HobaCare Blog

Our guest author today is Allissa Haines. She runs a massage practice and collaborative wellness center in Massachusetts. She partners with Michael Reynolds to create business and marketing resources for massage therapists like you at MassageBusinessBlueprint.com. Check out the Massage Business Blueprint podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or at the website.

massage business blueprint

There are a million different kinds of massage therapists. We work in spas and hospitals and do home visits. We wear jeans and scrubs and button-down shirts. We work with athletes, new moms, construction workers, babies, people with cancer, people with anxiety, and people who just think massage therapy feels great. But every single one of these massage therapists has one thing in common: they were all beginners once. And being a beginner can be scary as heck. Even if you're also feeling well-trained and excited!

If you're a student and preparing to start your new career in massage therapy, congrats! Allow me to offer you a little graduation gift: some solid advice that every massage new therapist should know before striking out on their own.

jojoba for massage therapy

Act like a pro. With everyone.

As you finish up school, treat every practice client and every treatment like a real-life professional situation. Even when you practice and work on friends and family, be a pro about it. This is important for three reasons: it’s good practice for you to get your routines and scripts smooth, it helps your friends and family see and respect you as a professional, and consistent professional behavior is the foundation for a great reputation.

Being super professional with your practice clients not only impresses them in the short term, but also impacts how they’ll think of you after you graduate. But what does it mean to show professionalism? What does this actually look like in practice?

  • Show up on time.
  • Have all your equipment and paperwork ready to go.
  • Practice proper hygiene.
  • Drape conservatively.
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries while in the role of massage therapist. (Even when your friend wants to gossip or your mom makes a joke about cellulite.)
  • Stay within your scope of practice and don’t make any wild claims about what massage can do.
  • Maintain client confidentiality.

Does this mean that you can’t be yourself? Of course not! You don’t have to wear a suit or talk like a robot to be professional. The idea is not to be somebody else. The goal is to be the most respectful, clean, and reliable version of you. Be your best business self, even when your client is Grandma or Aunt Kim or your bestie from middle school.

jojoba for facial massage

Know the most common massage complaints

Do you know the number one complaint people make about their massage therapist? “She talked too much.”

When you start up and you’re excited to be meeting people and working, it’s easy to slip into ‘chatty’ mode with clients. Resist! Resist the temptation to give longer answers and be super friendly during a massage, even if your clients are chatty themselves. You’ll likely get the same batch of questions with each new client:

  • Where did you go to school?
  • How long have you been doing this?
  • What did you do before this?

Be mindful that some people will ask questions because they are a little nervous or because they don’t know it’s okay to not talk.

Fight the urge to initiate any unnecessary conversation and give the shortest possible answers when answering a direct question. It’s even okay to say, “It’s so tempting to use this time to chat, but you’ll get a better massage if I don’t talk and we focus on you!”

The second most common complaint? “She didn’t get to the areas that needed work.”

It’s amazing how many experienced massage therapists end up with a poor reputation simply because they give the massage they want, rather than the one the client has asked for. Luckily, this is an easy situation to avoid.

Be sure to listen very carefully to what the client asks for before their massage, and then repeat it back to them with your plan for the massage to get their approval.

Here’s an example: In your verbal intake before the massage, a client rubs their right shoulder and says, “My shoulder is sore and I’m just all-around tired.”

To be sure you are address what they need, you’ll want to clarify the details and present your plan. It may sound like, “Ok, we can address your whole body and spend some extra time on your shoulder as well. It’s your right shoulder? Can you show me where exactly you’re feeling pain?”

Whenever appropriate, address that primary issue first and check in with the client before you move on. Ask, “How is this shoulder feeling? Is there anything you would like me to go back to?”

jojoba for massage

Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know

You’re a massage therapist. Not a pharmacist, physical therapist, or herbalist. You’re a massage therapist. You can’t possibly know all the things right out of school. (Or ever.) You will never know all the answers to all the things right off the top of your head.

So when you are reading an intake form and it lists a medication or health issue you’ve never heard of, get more information. Admit openly, “I’ve never worked with a client with joint hypermobility issues. What factors do I need to be extra mindful of?”

Once you’ve talked it through with the client, let them know you’re going to take a minute to look it up before you begin the treatment as they are getting on the table. Most clients won’t mind spending an extra few minutes getting cozy on the table before their massage, especially when you are using that time to craft a safe and effective session just for them.

