Teaching couples massage classes is a great way to make extra money while also reducing the stress on your body. It is also a great way to get people touching each other more. I recently just taught my first individual class and I have to say it was one of the funnest (is that a word?) things I have done in a long time in my career.
I have always thought that it was sad that touch is being lost so much in the world and when I have studied the history of massage and how massage was always a big part of various communities with things like women in the family teaching their sons how to do massage so they could massage their pregnant wives now being lost to expensive massage services. I have also always thought that it was such a weird thing to charge money for when massage should really be done on each other. I have always thought it was such a strange thing that people so willingly jump on the massage table to be touched by complete strangers. Since massage school in 1987, I always thought that if everyone got a massage once a day that there would be world peace. Well I have been trying to make a dent in getting more people to experience touch, I am realizing that teaching massage to couples and others who want to learn is going to be a better way to approach this. Anyone can really do a massage.
I started with teaching massage to others right from the beginning of my career but it was always for community groups for free or for a regular client who was in dire need and wanted some family member to know more so that they could be helped in between sessions. I also have taught some mothers how to massage their kids, but it was always just a complementary service mainly for really regular lifetime clients.
I also had a regular follower, Carl Nelson, back when I first started my site in about 2000 or so, who was doing massage in his local church group, write an article on how to do the massage in a church group.
So when Gary and Tiffany Blackden, who are fellow massage therapists who I found because of our love of using Site Build it! to create websites, put together and ebook on how to teach a class to couples and others, I became hooked! I put together a page for my office website and because my website gets such high traffic (about 200 people a day) it was easy to get my first class participants. After I taught the class, I was really shocked to see how fun it was and to see how well people really catch on. It was a very rewarding experience, much more so than even just doing a massage in my experience. So I was wanting to know more and learn more and got the opportunity to assist in a couples class with one of the local experts – Joe Levine of www.poweroftouchworkshops.com . He had 3 – 3 hour workshops set up on a Saturday (and every Saturday!) for 6-7 couples at a time! He did it a little different and actually taught the women how to do more of a lomi lomi massage or mainly to just use their forearms and apply more pressure to the guys. I thought he was crazy at first, but it really worked out. In general, the women are not able to give deeper pressure. When it came time to teach the men how to massage, he taught them more of a Western style Swedish Massage technique which again worked out great. He also got out some hot stones and had people just hold them in their hands and use a little on the back.
So really, you will have to figure out what you will be teaching people based on the skills you know and find out what is easiest for people to pick up and learn.
This can go way beyond just couples massage. It can be for friends, family members, massage for mom/dad. It can be massage for people with cancer if you are skilled in working with cancer patients. It can be massage for people with fibromyalgia or other diseases and conditions that you work with. It can be a specific area of the body- back massage, foot massage, head massage. Think about teaching regular self massage classes also like specific classes for headaches or carpal tunnel or something for a lunch time event or after work happy hour type of thing or even in an open house event. You can do classes with seated massage just using a conference room with chairs and a table and use pillows to sit people upright.
So Start with the Ebook/DVD from Gary and Tiffany Blackden of www.professionalmassagenetwork.com. Start with teaching classes to just one couple at a time. That might even just be enough for you to help get your schedule filled. When you get a couple in for a two or three hour class and just charge your regular hourly rate, it can be a good way to fill up your time faster. If and when you want to move to classes with multiple participants you will need to have some of these things in place:
- Check to also see if you need extra liability insurance.
- Have class handouts on the things you talked about in the class.
- Create a new intake form that is geared toward the couples.
- Have a way to follow up with people who take the class. I had people fill out a large body chart and kept it and then wrote some notes on it for each person to remember when they worked on the other person and mailed it a few days later after the class. I also included a $10 off coupon for a massage with me that they could use or give to anyone.
- Sell the workshop through gift certificates – especially for Valentines Day, Christmas, Birthdays and Anniversaries.
Some of the issues that I can see already are simple things like getting them undressed and dressed and on the table in the group setting. You will have to get creative with that. In the class I saw, they just had the women step out of the room and all the women were left to get undressed and on the table. You also may get some people who just don’t want to be there. Sometimes it is just one person who really wants the other to come in and learn so that they can massage them! Some people are also very awkward with their hands and bodies. You might just have to spend extra time with them or just leave them on their own. In the end, they will get as much out of it as they can. Another thing to deal with is couples becoming more romantic with each other. You will have to deal with that with each unique situation. Mostly it is really harmless, but I did see a discussion on Facebook of someone saying a couple was engaged in really romantic relations in between sessions. This is just an FYI to know about what might happen.
So here are the basic steps you will need to take:
- Read the couples massage ebook and watch the DVD
- Create a plan for your class. You will need an intake form, handouts, oil/lotion samples/supplies, sheets or decide if you want them to bring them, massage tables, a way to make a table on the floor to show them until they get a table.
- Create a page on your website about the class. Have a way for them to buy it in a gift certificate or direct instructions on how to schedule the class.
- Create a marketing plan for your class.
- Teach a few individual massage classes or as many as you need to feel comfortable and work your way up to a few couples or a large group.
- To get a large group, this is where groupon or livingsocial.com works best. You can increase the price of the class and then sell it at the discounted rate through these services and get your classes filled.
- Create a mailing list or a members only section on your website where people can get more handouts or watch videos.
- Sell the couples massage video on your website through the affiliate program and make extra money.
- Sell massage tables, lotions, oils, bolsters on your website through affiliate programs and make additional income while you teach the classes. www.amazon.com is best for this. You can sign up to become an associate for free and they will help you create the links to put on your site. When people buy through the links, you get paid. You will also need to create a policy page and follow their rules for being an affiliate. You need to put up an FTC policy that says that you make money through affiliate programs and list them but amazon.com also says you need to add a special disclaimer to your site. (I have to find that exact info.!)