Massage Journey

Jackson Hole is Awesome

Jackson Hole is Awesome

Why is Jackson Hole Awesome? I’ll tell you why Jackson Hole is awesome…we get an end-of-ski-season concert – Michael Franti and Spearhead – FOR FREE!!!  Howdya like that??


And just to warm us up, the party started on Friday evening with Blues Traveler – and if you need warmed up for that – there’s even a previous FREE concert on Thursday evening with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Who??? – Think Lenny Kravitz’s band and Slightly Stoopid.)

I tell you what – being a massage professional in Jackson Hole is just the best. Not only do we get free rock concerts night after night at the end of season, we get to ski in the mornings (skiers don’t generally want massages before 2pm – so that’s fine because all the powder is gone by then anyway). Let’s see – oh yes – before I’m off the concert thing – three years ago we had Grace Potter and the Nocturnals…boy – can she belt it out!


So what else is great about being a massage professional in Jackson Hole – well – it’s just gob-smacking gorgeous around here for one thing, and the opportunities to get out there and play in it are never-ending. Grand Teton National Park is right on our doorstep with the magnificent and mighty Teton Mountains to go hiking in.


You don’t have to be into big scary mountaineering to enjoy them – there’s no end to possibilities for those who are into just nice day-hiking – or you could get more abitious and get up into the really high-country, take a tent with you, and spend a night or more out there in the wilderness. A couple of years ago Rochelle and I hiked the Teton Crest Trail – three nights on the watershed ridge that separates the two Teton Counties of Wyoming and Idaho. (I wrote and photographed for an article about this, which will be published in Teton Valley Magazine this summer.)

Image showing Hamish and Rochelle hiking the Teton Crest Trail

Oh no – I’m already running out of space and I haven’t begun to tell you about the bicycling we do here – be it road biking or mountain biking – easy or gnarly trails – there’s just tons of it. You can’t go mountain biking in Grand Teton National Park, however because of the no mechanized vehicles on park trails. (A good thing in my view.)


And then there’s rafting on the Snake River! We’re very lucky to have our own boat – and have had for many years.


The Snake River has a large variety of river sections from mellow and peaceful flowating through the park, viewing the Tetons, to a fun white-water run through the Snake River Canyon – about 11 miles south of Jackson. Commercial rafting is a big industry around here in the summers. Jackson Hole supports maybe a dozen river outfitters. If you want to float or have a whitewater experience on the Snake River, I recommend Barker-Ewing (for who I rowed many years ago), or Dave Hansen Whitewater (for whom my son rowed last summer).


Maybe I’ll write another post on this topic when I can get into the parasailing, nordic skiing, horse-back trail-riding, mountaineering, kayaking and all the other ‘ings’ you can think of.

But the best thing about being a self-employed massage therapist in Jackson Hole is that we don’t have to go anywhere to immediately immerse ourselves in a ‘wonderful world’ – it’s  literally right out of our front door. In fact, I think I’ll go for a walk right now…


Be well,


Hamish and Rochelle

Changing it up.

Changing it up

‘Blogging about all things massage, and all things Jackson Hole’


For our millions of readers here at the Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole blog – you may have noticed several changes in direction with this blog. At first there was the stumbling, fatalistic – nobody-reads-this-anyway-and-I’d-rather-be-skiing  – sort of attitude where, as long as I interjected relevant keyword phrases on a regular basis – it would do…right?


But then I started to get a passion for the blog writing – and I thought a decent ‘angle’ would be to write about Rochelle and me and our nascent massage professions and business – and take readers along with us on that bumpy ride that started while we lived in a motel room at the Virginian Lodge. Not a bad theory. In my days of writing for ‘Sail’ magazine, I wrote as a sailor new to boat ownership and voyaging in general – and wrote articles for those in that same stage of boating – learn with me as I discover. (See my published articles.)


But then Rochelle and I went back to McKinnon massage school in Oakland, CA for two months last fall. This in itself got me much more fired-up about massage in general and I decided to report on my learning curve and start to give my ten cents worth about giving massage – and about receiving massage. I’ve had suggestions like “Write about healthy lifestyle tips, great healthy recipes, smoothies, Yoga articles” – none of which would contain keywords relevant to massage in Jackson Hole. But most of all – while I do participate in a very active, healthy, good-eating lifestyle – to write about it, on top of the gazillions of others out there doing so – would bore the kilt off of me (yes folks, I’m Scottish born and raised – hence the Gaelic name, Hamish.)


And now, most recently, I’ve been advised to become a travel resource for in-coming visitors and tourists to Jackson Hole and the Teton area – perhaps even the state of Wyoming…wow – a tall order – but it seems like a great idea – thus the last three blog posts about things to do in Jackson Hole. All for the sake of improving our web site’s  position on Google and other search engines.


So – what am I supposed to do? What is best to write about that keeps me sane; will contain the essential keywords; will interest the (millions of) readers; and yet stick to some logical, reasonable theme? Well – Rochelle and I were out for a walk yesterday and we decided to blanket the whole thing in a tag-line for the blog: “Blogging about all things Massage, and all things Jackson Hole.” What do you think of that? And you know what – I even think I’ll just write about what I darn-well please.

Be well,

Rochelle and Hamish


How My Massage Clients Help Me.

