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Core Products Blog

  • What to Expect (and How to Prepare) For Your First Full-Body Massage

    Posted on June 21, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    massageAccording to the American Massage Therapy Association, 19% of American adults received a massage between July 2015 and July 2016. Half of those cited health and wellness reasons, while 28% named relaxation and stress reduction as the primary motivator.

    But millions of Americans have never had a massage at all. If you’re about to experience a massage for the first time, you’re likely familiar with some of the benefits, but you might not know what to expect.

    There’s no need to be nervous - massage therapists are trained to make their clients feel comfortable. Nevertheless, knowing what to expect ahead of time can help to calm any jitters. Here’s what to expect before your first massage.

    *Note: For this article, we’ll focus on a standard full-body massage. Massage experiences for specific medical conditions or areas of the body may differ.

    Before the Massage

    The best way to approach your first massage is to relax and have an open mind. If you’re nervous, do some research on the massage therapist or practice you’ll be visiting ahead of time, and pick a business that sounds right for you before you book an appointment.

    You’ll want to avoid eating at least a few hours beforehand. It’s best to give yourself enough time to arrive 10 - 15 minutes early.

    When you arrive, your massage therapist may ask you to fill out a client intake form. These forms may ask about medical history, aches and pains, and emergency contacts.

    Once your paperwork is complete, your massage therapist will ask questions to tailor the massage around your specific needs. At this point, you’ll want to inform them of any specific areas you want addressed (such as shoulder tension) and any areas you want them to avoid. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at this stage - it can help you feel at ease and help your massage therapist understand your concerns as a client.

    During the Massage

    Your massage therapist will likely have a dedicated massage room with a massage table. They’ll direct you to undress to your comfort level and lie down face up or face down beneath a sheet. The therapist won’t expose any private areas and only the body part they’re working on at the moment will be in the open air. Don’t forget to remove any jewelry that might get in the way.

    The therapist will then begin to massage your body at an agreed-upon level of pressure. For a typical full-body massage, they could work your scalp, face, arms, hands, abdominals, legs, feet, sides of your glutes, and back, and they’ll pay specific attention to any areas you request.

    If at any point the pressure level is too light or too intense, make sure to let your therapist know, as all clients have different preferences. Beyond that, you can choose to talk or not during your massage.

    There may be relaxing music playing, but you can request it to be changed or turned off if you’d prefer silence.

    Beyond that, all you need to do is relax and enjoy as the therapist works out kinks, knots, and tight muscles!

    After the Massage

    When your massage is over, your therapist will let you know they’re done and leave the room so you can get dressed at your leisure. Some people feel dizzy right after a massage, so you should feel free to sit down and get your bearings.

    Once you leave the massage room, your massage therapist will be waiting to thank you and process payment if need be. While a tip is ultimately up to you, a good rule of thumb is:
    • $5 – $10 for a 30-minute massage
    • $10 - $15 for a 60-minute massage
    • $15 - $20 for a 90-minute massage

    Most massage therapists in a hospital or chiropractic settings do not expect tips, and may not even be allowed to accept them.

    As you go about your day, you may want to occasionally pause and take stock of how your body feels. Chances are, you’ll be ready for a repeat massage in no time!


    This post was posted in Education

  • Sedentary Office Jobs are Impacting Our Health in a Big Way

    Posted on June 13, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Sedentary-OfficeIf you have the typical office job, you’re likely working at a screen and stuck at your desk for most of the day. But all that time spent sitting could be having major impacts on your future health, with the medical community now referring to the effects of a sedentary lifestyle as “sitting disease.” When you’re at the office, an effort to break up your sitting time could make a huge impact on your health, even if you’re just taking a lap around the office.

    How Sitting Affects Your Health

    The American Heart Association has linked long periods of inactivity - six to eight hours or more per day - to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems and heart disease in the long term. These risks may be caused, in part, by higher blood pressure and elevated cholesterol resulting from inactivity. Diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes are also risks for the frequently inactive.

    Sitting incorrectly or for long periods of time can also lead to posture problems, an increased risk of herniated discs, and decreased hip mobility - none of which are fatal, but all of which can affect quality of life.

