resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
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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