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Massage Today
March, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 03

Are You a Massage Geek?

By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB

I'm not sure if you are experiencing similar things in your practice as I am in mine. In the last year the impact of technology has had a greater importance than it ever has before. Just today I received e-mail from an individual informing me that she found my name on the Internet and wanted information about my practice.

I was fortunate enough to have read her e-mail about 30 minutes after she had written it. I responded with basic information and specific answers to her questions and in about 15 more minutes she sent a second e-mail thanking me for my prompt response, saying she wanted to book a series of weekly appointments. Do you think that I'm pleased to have my laptop connected to the Internet on my office desk?

And speaking of the laptop on my desk, it is a technological marvel in that it has intrinsic "wi fi" capability. That means that it will search for wireless networks and allow me to connect to them. More important to me than e-mail is my electronic scheduling calendar. While I used to have a spiral wire-bound appointment calendar, I now use the calendar function in my laptop to keep all personal, professional and client appointments. It gives me the capability of "dragging and dropping" appointments from one day to another, and copying recurring appointments into the future.

The laptop also has a complete list of all my clients and their contact information. I can use that information to print labels for newsletters or correspondence, and call them when situations require schedule changes, etc.

And speaking of calling, when I have to call my clients I frequently call them on my cell phone - another technological wonder. My long distance bills are negligible since I have started using my cell phone. My cell phone is one of the new cell phone/PDA hybrids. As a PDA it (like my old Palm Pilot) has both calendar and contacts functions, as well as "to do" lists, and notes. What is really nice is having the capability of verifying my calendar anytime my cell phone is with me. This has come in handy at restaurants when I've run into people wishing to make an appointment. I can pull out my cell phone, check my schedule and immediately book the client into an available time slot.

My PDA/phone synchronizes with my laptop when I get back to the office so that both have the same information. After getting to my office, the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night is to synchronize the two devices. When I get home, the first thing I do is synchronize the PDA/phone to my home desktop computer. This ensures that all three devices share the same information and provide the ultimate in information backup. I remember when I used to cart around a huge "day timer" that controlled my day-to-day life. If I ever lost that book it would bring panic and thoughts of impending doom to mind. Now I just have my cell phone; it has more information than the old day timer did and the added ability of instant retrievablity. If lost, I simply purchase a new one, place it in the charging cradle connected to either my laptop or desktop, and hit the "sync" button. All information is immediately restored to the device.

I think practice management software is important to the "massage geek," also. It's nice to have the ability to record soap notes, treatment, financial details, and everything else in one package. Residing on my laptop, I could also complete HCFA forms if I billed insurance companies (I don't!), generate reports to physicians, and track income from all sources.

Technology is good for my business. It allows me to sign up for conferences and conventions where I obtain my required continuing education, online, in the middle of the night. It allows me to accept credit cards in my practice. It allows me to stay in contact with my clients even when I am not in my office.

I firmly believe that today's technology makes me more money than it costs me to utilize it. If you haven't yet jumped on the techno bandwagon, I encourage you to do so. It's fun and it works.

I know many massage therapists who consider themselves "high touch, low tech." I am suggesting that you might be better served being "high touch, high tech."

Go ahead! Don't be afraid! Track your income in financial planning software, and do your taxes on tax software. Get new business by being part of "massage locator" services. Massage membership associations give special considerations to use of technology, allowing members to sign up for workshops online, pay for products and services online, and contact officers and staff online.

So go build that Web site; establish that online locator service. Make it easy for clients to find you. There are many opportunities available for you right at massagetoday.com! Contact our Reader Services Department for more information (800-359-2289).

See you there!


Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters related to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue or online. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to or by regular mail to:

Massage Today
P.O. Box 4139
Huntington Beach, CA 92605


Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

 

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