Massage therapy is a great business opportunity with a lot of potential for entrepreneurs interested in working from home. Massage therapists typically earn about $40-70 per hour for their services, and the massage therapy industry has tripled over the last decade. It is expected to expand another 20% by 2016.
By starting a home-based massage business, you can not only enjoy the flexibility of working from home, you can also reduce the environmental impact of your business by reducing fossil fuel consumption for commuting to and maintaining a separate office. Green massage therapy is a growing niche within the massage industry. Many massage clients are already highly eco-conscious, and massage therapists are in a good position to improve the eco-consciousness of less knowledgeable customers as well.
Getting Started as a Green Massage Therapist
Before starting any massage therapy business, at home or otherwise, check the licensing requirements for massage therapists in your state. Most states require practicing massage therapists to pass an exam such as the NCBTMB or MBLEx.
As a home massage business, you may also need to check local zoning requirements in your city to make sure that seeing clients at home is allowed in your city or neighborhood. If not, you may be able to use your home as an office and purchase a portable massage table so you can provide massage services for your clients at their homes.
Once your business is established, there are many ways that massage therapists can go green.
One of the most important is to use organic cotton linens. Cotton is one of the thirstiest crops in the world. Despite this, it is often grow in semi-arid regions such as Central Asia, where irrigation for cotton fields is one of the primary causes of the destruction of the Aral Sea. Cotton is also one of the most chemical intensive crops to grow, consuming an estimated 22% of all insecticides sprayed annually around the world, though it is planted on only 2% of the world’s arable land. Residues from chemicals used during growing and processing can linger in the finished linens. By choosing organic cotton linens, green massage therapists can protect both the environment and the health of clients, especially those with chemical sensitivities.
Another way to make your massage business healthier for the environment and your clients’ health is to use organic and eco-friendly massage oils and cremes. Many conventional products contain suspected carcinogens and other toxins, which are easily absorbed through the skin.
More ways massage therapist can go green include using recycled paper and eco-friendly inks for business cards and other advertising materials, using eco-friendly cleaning products or services, and using low-VOC paints, green flooring, and other eco-friendly materials in your office.
Three Green Massage Businesses That Heal Clients and the Earth
Bozeman Massage Therapy, located in Bozeman, MT, offers a variety of massage services, including Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, and Pregnancy Massage. Massage oils are based on 100% pure organic grapeseed oil and can include a customized mix of aromatherapy scents based on essential oils. The sheets are bamboo and organic cotton, and the office was built using green building materials such as recycled blue jean insulation and natural cork flooring.
Lux Eco Salon, located in Bethlehem, PA, offers Swedish and Deep Tissue massage services in addition to other eco-friendly spa services such as hair care, nail care, and facials. Lux uses a variety of organic and eco-friendly products, including organic cotton towels and eco-friendly cleaning supplies. All product lines are eco-friendly, containing mostly or entirely organic ingredients, and come in recyclable packaging.
Denver-based Renew Massage Studio uses paraben-free, organic massage creams, organic sheets sets, green cleaning products, and more. The studio specializes in therapeutic massages using techniques such as Swedish Massage, Trigger Point Massage, and Deep Tissue Massage.
Main Image Credit: Thomas Wanhoff