resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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?
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
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.
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.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
It's Not All About You
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
When meeting someone new, the most frequently asked question is "What do you do for a living?" It happens all the time, everywhere you go. Our occupation defines us on so many levels; it has become the all-time introductory question.In the sea of massage therapists, the answers don't vary much. "I am a massage therapist," or "I am a Reiki practitioner," or "I am a licensed body worker." The answers are basically all the same. And truth to tell, most people aren't inspired by those answers.
Often, when I am at a networking group or working with professionals who are introducing themselves, I hear a diatribe of details about them. Ranging from education, certifications, locations or sales numbers, many people feel these details are what can make or break a sale. Nothing is further from the truth. A potential client wants to learn what you can do for them. They want you to be interested in talking about them and their issues, not you and your practice. The acronym WIIFM stands for "What's In It For Me?" and should be the mantra of all introductions.
Imagine you have a toothache and go to the dentist. The dentist welcomes you, sits you in the chair, straps the bib on and starts to sell you of her certifications, licenses and latest procedures. Only after she finishes talking about herself does she address your tooth. Sounds crazy? Yet, that's what most massage therapists do when they meet a potential client.
Don't despair. You were probably trained to introduce yourself this way. You may have been encouraged in school to develop a sound bite or elevator speech for meeting new people. I have personally taught my undergraduate students to prepare a speech for meeting new people. This comes from being new in the field and needing to gain confidence and establish your credibility. Even if you came to massage therapy from another profession, you were green when you graduated and needed to practice introductions by listing your experience, modalities and schooling. However, now that you are a graduate and attempting to build a thriving practice, change it up. Your credibility will be established from the questions you ask, not from your verbal resume.
People love talking about themselves. Even more, people like talking about their problems. As massage therapists, I am sure you know way too much about complete stranger's frozen shoulders, arthritis and low back pain. Call it an occupational hazard; it comes with the territory. But if you meet someone who may be a potential client, try this. Introduce yourself, state what you do and start asking questions. Get them talking. Find out about them and from that, glean how and if massage therapy can help. If you can answer WIIFM, you are on the right track. Save explaining why you're the right massage therapist for the job until you've really identified their specific wants or needs. If they have questions about your background or expertise, they'll ask. Keep the focus on the person you are speaking with and you'll increase the likelihood that if you have the right skills, you'll be the massage therapist they choose.
For many massage therapists, it is hard to meet new people. It is even harder to try to sell yourself and your skills. But if you can forget that is what you are trying to do, have an honest conversation with someone and keep the focus on them, you've got a good chance at gaining a new client. Remember, it's not all about you.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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