    Regular exercise may not even be enough. According to the American Heart Association, people who consistently exercise still have an elevated risk of heart disease and stroke if they spend much of their time sedentary. In short, a half hour of exercise won’t make up for what you do the rest of the day.

    How Standing and Walking at Work Can Help

    While further research is needed to determine the best way to fight sitting disease, the initial opinion is that interventions to reduce sedentary time could help.

    Getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week can help. But breaking up those long periods of inactivity can further reduce your amount of daily sedentary time. By scheduling regular reminders to get moving using an app or calendar, you can get a few minutes of exercise every hour or so, reducing the time you’re sitting. You can also get more creative with standing desks or walking meetings.

    Whatever you do, increasing your activity and decreasing the time spent sitting could help reduce the associated risks.

    Conclusion

    Further research is still needed, but it’s apparent that our bodies aren’t built to handle all the sitting required in a modern office job. To fight sitting disease, you may need regular exercise, periodic activity breaks from sitting, and other creative ways to stay active throughout the day. For a longer list of ways to counteract sitting disease, check out our blog post on staying at your desk job.

    Sources:
    http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/134/13/e262#sec-25
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/even-if-you-exercise-prolonged-sitting-time-is-bad-for-heart-health/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/


    This post was posted in Education

  • Seven of the Most Common Sports Injuries

    Posted on June 5, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Common-Sports-WebRegular exercise is important to lead a balanced, healthy lifestyle. But exercise comes with risks, and whether you’re a dedicated athlete or a weekend warrior, exercise can put you at risk of injury. Whenever you suffer a sports injury, one important key to recovery is proper diagnosis and treatment.

    It can help to listen to your body, know what to look for, and seek help from a doctor when injured. To help you identify injury when it happens, here are seven of the most common sports injuries.

    Sprained Ankles

    You’re likely familiar with the tender, painful sensation of an ankle sprain. Sprains can be caused by twisting your ankle, landing or planting your foot incorrectly, or even stumbling as you walk. Ankle sprains will usually heal after a few weeks, but they can be helped along with ice, elevation, and even ankle supports.

    Shin Splints

    Shin splints cause sharp pain that shoots down your shins, and commonly occurs in runners and people who increase their exercise intensity too quickly. Often, rest and cold therapy can help with recovery, but anyone experiencing long-term pain should consult a doctor. Stretching, wearing the right shoes, and gradually ramping up exercise intensity can help you avoid shin splints.

    ACL Tears

    The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects your leg bone to your knee. Sudden changes in direction or direct hits to the side of the knee can cause a strain or tear to the ACL. ACL tears can keep you incapacitated for weeks or even months. When you tear your ACL, your knee may immediately swell up with blood, and it can feel painful or wobbly for a long time. In some cases, the injury may even require surgery.

    Plantar Fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that occurs when you strain the tendon that runs along your foot and supports your arches. It can cause heel pain and make every step painful. It’s common among middle aged and older people, but also among young athletes and anyone who is frequently on their feet. Cold therapy, rest, stretching, and shoes with proper arch support can all help recovery, which can take months or longer.

    Hamstring Injuries

    Hamstring injuries can occur when the muscles in your hamstring (or upper thigh) are overused or stretched too far, resulting in tears in the muscles or tendons. Sprinting, kicking, and jumping can all cause hamstring injuries, which can be severely painful. Warming up and stretching before exercise can prevent hamstring injury, and you should stop exercising if your hamstrings become too fatigued.

    Recovery from a pulled hamstring can take a long time. Physical therapy and special exercises can help rebuild the muscles in your hamstring and prevent re-injury.

    Lower Back Pain

    It’s tricky to pinpoint the cause of lower back pain. Lower back injuries can be caused by impact to your lower back, improper form during exercise, and even household and work injuries. If you have persistent lower back pain, seeing a doctor for treatment is likely the first course of action.

    Tennis Elbow

    Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive motion and overuse of your arm and hand muscles, which causes tears in the elbow’s ligaments. It’s characterized by pain on the outside of your elbow, and any sport or activity that involves repetitive arm movements can be the culprit. Tennis elbow can be relieved by rest, physical therapy, and elbow supports.

