spa

Interview with Alana Long, Business Owner, Entrepreneur, & Mom

by Ryley Kennard

So, first of all, let me introduce myself. I'm Ryley Kennard, I'm the receptionist here at Longevity Wellness. I also run the social media pages. I got the chance to sit down with Longevity's owner, Alana Long, a few weeks back and got to know a little bit more about her history and experiences. It was a cool thing for me to do as an employee, to get to know my boss better and really understand what really drives her. It was really impressive to me how much she cares about the work that's she's doing. Wellness really is at the core of what Alana has created here at Longevity Wellness and she has worked really hard to provide tools and resources for others to incorporate a more balanced wellness routine in their life. See the full interview below:

Why did you decide to start your own business?

For a variety of reasons, really. But, when I became a massage therapist I was working for two other people. I did that for a couple years to get experience as a massage therapist and just to understand business and what not. I really felt like my goals and the vision that I had for what I wanted in a massage therapy business wasn’t really--there weren’t any out there. So I started my own business. I started just with myself and grew it into a larger practice. But what I really wanted to do when I did start Longevity, was create a business that was unique in the massage marketplace where it’s a team of therapists that are really, truly working together and they’re very skilled and professional. I wanted to create that environment where people were coming to us and knowing that no matter who they saw, they were getting the best experience possible, they were getting a highly trained staff, and that the staff worked really well together. So, if you saw one person or the next, that you would have an outstanding massage experience. And then another reason was, I just wanted to create flexibility--flexibility for myself. I’m a new mom so I’m able to work my schedule around what I need for childcare. Massage is a flexible industry anyways, but then having your own business is flexible too. So yeah, that’s kind of why I started it all.

How do you balance being a mom and owning a business?

Well, I’m still figuring it out. But, I do--I just take one day at a time. I try not to let things stress me out and if I’m having one bad day, I know that tomorrow it’s going to change and it’s going to be better. And obviously going home at the end of the day, even if it’s a very busy day, going home and seeing my baby’s smiling face definitely just, like, wipes away any negative feelings that I may have had throughout the day. But, I just take it one day at a time and I’ve learned through business and kind of like the way I approach life, is that everything is temporary, good or bad. So like, life is always changing and evolving and what not, too. So if I’m having a bad spell or whatever, I just know that, like, I just need to work hard, keep my head to it, and get through that. And at the same time, if things are really great or whatever, I don’t just sit and coast. I still continue to push on and work hard and do better because I know that also is temporary. So with anything, it’s just all temporary, don’t let things stress you out, and really just enjoy your baby or your kids, and that’s really the most important thing and then everything kind of fills around that.

When you look at prospective clients, who do you recommend comes to Longevity Wellness?

So I definitely would recommend somebody who’s looking for massage therapy to fix their issues. So if you want a skilled massage therapist, you want a professional massage therapist, you want to see somebody on a regular basis, then that’s who we are. I mean, we try to make it a relaxing environment in here and you know make it comfortable, but we’re not a spa. So if you’re looking for the spa experience, that’s not what we do here. We deal with people who have chronic pain or are really looking to fix what they have going on. So if you want somebody that's going to be more able to create a treatment plan for you, create--or like suggest--exercises or stretches, and give you like an entire experience and not just show up for one massage and go on your way then you would come here. Because we definitely address people’s issues and figure out what’s really going on with their body and then go from there.

How do you implement wellness in your daily life?

So I try to--I mean, the reason I got into massage therapy was because I was involved with sports and into wellness and even more so after I went into my massage career and then got my personal training certification, even more so. But I feel that I lead a pretty--I mean, always could have room for improvement--but an active and healthy lifestyle. Like, I’m always on the go. Me and my husband or the baby are always doing something active and I try to involve him in a lot of that kind of stuff. Eating right, I try to involve too. So I’m always doing a variety of things regardless of what it may be to help my wellness. So even if it’s just like a relaxation thing or an athletic thing or whatever I’m always trying to do something that’s like making me at peace.

What advice do you have for business owners?

