resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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