According to Associated Bodywork and Massage Practitioners (ABMP), each year around 60,000 therapists enter the field while 50,000 existing practitioners leave the profession, with the average career span being around six years. This statistic inspired Eric Stephenson, Director of Education for imassage, to take action.
“Our company was founded in 2007 to address the issue of career longevity for massage therapists,” says Stephenson. “Everything we do within imassage supports this mission: the higher purpose behind what we do. Elements [Therapeutic Massage] shares this purpose and we are working together to provide the highest quality work environment for massage therapists within Elements’ 120 franchised studios nationwide by focusing on career longevity and continuing education.”
Kyle Gjersee, executive vice president of operations for Elements, explains why the company partners with imassage. “We’ve actually been working with imassage for more than four years,” says Gjersee. “They have a great reputation within the massage community for their focus on putting therapists first and have been integral in helping design our systems and processes. We’re excited to take our relationship with them to this next level.”
Elements franchisees employ around 2,500 therapists at their studios nationwide. Their studios are poised to become the employer of choice within the industry by addressing the root causes of high turnover: physical burn-out and business naivety.
In Stephenson’s opinion, there are several reasons for attrition among professional massage therapists. “I see a lack of emphasis on optimal body mechanics and ergonomics within massage schools along with a general business naiveté amongst practitioners,” he says. “This becomes even more problematic with the lack of a supportive work environment to sustain therapists’ health and well-being.”
Elements Therapeutic Massage is the only retail massage franchise founded by a licensed massage therapist. The model was started in Aurora, Colo., by LMT Michele Merhib. This humble beginning grounded the company in a dedication to taking care of their most valuable asset: massage therapists. “Assisting our franchisees in creating a great work environment has been our priority,” says Gjersee.
“From the design of our studios to the size of the massage rooms to the number of massages a therapist can do in a day.” The partnership will include continuing education initiatives for franchise owners and therapists in video as well as hands-on formats with a larger scope to shine a light on the issue within the profession.
According to Stephenson, “The vision for the partnership is to make working at an Elements studio the equivalent of ‘getting your Master’s degree’ in massage therapy. Whether you are a therapist for Elements for six months or six years, working at an Elements studio will not only make you a better therapist but a better person.”
About Elements Therapeutic Massage
Elements Therapeutic Massage is headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and owned by WellBiz Brands, Inc. The parent company oversees Fitness Together Franchise Corporation, a one-on-one and small group personal training fitness franchise that began franchising in 1996, and Elements Therapeutic Massage, a massage therapy franchise that began franchising in 2006. Today, the combined franchise network has sold hundreds of franchises across the United States, Brazil, Costa Rica, Israel, Ireland, and Canada. Elements Therapeutic Massage is actively selling franchises. For more information about massage franchise opportunities visit www.elementsfranchise.com.
About imassage, Inc.
Founded in 2007, imassage, Inc. is dedicated to enriching career longevity for massage therapists. Through educational opportunities offered throughout the year and around the country, all programs are designed to offer technical and interpersonal skills to strengthen the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client. Learn more on www.imassageinc.com, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 859-338-4418 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Imassage-Inc.