resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
October, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 10
Survival Tips for Massage Therapists
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Are you concerned about the potential length of your career as a massage therapist? Do aches and pains make you question how long you will physically last as a therapist? Are you having difficulty making ends meet while trying to find or maintain continuous employment? Do finances and other factors prevent you from changing careers? Read on to discover useful tips to help you survive a long and healthy career as a massage therapist.
Professional athletes prepare their physical bodies to avoid injuries. However, many massage therapists perform seventeen or more treatments, every few days, with little to no self-care. Massage therapists must train and maintain their bodies to avoid injuries and be prepared for the physical demands needed in the treatment room, whether during outcalls or performing chair massage.
What fundamentals of health do you discuss with your clients? Do you mention the importance of eating fresh, nutritious foods, drinking water to stay properly hydrated, adequately resting their mind and body, regularly stretching and strengthening, getting regular cardio exercise, the importance of receiving regular massage treatments? Are you "walking your massage therapist talk" and applying all the same concepts of health to yourself?
Is your self-care suffering because of time and or money? Would you like to avoid committing to an expensive gym membership? Does your work schedule or baby-sitting fees inhibit your self-care program? If you answered yes to any of the above, then now is a perfect time to get creative.
When was the last time you had a massage? There are many benefits for a therapist to receive regular treatments. You learn a lot every time you receive a massage. They help you stay connected to your profession, while caring for your body. Familiarize yourself with the different forms of massage, experience a few treatments in each modality to appreciate its unique benefits. Read Preparing for the Game (MT, January 2009).
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Writing your goals and the action steps necessary to attain the desired outcomes is a powerful exercise. You must frequently review your goals, action list and follow through. The quality of the questions you ask yourself ultimately determines the answer your brain delivers, and this process drives your future behavior. For tips on designing empowering questions to help clarify and achieve your goals, read Taking Your Massage Practice to the Next Level (MT, November 2009) and The Power of the List (MT January 2008).
Committing a few minutes daily to achieving your goals accumulates over time into days, weeks and months of focused effort. Concentrate on the activities that provide the greatest return on your investment. Read The 80/20 Rule: Maximizing the Return on your Investment (MT March 2008) and The Power of a Minute (MT June 2007).
What makes your outcall, chair, spa or clinical treatment different from the others in your area? What triggers a client to reschedule, return and refer? Using the five human senses: visual (sight), auditory (hearing), kinesthetic (touch), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) to educate your patients will leave a lasting impression. A well-educated patient is more likely to schedule regular treatments that can generate tens of thousands of dollars of income to your practice overthe course of your career. Read The Initial Treatment: Generating Thousands to Your Practice (MT July 2010) and Building Raving Fans: Consistency Is the Key (MT April 2008).
Stimulate the sense of smell with aromatherapy, while satisfying the sense of taste with fresh water or hot tea. The auditory learner in our patients needs to hear the: who, what, how and why of the treatment. The auditory sense of a person in pain is comforted when they hear confidence in your voice.
The visual part of our patients need to see postural analysis photos to understand how the symptoms of chronic neck pain and muscular tension headaches are being caused from a forward head and rounded shoulder posture. The visual part of us expects to be educated with muscular, skeletal, trigger point and other types of wall or flip charts. Read Practice Building: Getting Inside Your Patient's Heads (MT January 2011).
Spend wisely on quality products, keeping in mind the long-term return on your investment. You can save a lot of money by looking for value packages that bundle multiple items together. Having the professional tools to function is vital to your survival.
Are you looking for work opportunities as a massage therapist? Stay in touch with potential referral sources and employers by going to local massage schools, professional association meetings, conferences, seminars and researching the web.
Are you dressing the part of a professional healthcare provider? Take pride in yourself and your appearance. When you look good, you feel good and you present yourself to the world, potential clients and employers, in a positive way. Always have business cards ready and give them out so people can contact you. A variety of cost effective styles are available online or at local printers. Read Employment Tips for Massage Therapists (MT, June 2011).
Unlike professional athletes that have contracts that pay them even when they are injured or sick, the income of a massage therapist is often directly related to the number of treatments they are performing. Protect your personal investment as a massage therapist with the proper insurance policies.
Do you have health insurance for an unexpected illness or injury that could land you in the hospital, requiring a multitude of medical tests, specialists and surgery? Do you have disability insurance if you are injured and unable to work for months, years or the rest of your life?
Do you have professional liability insurance? This protects you if a client sues claiming you injured them during a treatment session. Therapists can be sued years after the treatment was performed so be sure you understand the differences between an "Occurrence" verses a "Claims Made" liability insurance policy.
Professional organizations serve many purposes, protecting your profession on a national and a state level. There is strength in numbers and it is important to join such organizations and support your professional rights. We must unite and flex our political muscle to uphold, adapt or pass the laws needed to protect our profession. These groups keep you updated on legislative issues and connected to your peers. They offer resources like: online therapist locators, newsletters, chapter meetings, conventions, insurance and the list goes on.
Clarify your plan, take action, assess your progress, be flexible, modify and adapt as necessary. I want you to thrive not survive your career choice of being a massage therapist. I hope this article has stimulated new ideas, motivation and potential.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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