If your client asks you for a technique you don’t know how to do (or aren’t sure is safe), let them know you’ll find out more and get back to them before their next appointment – and follow through. Showing commitment to improvement means your clients can look forward to a better massage each and every time they see you.

pure jojoba for massage therapy

Choose the right products.

I tried so many different massage creams and lotions and oils my first few years as a massage therapist. I slipped and slid with greasy formulations. I itched from additives and scents and over-laundered stained linens. I worried about clients with nut allergies and read labels like a new scholar.

Then I found jojoba.

I can use jojoba for light massage on very fragile skin and also for deep work that requires grip and traction. A very small amount goes a long way, so I use much less than with other products.

Jojoba is safe for clients with allergies and safe for me. I realized early on that my body is soaking up my product for more than 20 hours a week. I wanted to feel good about what is and isn’t in the product and jojoba fits that criteria.

It’s a resilient product that can tolerate heating, cooling, and reheating. Jojoba won’t oxidize or go rancid and doesn’t require refrigeration. And it won’t stain your 100% cotton sheets, so you’ll save a ton on linens long-term.

It’s hard to find a product that is just right for every massage client and every treatment, but I think jojoba comes close.

And on the rare occasion when Jojoba isn’t the best solution and a client absolutely needs a cream or lotion, I turn to PurePro, (whose owner told me about Jojoba when I was first learning about all this!).

jojoba for massage

Your reaction matters more than the glitch.

Draping issues will happen. Fix it quickly and move along. You will trip and make a loud noise during a deep relaxation treatment. If the client obviously notices quietly say, “Sorry about that,” and move on.

You will double book or accidentally no-show for an appointment because your calendar freaked out. Apologize, schedule a makeup treatment at no charge and move on.

Dumb things will inevitably occur in your business. You will make mistakes. If you are graceful in handling glitches, if they are rare glitches, and you make a real effort to prevent them moving forward, people will forgive you and respect you.

You got this.

Massage therapy can be an amazing career. Take all your education, your enthusiasm, and your passion for learning, and dive in. Everyone is nervous at first, but know that you're not the first beginner on the planet. Take a deep breath and know that you have what it takes. Welcome to the world of massage!

We received this note from one of our customers, we thought we'd share her great uses for jojoba throughout the seasons. We added additional notes and links in parenthesis.

There are some Maine products that serve us well through the sweltering days of August to the frigid days of January and every day in between. Jojoba is one of them! These are my personal experiences.

SPRING:
Those nasty black fly bites that surround our hairline after an afternoon clearing and/or planting our gardens are no match to this magical elixir. Rub Jojoba on the bites when you come inside and poof the action stops.
(works well on mosquito bites as well, adding a drop of lavender essential oil, or using lavender infused jojoba also works wonders on insect bites-- see our post on how to make lavender infused jojoba).

SUMMER:
Get into a patch of Wild Parsnip? Tame the results and shorten the healing with Jojoba. (also works well on other skin issues as well, especially for those with sensitive skin, check out our post about using jojoba for cradle cap).

FALL:
Keep the summer shine with a Jojoba and Himalayan salt rub on your face and hands. For real! (you can also use sugar, it can be a bit less abrasive for those with sensitive skin, check out our post on how to make jojoba sugar scrub).

jojoba salt hand scrub

WINTER:
Oh, that wood-stove heat dry skin just drinks Jojoba.It's nice to be warm AND supple! And for those of us who suffer from Venus Stasis Dermatitis, put your feet up, wear compression socks, and use Jojoba to keep the itching at bay.

And year round, there is no better make-up remover than Jojoba! Enjoy! -Jan

Do you have any great seasonal uses for jojoba to share? Send them along to us, we'll share them.

We were disappointed to learn that the North Atlantic Region Whole Foods Markets have decided to stop carrying our product in their stores. Their decision was not based on the quality or price of our jojoba, but rather, as they stated, “current directions we’re taking as a company”. You can read the full Press Release here.

Our jojoba has been carried in the Boston area Whole Foods Markets for 25 years, and we consider the store in Portland, ME our home store. Our main concern is that our customers will still be able to find the First Press quality that only we offer in Pesticide Free and Certified Organic HobaCare and Jojoba Baby that they have been using for years.

We appreciate your loyalty to our First Press quality jojoba. We encourage our customers to support local businesses by purchasing our jojoba from their neighborhood natural food market or co-op, however with this development, not all customers will have a local purchasing option. We will be contact more co-ops and natural food stores over the coming weeks but customers asking for the product is more effective than anything.

If you would like to purchase from us directly, we offer Free Shipping on any Retail Order of $35 or more.

