Sustainability: Blog 4
Due Date: 25th September 2009
Sustainable development is described by the Otago University Press as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (1987).
Sustainable massage practice involves three specific points:
- Environmental sustainability
- Social sustainability
- Economic sustainability
All three of these points interlink and relate to the theory and practical side of massage therapy.
Environmental sustainability is to do with the environment and how we are as a community, taking it for granted. Within the massage practice here are examples of how we are sometimes unsustainable: Example of this would be the amount of paper that is used, the amount of electricity used in the things such as laundry and the use of a motor car each day to get to and from work. As a massage therapist in my massage practice I believe that my business should try and improve our environmental sustainability, we can do this by:
- Biking to work
- Having adequate equipment (sheets)
- Using sheets as they dry more quickly
- Also using recycled paper or computer files for clients
- Timer on heating device in the business premises
I believe that as a practitioner it is also my occupation to spread the word about environmental sustainability and information to clients is another step in their recovery from injury or from something else. Information on 30mins and day “push play” can make a difference in a client’s daily routine.
Social sustainability relates to the quality of interaction between people, different parties, religions, trust. Within massage therapy social sustainability is a vital aspect to the communication, information and expansion of the business. Social sustainability is between clients ad their therapists and also other therapist’s interaction with each other and the interaction between the therapist, client and other health professionals.
Within my massage business I feel that social sustainability is a major aspect that should be addressed. Social sustainability has to do with communication and trust between all parties that relate to my massage practice. I feel that my business can do this by:
- Working with other therapists and healthcare professionals
- Looking after yourself
- Educating clients about improving their wellbeing
- Being aware of issues of environmental sustainability.
All of these points will improve my massage business as I feel that communication is the key to a successful business and consistent cliental. I can learn from other business and also learn from the clients in what they are looking for in a massage business, as they are my main target market.
Economic sustainability basically means the financial performance of the operation of the business. For the massage therapist to build a credible reputation and to maintain the trust to exist between the therapist, client, and other health professionals the business needs to be economically viable. Economic sustainability is typically considered as actions which maintain economic capital for example financial performance, also taking environmental and social sustainability into consideration.
Within my massage business economic sustainability is another major point that must be addressed. Ways in which my massage practice can meet economic sustainability include:
- Setting fees and managing money
- Trigger point identifying target market to attract new clients and maintain existing clients
- Form relationships with interacting organisations: e.g. sports clubs, businesses, other health professionals and tourist orientated businesses.
For my massage business to maintain an economic sustainable business requires customers. The relationship between the therapist and client maintains both social and economically sustainable businesses. Basic economics relies on income (fees). Fees have to be set at acceptable levels... this also maintains the social sustainability of the business. Fees set too high are both economically and socially unacceptable therefore my business would research the other supplying business around the area to maintain a average price that is acceptable. Referrals from other associated businesses are also necessary in maintaining economic sustainability. This can be taken as broadly in include other health professionals, bank manager, accountant. My business will identify who my clients are and who is my target market; this will assist in the planning of the purchase of equipment. Equipment leads to environmental sustainability and the equipment needed is a direct outcome of which the target market will be, relating to social sustainability. Only the equipment necessary to meet the demands of my business needs to be purchased. Equipment that is not being used to its full application does not make economical sense.
In all I believe that my massage practice will do its best to keep a sustainable business, unfortunately this is not a perfect world and that the business will still rely on certain power sources, for example dryers, especially during the winter months. Also the fact that transport is necessary for me to get to work unless it is a fine day or public transport is available. Within my practice I do feel that that the three aspects of sustainability will be put into action and that it is a major topic in the community today.
Class Notes 2008
McQuillan, D. Elluminate. Sustainable Practice. September the 23rd 2009. Professional Practice.
My own thoughts
The World Commission on Environmental and Development. (1987). Our Common Future, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.