    Sources:

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00297
    http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/tennis-elbow#1
    https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=591d8cf1-1ee5-4cb3-b662-a5f21f6f13bc
    http://www.mensfitness.com/sports/football/8-most-common-sports-injuries


    This post was posted in Education

  • Eight Simple Ways to Promote Your Massage Business Locally

    Posted on May 26, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Promote-Massage-WebRunning a local massage business is hard work, and if you spend most of your time with clients or honing your skills, it can be difficult to find the time to market your business. But self-promotion is necessary to bring in new clients and drive repeat business.

    Luckily, there are many simple tactics you can use to break through with a local audience. Here are eight simple ways to promote your local massage business.

    Create a Website

    Creating a website is a top priority for any new business, as it can convert web traffic into paying clients. Your website can educate locals about your credentials, your services, and other crucial info like location and business hours.

    You’ll also probably want an online appointment booking platform, either through your website or a paid service. This will make it easier for clients to book appointments and cut the time you spend updating your calendar.

    Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce

    Joining your local chamber of commerce may seem time consuming, as staying active in the group requires regular participation, but membership offers several benefits. It can bring credibility to your business, increase your reputation in the community, and create valuable networking opportunities. You can connect with fellow entrepreneurs to establish business alliances and refer clients to each other.

    At the very least, you’ll be getting a voice in local government, helping to shape local policies that could directly affect your business.

    Join Massage Associations

    Massage associations large and small can benefit massage businesses. One of the biggest - the American Massage Therapy Association - offers career development and continuing education, access to discounted products and services, trade publications, and even liability insurance. There are also many local and niche groups out there, so make sure to research available associations to find the ones that best suit your needs.

    Use Social Media Locally

    You may already be active on social media, but if you aren’t promoting your posts you might only be reaching your existing audience. When you run valuable promotions, you should try boosting them via paid posts. Paid posts are generally cheap for small business, and you can use them to connect with your local audience.

    You can also get creative to gain local followers. For instance, you could offer a discount when someone writes a Yelp review or checks into your business on Facebook.

    Use Referrals to Spread Word of Mouth

    Word of mouth is extremely important for local business. Without a large advertising budget or marketing department, you rely on word of mouth to get new clients in the door. You’re probably already striving to offer exceptional service in the hopes that your clients will recommend you to friends.

    But you can also incentivize referrals with your existing clients to boost the word of mouth effect. For instance, you can offer discounted products or services to clients that refer a certain amount of new client appointments. This gives your loyal clients extra motivation to refer their friends and family.

    Spread Your Business Cards Around

    You should have business cards ready at a moment’s notice. Anyone you speak with for more than 30 seconds should walk away from the conversation with your business card in hand. You don’t have to be pushy; just let them know that your business exists!

    Business cards can be especially helpful in the hands of the right people. Make sure you’re handing them out to employees or owners at gyms, health food stores, chiropractic clinics, and any other location that has a mission that aligns with massage.

    Collect Emails

    Collect emails on your website, new client intake forms, and anywhere else you can. Email is one of the best ways to stay top-of-mind with prospects and your existing client base. Every email you gather is a potential source of future business. Once you have a healthy list of contacts, you can start email marketing to encourage a steady flow of massage bookings.

    Claim Your Yelp Page

    If your business has a Yelp page, you should claim it. Claiming your Yelp page can help you track views and leads, add photos and a website link, and provide other business info. You’ll also be able to respond to reviews, so you can thank happy clients for a great review and try to appease unhappy reviewers.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Five Ways to Get Involved in the Fight Against Arthritis

    Posted on May 17, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Wrist-Pain_ArthritisMay is National Arthritis Awareness Month, a time to focus on a condition that is the top cause of disability in America. More than 50 million American adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. With those numbers, the odds are good that you or someone you care about has or will have arthritis.

    Outside of affecting the health of millions, arthritis has a profound, measurable economic and social impact in the United States. Despite all this, misunderstandings surround arthritis.

