resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Connections Worth Making
"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons. Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
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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