Karen Kefauver on Facebook Karen Kefauver on Linkedin Karen Kefauver on Twitter Karen Kefauver on YouTube Karen Kefauver on Pinterest

Magazine Pages

Testimonials

The success of our grand opening was, in part, thanks to Karen's quick action in getting us a write-up in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Her work and support made a difference.
— Rebecca Clinger, owner, The Crafter's Studio

"Thank you! You were awesome. Your recent Facebook seminar helped me formulate a vision for how to position my business within the social media space. And you left the crowd feeling good, which is a great skill to have."
Frank Horath
Registered Investment Advisor Representative, Clientfirst Financial

"Thank you, Karen, for the great telephone class on LinkedIn. I have joined at least five new groups, have expanded my connections, and re-established the LinkedIn toolbar in my Outlook, all thanks to your audio session. Good stuff I was able to put into practice immediately!"
Kennerly Clay
Executive Recruiter/Trainer and Business Development Director

"You have given me the basics and the confidence to charge forward and embrace Twitter and LinkedIn."
Sue Brooks, Santa Cruz, CA

"You are so informed and vibrant. Great energy! Thanks again for the Twitter lesson. Your handouts are a good way to get started, so no excuses for me."
Sloane Devoto
Realtor, Coldwell Banker

“Thank you again. Your social media talk was a real hit! Well done and much appreciated.”
Bill Tysseling
Executive Director, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce

"There was a considerable amount of goodwill surrounding your presentation...You have a lot of positive energy and great ideas."
Bonnie Lipscomb
Director of Economic Development and Redevelopment for the City of Santa Cruz, CA

"Good presentation this morning at the Santa Cruz Chamber’s Caffeinated! It deserves at least a half-day workshop. I learned at least 20 new things this morning alone!"
Carol Skolnick
Clear Life Solutions

"It was a great talk, thanks! It was helpful to watch you manage your account on the big screen."
Traci Tompkins
ABC Sedans & Limousines

"Your talk was great. You had a tough job, especially because the people there ranged from newbies to experts."
Tom Honig
Armanasco Public Relations

"Congratulations! You brought us back up to a 5-star rating again for our marketing meet-up. And there were zero no-shows. I would like to get you on the schedule again."
Maggie Barr
Maggie Barr & Associates

“Fabulous class! I never know how much I don't know until I start to learn what I don't know. Thanks again for the great class!”
Carmen Richardson Rutlen
Author

“You have a clear, easy-going style of teaching that I found very effective. What a great talent you have!”
Carol Siegel
Employment Manager, Santa Cruz Seaside Company

“I attended Karen’s workshop on social media and would attend again whatever she presents. It was well worthwhile. She knows her subject and communicated it well.”
Donna Rankin Love
Author

“Thanks for the great class. I really got a lot out of it, and feel others did too. In fact, I went onto LinkedIn and began to set up my account!”
Paula Mahoney
Writer and Producer

“Your class last Saturday was amazingly helpful! In addition to having a lovely persona, you have so much useful information to impart. I am full of ideas as to how to proceed regarding how the get the word out about my present novel when the time comes.
Janice Wittenberg
Author

“Being a complete novice about the business of social media, I was anxious to take her class recently at Capitola Book Cafe. Passion to share what she knows would describe her; I highly recommend her classes!”
Jane Parks-McKay
Writer and Voice-Over Actor

“Just wanted to say thanks again for a very informative presentation this morning. It was very helpful, and I thought you did a great job of giving us a general overview of Twitter in a short period of time.”
Sonia Potts
Bookkeeper

“With so much to cover I appreciated how organized you were and how you stayed on track. Taking the approach of showing how the mechanical features of Twitter could be used for positioning and building our business was particularly helpful.”
Charlie Zimmerman
Publisher, The Wedding Companion


Connect With Karen

Karen Kefauver on Facebook Karen Kefauver on Linkedin Karen Kefauver on Twitter Karen Kefauver on YouTube Karen Kefauver on Pinterest

Feature Articles

Bridging the Gap

Massage Magazine

Spa Directors Take Steps to Create Massage Standards

November - December 2004

Massage Magazine Issue 112

By Karen Kefauver

One hundred thirty-six million Americans paid a visit to a spa last year, according to the 2004 Spa Industry Study conducted by the International Spa Association (ISPA). With an estimated 12,000 spas doing business in the United States - and more growth anticipated - the demand for massage therapists at these facilities is on the rise.

