resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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