resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06
Advice to Future Massage Therapists
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
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, NCTMB.
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