resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
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.
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.
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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 more information about 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.