resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
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.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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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