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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 10
I Didn't Know It Would Be This Hard
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
I have been a massage therapist since 1992 and an educator since 2000. If you have read any of my articles, you know I teach the business curriculum at Swedish Institute in NYC but have also taught in Boston and in continuing-education settings around the country.My life is all about the business of massage and teaching students how to "work smarter, not harder." That being said, this profession requires hard work, especially at the beginning when trying to build a practice. Even after a practice is established, hard work is still needed to keep clients coming back and maintain a certain level of success.
My goal is to teach undergraduate students what to expect in their professional life and help them to understand the real world. In general, I think I do a pretty good job. However, some of my graduating students have contacted me and said, "I didn't realize it would be so hard." This opens up a bagful of questions. "What do you mean by 'so hard'?" "What specifically about this profession is hard?" "What did you expect?" Those are just three of the questions I want to rattle off when I get that call. My time with students is limited to 24 hours over six weeks, but on at least four occasions, I inform them about how difficult it is working in the field, especially in today's economy.
During the lecture on career options, I talk about the physical nature of this work and the necessary self care to preserve your body. In the practice-building lecture, we discuss emotional burnout and I share the current AMTA statistics regarding the average professional life span of a massage therapist being six years. Embedded in the finance lecture, earning a living is discussed as it relates to exchanging time for money but also in terms of the economy and why people are hesitant to receive massage. The marketing lecture and its undercurrent are about hard work. By no means do I sugar-coat it. That's four times in the course of six weeks that I inform students how hard it is to become successful and maintain it. I am sure other teachers in other classes are relaying the same message.
So why are the students shocked upon graduation and entering the work force? I have given it quite a bit of thought. I have decided it's the "That doesn't apply to me" syndrome. As educators, we can teach what we think is important but only if the student feels it applies to them will they note, absorb and apply it. That must be it. What else could it be? I know they are in the room when I tell them these things and I have to think they hear it at least a couple of the times.
At this point, I feel I need to make a clarification. Hard work is good and does not equal unhappiness. Quite the opposite is true. In fact, if you love what you do, it doesn't even feel like work. I love hard work and the rewards that come with it. If things were easy, everyone would do them. I like doing things that are different, require specific talents and have rewards at the end of the rainbow. My lectures about hard work are not meant to scare students, but I have a feeling some folks look at massage therapy as an easy road or a quick fix. I have to be the voice of reality. If you have entered this field for the quick fix, get-rich-quick scheme or easy ride, you will be one of those AMTA statistics to which I alluded. Luckily for the rest of us who don't mind hard work, we'll scoop up your clients and pick up where you left off.
This might sound like a rant to you and if you have read this far, you are probably not one of the folks who are afraid of hard work. In fact, I can bet you have already achieved a certain level of success. My hope though is that students or new graduates are reading this article and realizing that massage therapy is hard work. Aren't the most rewarding things worth working for? It wouldn't be very rewarding if it was easy. So keep plugging along, planting seeds, marketing, talking to everyone and working hard because it is SO worth it. Stay focused.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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