"We can't feed the need fast enough," says Edie Moll, director of operations at East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She estimates that close to 50 percent of all massage therapists are now working in spas.

Moll says that although her school's curriculum is upgraded every quarter, students were graduating unprepared for spa work. What could her school do in order to create the best-possible program, Moll wondered. She decided to get the educational and spa sides together.

In an effort to help massage students better meet the needs of the spa industry and to assist spa directors in filling their requirements of practitioners, in June Moll hosted an inaugural gathering of spa directors in Portland, Oregon. Symposium moderator Peggy Wynne-Borgman, of Preston Wynne Success Systems in Saratoga, California, and about a dozen representatives from spas around the country discussed how to bridge the gap between the training of massage therapists and the needs of spa directors.

"My experience of massage today is that [in] most massage programs, with the exception of some which have added courses, people learn how to do basic Swedish massage," says Diane Trieste, director of spa and product development at Canyon Ranch Health Resorts (and the former SpaTalk columnist for MASSAGE Magazine). She oversees about 400 massage therapists who work at five Canyon Ranch locations. "There is a disconnect between massage therapy and the spa industry," she adds. "As a whole, the spa industry offers many more modalities than just Swedish massage. The limitations of professional training is affecting the employment competencies in the spa industry."

"I have worked in spas for 20 years as a massage therapist and in other capacities," says Steve Capellini of Royal Treatment Enterprises, Inc., in Miami, Florida, and a massage therapist, spa consultant and author of Massage for Dummies. "There is a disconnect between what spas need and what schools could produce."

So what exactly do spa employers want from massage therapists who transition to working in spas? According to one of the meeting's participants, they want a higher level of both customer service and professionalism.

"It's a different level of customer service," says Scott Kilbourne, a massage therapist for 12 years. As director at Star Struck, which has locations in Beaver Creek and Vail, Colorado, he works with about 25 therapists. "On the spa side of massage, practitioners need to dress a certain way, greet customers in a certain way. There are hidden aspects that aren't taught. When interacting with spa clientele who pay $130 an hour for aromatherapy, it's a different level of service."

He also thinks therapists could train in more modalities, and recommends that massage schools build a curriculum that offers classes specialized to teach what spas need. "Like with hot-stone massage or aromatherapy, it's good to know the reasons why you use a certain therapy or product," he says.

Moll notes that in addition to learning more body treatments and more sophisticated customer service, massage therapists working in spas also need to know how to work in a team environment. "Many massage therapists are extremely independent," Moll says. "At a spa, they have to work together and need to communicate. One client may be getting five treatments in a day, and teamwork is needed to coordinate."

There is a mutual interest in addressing the issue. Currently, many spas have been absorbing the cost of providing therapists with additional training.

"Massage therapy is the biggest revenue-generator for the spa industry," says Trieste. Like other spa directors around the country, she has been sending her employees to receive extra training, an option which is costly to the company.

"As employers, we do not have resources to accurately train massage therapists to do other integrated services," says Trieste.

"The majority have to do in-house training," says Moll of the spas. "They demand thousands of new therapists. They can't do the training fast enough, and it is expensive for them."

Many at the symposium agreed that cooperation is the solution. "The schools need to learn how to understand how to create a curriculum that addresses spa concerns," says Trieste. "The spa has no business to set standards to hand to the school. It has to be a mutual educational process between two industries."

Some meeting participants have opened discussions with massage-industry organizations that provide educational oversight.

"I talked to [the Commission of Massage Therapy Accreditation] about developing standards relating specifically to working in spa environment," Moll says. "They need to review what direction they can take. They are looking into it and are very positive because they know it is important."

"We have looked at what spas need and schools could produce," says Capellini, who is working on the curriculum at East West College. "We are inviting other schools to participate. This is an open discussion to develop a standard."

While the process to set new standards may be slow, the reaction to the meeting was swift.

"One thing that surprised me the most was how unaware and how glad spa directors were to find out what kind of training was out there and what their options were," says Moll.

"We had a lot of those 'a-ha' moments," Kilbourne says. "It is just a different focus for massage therapists. We have to train them how to be a spa therapist."

The group was so enthusiastic about their groundbreaking discussions that they planned to meet again in Las Vegas in November to discuss their future direction. "It is exciting to see the betterment of the massage industry," said Moll. "With one little step it leads to something bigger."

Karen Kefauver is a freelance writer based in Santa Cruz, CA.

For More Information
Contact Edie Moll
(503) 231-1500

Share this