resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
Do Doctors Lie to Patients? (Do You Lie to Yours?)
In a previous column ["When Patients Lie (Bribe or Flatter)," Oct. 1, 2015], I discussed the issue of patients lying to doctors, and the many reasons why this can occur.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
RAND Study Recruiting DCs
Dr. Ian Coulter, RAND / Samueli chair for integrative medicine and senior health policy researcher for the RAND Corporation, has issued a call for participation, recruiting doctors of chiropractic for a practice-based research study that will examine "the impact of evidence, outcomes, costs and patient preferences on the choice of treatment for chronic low back pain and neck pain."
Is There a Neurological Basis and Correction for Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration, aka AMD (age-related macular degeneration), is a common eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in people age 50 years and older, according to the National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Diet, Nutrition and the Context of Risk (Part 1)
Food and supplement safety is a topic that often comes up when I speak to chiropractors for CE relicensing, even when it is not the advertised subject.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Taking Another Step Toward a Secure Future
In 2008, the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters (CCGPP) released a literature review on chiropractic care for low back disorders.
The Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 2)
Evidence is growing that the silymarin complex of flavonolignans from milk thistle can impact serum ferritin and iron overload in various clinical circumstances.
Treating Pain: The Hypermobile Coccyx
When I write about the coccyx, I recognize that I am talking about a relatively small subset of patients. When I write for Dynamic Chiropractic, I am trying to reach 60,000 chiropractors.
Lab Rats (Roaming the Streets)
The title of this article is an accurate description of American consumers (regardless of age) in the modern era.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
The MRI: What to Do With the Results
As I wrote in my previous article on this topic, it is my goal for you, the doctor, to be an expert in interpreting MRI images yourself; and to be able to independently make decisions based upon a combination of clinical presentations and findings, followed by the MRI images.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
Enhancing Performance in Cross-Fit Athletes
Cross-fitness centers are expanding in number and increasing in popularity. To remain relevant to this growing portion of society, practitioners need to learn about the exercises and injuries common to this group.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
Blogging 101 for Massage Therapists
By Michael Reynolds, CMT
If you ask any massage therapist what his or her most challenging aspect of running a massage practice is, chances are "marketing" would be at the top of the list. Marketing can be a daunting realm and it is sometimes difficult to understand how to effectively market a massage practice in the age of online communications and social media.
Social media includes networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. It also includes content marketing tools like blogging. Of all the tools that can help market your massage business, blogging is one of the most powerful.
So what is a blog? In simple terms, a blog is sort of like a column in a newspaper. It is a space online that is reserved for articles that you ideally post on a consistent schedule. There is more than one type of blog. Some people maintain personal blogs that discuss things like daily activities, cooking, and other hobbies. Another type of blog is the business blog, which is used to market and promote a business.
Massage therapists are uniquely positioned to use business blogging to promote their practices. The idea behind a business blog is that it contains valuable educational content that is relevant and helpful to the target audience of the business. While a personal blog might talk about general daily updates in a person's life, a business blog tends to provide useful tips and expert guidance.
So how does this help you market your massage practice? The concept of content marketing is explained by three ideas: relevance, visibility, and authority.
Relevance refers to how well-aligned your blog is with respect to your target market. Let's say you practice sports massage and your target market consists of runners. If you consistently post blogs that help runners perform better, then your content will be highly relevant to them. Stretching techniques, recovery tips, and even reviews on running products can also be relevant information that would interest runners.
Once you have the attention of some runners, what comes next? Visibility occurs when your blog is shared with other people. This sharing occurs when your content is valuable enough that people want to tell other people about it. Sometimes they will share it on Facebook, Twitter, or other networks, or they might simply email it to friends. For this reason, you'll want to make sure that your blog has sharing buttons on it that make it easy for people to post it to social networks. If they really like your content, they may even subscribe to it and get your blogs delivered via email. Blogging can also help you get discovered more easily on search engines, like Google. Though the specifics of this are beyond the scope of this article, many massage therapists enjoy a boost in Google rankings as a result of dedicated and consistent blogging.
Authority is the final piece of the equation and it is a powerful component of content marketing. When your target market perceives you as having authority, they are likely to buy from you and recommend you to others. Who do runners want to get a massage from? Most likely it is from the massage therapist who clearly understands the needs of a runner.
As you can see, blogging for relevance, visibility, and authority can position you as an expert which leads to referrals and repeat business.
There are many ways to set up a blog, but one of the easiest is to use a service called WordPress. Located at www.wordpress.com, this service allows you to create a free blog and start publishing right away. If you have a website for your massage practice, talk to your website services company and ask them about installing a professional blog on your website. If possible, it's much better to have your blog fully integrated into your website from both a branding and a search perspective.
In general, publishing a new blog once a week is a reasonable schedule to follow. If that level of frequency is a challenge, try every two weeks instead. Both Google and your readers will reward you with increased attention and trust if you are consistent and frequent with your publishing.
If writing is difficult for you, one thing that may help is to keep a notepad in your massage room and start writing down all the questions that your clients ask you. Each question has the potential to become a blog topic. For example:
These are all common questions that you might be asked in a massage session and would make great titles for blogs. Take advantage of your position as a trusted health and wellness practitioner and expand on those questions by writing blogs about these topics.
One of the most important things to remember when writing blogs is not to promote your business. This may seem counter-intuitive but it's an important idea in content marketing. Content that looks like a sales pitch will not get shared and will not gain subscribers. Content that teaches and educates will quickly gain a following.
Blogging is not easy and it can be time-consuming. Additionally, building a following does not happen overnight. It can take months of steady, consistent blogging to really gain momentum; but once you do, it can start to generate more leads for your massage practice than you may have thought possible.
Naturally, your blog should make it easy for your readers to contact you or book a massage, so be sure to include your phone number, email, and a link to your online scheduling system.
As a final piece of advice, I recommend blocking out time in your schedule at the same time every week to write your weekly blog. This will ensure that it becomes part of your routine.
In an hour a week, you can start building a powerful database of articles that can increase your authority as a health and wellness provider, help you reach new prospective clients, and improve your search engine visibility. If this sounds appealing to you, blogging may be worth a look as part of your marketing strategy.
Michael Reynolds is president/CEO of SpinWeb, a professional website design, development and online marketing firm. He has worked in marketing and technology since 1996 and serves on a number of non-profit and networking organization boards. Michael regularly publishes articles, blogs, and e-books that teach his readers how to do business and communicate using digital tools. He also speaks at industry events around the country, including the Web 2.0 Expo, CMS Expo and Blog Indiana. Michael is a certified massage therapist in Indiana and has worked professionally in spas and clinics, as well as served on state and national AMTA committees and boards. He may be contacted via his speaking site at www.michaelreynolds.com or via SpinWeb's website at www.spinweb.net.
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