    Whether you’re well educated on arthritis or know virtually nothing, there are many ways to get involved in the fight. Here are five:

    1. Educate Yourself
    Arthritis is actually a group of diseases, with over 100 different types. Over 300,000 children have arthritis or a related rheumatic disease. Arthritis affects about approximately one in four adults.

    All of these facts are made publicly available by groups like the Arthritis Foundation. But misconceptions still survive. While you don’t need to have a doctor’s grasp of the condition, you will need to know the basics to spread awareness or provide support. The Arthritis Foundation is a great place to start your education, but you can also talk to medical professionals and people you know that are affected by arthritis to begin your education.

    2. Make a Donation
    There are several organizations working to spread awareness, provide resources to people with arthritis, and fund research for a cure. These groups welcome donations that help further their mission.

    The Arthritis Foundation is one of the highest profile groups, and its work ranges from advocacy at the federal and state government level to organizing local events and the annual Walk to Cure Arthritis. The Arthritis National Research Foundation primarily focuses on research for a cure, and the Arthritis Research and Education Fund supports researchers at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center.

    Your dollars can help these groups support people with arthritis and work toward a cure.

    3. Join Advocacy Groups
    Groups like CreakyJoints work to influence state and federal health and regulatory policies that affect those with arthritis. These groups provide a voice for patients and advocate for policies that affect access to treatment, care standards, and other issues. You can join the advocacy networks of national arthritis groups to share your story with media and legislators.

    4. Participate in a Fundraising Event
    There are many national and local events that support arthritis research, including walks, dinners, galas and more. Some events raise funds for general arthritis research, while others specialize in juvenile arthritis, alternative treatments, and other areas of focus. You can participate, donate funds, and even volunteer as a staff member at many of these events.

    5. Join a Support Group
    If you suffer from arthritis, it can be difficult to get others to relate to your experience. Joining a support group can help you get support, bond with people who have similar experiences, and widen your social circle. Attending meetings at a local support group can help you determine if support groups might be a good fit for you. They can also help you connect with local events, advocacy groups, and other activities to join the fight against arthritis.

    Sources:
    http://www.arthritis.org/
    http://www.arthritis.org/Documents/Sections/About-Arthritis/arthritis-facts-stats-figures.pdf
    https://creakyjoints.org/advocacy/50-state-network/
    http://www.curearthritis.org/


    This post was posted in Education

  • Don't Neglect Your Pillows for a Deep Spring-Cleaning

    Posted on May 11, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Spring-WebSpring has arrived, and its time to shake off the winter and embrace your inner neat freak. Spring-cleaning is the annual time to freshen up your yard, make your kitchen gleam, and vacuum up all the dust bunnies.

    But one home item that needs regular upkeep is often overlooked all year. We’re talking about your pillows: they can get absolutely filthy, even if it isn’t noticeable to the naked eye.

    This spring, don’t neglect your pillows - they’re one thing you’ll likely want as clean as possible.

    Why Should I Wash My Pillows?

    Your head and face come in direct contact with your pillows for hours at a time. Knowing that, it seems logical that most people would want to keep them spotless. But it’s a frequently neglected aspect of home cleaning.

    Over time, pillows collect all manners of unsavory materials, including dead skin cells, pet dander, and even fungi. What’s worse, these materials attract dust mites, for whom a pillow is simply one of the best environments in which to live. A 2011 study found that over one third of a two-year-old pillow’s weight is made up of dead dust mites and their feces, dead skin cells, and bacteria.

    Not only is this information gross, it could be affecting your health if you’re one of the 20 million Americans with a dust mite allergy.

    What Can I Do to Keep My Pillows Clean?

    Fortunately, keeping your pillows clean is fairly simple, as long as you can remember to perform regular upkeep.

    Replace Them

    Periodically, you should replace your old, dirty pillows with fresh, clean ones. Pillows should be replaced every year or two; this eliminates all the crud old pillows have been collecting and keeps you from sleeping on a flat, worn out pillow.

    Perform Regular Upkeep

    Regular maintenance can also help fight off pillow accumulation. You should fluff your pillows daily to help them maintain their proper shape and knock off the dust off. If you remove certain pillows when you sleep, don’t just toss them on the floor - find a clean place for them instead.

