resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Right Idea at the Right Time
On Feb. 28, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed David Brown, DC, as new director of the Virginia Department of Health Professions.
How Much is Enough?
One of the primary arguments used against acupuncture care is the overuse of treatment. Some people say, "once you go, you have to go forever."
Shoulder Strategies: Reduce Pain, Improve Function With Proper Taping
Shoulder pain / dysfunction is a common problem for chiropractic patients. Clinicians who utilize elastic therapeutic taping as part of their treatment approach know it can be effective for a variety of shoulder problems.
Colorado to Have the First Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps in the U.S.
In the summer of 2012, Colorado was on fire. Literally. Many acupuncturists from around the state, especially those who had received disaster response training through AWB, wanted to help those affected by the fires as well as the first responders and tireless state and local officials, with the healing and stress-relief of acupuncture.
News in Brief
In Remembrance: A Moment of Silence for Dr. Dick Versendaal; NYCC Named Chiropractic College of the Year by ACA; National University Partners With Indiana VA Facility.
Anti-Aging: Educating Your Patients About The Skin
We know that cosmetic acupuncture works but what then? Education is a key part to the practice of Chinese medicine and when you practice cosmetic acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, etc., it is time talk about skin with your patients.
AAAOM: Facing An Ultimatum
On the heels of the growing discontent with leaders of the AAAOM, the Council of State Associations (CSA) recently took it upon themselves to present the organization with an ultimatum: for all board members to resign from the board and turn the organization over to the CSA or they will proceed on their own to become the primary representative of the AOM profession.
Your Chance to Go Back to High School
As the father of a student who recently entered high-school sports (soccer), I have come to recognize an untapped opportunity for the chiropractic profession.
No Whining on the Yacht
This admonition – no whining on the yacht – may sound familiar to you. Many claim its origination.
Through the Eyes of a Child
Once upon a time there was a girl name Lucy. Lucy had cancer, but she had a heart filled with love and compassion. Please come along to hear this story of an amazing child, her tenacity and her dream to help other children.
Evaluating Prenatal and Pediatric Automobile Injuries
Often in a family practice, one of your patients or an entire family is in an automobile accident and you are sought out to provide care for their soft-tissue injuries.
Making Sense of Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is big business, evidenced by not only the laundry lists of medications patients bring me aimed at managing inflammation, but also the never-ending stream of advertisements for anti-inflammatory supplements that constantly find their way to my desk.
The Recliner Test
"Hi, Bill, how are you?" "Oh, I'm OK, Doc. I've got pain down the leg again, so I thought I would stop by and get you to check it."
San Zhen Protocols Part II: Case Studies
In my last article, I presented a collection of three-point acupuncture combinations which can provide effective clinical results.
Revisiting the Neurological Exam
In spinal trauma or disease, the neurological exam chiefly aims to determine whether one (or more) of three basic neurological conditions is present: myelopathy, radiculopathy and peripheral nerve disorder.
Environmental Toxins: Cause of Modern Illness (Part I)
Environmental toxins have created burdens on the human body that put demands beyond our evolutionary development. Modern diseases that historically did not exist to any great degree have been rising sharply in the last 40 years.
Socializing In My Slippers
When I graduated college, I had grandiose dreams of becoming an amazing acupuncturist. I wanted to build a great practice and make a good living. For four years, 13 semesters to be exact, I had a spreadsheet.
Chiropractic Management of Sports-Related Tendinopathy
Tendinopathy is increasing in prevalence and accounts for a substantial percentage of sports injuries. Despite the magnitude of the disorder, research on chiropractic treatment is limited.
Dry Needling is Acupuncture: Anatomy of a Legal Victory in Oregon
On January 23, 2014, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners "dry needling" administrative rule, which allowed chiropractic physicians to perform acupuncture after only 24 hours of training.
Chinese Herbs Debut at the Cleveland Clinic
Chinese herbal medicine is now being prescribed at the Cleveland Clinic thanks to a trailblazing team of people.
Are You Driving Patients Toward Dependence on Big Pharma?
