resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
February, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 02
The Massage Road Show
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
When I lived in Boston, I owned and operated a wellness center. I had full control of my surroundings, which included a lovely treatment room that was set up exactly how I wanted it. When I relocated to New York six years ago, I decided not to open a store front and I started a travel business instead, offering massage in the comfort and privacy of people's homes.
There were two reasons behind my decision. First, I did not know anyone in New York and securing office space seemed risky. The allure of savings from a lack of overhead was another reason. I have been on both ends of the spectrum and, recently, many of my students are asking which I prefer.
Office-based space and travel businesses each have pros and cons. As a massage therapist, it is common to have more than one job or work at more than one location. I know many therapists who choose to have office space, work for someone else part time and do some outcalls as well. Here is the good news: there is no right answer. We are so fortunate that in our profession we can design a work strategy that fits our personality and lifestyle. So although I will give some thoughts on office space versus house calls, it is up to each of you to decide what works best for your life, family, and schedule.
My physical office in Boston was lovely. I am often nostalgic about it; remembering the quintessential New England home that was converted to commercial space. My treatment room was the former living room, complete with hard wood floors and a fireplace. I had several therapists working for me and each of them had a room that had also been converted. We had a shower for clients, a lovely garden in the back of the house, ample parking and were off the main road so it was very silent and peaceful. It was really quite perfect. But it cost a lot of money. Overhead was high, maintenance was endless and the landlord had control to some extent. I made a very decent living and was very happy. I saw 25 clients a week for about 12 years. Had my life not changed on a personal level, I am certain I still would be there.
I moved to New York and because I did not know anyone or have the same "connections" compared to Boston, I decided not to rent office space. It just felt too risky. I also decided I no longer wanted to see 25 clients a week and not having the office space meant lower overhead. Lower overhead equals less need for income. Massage by Land & Sea was born, offering massage in the comfort and privacy of people's homes, boats and offices. The first thing I realized was that travel and set up time is more than expected. So while I charge $100 per hour, when I tack on travel and set up time, each one hour session takes about two hours. My $100 per hour rate goes to $50 per hour (without expenses) in a heartbeat. Obviously, overhead is lower. Linens, lubricant and laundry will always be an expense, unless you work for someone who provides those things. The other big overhead item is the travel; car expense, insurance, gas, tolls and parking, along with phone, insurance, membership dues, continuing education and music round out the list of expenses. Am I really saving on overhead? The answer is yes, because I do not have rent to pay.
The downside, as I see it, is the lack of control over my surroundings. I described a perfect set up in Boston and when I step into other people's spaces, it's not the same. There often isn't enough space, meaning I have to move furniture to fit my table. It is not always as clean or quiet as I would like either. The other downside is the extra wear and tear on my body; lugging the table, as well as the supplies. I have a light weight table but it is still heavy. There is no way around it. Overall though, people like massages in their own space very much. There is something to putting on your snuggly robe after a massage, curling up on your own sofa with a cup of tea and not having to step into your car and fight traffic. I have created a lovely massage road show business for myself and am quite happy again.
On a side note, my students ask what I bring when I travel for massage. Here is a list of all the items I carry with me each time:
Do yourself a favor and get a really good carrying case for your table. I have a heavy-duty one and it protects my table well. I carry the rest of the items in a strong canvas bag so I only have to make one trip from the car. It's not ideal, but it works.
I enjoyed having office space and I currently enjoy my massage road show. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Some days I long for what I currently don't have, but that's the nature of the beast. Most days I am really happy that I have had the experience of both, and I trust that I am exactly where I belong.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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