Tools and trends 2022 for massage professionals

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Take a look at some of the best pre-education exercise equipment, personal protective equipment, and the best software and apps for massage therapists this year.

The time has come to close the difficult chapter of 2021 and move on to 2022. Although the past few years have not been easy for anyone, we as practitioners have found ourselves in the privileged position of being able to offer comfort and relief. to our customers in these unprecedented times.

Each new year is accompanied by new trends and tools that take into account the field of massage therapy. In this article, I’ll outline some of the best new massage tools available for the profession, along with some trends to watch out for over the coming year.

Massage therapy tools to consider in 2022

While some of the following items are not necessarily “new,” these tools are making a comeback and gaining popularity with massage practitioners so that we can better serve our clients.

Pre-education exercise equipment

As massage practitioners, we have many tools that are extremely valuable to us. But some things, such as our tables, lotions, and napkins, are disposable. We can recycle these materials and buy new ones as needed.

Our bodies, on the other hand, are not replaceable. When our hands and back break down, we either have to change our practice or move to a new area entirely.

For this reason, it is paramount to invest in “pre-adaptation” exercise equipment to keep our bodies strong and resistant to injury.

Some of the best prehab exercise equipment for massage practitioners include:

  1. Finger Extension Resistance Bands. No matter what we do on a typical day, our finger flexors are consistently being worked harder and longer than our finger extensors. As we know, the muscle imbalance between the joints can often lead to pain and dysfunction. Fortunately, we can keep our fingers and hands strong by investing in finger extenders (or just using a simple rubber band!)
  2. Functional exercise equipment. * Exercise tools such as kettlebells, weights, Swiss balls, and the like may seem fancy at first glance. But these pieces of equipment have been shown to improve core stability and strength, which in turn can lead to less back pain. * It is important to note that before embarking on a kettlebell program (or any other exercise / lifestyle change), be sure to educate yourself on proper form and understand the risks involved. You should also consider consulting with your doctor before embarking on a functional strength training program.
  3. Exercise trackers. Through the use of a device like the Apple Watch, we can track our movements throughout the day and make sure that we are getting the recommended amount of exercise for good health.

Effective personal protective equipment

COVID 19 has been on the elephant in every room for the past few years, and I know we’re all sick of hearing about it. However, at the time of writing this article, the number of cases is at an all time high.

As public health professionals resolve issues with the virus, we must take all possible steps to stay healthy and free from disease. The following PPE recommendations are easy to transport and effective in identifying disease and preventing transmission:

Non-contact thermometer

  • Non-contact thermometers. Fever is a sign of many illnesses and is easily detected with the use of a non-contact thermometer. By taking our clients’ temperature before starting a session, we can determine whether or not it is safe to continue treatment.
  • Affordable and eco-friendly tablecloths. Finding covers that do not lead to huge amounts of waste while keeping patients safe from the transmission of other diseases is a must for massage practitioners.
  • Safe disinfectants. In addition to the use of equipment covers, environmentally friendly and non-toxic disinfectants can help keep surfaces clean and disease free during our sessions.

Best available technology

Smartphone apps and other software can transform the practice of a massage therapist. While there is something to be said about doing things without technology, ignoring the latest software advancements in the field is a recipe for falling behind as our peers improve and advance in their careers.

Some software and applications that can help massage therapists include:

  • Simple practice. Simplepractice offers massage therapists an easy way to manage all aspects of their practice. This app makes it easy for therapists to schedule clients, collect payments, and do virtually whatever it takes to be successful in the field.
  • Massage trigger points. For those who have been in the field for many years, it may not be necessary to reference the anatomical sites of trigger points and similar areas of study. But for those new to the field, college students, and others who enjoy having access to reference material on their smartphones, apps such as “massage trigger points” are the perfect addition to a collection of. applications.
  • Mental health apps. Although we are often the relievers of those in pain, we can experience mental health issues ourselves. Therefore, investing in a quality mental health app such as Headspace, Sanvello or Calm can go a long way in improving our own mental states which will result in better relationships and better service to our customers.

3 massage trends to watch in 2022

1. Explore new niches

As times have changed over the years, so will popular customer niches. There are many untapped markets that can be explored through trial and error (within reason) and opportunities for continuing education.

For example, over the past year many of my colleagues and I have seen an increase in injuries related to the growing number of people working from home with inappropriate office setups.

Neck strain and extremely poor posture have become the norm for this patient population and have enabled me to provide learning opportunities, write articles and present webinars on the best ergonomic setups for the patient. long-term homework. This has allowed me to gain more clients and increase my reach to a whole new group of individuals.

This trend of “work from home rigidity” is expected to continue as many offices have moved to hybrid and remote models. Likewise, there may be other interesting niches that arise in the coming year in certain regions or industries. We need to keep our eyes open and be ready to adapt!

2. Client-centered care

We live in an age where clients and patients play a very active role in their care. This is definitely a good thing, but it’s important to keep in mind when discussing strategies and techniques with them.

The importance of making sure the client gets what they want from the session cannot be overstated. Even though we believe that a certain technique may be better suited to the client’s needs and express it to them, we need to be aware that clients know their own bodies better than we ever could. In addition, thanks to the latest advances in Internet technology, clients can become extremely proficient in subjects related to the field of massage.

This new dynamic means that we need to become a partner in the client’s journey to wellness, rather than a separate practitioner who simply provides treatment which is then received by the client. Many therapists have made this transition already, but we still have a long way to go before we achieve fully client-centered care.

3. Do more with less

Sadly, it looks like supply chain issues may continue for the next several years. This means that the new materials we order can take a long time to arrive, forcing us to adapt our practice accordingly.

For example, after my massage table was no longer usable, it took months for a new one that I had ordered to arrive. Therefore, I had to adapt and find different ways to achieve the same goals for my clients.

Although it was not always easy or pretty, I was able to develop different ways of performing massages using chairs and other objects at my disposal.

As we continue to navigate these supply chain challenges, we need to be adaptable and find ways to do as much as possible, even though we don’t have all the tools we would like at our disposal.

Conclusion

No matter what this year brings, a big theme going forward is preparation. We must be prepared for whatever may happen and be able to adapt at any time. Our customers need us and we must be ready to serve them physically, mentally and with all the tools at our disposal.

About the Author

Bennett Richardson, PT, DPT, CSCS

Bennett is a licensed physiotherapist, personal trainer, weight loss trainer, business owner, and writer. He received his doctorate in physiotherapy in 2017 from Slippery Rock University. Prior to that, he graduated in Exercise Science with a minor in Gerontology. He is certified as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Having already published one book, he is working hard on his second and hopes to publish it by the end of 2021. In his physiotherapy practice, he frequently uses manual therapy, including massage techniques. Bennett has his own mobile physiotherapy clinic, Richardson PT, where he literally meets clients wherever they are: at home, in their gym, in the park, anywhere.

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