charge a premium to compensate themselves for the perceived hassles. However, effectively the clients make the ultimate decision, if the convenience of having a massage at home gives them a positive experience compared with the clinic then they will continue to rebook.

By Richard Lane

Sydney Massage Gift Certificates

In this day and age when it is a struggle to buy material gifts for partners, family and friends more and more people are buying gifts that are more of an experience or a service rather than just an actual physical present. And probably towards the top of the list of such services are massages – if you are struggling for ideas then there are very few people would not gratefully accept the gift of a massage.

Purchasing a massage gift voucher is generally a fairly straightforward affair depending on whether you would like to buy the recipient a mobile massage or a massage at a Sydney clinic. If you have your own regular therapist that you see then they will probably be more than happy to sell you a voucher.

If you would like to buy a mobile massage gift voucher for someone who lives in Sydney then probably the best option is to buy directly online through Red Balloon Days, a Sydney wide company. They provide fully trained therapists who arrive with all necessary equipment so that the recipient of your wonderful gift can look forward to feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and balanced.


One Hour Sydney Mobile Massage Gift Certificate

Massage Gift Certificates
Click on the image to the left to find out more information about purchasing a one hour home Sydney massage gift voucher.

Cick here for Sydney Home Massage Packages


(Please note:
Inner West Massage is not associated with “ Red Balloon Days“)


There is typically an expiry date associated with a massage gift voucher. Please be mindful that many therapists and massage companies will strictly enforce this date. If this is potentially an issue for you or the massage gift recipient then it is suggested that you contact the service provider before purchasing the voucher to clarify this matter.

Celebrity Massages

celebrity massagesA recent ebook has been published which discusses various aspects of the massage industry (often salacious) – Touchy Subjects: Tales from the Massage Table by Steve Capellini. Included in the book is apparently detailed reference to a named celebrity that he massaged (I say apparently as I have not read the book and am only going on what people who have read the book have said). The report is that the story does not paint the celebrity in a good light.

An online discussion followed about the merits of discussing celebrity clients. There was fairly clear consensus that just because you have massaged someone who is in the public eye, it does not give you the right to discuss this or use the fact that you have massaged so-and-so to promote your business (unless you have their specific permission). Just normal basic privacy considerations should apply, regardless of who you have had on your massage table.

Yet there are massage businesses and therapists both in Sydney and in other cities who do use the fact that they have massaged identities to give their business a sense of elitism. Whether they do or do not have the individuals permission, I have no idea. They use phrases such as “the rock star massage therapist” or “massage therapists to the stars”. Whether they are trying to use such phrases to attract other ‘stars’ or to attract people who will be impressed by the fact that they have massaged celebs I don’t know.

The validity of this approach is very much a personal opinion.

  
Over the years that we have been operating, we have not divulged who we have massaged nor asked for ‘celebrity endorsements’.

It just doesn’t sit well with us. Most of our clients are ‘real’ people with ‘real’ issues from their everyday ‘real’ work and life.

Once you are on our table, it doesn’t matter to us who you are, where you live or what you do. All that matters is your body on our massage table and how we can best give you the bodywork experience that you are after.

By Richard Lane

You should always Massage Distal to Proximal. Is this yet another Massage Myth?

Recently there has been significant discussion about the massage myths that are frequently perpetuated by therapists (and sometimes even taught in massage schools). For example, pregnancy massage being contraindicated during the first trimester and massage releasing toxins are myths that are in the process of being eliminated.

distal to proximal massage
Massage therapists are always taught that they must massage distal to proximal, from the extremities towards heart. The argument is that the bodywork can increase the back pressure in the veins and potentially damage the vein’s valves through undue pressure.

Although it may appear to be logical rationale, is there any evidence that massaging proximal to distal does cause damage?

If you can imagine a fluid filled balloon inside a second fluid balloon and apply a local pressure to the external balloon, then (without claiming to be a scientist), it is hard to imagine that there will be a significant increase in the local pressure of the internal balloon. Isn’t this the situation in say the hamstrings, the calves or the quads? Would applying a distal force in one of these muscle groups really cause an increase in pressure significant enough to cause damage to a valve in a vein, even if the therapist was performing a strong deep tissue massage?

