Monday, November 8, 2010

How I Learned To Do Chair Massages Part 1

You’ve already read my experiences learning the basics of Trigger Point Therapy in the “How I Got Into TPT” posts. I partially financed that trip to Kentucky, and now make a good chunk of my living, by doing chair massages at various fairs. Here’s the back story. Our massage therapy instructor (I’m going to call her “Jerry” because it’s faster than always having to type out “Our Instructor”) taught us how to do chair massages, then took us to a fancy motel in Bay City to get practice on people who were attending some convention there. I made a lot of tips there, so when they asked if anybody wanted to come back the next day, I grabbed the opportunity.

Yes, it was an hour’s drive each way and I’d have to make at least twenty dollars just to break even.  Fortunately for me, nobody else in the class wanted to pay for the gas, so it was open season. I had no business experience at that point, and no clue how to market myself, so I just smiled a lot and talked to people and told them stories, and before I knew it, I was swamped. Plus, they invited me in for their fancy dinner.

Jerry told us that she used to do chair massages to fairs and festivals and made quite a lot of money, so, I stayed after class and picked her brain. She said that if I was going to do this professionally, I’d obviously have to buy my own chair, for roughly $150. I’d also need a shelter to work out of, and it would be helpful to put a carpet down in case the ground was wet. She also said a lot of people are uncomfortable about being massaged in public, so I should have a screen.

A neighbor let me have her screened-in tent, the local furniture store cut off a big chunk of old carpeting for me, and Jerry let me use her bamboo screen. But my car was too small to fit it all in, so I didn’t take the carpeting or the screen with me.

Continued Tomorrow

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