So I definitely think that when--business is obviously difficult--but I feel that when people don’t succeed in business, it’s because they have quit before they figured out what works for them. And in everything in life too, I feel like you need to figure out the right way to do it. So if something’s not working for you, instead of giving up and saying ‘I can’t do this,’ you just have to figure out how to do things so that it does work for you. Cause I feel like a lot of times people, you know, even maybe for a period of years or just a few weeks or whatever, people quit before they figure it out the right way. So, I just think that if something's not working for you, don’t quit, continue to work and find what is the right path for you. Because if you are truly passionate about it, you will figure it out and you will make it work.
 

Your First Couple’s Massage

by bardw

A couple’s massage allows partners, spouses, mom’s and daughters, sons and dads, BFFs or anyone else to experience massage together in the same room as one therapist works with each person.  Couple’s massage is a shared bonding experience that can have many benefits beyond just the bodywork session.

What to expect

For many couple’s massage recipients it’s their first trip to see a massage therapist. You may have been invited by a someone who’s experienced at receiving a massage who wanted to share the experience. Or maybe it’s a special occasion?  Or maybe a “surprise” gift? The good news is that qualified and professional therapists are used to massage “newbies” and will ensure you are comfortable, give you all the information you ned to have a great session, and be open to answering any of your questions. Our first priority is maintaining guest comfort and protecting your modesty while making sure that the specific therapeutic needs of each client are met.

 

Typically, you should arrive 10-15 minutes before your session so that you can fill out some simple, but important paperwork.  This paperwork gives specific information to the therapist so they can tune the session to your needs.  The form will ask about any areas of your body that might be sore, tender or in pain, as well as areas you’d rather the therapist avoid. It will also ask about medical conditions relevant to massage therapy, and a few basic questions about your overall wellness.

During this time you can drink some water or use the restroom. You should also silence your cell phone for the duration of your session. If you’re interested in any extras, such as aromatherapy, for one or both of you, let the front desk know.

The main event

Once it’s time for your session to begin, the therapists will come and guide each of you to the therapy room.  They’ll go over the form and ask questions.  This is a GREAT time for YOU to ask questions too!  If your form indicates you’re a first-timer, the therapist will take extra care to make sure you know what to expect. Each therapist will then ready the room, then leave and allow each of you to undress to your comfort level.  Typically, for a full-body massage, this means underwear, but many long-time therapy recipients will completely undress.  There’s NO wrong way to do this, just be comfortable.  Once you’ve undressed, you’ll lay on the massage table under the sheets.  After a few minutes, your therapists will knock on the door, then return to the session room, adjusting your linens and often placing support under your feet or knees.

During the session you will be covered (draped) at all times, unveiling only the parts the therapist is working on, then recovering and moving on.  A skilled therapist is an expert draper and it’ll all seem completely comfortable while it’s happening.

The therapist will work intuitively to relax your muscles, explore trouble spots, and pay special attention to any areas you marked on your intake form.  Sometimes they will use oils, lotions, or creams to help make the bodywork more effective. Typically, these lubricants are hypoallergenic and scent-free, but sometimes they contain wonderful essential oils, like lavender, to enhance the experience.

About half way through the session, the therapist will coach you on how to turn over (still under the covers) and get ready for the next steps in your body work.

While most people are quiet during a session, but you should ALWAYS feel comfortable communicating with your therapist about things like pressure. Your therapist will probably check in once or twice to make sure you are comfortable.

The afterparty

At the end of the session, the therapist will signal you and both therapists will leave the room allowing you to carefully get off the table and redress.  Once dressed, open the door – that’s the universal sign that you’re ready to see the therapist again.  The therapists will talk to you a bit about the session and make any recommendations for further care, then escort you to reception for payment and rebooking.  You may leave a gratuity in the room (20% is common) or put it on the credit card when you check out.

It’s not unusual for you to feel super-relaxed after the session, so plan a bit of time to come out of your fog after you finish.  You can prolong that feeling by drinking lots of water and taking it easy for an hour or two. It’s totally OK to do something very active after massage, too, though, and you’ll likely find your flexibility and range of motion are better than ever as you run, hike, walk or play sports.

At the desk, you’ll have an opportunity to schedule additional sessions, find out about products that might be for sale, pay for your services.

So if you get a chance to participate in a couple’s massage session, don’t stress.  It is a wonderful, shared experience that you won’t forget.