    You’ll also want to wash your pillowcases with the rest of your bedding, at least once every week or two.

    Wash Them Consistently

    Your pillows can stand a regular washing, at least once every few months. But before you toss your pillow in the washing machine, check the washing instructions. Many pillows require specific cleaning methods to maintain their shape and support.

    For instance, fiber pillows like the Tri-Core Cervical Pillow can be hand soaked and washed in warm water with laundry detergent, then air-dried. Foam pillows like the Core Memory Foam Cervical Pillow may need to be wiped with a damp cloth. Make sure to check the tags or instructions that come with your pillow, as washing it improperly could cause damage.

    When in doubt, you can check the Core Products page or give us a ring if you have questions on washing your Core Products pillow.

    Conclusion

    Spring-cleaning is the perfect time to replace your pillows or give them a deep clean, but this should be just one step in regular upkeep and maintenance. Your pillows won’t stop accumulating unwanted material the rest of the year, so regular cleaning is needed to keep them fresh, remove gross buildup and allergens, and keep your bedroom just as healthy and clean as the rest of your home after a cleaning binge.


    This post was posted in Education

  • How to Handle a Medical Bill You Can’t Afford

    Posted on May 2, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    medicalbillsHealthcare costs can quickly spiral out of control for people who had the simple misfortune of being sick or injured. If you can’t afford a large medical bill, you may be worried about the consequences of non-payment, which could involve a damaged credit score, calls from collections agencies, and even court.

    Luckily, you can try to negotiate your medical bills or get assistance to reduce the cost of your health care. Here’s what to do if you receive a medical bill you can’t afford.

    Start Planning Immediately

    One of the worst things you can do is ignore the problem or postpone dealing with it. Any attempt to reduce your medical bill will have a better chance of success if you begin right away. Medical bills have a waiting period of 180 days past due before they can be reported to credit bureaus and land on your credit report.

    This means you have some time to deal with the bill, but you’ll likely want to get started now because the process can take a while.

    Collect and Review Your Documents

    Medical bills often contain errors that overcharge you for medical procedures and supplies; In fact, one recent review by insurance companies found errors in over 90 percent of the bills they examined.  Unfortunately, your insurance companies and medical providers won’t hunt for mistakes, and the burden to find them falls on you.

    You’ll need to collect every document related to your medical treatment – including the itemized bill, insurance statements, and any other relevant information. If you don’t have itemized bills, you should request them from your health care provider. Then, you can review your itemized bill to make sure you aren’t being overcharged. You can also check your bills against your insurance plan to make sure your insurance covered all the services it was supposed to.

    This can be a daunting, complicated task, so you may wish to contact a medical billing advocate for help.

    Negotiate with the Health Care Provider

    Health care providers will often negotiate with patients who are unable to afford their bill - after all, they’d rather receive some payment than nothing. To negotiate, you’ll need to speak with the health care provider’s billing staff.

    Negotiation may take some persistence. If you’re having no luck through phone or email, you can send a formal request for negotiation through the mail (make sure to send copies to the health care provider’s management). If you can find lower prices for the services you received, you may want to use that information for leverage.

    Find Assistance

    If you’re in certain income brackets or your medical bill is causing financial hardship, you may be able to receive assistance from different sources. Many doctors, hospitals, and specialists have assistance programs or can recommend other resources.

    If your healthcare provider doesn’t offer aid, there are many government programs and charities that can help. You’ll have to do some research on available local, state, and federal resources.

    Negotiate with Collections

    If your medical bill becomes 180 days past due, it may land on your credit report and be sent to collections. This scenario should be avoided, because your credit will be affected. However, if you find yourself in this situation, you still may be able to negotiate. Most collections agencies have bought your debt at pennies on the dollar, so you may be able to negotiate a lower payment amount. If you go this route, try to negotiate an agreement (in writing) that removes the debt from your credit report as a condition of your payment.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Six Things That Can Sabotage Your Relaxation Time

    Posted on April 24, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    relaxRelaxation doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Some people can begin to unwind as soon as they get off work, while others stay keyed up and stressed straight through bedtime. We also relax differently, and some may want to sit in silence while others would prefer going out for a group activity. But no matter how you approach relaxation, it’s important and has proven benefits for your physical and mental well-being.

