resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
December, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 12
What Employers Are Saying
Recent research indicates that the number one complaint of employers is the inability of massage therapists to market themselves. The term marketing sounds very broad and it is.It encompasses written marketing materials, introductions, client relations and public relations. However, employers not only are talking about marketing yourself, but also marketing the profession of massage therapy, overall health and the cumulative benefits of massage.
In all my years of teaching and consulting, this complaint still is at the top of the list. I regularly consult with business owners and talk with them about their needs. They often want to know how to better motivate their staff and get them to help with marketing. Why is this so hard? Why does the staff not get involved or why do they think it falls completely on the business owner's shoulders? I think most massage therapists think if they work for someone else, all the marketing is done for them. However, this is not the case and you will be a more valuable worker (whether employee or independent contractor) if you participate in the marketing.
Whether you choose to be self-employed or opt to work for someone else, a certain amount of marketing falls on you. After all, isn't it your responsibility to get the client to reschedule? Aren't you somewhat responsible to educate the client about how massage therapy can help them? It might be a receptionist in the waiting area asking a client if they want to reschedule, but it's the therapist that has to plant that seed during the exit interview. If you really believe massage has cumulative benefits, it's up to you to introduce that concept to your clients. I have found that most clients just don't know any better. They need to have it suggested that a return visit would be beneficial to their health. That suggestion needs to come from their trusted massage therapist, not a receptionist.
Speaking as a former owner of a wellness center, I think it's imperative for therapists to be comfortable marketing what we do, how it affects people and what role massage plays in healthcare. Many hours of my staff time were spent drilling therapists on the dialogue to use when educating clients. The reasons were two-fold. I needed my therapists to reschedule clients and build the business, but I also wanted to make sure the clients were receiving the best care and the right information. I relied heavily on my therapists to handle this aspect of the business. Most employers feel the same way. Most of my staff found it awkward at first. But when their schedules starting filling up and they had happy, repeat clients, they thanked me for the push. Most of my staff even commented that it became easier over time and now was a part of their normal exit interview.
Now as an educator, I tell my students about marketing and how employers are not happy with the level that now exists. This usually starts quite a debate. The students argument is, "if we are hired to sell, we should be paid more" or "by going to work for someone else, the responsibility of marketing should fall solely on the employer." The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, the written marketing and the publicity might fall on the business owner, but the other elements of marketing fall on the therapist. However, if you want to take that stand, perhaps you are better suited for private practice.
To be truly successful in this field, you have to sell it. The world "sell" is so loaded and comes with such negative connotation. I hate to even use it, but isn't that what we do? We sell massage. Use whatever verb you want, but it's all the same thing. If you are not comfortable doing this, I suggest you role play and practice with a friend. If you are self-employed and clients are not coming back for regular care, ask yourself if you are educating and dialoguing thoroughly during your exit interview. If you work for someone else and are not getting the repeat business, talk to the business owner about how to better prepare your dialogue to improve retention. This isn't a perfect science and it takes some practice, but it's something that can be improved. After all, don't you want to see all of your clients incorporate massage into their healthcare practice?
I guess a certain amount of my frustration is because of the passion I feel for this work. It's hard for me NOT to sell it. Massage is something I believe in with every fiber of my being and I find it easy and exciting to talk about. I have been a client of massage for many years, so I truly believe in the benefits. Get me going and I am hard to stop. So why do therapists still struggle when talking about massage therapy and its benefits? Why do therapists reject marketing the profession and refrain from telling clients about its cumulative effects? Ask them to reschedule? Perhaps they are not convinced themselves. Ask yourself, when was your last massage? Do you really believe in what you do? If you can't remember your last massage, book one today! If you receive care regularly, you should know how good it feels and you should want everyone to feel the same way. You have to believe in what you do to market it successfully.
The bottom line is that no matter what your working venue, it's up to you as the therapist to promote this work. You alone are in the room with the client. The client looks to you for information and holds you in a position of authority in this matter. For the forward progress of the profession, for the benefit of keeping clients educated and for the sake of business, talk it up. Tell people how great it is. Suggest they reschedule to receive added benefits, and believe it when you say it. Your sincerity will be apparent, business will blossom and your schedule will be full.
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