Massage therapy is one of the fastest growing health care professions, but many therapists are still hesitant to embrace virtual care. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how customers want to experience their health care, and massage therapists who don’t evolve with the times risk being left behind by competitors who are willing to adopt hybrid care delivery and new technologies. Here are five reasons why it’s time for you to start offering virtual care:
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how customers want to experience their health care. They’re seeking out ways to manage their symptoms while doing what they can from home. Massage therapists can use virtual care to attract new customers who are less comfortable in a physical therapy setting, but are willing to pay for your expertise in a virtual setting.
Surviving vs thriving
If you’re a massage therapist, do you feel like it’s time to evolve your practice?
If this sounds like a question that keeps popping up in your head, then the answer is yes. To survive and thrive, today’s massage therapists must evolve with the times or risk being left behind by competitors who are willing to adapt with the latest technology. It’s not just about keeping up; it’s also about keeping ahead of trends so you can provide exceptional care.
If this doesn’t sound like something that applies to you right now, think again! You might be surprised at how much more successful you’ll be if only you could find a way to adapt your business model just a little bit. Not revolution, just evolution.
Who should consider it?
Whether you are about to graduate from massage therapy school or you’re an established therapist looking for ways to expand your practice, you’ve got a variety of options when it comes to adding more clients. But what if we told you that one way is quick, easy and inexpensive?
Virtual care can act as an extension of your business by offering services that aren’t available locally. This technology allows you to provide convenience and flexibility without the cost of travel or time away from home. If you’ve been thinking about adding virtual care for some time, but are feeling unsure about how to get started, here are three reasons why now is the right time:
- Virtual care is a great way to attract new customers. With so many people working remotely or on their own schedules, offering therapeutic activities such as care plan delivery.
- Virtual care lets you reach more clients in less time by extending and advancing your practice. And simple innovations like client chat can save time and money otherwise spent in back-and-forth telephone calls.
Massage therapists cite a lack of confidence in their ability to thrive in this delivery format.
One of the main reasons massage therapists cite for hesitating to adopt virtual care is a lack of confidence in their ability to thrive in this delivery format.
It’s true that many therapists haven’t worked with clients remotely or assigned at-home stretch and exercise regimens, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn how to do so effectively.
Massage therapists also cite the potential time and cost of implementing a robust virtual platform.
Recent innovations have made the best and easiest-to-use platforms to therapists at virtually no cost. Orbit’s platform enables you to build and deliver to clients personalized, video-based home treatment plans, a library of healthy resource articles, and personal coaching via phone, tablet, or computer for less than the cost of filling up your car.
Therapists sometimes feel virtual care will take the human touch out of their practice
Therapists also worry that going virtual would require too much of a change in the way they work, causing them to feel uncomfortable and disconnected from their clients, especially if they have never worked with a virtual practice before. This is a common concern among therapists who have not worked in a virtual practice before. Most therapists actually say they feel more connected to clients because they have more frequent touch points such as automated outreach, check ins, and reminders. The science of behavior change says that such personalization and timeliness helps build better relationships and better client outcomes.
Cost effective and loved by clients
Offering hybrid virtual care offers many advantages over traditional delivery methods, including cost effectiveness and fast access — important selling points for today’s client.
You may be surprised to learn that many people would prefer to receive care from a virtual practitioner rather than an in-person one for a subset of their visits. As the CDC notes in their article “Virtual Care: A Growing Trend for Massage Therapists,” about 30% of the U.S. population does not have access to traditional massage therapy services due to geographic, financial or other factors.
For a small investment of time and money, therapists can create an online presence that offers new revenue streams and opportunities for clients who might never have found their practice otherwise.
A digital practice can be as simple as a website and a few social media pages, but a virtual practice can be a fully-integrated online presence complete with video consultations, payment processing, scheduling, and more. And thankfully, there are all-in-one solutions for this.
Ultimately, the decision to adopt a hybrid in-person/virtual care practice is a personal one. But if you are considering making the jump, you’re not alone. Many therapists have begun offering this type of service and there are many resources available to help you succeed as you deal with the growth and changes that it brings. We’re here to help!