    If relaxation frequently eludes you, you might be unwittingly engaging in behavior that’s sabotaging your attempts to relax. Here are six things that might be sabotaging your relaxation time.

    Mobile Devices

    Your phone, laptops and tablets are important devices you use to connect with others and get work done. But the very nature of their mobility makes it hard to put them down. Several studies of mobile phone and device usage have suggested that constantly checking our phone disrupts our sleep and makes us more anxious, stressed and unhappy during our supposed leisure time.

    Now we’re not suggesting you chuck out your smartphone and go live in a cave. Rather, you may want to take short breaks from your devices for short periods of time, especially when you want to relax. You can turn off your notifications and leave your phone in another room - it will still be there when you’re ready to pick it back up.

    Work Notifications

    Another side effect of mobile devices and work laptops is that you’re never truly away from work. Even if you aren’t working, email notifications on your device may be reminding you of that upcoming deadline or meeting when you’re at home trying to relax. Turning off work related notifications when you get home can help you unwind and forget about work for a while.

    Overloaded Schedules

    If your calendar is packed with obligations, deadlines and activities, you might be stressing yourself out and denying yourself much needed time to relax. Consider removing unnecessary items from that overloaded calendar. Reducing your commitments isn’t selfish if it helps keep you sane and happy, so you may want to try to avoid spreading yourself too thin.

    Caffeine

    Caffeine is extremely useful when you need to wake up and take charge of your day. But when it’s time to relax, caffeine can keep you wired and harm your ability to unwind. Now, some people swear by coffee as a way to relax, and we won’t necessarily argue. But if you’re feeling jittery and wired at the end of the day, it might be time to cut out that afternoon cup of coffee.

    Tense Muscles

    Even when you’re ready to relax, a tense body can prevent you from doing so. If your neck and shoulders are still tight from hunching over your computer screen or your body is still tense from a tough day, you may have difficulty relaxing. There are many ways to reduce muscle tension that include exercise, massage, stretching, and improving your posture. The right way to relax your body will vary, but loosening up physically can help you do the same mentally.

    Sedentary Lifestyle

    If you rarely exercise, your sedentary lifestyle may be preventing you from properly relieving stress. Exercise releases natural chemicals and endorphins in your body that fight stress and promote happiness. These effects last long after exercise is finished. Exercise can also tire you out, helping you relax and get a good night’s sleep.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Five Beginner Digital Marketing Tips for Massage Therapists

    Posted on April 13, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    massageBut to bring in new clients and engage existing ones, massage therapists may need to expand their digital marketing efforts. If you’re looking to launch or increase your online marketing presence, you may feel lost on how to move forward. The trick is to start slow, without overwhelming yourself. Here are a few tips on how to get started.

    Create a Business Website

    If you don’t already have a website to promote your massage business, creating one should be your first priority. It doesn’t have to be complicated or have dozens of web pages. This is simply a space to introduce yourself and your business to the world. You’ll probably want to include a short bio detailing your professional experience, a description of your services and pricing, and standard business details like location and hours of operation.

    Your website can also be the central hub for other marketing activities: you can link to social media accounts, collect client information, and schedule online bookings.

    You can hire a web designer to help you or even build your website yourself. Several website building platforms like Wix and Squarespace provide drag-and-drop functionality you can use to build a website in a matter of hours.

    Start Basic Email Marketing

    When people visit you online or in person, you should be collecting their contact info through a signup form on your website or a client intake form at your place of business. Every email address you gather is a potential source of future business.
    Once you have a list of contacts, you can start promoting your business via email. You can start simple, with a monthly newsletter or sales promotion. Whatever your message, you can use email marketing to position yourself as an expert, stay on your client’s radar, and encourage repeat business.

    Begin Personalizing Your Messages

    Your contacts are far more likely to respond to personalized messages than generic ones. Once you’ve been using email marketing for a while, you should take a look at the data you have on your contacts and start creating segments to send personalized content (many basic email marketing tools provide this functionality). Offers can be personalized in many different ways:

    • Send a birthday email with a massage discount
    • Offer discounts on products your clients have purchased in the past
    • Send a thank you email with important information to new customers

    Of course, you’ll need data on your clients and contacts to effectively send them personalized messages. Make sure you’re collecting the information you need when you connect with your clients and contacts so you can better customize your communications.

