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Massage Today
July, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 07

The Zen Teachings of TV Commercials, Part Two

How to Live Your Way and Enrich Your Massage Business

By Cary Bayer

In part one of this two-part article, I showed you how television commercials inadvertently are teaching you how to find happiness and peace of mind.

In this concluding column, I'll point out how these same electronic mantras are leading you to live your way, and to unfold great possibilities in your business, too.

A couple of millennia ago, Maharishi Patanjali brought kernels of wisdom to the world called The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Sit back (you needn't be in a lotus position), and read these "Yoga Sutras of Television Commercials" as a way to enhance your massage business.

The Sanskrit word dharma means the Truth, or Way, of the universe, as well as the career path you choose in life. By doing massage therapy (your dharma, for example,) you help others heal, have a more enjoyable livelihood, and can more quickly come to understand the Truth.

Verse 1: Have it your Way - Dharma via Burger King

Since 1974, Burger King has been suggesting that you "Have it your way." They're talking about hamburgers, but the Creative Intelligence of the Universe, which inspired the copywriters who developed the ad campaign, is talking about something much bigger than a Whopper. The whopper of an idea being communicated through the commercials is that you can live your life the way you wish to, you can innocently be who you are in the world, and succeed as well. The campaign aims to remind you that, because you have greatness within you, you can have it your way both personally and professionally. In other words, you deserve to design your massage techniques according to your interests and charge the fees you desire; because you can have it your way.

Verse 2: Mastering the Possibilities - Unfolding Your Greatness with MasterCard

When you were young, the chances are high that your parents told you it was okay to dream about doing something you really wanted to do, but you should always have something to fall back on. They were talking about career safety. Unless you're standing in front of something soft, like a bed, there's nothing safe about falling back - and it easily can lead to the breaking of an ankle or a neck.

Enter MasterCard in 1986, to tell you that you can "master the possibilities." Oh sure, they want you to spend money you don't have on a portable massage table or Thai massage training, so they can charge you high interest rates you don't pay in full each month. But they're also giving you great wisdom in the process. You can master the possibilities. You can do the work you love as a massage therapist, and be paid well in the process.

Verse 3: Be All You Can Be - Unfolding Your Potential via the U.S. Army

With all the untold fatigue and strain the U.S. Army exerts on the body during basic training, it might be hard to see what this rigid organization can teach a massage therapist. But it becomes a lot easier when you recognize that, since 1981, they've been telling you to "Be all you can be." They're telling you to stop settling for mediocrity or even second best. They want you to go for it all, because there's much more to you than even you realize. They want you to be all you can be spiritually in your soul, and professionally in your massage office.

Verse 4: Just Do It - Putting All of You Into Action via Nike

Once you become all you can be, it's essential to bring that fullness into the world. That's the message, since 1988, of Nike, the Oregon-based shoe and apparel manufacturer, which took its corporate moniker from Greek mythology. Nike was the goddess of victory. And what greater victory can there be than bringing your full potential into your every action?

If you enjoy Yoga classes, you might know that Yoga - first taught thousands of years ago in the Bhagavad-Gita - reminds you to, "Be without the three gunas (impulses of Nature)... possessed of the Self." (Chapter 2, verse 45). In other words, "Be all you can be." Three verses later, you're told, "Established in Yoga ... perform actions." In other words, just do it. Just doing it brings that balance of mind that Yoga achieves into your everyday world. Just sitting in meditation doesn't accomplish that.

Verse 5: When It Rains, It Pours - Building an Abundant Practice via Morton's Salt

The earlier verses indirectly help put you into a frame of mind that attracts success. The present verse suggests that abundance can continue when you're set up in your consciousness to receive it. Since 1912, Morton's Salt has been reminding you to get yourself attuned to the flow of abundance that can rain down on you.

Verse 6: Reach Out and Touch Someone - Making Human Contact With AT&T

As a massage therapist, you're reaching out daily and touching someone. You touch her shoulders, her neck, her feet and help her to heal while on your table. You also touch her soul. Beginning in 1979, AT&T was telling you to make human contact with people through the telephone. In other words, they were helping you get more people onto your table.

One technique I coach my massage therapist clients to practice is something I call "tele-connecting." It's a right-brained art that's much warmer than telemarketing. It involves calling ex-clients and sporadic clients who haven't had a massage in many months. You pick up the phone, much to the delight of AT&T, and ask them how their back or elbow is doing. Inquire about the body parts that caused them pain. If they still hurt, chances are good that these clients might very well suggest they resume getting massages. If not, simply ask them if they'd like relief from their pain. That's a no-brainer kind of question invariably yielding a "yes" response. Make sure you have your appointment book open and ready to book a session.

Practice these "Yoga Sutras of Television Commercials" and you'll feel better, live a higher quality of life, attract more clients and prosper.

Click here for previous articles by Cary Bayer.


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