There are so many items around the household that can be cared for with a drop of jojoba. Most recently, I purchased a new pair of Gingher scissors. The use and care guide states "Occasionally placing a drop of oil in the pivot area will facilitate a smooth cutting action." Naturally, I use jojoba for this lubrication need. Not only is it technically a wax ester, which means it won't get gummy or attract dust, it also won't stain clothing (an important thing since these are sewing shears).

Lubricating gingher shears with jojoba

Not only will these shears be lubricated occasionally with a drop of jojoba (putting some in an old dropper bottle is a great way to use with the precision needed), they will also be occasionally wiped down with the tiniest bit of jojoba and a soft, dry cloth to inhibit rust on the metal. Around here, jojoba is also using to lubricate the sewing machines (and sergers and coverstitch machines as well).

We are constantly trying to find better packaging options for our jojoba, particularly, closures that dispense drops of jojoba (since a little goes a LONG way) and that don't leak. Nothing is perfect, but sometimes small changes can make a big difference. In the coming months, you will be noticing a change in our closures and labels. After many trials, we have settled on a disc top cap instead of a pump.

100% pure expeller pressed jojoba

We have found that these new closures are much better at dispensing single drops and small amounts of jojoba. The pumps will still be available as an add-on (we find that some of our customers, like massage therapists and aestheticians use a little more jojoba at a time and prefer the hands-free pumps that dispense larger amounts).

100% pure expeller pressed jojoba flip top drop cap

100% pure expeller pressed jojoba flip top cap

We are also in the process of updating our labels, making them easier to read and a little more modern. As we use up our current labels, we will be transitioning to the new labels. Currently, 8oz HobaCare (Pesticide Free Jojoba) will be shipping with the new labels & disc top caps.

100% pure expeller pressed jojoba one ounce

Our one ounce bottles will be completely different as well. So long little round caps, hello taller, sleeker bottles with labels that fit more information.

Most likely, if you have pets, you've experienced a hot spot. Hot spots are acute moist dermatitis, and are characterized by red, irritated, weepy sores that can be terribly difficult to get rid of. They can grow rapidly as pets try to clean them with constant licking. There are loads of treatments out there, but we have found a simple treatment that works beautifully. Plain jojoba works wonderfully on hot spots, we've heard from many pet owners that have used 100% jojoba straight from our bottles on hot spots. It works not only on hot spots but on other skin issues in pets as well, like dry skin. While you can use plain jojoba with success, the addition of calendula will make jojoba even more effective for hot spot treatment. Calendula is said to have be antiseptic and anti-imflammatory properties as well as speeding up healing of wounds. These properties make it especially beneficial in troubled skin salves and mixes, and they make it particularly great for hot spots on your pets. Here's how to make a simple calendula infused jojoba for treating hot spots. After you make a batch, gift some to your friends with pets, they will appreciate it!

herbal hot spot treatment

CALENDULA INFUSED JOJOBA FOR TREATING HOT SPOTS

1. Place dried or fresh calendula flower petals in jar filling to about 3/4-2/3 full, quart size is generally a good size to start with. You can use fresh herbs, but make sure they are allowed to dry down for a day or two. The moisture in the herbs can increase risk of mold. So be extra watchful if you use freshly harvested calendula from your garden.

2. Top off herbs with jojoba. The goal is to keep herbs submerged under jojoba, be sure to leave some headspace for expansion.

3. Cap, shake jar and place jar in sunny windowsill. Allow to infuse for four to six weeks, shaking every couple days. It is helpful to write the date the mix was made on the bottom of the jar.

4. Strain herbs out of jojoba with cheesecloth, a couple of layers might be needed to remove all particles. Transfer infused jojoba to smaller bottles to be used as needed or gifted. Write date finished on bottom of jar and try to use up within a year. While jojoba has an indefinite shelf life, the herbs introduce properties that can go bad or increase risk of mold.

As with all herbal preparations, please test your calendula infused jojoba on skin in small amounts before using a lot. While jojoba itself is non-allergenic, the herbs used in infusions can cause reactions in some people.

calendula infused jojoba

Naturally, we recommend taking your pet to see a veterinarian if your pet's hot spot is really bad, doesn't heal up, or seems to worsen.