    Set Up Online Bookings

    Clients are more likely to book massages if they can do so easily. You don’t want to lose appointments because your client was too busy to give you a call or they couldn’t figure out how to book online. By setting up online reservations, you can make booking easy for your clients and reduce the time you have to spend managing your calendar.
    You can set up a booking system on your website, or use popular online booking platforms like MassageBook (which has free and paid plans with a variety of features, including marketing tools).

    Set Up Social Media Pages

    Social media can help you connect with your audience and online influencers. Try not to spread yourself too thin by signing up for all the social media channels; instead, pick a few to start with and go from there. Try to choose the platforms that are right for your audience - for instance, your business might be more appropriate for Facebook and Instagram than LinkedIn.

    You can use your social media accounts to provide coupons or discounts, share news and content, and connect with other massage experts. You should try to include both visual (picture and video) content and text - the written word alone isn’t enough for social media.

    In Closing

    Digital marketing for small businesses doesn’t have to be complicated, and it’s important to start somewhere. The internet is an important tool that can help you find new clients, manage existing clients, and otherwise lend your business legitimacy.

     


    This post was posted in Education

  • Six Exercise-Related Tips to Prevent Future Knee Problems

    Posted on April 5, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    kneeproblemsKnee problems are an ever-present reality for millions of Americans, especially for older people whose knees have seen a lifetime’s worth of wear and tear. But knee problems can occur in younger adults as well, especially among the overweight and very active.

    Strenuous exercise - like team sports - is often associated with knee problems. But there are many exercise-related strategies you can implement to reduce your risk of knee pain and knee problems as you get older.  Here are six exercise-related ways to prevent future knee problems.

    Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Extra weight can lead to a variety of knee problems and increase your chances of developing osteoarthritis. The heavier you are, the more pressure you put on your knees every time you take a step. Shedding pounds or maintaining a healthy weight will put less stress on your knees and help them stay healthy.

    Build Leg Strength

    The muscles surrounding your knee can provide support and do take off some of the pressure as you run, jump, and climb stairs. But to provide support, your surrounding muscles must be sufficiently powerful. Strong quads, hamstrings and calves can make a huge difference in the amount of pressure put on your knees. Both aerobic exercises and weight training can strengthen leg muscles; if you need advice on how to best build up your leg strength, consult a physician and/or physical trainer.

    Warm Up Before Workouts

    If you’re committed to building leg strength and maintaining a healthy weight, you may be hitting the gym or the great outdoors to get in some workouts. Make sure you’re warming up, stretching and engaging in light exercise, before you go full throttle. Warming up properly will reduce your risk of injury.

    Gradually Increase Workout Intensity

    Don’t suddenly increase the intensity of your exercise without giving your body time to adjust. This is a common cause of injury. Instead, build up your workout intensity gradually to avoid knee pain and other injuries.

    Use Low Impact Exercise if Necessary

    It’s commonly said that high impact exercise like running puts a lot of wear and tear on your knees, leading to future knee issues.  This isn’t necessarily true, as some studies have found that frequent runners are no more likely to have arthritis than non-runners.

    However, if you are already overweight or have bad knees, you may wish to stick to low impact exercise. Swimming, rowing, and elliptical workouts are all fantastic options to break a sweat without affecting your knees.

    Wear Protection

    If you have a job that’s tough on your knees or play sports such as roller-skating or soccer, make sure to wear knee pads. Knee pads act as shock absorbers and cushion the impact that occurs when your knee comes into contact with a hard surface.

    In Closing

    Your knees may feel great today, but that doesn’t mean they’re invulnerable forever. There’s no guarantee that you’re safe from knee problems later in life. Done properly, exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and protect your knees, reducing your risk of knee problems as you get older.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/knee-pain/why-knee-pain-worsens-with-age.aspx

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/167912-importance-of-knee-pads/


    This post was posted in Education

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