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About Massage Network

In 1998, Massage Network was created by founder Mike Woodcock, as a place where professional massage therapists can come to learn more about the "Reality of Business." It is not a political organization but a place where practitioners can get and share information. It is a place where the focus is on building your business, whether you are a seasoned veteran or just starting your practice - all are welcome here!

What Started Massage Network

Since "necessity" is truly the "mother of invention," this community was born because of my wife's love for her massage work, but distaste for the labor of business and marketing.

In the spring of 1996, after she spent a grueling day working with terminally ill cancer patients, my wife and I had an emotional talk that changed our lives forever. She said she couldn't go on working for the major HMO in the cancer research project. She needed out and on that day we made a commitment, as a couple, to put all of our energy and focus on creating a business in which she could focus on the positive, and create a space to share her knowledge of alternative healing. She was already a certified massage therapist and had been working part-time out of a studio in our home. She took the plunge and rented a studio. A year after opening her own storefront, she found herself with a steady flow of clients, but still not where she wanted to be with the number of massages per week. She realized what she already knew, that she did not like the business end of her new creation and didn't know where to look for help.

That is where I came in. My wife's business gave me an opportunity to use my creativity, focusing on the business end of her labor of love, the advertising, promoting, and general marketing of her new found calling. She was happy being the healer and I was happy being her "marketing advisor." We had weekly talks that focused on all the possibilities - not all the problems. The challenges we encountered became merely puzzles that only needed to be put together.

Art of Massage vs. Reality of Business
I took this marketing opportunity to learn all that I could about the"business" not the "art" of massage. I read books, devoured trade journals, visited (through cyber space) hundreds of massage business and in the process realized that the "business" of massage is an isolated business, with little or no opportunity for practitioners to get together to share advice or work out business issues. I found that my wife's dislike of the business end of massage is a feeling shared by many others.

"Many people who choose a career in the health care field don't like the business
 facets at all and thus don't take the time to learn the rules for success or rebel
against them. Unfortunately, that attitude rarely leads to success."

Cherrie M. Sohnen-Moe, Business Mastery, Third Edition, 1997

We decided to create Massage Network, as a place where professional massage therapists can come to learn more about the "Reality of Business." It is not a political organization but a place where practitioners can come to relax, get and share information, and be in good company. It is a place where the focus is on building your business, whether you are a seasoned veteran or just starting your practice - all are welcome here!

Mike Woodcock, Founder of Massage Network 1998

Pay it Forward

If someone did you a favor-something big, something you couldn't do on your own- and instead of paying it back, you paid it forward to 3 people...

 And the next day, they each paid it forward to 3 more...
  And the day after that, those 27 people each paid it forward to another 3...
   And each day, everyone in turrn paid if forward to 3 more people...In 2 weeks, that comes to 4,782,969 people.

It was a great movie, and a great concept. It's even better when it is real. Mike Woodcock, the founder of Massage Network was inspired by the movie. So much so that he gave us the site to use as a tool to promote our website, Y-Stress.com. He accepted a position as a principal at a year-round school, which left him with little time to manage and maintain the site. He knew that we were struggling to promote our site with limited resources, and thought that, with the help of Massage Network and it's high search engine rankings and traffic, it could be useful. He also wanted to keep the site that he started going and growing, and didn't want to see his dream die. He asked nothing in return. So we took over the site, and have done our best to make it what he wanted it to be - the premier site to promote massage therapy and massage therapist's. We have also made a promise to ourselves to maintain his mission - to help small businesses promote their businesses online affordably. We have vowed to keep his goodwill going in the Pay it Forward spirit. We also dream of being able to pay it forward on a larger scale, once our budget allows us to do so. We also plan to give Mike the appropriate thank you some day, one commensurate with the generous gift he gave us, people he didn't know and hadn't met. We hope that you are as inspired by him and this story as we are, and will start your own pay it forward chain the next chance you get. In doing so, we can make a better world one person at a time.

For those of you that haven't seen the movie, we highly recommend it. It is about a boy that is given a school assignment to do something that will change the world. He comes up with a plan where if someone does something for someone else, instead of paying that person back, they pay it forward to 3 people, the number of good deeds will grow exponentially, thereby making the world a better place.


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