resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
July, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 07
Healing Hands, Inquiring Mouth
By Cary Bayer
Last summer, I was at the U.S. Open tournament in New York as Andre Agassi, who had announced his retirement from tennis at the event's conclusion, played fourth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis.Since the tournament is single elimination, this match could have been the American legend's last. The stadium rocked with excitement. As the match proceeded, it didn't seem the old warrior could beat this young stud.
But then, suddenly - perhaps due to pressure - Baghdatis began cramping. He called for the 10-minute injury timeout players are allowed and the trainer massaged his thigh. The treatment helped but it cramped again later in the match. Since the rules prevent players from getting additional massage on the same injury, this otherwise fast athlete hobbled around on the court in tremendous pain.
He eventually would lose to Agassi, largely because of an injury that was in desperate need of massage. Seeing this warrior giving everything he had while his body was unable to cooperate was painful to watch. All he needed was some continuous massage.
Baghdatis' pain was a perfect metaphor; it reminded me of all the tens of millions of people who walk around every day in pain and in desperate need of massage. Many are too proud to ask for support; some too macho to surrender themselves to the healing touch of your hands.
That's where your mouth comes into play. Mouths usually play little role - if any - in a massage. However, once you discover verbally what your client needs for that particular treatment, the session gets underway. But sometimes your future client needs the help of your mouth before they can get the help of your hands. Be proactive and ask if they would like a massage. It's a perfectly innocent thing to do. You might help prevent someone from "hobbling" around with pain and stress buried deep within the tissues and muscles of their aching body.
Most massage therapists, understandably, focus their time and money in developing their talent for use once they get a client onto their table. But succeeding as a massage therapist also requires getting them to your table. Allow me to tell you about a television commercial that's probably more than 40 years old but sheds a great deal of light on this matter.
I discovered this ancient TV spot when I worked in a previous lifetime at the great New York advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach. The commercial opens on a heavy virgin snow. It's about 5 a.m., and all is silent. The only sound you hear is a voiceover asking, "Did you ever wonder how the driver of the snowplow gets to the snowplow?" Then you see a man leave his home, start up his Volkswagen Beetle, navigate through the heavy accumulation and get out of the VW into a parked snowplow. Enough said. That commercial ran with little media backing so it's doubtful you ever saw it unless you watched a TV special about legendary commercials. I've found many people who've seen it just once, yet still remember it. That's because of the power of the provocative question it asks.
If we apply that insight to the marketing of a massage therapist, a paraphrasing voiceover might ask, "Did you ever wonder how the master of the massage table gets their clients to the massage table?"
Word-of-Mouth and Words From Mouth
Motion picture studios spend tens of millions of dollars producing a film, then sometimes nearly as much just to market it. It costs a lot to produce great theatrical previews, television commercials, print ads and so forth. And publicity to get the stars on The Today Show, The Tonight Show and everywhere else they can is expensive, too. While all of this is, no doubt, hugely important, nothing - not even outstanding reviews from the critics - affects a film's success as much as word-of-mouth from those who have seen it talking about it to those who have not.
As massage therapists, you're often encouraged by some consultants to spend time and money developing Web sites and ads (though not by me), write columns (only sometimes by me) and create newsletters (this one I agree with). But none of these are ever as important as the recommendations that come out of the mouths of your clients.
Let me say a little about the words that could come out of your mouth as well. The most effective ones are a simple question like, "Would you like to schedule a (fill in your favorite adjective here) massage?" Each therapist's adjective may vary; some opt for healing or relaxing, others for therapeutic, rejuvenating and so forth. Find the one that best describes your work and get used to speaking it.
Therapists who shy away from asking this simple question when they're in conversation about their work usually do so for two basic reasons: 1) they fear the person will say no, or 2) they fear they will be rejected. While it's true that a possible client might say "no," it's better to hear a bunch of "no's" than never ask the question at all. Why? If you hear a lot of "no's," you've been asking a lot more people than you usually do. That means you'll also hear a lot more "yes" responses. And that means you're getting a whole bunch of new clients. Disregard the negative and focus on the positive. And remember the famous Japanese proverb: "Fall down seven times, get up eight."
I'd like to offer a few words of clarification concerning the fear of being personally rejected. Nobody who rejects your offer for a massage is rejecting you; they're rejecting a massage - at least for now. When you take yourself out of the equation, your emotions don't have to be hurt and that's incredibly freeing. It's just a matter of changing the context in which you hold the asking of this question. If the context is that you're rejected each time you ask if someone wants a massage, then each time your adrenaline will flow and your self worth will be at risk. But once you keep your emotions out of it, there's simply a question - does this person want to get massaged? You have nothing to do with it. It's their choice - and often, what they wants is a massage from you.
Click here for more information about Cary Bayer.
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