Over the years I have had the opportunity to talk to doctors of chiropractic about health promotion, wellness and preventive care in chiropractic practice.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Shouldn't the Pentagon Know More About Chiropractic Care? Office Flow: Have You Reviewed the Patient Experience Lately? Let's Stop Confusing the Public About Chiropractic; Cutting Down the Cherry Tree.
Enhancing TCM with Enzymes
Herbal formulations are an integral component for most Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. One of the best ways to enhance their effectiveness is the addition of plant-based enzymes.
Arch Height and Running Shoes: The Best Advice to Give Patients
Because runners with different arch heights are prone to different injuries, running shoe manufacturers have developed motion-control, stability and cushion running shoes for low-, neutral- and high-arched runners, respectively.
Alternatives to the Rainy Day Fund: Better Things to Do With Your Money
Google "rainy day fund" and you'll find the predominant and traditional advice given today is that you need to have three months of living expenses saved for an emergency. Some even recommend six months or more.
April, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 04
Your Backup Plan: When Life Interrupts Your Practice
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Being a massage therapist is physical. I don't have to tell you that in order to do this work well, it takes a strong body, a clear mind and endurance. Even if you only practice part time, you must inhabit a high state of health to care for your clients.Of course, there are differences, i.e., you travel with your table, perform sports massage, have to work around a hospital bed with less than optimal ergonomics or have a private practice where clients come to you.
I am not referring to any particular type of practice but am speaking in general. You must have a certain level of fitness to be a massage therapist. I often joke that I am in the best shape of my life and it is because I have been a massage therapist for almost 20 years.
But then life happens. Sometimes you get sick. Sometimes you get injured. Sometimes you have emotional issues that leave you less than grounded and present for your clients. It isn't realistic to think that you can be strong, sound and able, year after year, client after client, without interruption. If you have practiced for any length of time, this issue may have already occurred. The question is what to do about it so that you can maintain your practice, your income and your reputation.
One morning this winter, I woke up injured. The distal joint of my fifth finger on my right hand was bent at 90 degrees. I have come to learn it is called a "mallet finger". There was no injury or trauma; I simply woke up with a crooked finger. As I make a portion of my living with my hands, I panicked and rushed to a hand surgeon. He told me this is a common injury and probably occurred while pulling up the sheets in bed. Really? Didn't I just say I was in the best shape of my life? How on earth could this happen? After consoling me, I was put in a splint to be worn 24/7 for eight weeks.
As of this writing, I am still splinted and hoping for a positive outcome. Surgery is the next option and one I don't care to bring into consciousness. And then the reality sets in: I am impaired. I cannot use one of my fingers and moreover, need to keep it out of the way of the other fingers. How will this affect my work? Can I work? I asked the doctor. He merely stated, "Try it and see how you feel". I hated this answer but realized he couldn't say anything else.
I decided to take the first week off to heal and come up with a plan. There are options when you are sick or injured and it is important to consider them, even before you need them. A backup plan is one you hope you will never need to use but is good to have ready, just in case. A backup plan for a massage therapist may include:
It should be noted that there is always a risk if you stop seeing your clients for a period of time (either because you took a break or referred them elsewhere) that they may not come back to you when you are able to work again. I truly believe there is enough work to go around and chances are if the relationship is well-established, it can survive a hiatus until you return. That being said, the risk is real and must be considered.
Once the options are weighed, implement your decision. Remember if the decision does not work out, you can change your mind. For example, if you find that you cannot work with the injury or illness, inform your clients immediately so they can seek care elsewhere. It really is OK to change the plan. Your health is paramount and if you don't take care of yourself, how are you to take care of others when you are well again?
I am back to work again. My finger is splinted and bandaged. I have also chosen to wear finger cots that are changed between clients. For the most part, I keep my finger out of the way of the other nine but it occasionally comes along for the ride. I have adapted; the first few massages were shaky. Most of my clients have no idea that anything is wrong with my finger. I am not trying to hide it and if they "see" it, I tell them. But I don't want it to be the focus. The care is about them and I want to focus on them.
Whatever ails you, be it physical, emotional or spiritual, your work can be impacted. If it is too much of a burden, you may need to consider options. A backup plan is a good thing to have in place. My wish for you is that you never need to call on a backup plan. But in case you do, you'll be glad you planned ahead.
Click here for more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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