The most important reason to use jojoba, as opposed to other massage mediums is that it’s a 100% non-toxic product. In fact, it’s recommended for oncology massage because cancer patients are so sensitive (see Geralyn O’Brien’s article for the Integrative Cancer Review). In addition to being non-toxic, the second best reason to use jojoba is because clients LOVE it. It doesn't have any added fragrances and it leaves their skin feeling soft, smooth, and conditioned, not greasy, oily, or sticky and they won't feel compelled to take a shower when your therapy session is concluded. Jojoba’s non-staining quality will be something they appreciate. Massage sheets/towels will not get the sour, rancid smell either (see our directions for laundering jojoba out of linens & clothing). While many companies sell jojoba, our jojoba is better, Why? It’s a first press, light press quality. We are the only company that uses these parameters for pressing jojoba, the result is a jojoba that feels much better on the skin than others. For more about our product quality, see this post. https://www.jojobacompany.com/blog/what-makes-our-jojoba-different

Of course these aren’t the only reasons to use jojoba as a massage medium in your practice here are a few others:

JOJOBA IS NON-ALLERGENIC
Why? First, it's a liquid ester akin to the esters we produce in our own skin. Second, it's unadulterated. There is no formulation. HobaCare Jojoba contains only the pure expeller pressed extract of the jojoba seed we have grown to our unique requirements. Absolutely nothing is added. HobaCare Jojoba is pure. Period. The product is especially useful to therapists and clients with sensitive skin. Everyone, no matter what his or her skin type, benefits from using the product.

JOJOBA IS SHELF STABLE
It has an indefinite shelf life, and does not oxidize or turn rancid. Heat does not affect it and it does not require refrigeration. Massage Therapists in Florida, California and other warm climates prefer Jojoba to triglyceride oils such as almond, grape seed, macadamia and other fragile products, which deteriorate in the heat. Therapists performing hot stone massage are excited about HobaCare Jojoba because, unlike oils, it can stand up to heating and re-heating. See our post about laundering linens that have jojoba on them.

JOJOBA IS NON-COMEDOGENIC
It does not clog the pores. Aestheticians give facial massages with jojoba and it's used in many skin care products.

face massage

JOJOBA DOES NOT STAIN NATURAL FABRICS
It washes out of 100% cotton clothing and linens with hot water and detergent. If used appropriately, the product will stay in the skin and will not come out on linens or clothing. For more on this, see our Laundering Instructions.https://www.jojobacompany.com/blog/laundering-directions-jojoba-spills

Jojoba works by conditioning (not moisturizing) the skin. Determine the amount you use by balancing the needs of your client's skin with the requirements of your methodology. Experiment. Apply a couple of drops to the back of the hand. Massage it in. Gauge the degree to which the product has conditioned the skin. You're looking for a very soft, smooth, silky feeling, one that evidences reduced friction but keeps you in total control. Always work in increments of drops, not dollops. If the product is coming out on your linens, you're probably using too much. The key to using Jojoba is to heed the admonition, "less is better". A little really does go a long way. You can use as much as you wish, but using more than you need is wasteful.

You will find yourself using measurably less HobaCare Jojoba than other products. A therapist giving 30 to 35 massages a week customarily uses three to four gallons of our product a year. Hot stone modalities will require more.

Hot Stone Massage Therapy, a relatively new introduction to U.S. spas, virtually mandates the use of Jojoba. The procedure requires the heating and re-heating of massage lubricant. Jojoba is the only massage lubricant, which survives such intensive use. Oils cannot withstand repeated heating and quickly turn rancid, creating an undesirable odor, an impression upscale spas and massage practices can ill afford to tolerate. La Stone Therapy endorses and uses HobaCare Jojoba in their stone therapies. (As for the day-to-day cleaning of the stones, themselves, we recommend a good dishwashing detergent. If for some reason you notice a build-up on the stones, laundry detergent eliminates it. We recommend wearing gloves if you're using laundry detergent. It can be harsh on skin.0

If you'd like to add essential oils or infuse jojoba with herbs, see our blogs posts on those topics.
Jojoba as a carrier for essential oils
Herbal infusions with jojoba

A month or so ago, one of our customers contacted us to see if she could use jojoba on a vintage spinning wheel. She was interested in its protective properties for wood. She sent us after photos of her spinning wheel and said:

"The wheel was quite dull before using jojoba oil. And for a 36 year old wheel, it came up beautifully.
It is amazing how a shiny revived spinning wheel makes spinning even more enjoyable." - Julie

spinning wheel protected with jojoba
vintage spinning wheel protected with jojoba

We love hearing about the ways you are using jojoba around the house, especially on wood products. If you use it to protect any furniture items, take before/after photos and send them along. We'd love to share them here on the blog.

