Alexis Madayag is traveling around the United States meeting Vagaro business owners and learning about the ways they support the unique needs of the individuals they serve. Alexis is deaf and doesn’t let that get in her way of living life to the fullest. In this segment of Alexis on The Road, she met the folks at Touch Omaha Bodywork in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Traveling across the country can be hard on one’s body. My flight to Nebraska was pretty long, and I wanted to find a massage place for my back pain.

Alexis On The Road

Touch Omaha Bodywork is a wellness business in Omaha, Nebraska, that focuses on healing and calming muscles in order to reduce the potential for injury. When I arrived at the studio, I was met by owner Ann Ealy Lic, who made me feel welcome. She provided me with helpful information and asked that I circle any pain points on a printout of the human anatomy.

I settled down onto the massage table and Ann immediately had me relax. Apparently, my stress gave itself away because my muscles were noticeably stiff. Ann used gestures to communicate for the duration of my 30-minute massage. She suggested that if I felt any pain or discomfort, I could inform her to stop with a hand tap or wave. She focused on my wrist, upper back and shoulders, which helped me release long-held tension.

Her technique was gentle, utilizing light pressure to help my body realign. Even though she didn’t know sign language, I found it easy to effectively communicate with her. She made sure to be thorough with my health issues, while equipping me with the knowledge of why stress relief therapy is so vital to my body.

After my appointment, I asked Ann some questions about how to improve my injuries. She said sitting for long periods can cause your shoulders and neck to pull forward, lending itself to shoulder & neck pain. My hip flexors and forearm were tight, so Ann suggested I incorporate massage therapy into my schedule when I got back home.

For my visit, my Vagaro Client App allowed me to read about the services Touch Omaha Bodywork had to offer, helped me learn about the practitioners in the bio section, and made it easy to determine which route was best for me. When it came time to check out, the app allowed for a quick & clean process.

What was your inspiration when starting your business?

Initially, it was to go back to college to get another degree. I just wasn’t inspired by working in the corporate field. However, after studying craniosacral therapy, I dropped my college courses and dedicated myself to bodywork. There has been nothing more gratifying in my years of experience than helping people feel better. And, of course, it’s really nice to be able to set my own schedule.

How does your business support the unique needs of different individuals? Is there anything you do differently than other businesses like yours?

I suppose, as therapists, we all have our own unique approach to how we apply our skills and run our business. My focus has changed and evolved over the years. After studying a variety of modalities over the past 25 years, I have found myself focused on therapies that are effective and gentle in nature, such as the “Getting in Touch” form of craniosacral therapy (developed by the late Michael Boxhall, RCST), to alleviate stress and anxiety, myofascial release, traditional massage therapy, as well as specific exercises designed to help alleviate tension and bring our bodies and life back into balance.

How does Vagaro help your business operate efficiently and grow?

Many of my clients are old-school, so I don’t use all the features Vagaro has to offer. Vagaro makes it easy for me to sell products, keep track of my day-to-day activities, basic financial information, and allows new and old clients as well as myself to schedule appointments as needed. Although I’ve been a little frustrated with some of the changes, I have always had a positive experience with customer service doing their best to help. They’ve always maintained a positive attitude and overall been great to work with.

Has the pandemic changed the way you think about the services you provide your customers?

The one thing the pandemic has changed has been offering zoom yoga classes. That has been so beneficial. I missed my students and our discussions when we couldn’t meet. My students have found the Zoom classes more convenient and actually prefer the zoom class as it saves them so much time now that they don’t have to commute to class. I am considering offering Zoom classes similar to the private ones I teach now to the general public.

A massage room at Touch Omaha BodyworkWhat makes your business different from the others? How do you stand out?

I suppose my business is a little bit different in that my focus is not in your traditional “massage therapy.” Over the years, I have developed a sense of what the body needs so that I can pull from a variety of skill sets to help release muscle tension and over-contracted muscles caused by a variety of factors including stress and anxiety. Each client brings a unique set of circumstances and so the session is tailored to provide the greatest benefit.  Most, if not all, of my clients also receive suggestions on how to maintain the benefits of the session once they leave my office. I want my clients to leave my office feeling empowered.

Any advice you would offer other business owners who are just getting started?

Sometimes it can take a while to get your feet on the ground. It’s important to understand how to run a business – so if that is not something that you’re already familiar with, take classes at your local community college or online. Use social media to your advantage. If you really love the work, stick with it even if it’s just part-time. With time and experience, it will grow and so will you.