resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
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.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
April, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 04
Don't Personalize the Rejections
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
REJECTION ... It's a topic no one likes to discuss. Unfortunately, it needs to be addressed, especially in terms of marketing. Fear of rejection probably is the number-one reason people are afraid to market themselves.It's a known fact that no one likes to be rejected. Often, my students have told me they are too shy to market themselves, but I think the underlying problem is the basic fear of rejection. Whether you are outgoing or shy, no one enjoys being turned down.
If you have faced your own rejections, I know it's less than satisfying, and even can feel awful. It's often those memories and the lingering "no's" that prevent people from successful marketing. However, fear of rejection is valid and can be overcome. Marketing is putting yourself on the line and asking for a "yes" to an invitation, to an offer, to a massage. The important thing to understand is this: There is a major difference between personal rejections of the past and the potential business rejections of the future. Don't confuse the two, and your efforts will be much easier and your confidence will not be shattered.
Before I talk about the difference between personal and business rejections and how to handle them, I want to address why some people say "no" in the first place. Remember, it's never for us to judge why someone chooses not to get a massage from us. Previous experience, fear, money, time and misinformation are some of the reasons why we might be turned down when we offer our services professionally. A bad experience could have someone turned off to massage for the rest of their lives. No amount of marketing can change that person's past experience. Hopefully, you can gain that person's trust and reintroduce them to this amazing form of health care. Maybe not, as that first experience carries much weight.
Fear is a large factor in the rejections we get as massage therapists. The list of things to fear is huge. Fear of undressing, fear of the power differential, fear of being vulnerable, body image fears, and basic fear of the unknown are just a few. Some things we can do something about by educating the potential client; others we cannot change. We can only do our best to make the potential client feel safe and trusting of us.
Money plays a factor in this business. After all, our services are to be valued - and money is one way for us to value what we do professionally. Someone might be on a tight budget and not able to afford your services. Perhaps you have a sliding scale, but the client is not comfortable mentioning their economic situation. It's up to you to bridge that gap and initiate the conversation if you choose, but money clearly doesn't have anything to do with you personally.
Time plays a role for many people, and serious time constraints can impact someone's ability to come for an appointment. When my clients don't have their calendar with them, they often have to defer making another appointment. Rather than double-book themselves, they prefer to say "no" and get back to me. I understand completely; I do the same thing. If that happens, however, ask if you can follow up with them in a week or so. Take the pressure to reschedule off of them and be the proactive one."
Information and misinformation are areas we can do something about. When I sense a potential client has been misinformed, I use it as an educational opportunity. I try to establish what the client knows about massage therapy, and educate from there. Often the misinformation is a misunderstanding or the result of assumptions.
As you can see, none of these reasons are personal in nature. It is not for us to judge what applies in our situation. We must remain objective and unattached to the outcome and continue our marketing efforts. We only can attempt to inform and convince, but at some point, the potential client needs to make their own decision, and it's out of our hands.
Now, let's look at how to make the shift so business experiences can be more productive and less debilitating. Clearly, there is a mental exercise happening in order to separate your business and personal interactions. Finding the ability and strength to ask someone if they are interested in a massage and risking the rejection is difficult for most people. If the answer is favorable, there is no problem: you booked yourself a new client and are having a good day. If the answer is less than favorable, you have two choices. You can take the rejection personally, possibly re-live old rejections, let it wear away at your self-esteem and have a bad day. Or, you can make the other choice and consider taking this particular "no" as a business rejection, nothing less, nothing more.
Remember that marketing is a numbers game. If you get a lot of rejections, there is a good chance that the "yes" you have been waiting for is right around the corner. You have to ask many potential clients before you book one client. I often say it's about planting seeds. You never know where they are going to sprout, and to that end, no marketing is wasted. You might market to one person who says "no," but they will tell someone else, who tells someone else, who calls you in a month. You never know where the roots will take.
Don't believe just because you are reading this article that rejections won't occur. They will happen, and they may or may not still be painful. The trick is to know how to handle them and not let them deter you from further attempts. When you are about to market yourself, quietly say, "This is about business and whatever the outcome, I will not take it personally. I will not let it ruin my day, and I will continue with my efforts in another way." Simple mental preparedness will go a long way.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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