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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 05
The Politics of "Free": The Dichotomy of Doing Good
By Raymond Blaylock
Massage therapy is growing by leaps and bounds. Over the years, we have employed several approaches to nurture this growth pattern. In the mid-1980s our tool was "sports massage." We took massage, via sports events, into a very public forum with a high level of success. Doing this permitted people to view massage happening in a favorable light, the light of day, in fact.
In 1985, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Sports Massage Team was formed, co-founded by myself along with Bob King of Illinois and Tom Fink of Pennsylvania. In those early days and for years to come, we gave away our services at sports massage events all over the country. Our first national event series was the Bud Light U.S. Triathlon Series. This early work with sports massage catapulted our message of massage all over the country into the media and the positive press began in earnest.
However, the dichotomy of doing all of this good for massage therapy and our profession as a whole is that people began to assume massage in a public forum is free. Massage schools and practitioners continue to perpetrate this image today. Have you ever been giving a massage at an event, where someone asked you if the massage was free? Why do you think they ask? I would be truly surprised if any other health profession gives away more hours of their service than we, as massage therapists, do.
It is a fact of human nature that which we receive for free is valued less than things we have a vested interest in. If you have ever been to a convention or a trade show you know what I am talking about. You walk around picking up items that you may or may not need or want. You bring a bag full of "stuff" home and you may or may not ever use any of those things. But if you purchased an item you would keep track of it and use it as soon as possible.
Politics of Free
The politics of free are affecting our function as massage therapists especially with respect to seated massages. Being in a very public system, we constantly have people asking, "Is this free? We respond with something like, "No, this is a professional service that we have provided for this event." We have been told seated massage is a great public relations/marketing tool, which it is. We have also been told seated massage is great for stress relief, which it is. However, do you ever see your dentist or your internist out in the park on a Sunday doing free work? Why would you expect to see any other health care provider out offering free service?
Massage therapy has several public image issues; and this misperception that our services are free is one that directly effects our ability to make a living, and needs to be addressed immediately. A very simple solution will correct this misperception: remind the public that our work is valuable.
Whenever I do seated massage at a function that is not a revenue producing event, I take donations for a worthy cause. This has multiple positive outcomes. First off, it continues to allow us, as massage professionals, to use seated massage to promote our practices and profession. It also allows us to give people that initial massage experience and allows them to show their gratitude and be vested in the experience by making a donation to a good cause, such as a homeless shelter, SPCA, or UNICEF.
Additionally, people begin to realize that they need to make that energy (and value) exchange with their massage therapist. The massage therapist expends their energy giving a massage. The client then gives their massage therapist some "green energy" that is used to do energy exchanges with other people in their lives. Or, as in the instance of the fundraiser the massage therapist takes that green energy and gives it to a worthy cause that can turn that green energy into good works, and so on. This is the best of all possible outcomes a win-win-win scenario. Plus the massage therapist is connected to something in the community that the community holds in high regard.
Another way you, as a massage therapist, can deal with this is when you rent a booth at a show or festival, where you expect to charge for a massage. First be clear with the exhibit coordinator that no one is going to be there giving away free massage. Put it in your contract for the event. Talk to your massage school if they are out there doing events and giving away massage at events. Your massage school should support you in the education of the public.
Important to Note
Make sure whether it is a revenue producing event or a fundraiser that you get the names of everybody you work on for legal reasons to show who you worked on and who did the work. With a revenue event (where we are charging for each massage) collect the money before they get on your chair. This avoids any possible "confusion of free" before they get on the chair. If it is a fundraiser, get their name before they get on your chair and after they receive their massage you tell them, "I hope you enjoyed your massage. If you would like to make a donation to this event you may do it at the sign-in desk." If you are working with a charity or a not-for-profit group, it is nice to have a representative at the event to talk about what they do and how the money will be used.
In my opinion, all massage therapy events are either fundraisers or revenue producing events, and it behooves us to participate as this educates the public about the benefits of massage therapy as a necessary part of their health care. That said, please know that I do not feel that all massage must incur some form of money exchange. I know and understand that if you and I go to the women's shelter, for example, to give a massage, we are not charging or taking donations. And if we are at an emergency scene, we are not charging. If we are doing any form of "give-back," we are not charging for the massage.
We can do good and do well for ourselves at the same time. Ben Franklin called it "doing well by doing good." We can improve the public's perception of massage therapy by getting them invested in the outcome by creating an energy exchange via green energy. An interesting note to end on -- green in the color spectrum is the color of harmony, balance and growth! In many cultures, the color green denotes growth, learning, healing, abundance, fertility, and prosperity. It is believed to augur great success in any new venture. Any of those sound like a place you would like to be?
Raymond Blaylock, practitioner and educator, is the director of education at the Touch Resource Institute. He may be contacted by email
or through his Web site: www.mytouchresources.com.
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