How My Massage Clients Help Me

My regular readers (millions of ’em)  will know that this blog is about the trials and tribulations of a new, mostly out-call  massage therapy company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I write about the journey which my GF Rochelle and I have decided to embark – with massage being our central theme.


In fact, we’re about to come upon an important and exciting first anniversary – (no, not our personal one – we celebrated our second anniversary of coupledom back in August) – but it’s our anniversary off driving off to Oakland, California from Jackson, Wyoming, for further education at the McKinnon School of Body Therapy. It has been a year since Rochelle and I first took off on a wild ride – two weeks of car camping  and hiking in Death Valley National Park and onto Oakland until late December.  We both very much enjoy this journey as it’s a discovery wrapped around a learning experience. We shared many precious, sometimes trying moments during that trip as it was all new territory to me and exciting for us both to be living as students in a completely different environment for us Jackson Hole-ites. I should explain that Rochelle had first studied the basic Swedish Massage course there the year before that!  Indeed – it was because of her positive experiences in massage work that I am now also on the band-wagon.


But going back to school during the fall months is just one of the paths on which this journey takes us. We’re both new massage therapists and are determined to make a real go of having a relationship, a business, a future together and who knows – in time it might pay the bills. I’ll be keeping you up to date while we’re at school in Oakland and on our adventure – but for now I want to get to the topic of this post – ‘How My Massage Clients Help Me’.

Image showing Wily Coyote

Massage therapists are in a position of help to their clients. The purpose of this post is not to go into the benefits of massage – but to consider, or at least be open to, how your clients help you. Or at least – this is how they help me: My being in the ‘new-massage-therapist-and-business’ situation that I am in – is a result of financial ruin back in 2008 -10, including the loss of my income and home back in 2008. I am 57 years old and having to start again from scratch. Massage, and Rochelle, are bringing me back in a most agreeable way – I love the whole subject and wish I had my younger years back in order to have more ‘future’ in which to learn. But how my clients help me is simply by being there on my massage table. I am grateful. They are helping me (and us – but I’m talking about me) by being clients upon whom I can practice my skills, my art – and of course they’re the source of moolah, which is why, really, we’re all doing this in the first place.

Be well,

Hamish and Rochelle.


Marketing Your Massage Business in Jackson Hole

This blog is about the adventures, trials, tribulations, emotions, pleasures, fears, frustrations and joys of starting a new out-call massage business in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The blog is written by T. Hamish Tear, one of the two owner / partners of Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole – which is then carried forward into the Social Media sphere by Rochelle Ganoe – the other owner / Partner.

Our most recent ‘test of faith’ in Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole has been to continue to commit funds to consistent, repeated advertising over long periods of time when this is quickly becoming a negative cash-flow situation. The big decision has been whether or not to continue with advertising in the Jackson Hole News and Guide (and now we are considering the Jackson Hole Daily News) – in addition to the various other advertising mediums we have going on at the moment – not to mention the ‘Big-Gulp’ of a whole new custom web site. From previous blog posts, readers may recall that those other advertising mediums are:

1) Rack Cards. These were published by Vista Print. We ordered 2,500 and they have been distributed around Jackson Hole by the brochure delivery company “Pony Express”. We are having them delivered to rack card locations in hotels and public places frequented by tourists all over Jackson. Rack cards have provided us with two inquiries and one sale over a period of three months.

2) Jackson Hole Attraction Menu. This map and calendar of events carries advertising within it and is distributed alongside rack cards and is also found in many hotel rooms and lobbies. This has brought in three inquiries so far and has resulted in one sale.

3) The Jackson Hole News and Guide. We started with a 1/4 page ad and are now running a slightly smaller ad. for six weeks – the total contract being for thirteen weeks. This has brought in one inquiry, which led to one sale.

Those are our current advertising efforts and on-going expenses. In the past we have also advertised in the half-off special section of JH Weekly (aka Planet Jackson Hole). Yes it seems steep and scary and the question is…do we have faith in Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole to keep it going with that kind of negative cash-flow? Fortunately, we have our contract massage work at Spring Creek Ranch, and at Sena Spa in Teton Village, and at Olga’s Day Spa at Snow King Resort to keep us going. Rochelle also has a handful of fairly regular local massage clients from the past couple of years that keep her cash coming as well – although those are well discounted prices.

But what we also have to thank for cash coming in – by far our most efficient advertising medium (although we’re still talking small numbers) is the internet – yes – our web site, its SEO and Rochelle’s SM work – are performing. Usually when the Massage Professionals phone rings it is a request for a massage from having been found on the internet. And those customers have been mostly un-phased by our basic one hour massage price of $130 – and they leave extremely generous gratuities. This is why we have decided to go for the big splash of having a new custom web site built for us. We consider that the previous web site, a free template web site that comes with membership of the American Bodywork and Massage Professionals, to be ‘adequate’ but no more because it is not a ‘responsive’ web site – and other reasons. (Although it is a really good place to start with a brand new massage business with little start-up capital – and it has already gained a very respectable organic Google placement.)

This blog Post will continue next week with details of how we have decided to construct our new web site, who we hired to do so and why – and how expenses being poured into the web site can be justified and balanced against or with those other advertising mediums in Jackson Hole.

Be well,

Hamish and Rochelle.