resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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 Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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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