resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 02
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Last fall, I spent a bit of time looking at California statistics for massage education and practice. Partly as an outgrowth of legislative activity and partly out of efforts by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP),1 there was more raw data than normal lying around for me to nose through. One interesting item was the percentage of those entering massage practice that were still practicing five years later.
The data was broken down by hours of core education with a base of about 18,000 entrants per year - pretty solid for statistics. Five-year survival rates were 29.2 percent at a nominal 125 hours, 33.1 percent at about 250 hours, and 37.7 percent at a nominal 650 hours, the last category being 80 percent accredited career schools. The bad news is that the first doubling in training time only gave a 4 percent increase in survival rate and that the subsequent increase in training only contributed a 3.3 percent increase in survival per doubling of training hours.
This is a strong indication that what's being offered on the menu is at best tangential toward keeping people in the profession. The good news is that our statistics aren't devastatingly lower than general small-business statistics of about 45 percent survival at five years.4 The additional good news is that you don't have to ride the averages - individual effort counts for a lot. There are things that will help you much more than hanging around a massage school without specific business and practice goals yet in place.
As the story of "The Princess Bride" goes, Westley's ship has been taken by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never takes prisoners. Yet, moved by Westley's tale of needing to return for true love, Roberts does spare him to be his valet. Every night for three years, while Westley learns to fight and run a ship, Roberts says the same thing: "Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."
Finally, Roberts reveals that he is not the original Dread Pirate Roberts, is now ready to retire and - after a bit of final mentoring - goes his way to leave Westley as the new "Roberts."
The story is about living on the edge as a new entrepreneur, employee or apprentice. If you don't mean business, if you don't pay attention, you won't see the following day. In an article on business survival, Angelo Valenti comments that "in the jungle, animals that are aware are called survivors, while animals that are just awake are called lunch."7 He stresses paying attention to successes, failures and the environment in which they happen. You may practice massage to assist others, but you can only do that by developing and using good business sense.
Once you are consistent about pursuing a massage career, whether full-time or part-time, the next step is your first ad layout. This isn't about brochures and business cards; those come later. This is about the ad you are going to take with you on every interview, presentation or client contact; the one that will walk in on your own legs and that you will see in the mirror before and after. Likely the most important ad you will ever create is the presentation of yourself. It may be a maxim but it is still correct, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
Take the pointers available from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) to heart.6 In particular, think about the context of a job interview or a client situation. Your goal should be to interface seamlessly with their world and needs. Unless you really are providing massage on a Florida lawn, emulate the chameleon, not the pink flamingo.
If you aren't feeling comfortable about business issues, don't panic and don't ignore the problem. There are a number of resources, training programs and opportunities for finding mentors that are available to you at little or no cost. Both online and through regions centers, SCORE answers questions, offers workshops, and provides mentoring.5
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a gateway to regional Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), providing local assistance.10 The SBA is also a gateway to Women's Business Centers.
Try and find a niche of practice and clientele that makes you special.2 Look for opportunities within the social or work contexts with which you are already familiar and comfortable. When you identify a target niche, evaluate your training. If you have training gaps, you can now be specific about your needs and finding teachers who have mastery at what you want to do. You should be able to ask questions, and they should be able to give you specific answers about what you will gain.
Look again at the quote from John McWade at the beginning of this column. The focus of such training to application is what makes it worth your money and time.
If you aren't going to hire a designer, learn some basic design and copywriting yourself for brochure and business card layouts. There are good design books by both John McWade8 and Robin Williams.11 Copywriter Robert Bly has written several helpful books and has a number of articles on his Web site.3 Remember that you are selling satisfaction of your client's concerns, not your technique collection. Reflect that in your approach and advertising. To create success, mean business, find your niche, and get the word out.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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