resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06
Advice to Future Massage Therapists
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB
Let the debate begin as to what to do about substandard schools. As more of the public accepts massage therapy based on word of mouth, or on research that proves it is effective, we face a dangerous backlash if the typical therapist cannot meet the public's expectations.
The rapid proliferation of massage/bodywork schools has created concerns regarding the quality of education being received by future therapists.Of course there are many excellent schools, but there are more and more substandard programs that not only dole out substandard training, but do not even provide the courses and number of hours they advertise. Practicing therapists have great influence over potential students. With that in mind, I offer these suggestions to future therapists and hope that practicing therapists, the primary audience of this publication, will pass them along.
So you want to become a massage therapist/bodyworker? You want to help people while earning a living doing something you love to do? Massage/bodywork may be the right opportunity for you. First, you must get some training. The best way to do this is to go to a school. Choosing the right school is one of the most important career decisions you will ever make.
How do you find the right school for you? The good news is that there are now lots of schools teaching massage/bodywork. The bad news is that many of them provide very poor quality education. Every field has its bad apples. The goal of this column is to help you avoid biting into one of them, especially on your first bite. Be aware that many schools do not actually provide all the hours and/or all the courses they promise in their promotional material. Do not completely trust any school's advertisements. Do some serious research. This is your career. You want to get off to the best start possible, don't you?
Consider several schools, and visit each one. Do you have the ability to move to another city or state? It may be worthwhile to attend a better program. If this is not an option, consider that it may be worth driving further to attend a better program, instead of the most convenient one. Visit each school several times. Try to meet and talk to several students. Would they enroll at this school if they had it to do all over again? Find some recent graduates of the school. Interview them about their experience. Ask pointed questions and get specific details. Be sure the graduates feel they received what they were promised. Realize that you may encounter a hard to please individual, or an easy to please one for that matter, so check with several others until you are comfortable.
Check with practicing therapists in the area for school recommendations. Keep in mind that some therapists are very loyal to their alma mater, so contact as many therapists in your area as you reasonably can. Try to find a consensus with which you are comfortable. If a consensus cannot be found, be suspicious and look further.
It is a good idea to get a massage from graduates of a school you are considering. Realize that one individual is not necessarily representative of the work taught at the school. You should be receiving professional massage if you intend to give it. This remains true after you graduate and are practicing as well!
Contact the state regulatory board, if the state has one. Have any schools you are considering had complaints filed against them? If they have, investigate further. Be sure the problem has been resolved. Sometimes a complaint process can cause a school to really shape up. Other times, it shows a major flaw you may want to avoid.
Also check with the State Department of Education. Consult The Better Business Bureau and The Chamber of Commerce. Often people will file complaints with these organizations instead of a government agency. If complaints have been filed against a school you are considering, be sure you are comfortable with the situation before signing up.
Be aware that there are many types of massage techniques. Massage/bodywork schools only provide entry-level training. That means just the basics. To specialize in a particular area or style, plan on taking additional courses during school and after graduation.
Once you have selected the school with which you are the most comfortable (and hopefully the most excited about attending), enroll. Here's a very important tip: It is your responsibility to be sure you receive all that you were promised and paid for. Keep a diary or log of every hour you spend in school. Record the subject studied and the instructor. Are you getting the promised instructor, presenting the promised hours in each subject?
Should you accidentally wind up in a school that is not providing what you are paying for, you must be able to document the inadequacy in order to attain a remedy. A timely-kept diary is about the only way to do this. Do not do this in a hostile or suspicious manner. Do this as a professional habit of keeping accurate records. You will have to do it for your business, so you might as well start now. Hopefully you will find that you have received more than your money's worth! Should you discover you are not receiving the education you contracted for, what should you do? First, bring it to the attention of the school administration. Do not give them your log. Give them only a copy of it, or you may lose your evidence. If they do not remedy your complaint quickly, file complaints with the State Department of Education, the State Massage Board (if your state has one) and your local Better Business Bureau/Chamber of Commerce. Your local county attorney may also be of help. This sounds like a lot of hassle -- It is. However, it is the only way to protect yourself and to protect others in the future.
The unfortunate thing about entering this emerging new profession is there are some risks you must protect yourself from to ensure your success. The fortunate and exciting thing is the incredible opportunity available to you, to be the best that you can be and to help so many people.
Best wishes for a long, happy, healthy and prosperous career. Your hands are needed. Prepare them well.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB.
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