Please note, I am not advocating that therapists throw out the mantra that you must always work towards the heart. It is always understandable that there should be caution with working distally with anyone who has varicose veins, risk factors for deep vein thrombosis, potentially weaker veins (ie the elderly), during pregnancy, etc. However, let’s say for reasonable fit and healthy clients, is it true that we can really damage their veins?

I’m struggling to find any evidence that it can and has happened.

There are those who argue that working in a distal direction can be effective in achieving your massage goals, particularly if you are performing structural bodywork or the like. If you are massaging with correct intentions and are in tune with the requirements of the client’s, then you should work in the directions that will get the best results for the client.

According to Art Riggs(1) there are significant advantages of working distally:

• Since most muscles attach proximally in order to exert force proximally, working distally lengthens short muscle fibers and fascia for lasting relief from contraction which limits joint function and causes discomfort.
• It frees and lengthens nerves that have shortened along with the muscles.
• It decompresses joints and releases tight ligaments for better osseous function.
• Possibly the most important benefit is that working distally helps train our clients to override protective holding and reprograms movement patterns as they release in the direction of lengthening and relaxation.

  
If you have never tried releasing soft tissues by working proximal to distal then maybe it’s time to consider introducing it to your range of massage strokes and techniques. Just be mindful of normal massage contraindications, what you are doing, why you are doing it and who you are doing it on.

(1) “Distal vs Proximal Work”. Art Riggs. http://www.abmp.com/textonlymags/article.php?article=91

By Richard Lane

Advantages of being a Mobile Massage Therapist

Many massage therapists will do mobile massage at some time during their massage career. It may just be for a few family members, friends or clients that they know. Others will have a foot in both camps and mix clinic and mobile massage. Others will just consider themselves as being mobile massage therapists.

In addition, the mix between being a clinic based therapist and a mobile therapist may change significantly during one’s career. The norm is probably that a therapist will do a higher proportion of mobile massaging early in their career whilst they establish themselves in the industry and understand what works for them with respect to work/lifestyle balance.
Others (myself included) have done the opposite and gone from being mainly clinic based to only doing mobile massage in Sydney.

advantages of being a mobile massage therapistI will discuss the disadvantages of doing mobile massage in a later post but for now, just want to talk about the advantages to you as a therapist of seeing people in their homes.

   

The main advantage of being a mobile massage therapist is flexibility coupled with limited overheads. If you are renting space in a clinic then you need to see a certain number of clients before you start bringing in an income. Even worse, if there are no clients then money is still going out the door with nothing coming in.

Other advantages include:
– If you are sick, if you want to take a day off or have an extended holiday then your landlord will still have their hand in your pocket for the rent.

– If you are employed (or even a subcontractor) then you may have business restrictions placed on you that prevents you from setting up a business within a certain distance from your current clinic. This can effectively tie you to a specific clinic location.

– Providing home massages can be rewarding for you as a therapist. There is a little more flexibility with respect to time so that although it may be considered unprofessional going significantly over time, you can afford to build client relations by making sure that you provide an hour’s massage when the client has booked for an hour (unlike the 50 or so minutes you may get at a clinic when clients are booked on the hour). You don’t have to rush to make sure that you don’t keep your next client waiting.

– If you do the sums (and you are charging an appropriate rate), then the average take-home income per massage should be higher for outcall massaging. This is even more the case if you can manage to arrange extended appointment times or more than one client at a given location. It may even be the case if you say massage a couple at the same location, your rate/massage is lower than it would be at an equivalent client yet your hourly income is higher.

– Variety. Working in different spaces can help keep things interesting.

– Nice clients. Purely subjective but in my experience anyone who is prepared to let a stranger into their house offers a good energy and receptiveness to being massaged. Most clinics clients fall into the same category, but not all…..

  
- Fewer cancellations or clients running late. Probably the bane of the clinical massage therapist is last minute cancellations and people running late. In my experience, cancellations and clients running late are very much the exception for mobile work (and when these situations do arise, it is normally for a very very good reason).

Now doing mobile work is not for everyone and I will discuss some of the negatives in a future post.

By Richard Lane


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