For all the same reasons that jojoba makes a great carrier for essential oils, it also makes a great carrier to infuse with botanicals (see our post dedicated to this topic here). Infusing jojoba with botanicals can take it up a notch, adding healing elements to an already amazing product. Jojoba's shelf stability and long life makes it one of the best mediums for such infusions. This calendula infused jojoba can be used as is, for dry or blemish prone skin, or it can be used as an ingredients in salves, balms, and other products. Calendula is said to have be antiseptic and anti-imflammatory properties as well as speeding up healing of wounds. These properties make it especially beneficial in troubled skin salves and mixes (like our acne treatment we will be posting soon).

calendula infused jojoba

CALENDULA INFUSED JOJOBA

1. Place dried or fresh calendula flower petals in jar filling to about 3/4-2/3 full, quart size is generally a good size to start with. You can use fresh herbs, but make sure they are allowed to dry down for a day or two. The moisture in the herbs can increase risk of mold. So be extra watchful if you use freshly harvested calendula from your garden.

2. Top off herbs with jojoba. The goal is to keep herbs submerged under jojoba, be sure to leave some headspace for expansion.

3. Cap, shake jar and place jar in sunny windowsill. Allow to infuse for four to six weeks, shaking every couple days. It is helpful to write the date the mix was made on the bottom of the jar.

4. Strain herbs out of jojoba with cheesecloth, a couple of layers might be needed to remove all particles. Transfer infused jojoba to smaller bottles to be used as needed or gifted. Write date finished on bottom of jar and try to use up within a year. While jojoba has an indefinite shelf life, the herbs introduce properties that can go bad or increase risk of mold.

As with all herbal preparations, please test your calendula infused jojoba on skin in small amounts before using a lot. While jojoba itself is non-allergenic, the herbs used in infusions can cause reactions in some people.

Other Infusions you can try to make:
Lavender Infused Jojoba
Arnica Infused Jojoba

Our ongoing series "Jojoba 101" is all about unique ways to use jojoba throughout the house/garden. Around our office and homes, we all use jojoba in a wide variety of ways. It's always nice to have an alternative to petroleum based products, especially one that is non-toxic like jojoba. One way we have been using jojoba is to protect our garden and garage tools. It protects not only the wooden portions, but the metal portions as well. The first step to using jojoba for this purpose is to clean your tools well, sanding the wooden portions and removing any rust with a metal brush is ideal. Once the tool is cleaned, simply rub a coating or two of jojoba on, we use an old cotton sock that has been demoted to the rag pile.
non toxic garden tool protectant
After cleaning our tools well, we gave them a few coats of jojoba (this was in February). Most of them are kept indoors to keep them out of the elements, a few have been left out so we can monitor the protective efficacy of the jojoba. As you can see here, after four months, the jojoba is still doing its job of protecting the metal and wooden portions of the the tools.
non petroleum garden tool protectant
We will clean these tools again this fall and reapply jojoba. Then in the spring they will get another coat to be ready for the gardening season once again. Jojoba not only works on garden tools, but garage tools as well. Any metal or wooden tools can be protected with jojoba.

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I started out trying the jojoba on an older leather day planner that I have. It is in very good condition, so I didn't think I would see much of a difference. Boy, was I wrong! I didn't realize how dull it was until I used the jojoba on it.

Dee

I bought your product... and my husband thought it was just another product I had to have - now he uses it all the time and reminded me when we're running low. So we both think it's great. Thanks.

Lois Akner Fields

I’ve used other jojoba extracts and this one is by far superior.

Jacob

I just wanted to email to say that I'm so in love with Jojoba.

Aly Willard

The glide is perfect and I have yet to find another product that can rival its positive effects on the skin. And as a therapist who does mostly medical work, it is a wonderful thing to have found a product that none of my clients are allergic to.

Jessica Collishaw

Your product is amazing and I couldn't be happier with it. It is high quality which is what I strive for in my own practice.

Julie Paus

The results were instant! My hair not only had sheen, but totally eliminated the friz!
I threw away all of the other goopey hair gels.

Terri Swain

I love how it absorbs into the skin and leaves it silky smooth, what a fantastic carrier it is for essential oils, that it doesn't go rancid, so my sheets remain sweet-smelling and that the (jojoba) is so stable with an incredible shelf-life. What's not to love?

Annie/Arianna Mitchell, LMP

The very best thing about jojoba is that is does not become rancid and aids in the integrity of essential oils.

helen Schultz

I also feel good that by using your product I'm doing everything I can to protect the new mother and delicate new life in my care - no chemicals, preservatives, or pesticides here, thank you very much.

Sara Garvin, LMT