resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
January, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 01
Are You Convinced?
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Massage therapy comes as a second career for many people. Often, a large part of our identity is wrapped up in that previous profession. However, times have changed and many people are coming to this profession first.That thrills me because massage therapy is being considered a viable career path. However, if you are young and coming to massage therapy from your primary education, you still might have your identity invested in other things. Either way, if you are not comfortable with whom you are in this new role, how can others be? It's hard to successfully market oneself for a new position you are not yet completely comfortable in. If I may borrow an analogy, it's like putting on someone else's overcoat. It will suffice, but doesn't quite fit right.
It takes a certain amount of effort and time to make that mental transition; to convince yourself you are a now a massage therapist. I had a similar experience coming from a corporate career that I had been in since college. It was all I knew, and for many years, it was my identity. It was hard for me to introduce myself as a massage therapist without some sort of internal giggle. Was I really a massage therapist? Could I pull it off? Did I sound convincing? Add to that the fact I was so elated with my new identity; I was already giddy. What I found was not that I had to convince others; rather, I had to convince myself.
In the big picture of marketing, convincing yourself of your new profession seems like a natural place to start. If you are ambivalent about whom you are and what you are doing for your profession, no one else will be convinced. You must be secure in the product you are bringing to the table if you want the public to react favorably. In this case, you are the product. You have to know what you are selling and be able to communicate it. If you hesitate about your new profession, others will pick up on the insecurity and the initial impact of the first impression will be diminished. The first contact with a prospective client must be positive. There should be no wavering about whom you are or what you can offer. Your interaction must be clear and compelling for it to be truly successful. You know the saying: "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."
Consider the following example. You run into an old friend from college. You have not seen each other in a few years and you have no idea what they are doing for their profession, so you ask them. With a weak and indecisive answer, they tell you they are in business for themselves. The type of business is irrelevant if the answer is unsure and faltering. Are you anxious to utilize their product? Do you feel comfortable and secure about their ability to provide good service? Suppose their response is upbeat and affirmative. Would your reaction be different? If they express themselves with enthusiasm and eagerness, would you want to learn more and invite a dialogue?
Put yourself in the same situation. You run into a friend you have not seen for a while. They ask you what you are doing now. Do you have an answer? Does your answer sound secure? Is your dialogue filled with "ums" and "you knows"? Do you meet eyes, or do you stare around in other directions? Do you sound convinced about what you do? Say to yourself, "I am a massage therapist." How does that feel to you? Only you can answer these questions and judge what your feelings are. If they are less than convincing and there is any hesitation, practice is needed. If you feel confident, you are ready to continue.
I am a big believer in having a "canned response" for the question, "What do you do for a living?" The question comes up all the time. From the dinner party to the kid's soccer games, it's the number-one greeting question. Are you prepared with an answer? Remember, the average attention span is about 30 seconds, and in that time, you can attract a new client, educate someone about massage or lose the opportunity completely. Your words and the way you relay them have the power - so why not be prepared?
This is not to say the answer needs to be a monologue or sound like it was rehearsed. Rather, a prepared response should roll off your tongue and not have to be labored over. It should be sincere and come from the heart. It should show enthusiasm for your work and be articulate. It can be altered for the audience and the event. However, the basic outline can be memorized and perfected for any occasion.
I encourage my students to practice their "spiel" and have several versions in their bag of marketing tricks. This usually is one of the homework assignments and is done in front of the class. Through teaching and watching students present their spiel, I have found that many of them get tongue-tied saying "Swedish massage." Try it yourself. How does it sound? Now, imagine being nervous. When a situation is charged, wouldn't you prefer to know the phrases that hang you up? If you can't say it well, don't say it. Instead, I offer the solution of saying "Swedish-based massage," and it works great!
Often, my students approach me about how difficult or silly this exercise seems. Only after they graduate do they recognize the importance of the activity, and many have thanked me for forcing them to do it in the first place. Of course, your spiel will evolve as you evolve in the profession. That's the fun. Keep practicing and stay focused.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.