resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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?
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
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.
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.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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.
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.
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
Promotion and Sales: What language do you speak?
By Lisa Curran Parenteau, LMT, NCTMB
Editor's note: This is the second article in a four-part series discussing marketing in the massage industry.
I know you desire more success and abundance in your practice and in your life. Even now, you are improving your practice by keeping current with your professional journal Massage Today! I also know that you are curious about how to promote your business in some new ways. Strong communication skills are a key building block to successful promotion and increased sales. When talking about massage and your practice, what language do you speak?
Effective communication, listening and being compelling enough to be listened to, is truly a skill that is a life-long pursuit. This quote by Edith Wharton illustrates my view: "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it." Some folks are better listeners (mirrors), while others are better speakers (candles). I want to focus this article on building some skills to help us communicate about the art and science of massage with more ease, poise and illumination. My hope is that this will not only impact your business, but also our profession as a whole.
If you are like many therapists, you are probably a very good listener, both verbally and non-verbally. Likewise, your skills and confidence in clearly articulating what you do, why you do it and how you might provide an invaluable service may be a challenge for you. I invite you to move out of your comfort zone and consider trying a few new tools. First let's create a new (or updated) "elevator speech" (or pitch). Stop rolling your eyes. I promise you, if you give this a try and practice it, your confidence will soar! The second tool is developing a bullet list of solutions that you can offer to your potential perfect clients.
A few questions to put on the table in preparation for developing your pitch: What would you say if you ran into an old friend or classmate in the street that you hadn't seen for awhile and you told them you had become a massage therapist? How do you answer the question "What do you do?" Can you sum it up in a few minutes, with passion?
Elevator Speech: Your "Pitch"
An elevator speech is a short and sweet opening to your professional side. Add a bit of your personality and you will be set to capture the attention of potential clients and widen your professional network. This miniature speech should be a prepared presentation that sounds "off the cuff."
Step 1: Brainstorm some descriptive language about what amazes and thrills you about your work. Jot down words and short phrases as they occur to you. Don't worry about making sense or connections. You are simply gathering raw material. Be authentic and use words that you would really say in conversation!
Step 2: From this list, choose two words that you find especially evocative - that really tug at the heartstrings of your passion for your work. Trust yourself and go with your instincts here. If you can, look up each word in a dictionary. Contemplate what you have chosen and what it really says about why you are a massage therapist.
Step 3: Gather the pieces.
Step 4: Now, put it all together in one or two sentences. This statement, in 60 seconds or less, should introduce you and what you uniquely offer the world. "I do (nature of service) + for (ideal client) + so that they can (benefit to the client)".
A good elevator speech will most likely evolve over days, weeks, or months. Start the evolutionary process by writing your first draft today. In other words, don't wait for the perfect elevator speech. Write an imperfect one, use it, and the perfect one will evolve in time. Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, states, "Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people."
Bullet List of Solutions
What is your solution to your potential client's problem or need? This bullet list of talking points is an expansion of the third part of your elevator speech. Why do most of your perfect clients seek you? Injury related pain reduction, sports conditioning, an energetic modality, or simply 60 minutes of serenity? Remember, YOU are the good listener, and you are probably very intuitive as well. Think of some health benefits of massage, quotes from experts and research some statistics from one of our professional association Web sites: American Massage Therapy Association http://www.amtamassage.org/news_editors.html; Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals http://www.massagetherapy.com/learnmore/benefits.php; and/or Massage Therapy Foundation http://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/researchdb.html.
Do a Google search on your massage specialty and interests. Write a clear and concise objective list of the benefits of massage for your perfect client or target market. Because of my special area of massage, my bullet list of solutions or talking points focused on promoting massage for elders and those in end-of-life care. They address the improvement in the quality of life for this fragile population:
Massage Benefits For Elders
I would also add some quotes from experts in the field:
To educate myself, I also have some stats about the opportunity for massage to serve folks in these special settings as part of my list. These trends help me feel passionate about my work!
What specific benefits, expert opinions and market trends define your special area of massage?
One Final Note
This article focused on verbal communication. Now align your newly crafted elevator speech with everything that represents or brands you in the professional world. What do you want to say in your printed marketing collateral and on your Web site about what you do and the benefits to your specialties? What about your facebook profile, business page or group, and your LinkedIn profile? As your practice grows, changes and is re-defined, take the time to refresh your branding. The good news is, today is the first day of the rest of your professional life!
I touched on the concept of your "perfect customer's characteristics" in Step 3 of the elevator speech construction. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and assisting you in defining your perfect customer in my next article. Until then, Namaste.
Lisa Curran Parenteau is a specialist in marketing and practice development. She serves as marketing consultant for the Center for Compassionate Touch, LLC and contributes to curriculum and program development. She also consults with other businesses, non-profit organizations and professional associations. Lisa serves the American Massage Therapy Association as the 3rd VP, webmaster for the Mass. Chapter website and will serve as a 2009 Mass. Delegate to the 2009 national AMTA conference, where she will be presenting a Position Statement to the 2009 House of Delegates. She also serves the Massage Therapy Foundation as a member of the Community Service Review Committee and the Chairperson of the newly formed Marketing Committee. Lisa can be reached at
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