resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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.
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?
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.
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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