resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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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