resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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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