New Business

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

 

Our Brand New Web Site

About Our Brand New Web Site.

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In case you missed it – the URL (Universal Resource Locator) of our spiffy new web site for Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole is http://www.MassageProfessionals. We have also kept the ‘pointer’ URL from our previous web site that we had through the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), which is www.jacksonhole.massagetherapy.com. We’re keeping this for three reasons: 1) Because we’ve put so much effort into building an organic following with this web site that it would be a shame to let that go and start over, 2) We are necessarily affiliated with the ABMP and their web site through massage insurance and membership – so there are numerous valuable links and associations that we maintain, and, 3) having strong ‘pointer’ web sites is important, where the landing page takes people directly to our own new web site.

 

The content for the ABMP web site had been working well for us – no need to write it again (thanks to Mariane Maffeo of www.MaffeoMedia.com) – so we saved some money by asking Shannon to export that content, with tweaking for SEO as she saw necessary, into the new web site. But it was very important that Google search bots not detect duplicate content – so the ABMP web site was stripped of all content and populated with essential, rich keywords that specifically directed viewers to our new web site.

During our start-up months with the ABMP web site, it had become obvious that our customers were coming to us via internet search, and that our dollars spent on print advertising could be converted into internet advertising dollars. The ABMP web site, though a great way to start, was not the forward-thinking ‘progressive’ type of web site that we needed. Our customers search on mobile devices and ‘responsive’ web sites make that possible. I did have a few conversations with the web gurus and management at ABMP to see if there was anything like this on the horizon – but that was not to be. Still – it was a superb start-up site that I would recommend to any massage-business start-up (free with membership). It helped to send us on our way and proved that the internet was to be our main source of customers. Therefore it made sense to have the latest in progressive web sites built for us – and for this, we chose Shannon and Jimmy Sbarra of Skyfire Studios in Montana – http://www.skyfirestudio.com/

Image Showing Web SIte Under Construction

It’s not really my purpose here to ‘sell’ SkyFire Studios to you. I don’t have to – just look at our new web site and you’ll see what I mean. Shannon and Jimmy are a young couple who seem to me to be not just ‘sharp’ and at the cutting edge of web site technologies, SEO marketing, and design- but they also have a pleasant, yet professional business ethic. They do what they say they’ll do, on time, and at the agreed price. No shenanigans. If more work is to be done – the price is outlined fairly and agreed upon. Their price is reasonable in this industry and good for the quality of work they produce. All through the process communication has been open and at no time are we made to feel stupid when our knowledge of web sites and ‘internet na-na land’ is lacking (Jimmy is the guru). They explain it all very well. Now that the web site is built, there’s obviously some tweaking to do and on-going SEO to monitor – their associate, Caitlin, is going to come on board. So far, our early conversations with her have sounded very encouraging, and I’ll comment on that in a later post.

 

The new web site is built on www.Word-Press.org – as is this blog – moved over from www.Blogger.com. As with moving the web site – all previous content from Blogger has been deleted and that Blog deleted completely. Google web crawlers don’t report well upon seeing duplicate content.  I’m writing directly into the WordPress blog page right now – and it sure does make things easier, although it’s a significantly more robust platform with many more, and more complex options. Another thing we have had to do is change our e-mail server from www.GoDaddy.com, to www.Dreamhost.com. I’m still not sure why that was a good move – but it’s the hosting service that SkyFire Studio works with. Moving e-mail platforms has, I admit, been a bit of a pain so far – but Shannon is helping us get that together and I’m sure it will all be for the good in the long run.

Altogether, this is an exciting and significant phase in the growth of Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole. After just eight months in business, we have moved on from a start-up, free web site with ABMP into a much more aggressive, flexible and SEO-friendly web site that available to travelers on I-phones and tablet computers.

Be well,

 

Hamish and Rochelle.

 

Teenagers Benefit from Massage

Teenagers Benefit from Massage

Yes, it’s true – teenagers benefit from Massage. Massage has been shown to help different issues that occur during adolescence.We have all been through those sometimes dreaded (and just as often wonderful) years between childhood and adulthood. We go through massive changes hormonally and physically – and while regular doctors’ visits are recommended for the hard, medical aspects of this growing-up stage, massage can also be an important component of a teen’s health and wellness. Here are 3 areas where teenagers benefit from massage:

1. Poor body image and eating disorders.

Depression, social pressures regarding appearance, and participation in sports where leanness is valued (such as gymnastics, wrestling, and diving), are all associated with the development of eating disorders. Needless to say, high school provides ample opportunity for all of these.

Studies done at the Touch Research Institute with women who struggle with either anorexia nervosa or bulimia showed that regular massage decreased anxiety levels, increased levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine, and reduced depression scores. Participants in the study also showed better scores on the Eating Disorder Inventory, indicating better body awareness. While counseling is obviously of paramount importance, massage therapy can be a powerful adjunct to other forms of treatment for eating disorders. It’s just another example of how teenagers benefit from massage.

Teenagers living in Jackson Hole, or those visiting the Tetons, are not exempt from these health and mental concerns, so regular massage therapy with companies like  Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole should be a part of life.

2. PMS and menstrual pain.

What’s worse than menstrual problems? Menstrual problems when you’re a teenager. Between the irregular cycles, the inexperience with managing symptoms, and the embarrassment about getting help, adolescence can be a rough time to have a uterus. Effective treatments like hormonal birth control can have negative social connotations, and require a pelvic exam to obtain, a procedure that most teen girls have yet to experience and may wish to avoid.

Massage therapy has been shown to help with pain, anxiety, and feelings of depression related to PMS, as well as other symptoms like water retention. Girls can also benefit from learning self-massage techniques to use when experiencing menstrual cramps on a day-to-day basis.

3. Athletic injuries.

While high school athletes are injured at around the same rate as professional athletes, their growing bodies mean that they’re often injured in different ways. Since bones grow before muscles and tendons do, youth are more susceptible to muscle, tendon, and growth plate injuries. Sprains, strains, growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries, and heat-related illness  are among the most common injuries among young athletes. Boys are most likely to experience athletic injuries while playing ice hockey, rugby and soccer, while soccer, basketball and gymnastics lead to the most injuries in girls.

Sports massage has a long history, and can be especially effective when dealing with repetitive motion injuries like tennis elbow and runner’s knee. Massage therapists are now found at every kind of sporting event, from the Olympics all the way down to your local 10K. Given that teen athletes can be more vulnerable to injury and overuse than their adult counterparts, it makes sense to offer them the same opportunities for healing and pain relief.

Do you know a teen who could use a massage? Go to www.MassageProfessionalsJH.com today and book your massage online. Please see our weekly newsletter No.5 for more massage news.