Successful Strokes

A Realistic Guide to Creating a Lucrative Massage Business

Non-Fiction - Occupational
266 Pages
Reviewed on 10/21/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Molly has worked in the field of massage since 1981 in many capacities. She began with a solo private practice where she started from scratch, making it up as she went along which inspired a lot of the content of this book. After eight years of working by herself she expanded the business into a spa that included aesthetics and a gift shop and moved it to an elegant shopping center next to a big hotel where she employed other therapists and enjoyed having a team to forge on with her on this unfolding journey. In addition to that she has practiced massage in medical offices and in a number of resorts in the Sonoma/Napa wine country where she lives.

Molly also became a hypnotherapist because she wanted to help people relax mentally as well as physically. She incorporated hypnosis into her practice, sometimes doing separate sessions of hypnosis and sometimes doing hypnosis first to relax the mind followed by massage to relax the body. She has recently been a co-creator of Travel Whisperers, making guided visualization recordings to help people sleep while traveling. They can be found at She also makes guided visualization recordings for massage therapists. To learn more visit:

    Book Review

Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite

Molly Kurland, massage professional, has shared her knowledge and wisdom in her new book, Successful Strokes: A Realistic Guide to Creating a Lucrative Massage Business. The book takes us through the process of navigating the trials and tribulations of starting your own massage business. Covering everything from basics in marketing to accounting, to avoiding burnout, this book is well thought out, helpful, and probably a good bet for anyone looking to start their own business. One of the things I was not expecting to read about was the possibility of dating your clients. For some reason it never occurred to me that it could come up, but it makes sense. I would never know how to respond to someone asking me out after a massage...but Molly does a good job explaining how to navigate those tricky waters.

The addition of links and websites that you can use for additional tools in your own progress and success was very nice. I particularly enjoyed the friendly and approachable tone that Molly takes in her writing. You really feel like she cares about you and making your business successful. Her knowledge and accessibility make her a great author, particularly for the self-help variety of books. Successful Strokes offers insightful tips and tricks that a seasoned veteran of the massage business has learned along her own journey. Molly supplies materials, lists, and appointment schedule examples to help even the most novice massage therapist get started. Many of the tips were also helpful to an entrepreneur not involved with massage, just business. Overall, a great read for any business-minded masseuse!

J. Callahan

A very thorough and detailed book that can assist any holistic healthcare practitioner in their private practice. Thank you, Ms. Kurland, for sharing your experience and expertise. Starting up your own practice? Get this book!


I was drawn into the story. Practical, engagingly friendly, full of savvy advice, & grounded in the reflection of experience.
I enjoyed Molly's honesty and empathy for others, in sharing her endeavors in opening and running a successful professional massage practice. I'm a massage therapist with 20 years experience & I gathered some interesting new ideas! The lessons she learned along the way, include many ideas that would definitely help a budding professional Massage Therapist to conjure up their own unique, personal vision.

Roberta Gabriel

This is a must read book for anyone entering the Massage Profession or already engaged in it. It is the most thorough guide to every aspect possibly encountered in this business, with much detail, honesty, expertise and humor. As a long time massage practitioner myself I still had much to gain from the intelligence, experience and wisdom expressed in her book.

Sarah Pedlow

A wonderful, honest guide to starting a private practice that all massage students should have when finishing school! Nine years into my career, I'm going to use some of Kurland's suggestions to reinvigorate my practice.

Cynthia L. Mealy

This is a great book and so helpful. I've been in private practice since 1996 and found this to be a useful resource even after nearly 2 decades of experience. It is written with clarity and common sense, and will give any massage therapist starting their own practice a great base. Easy and enjoyable to read, insightful.

nina morre

Wish I had this book when I was starting my massage career. So much of what Molly writes about the boo boos she made at first were also done by me. There is humor in this auto biographic adventure and many practical and valuable tips. It can be read straight through or refer to a certain section that pertains to your life right now. Thank you Molly for sharing from your heart. I highly recommend this book. Nina Morre massage therapist since 1989.