If you are a sports massage therapist, your career has been built on in-person care and providing physical treatments to clients. We are now on our third lockdown in the UK, meaning yet again general sports massage treatments are unable to continue and therefore stifling therapy businesses across the country.
We’ve outlined 4 ways you can continue to provide valuable services to clients online, and our top 3 tools to help you.
The role of a sports massage therapist
Depending on level of qualification, a sports massage therapist is predominantly qualified to provide sport tissue massage treatments and those qualified at a higher level can provide remedial treatments and assessments.
Those who have qualified after studying a Level 3 diploma in sports massage therapy are able to gain insurance and provide soft tissue massage treatments to a range of clients including sportspeople, gym goers and the general public. However they are not able to provide remedial treatment to “treat” injuries. This is where they would refer a client to another professional.
Those qualified at level 4 and above are able to gain insurance to “treat” injuries, and are qualified at performing more robust physical assessments.
4 ways sports massage therapists can help clients remotely
Providing sports massage treatments is a hands-on job, and unlike other professions in health and fitness it isn’t as easy to transfer to an online service. But there are things you can do, to continue to add value to clients and still charge for your services.
You can still provide consultations with clients online via video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google hangout.
Depending on the information gathered, you may be able to provide advice on at-home sessions on stretching, foam rolling or targeted vibration.
As ever, if there are indications that you are unable to provide advice and treatment methods then you should refer immediately. Clinical professionals are able to continue in-person treatment and should be referred where needed.
Although this isn’t massage, sports massage therapists should have a strong understanding of the muscular system and different stretching techniques that can relieve sore and tight muscles.
As many of us are working from home and sitting at dining room chairs, there will be a lot of clients looking for ways to reduce bad backs and tight hip flexors.
You could provide live one to one or group based stretching sessions with clients or you could provide stretching programmes that they can then use at home in their own time.
Similarly to stretching techniques, many of us will be hitting the pavement now gyms are closed, which almost always results in tightness and soreness. Without the access to massages, some will have targeted vibration tools such as massage guns and vibrating foam rollers. Again you can support clients remotely by providing one to one sessions on how to use the tools.
The support you give online during the lockdown doesn’t always have to be directed to a current client. You may want to use the time to build your following and presence on social media by posting informative content. You could record videos on stretches, vibration tool use, and general at-home techniques to relive aching muscles.
By providing valuable information and building an awareness of your business, you are more likely to become trusted and this should lead to future treatments and referrals once we are all back open for business.
Platforms to help your business
Rehab My Patient
Rehab my patient is a great tool that has a bank of images and videos on treatments. You are also able to video call clients on the platform and complete your online consultations.
The platform also allows you to create professional looking exercise plans for your clients – ideal for therapists who may not be tech savvy!
Sports Injury Fix (SIF)
'Make running your business easy. Save valuable time & maximise efficiency with our simple, intuitive and flexible business/practice management software. Unrivalled UK based support, advice and learning.'
Although this is a place where you will be building your own presence and providing informative posts to keep your network engaged, it is also the place where you can your own sources of information.
Membership associations the STA are great for providing links to webinars and information from experienced therapists who regularly run seminars and workshops on a host of subjects.
If you do want to start creating infographics or attractive posts, we highly recommend Canva. It’s really easy to use and can bring to life your information on social media.
Looking for more advice and support for your sports massage therapy business?
If you are struggling to access support during the lockdown please get in touch with us at Vector. Our tutor, Brian Huxley is a North West STA rep and is able to provide support and advice based on his 20+ years experience as an advanced clinical sports therapist.