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5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
Desexualizing the Touch Experience, Part II
By Cherie Sohnen-Moe
In the March 2011 issue of Massage Today, I wrote about the importance of desexualizing the touch experience and the proactive measures to help prevent clients from crossing your boundaries.I focused on the steps you can take to project a non-sexual image in your marketing materials (business name, email address, brochures, business cards, website) and telephone conversations (creating scripts and handling inappropriate calls). In this follow up, I would like to explore ways to create a safe space and desexualize the massage experience with clients.
Your appearance is an outward representation of your professional standards. Make sure your image projects competence and doesn't sexualize you. Dress appropriately for the working environment, maintain good hygiene, keep jewelry to a minimum, don't wear heavy perfume or cologne, and avoid provocative or revealing attire. Some examples of inappropriate clothing are: tank tops (especially for women); short shorts; shirts that show cleavage; shirts that expose the midriff; shirts that have questionable statements or provocative images; tight pants. Remember, your attire isn't meant to be a distraction or a loud statement.
Office space varies from a room in a professional complex, a free-standing building, a clinic, a spa, to a home office and mobile on-site locations. Many practitioners work in several types of office spaces.
Practitioners often choose an office location based on what's close to where they live or where they can find a good deal. From a marketing perspective, choose a location that's convenient to the majority of your target markets. Most importantly, choose a location where you and your clients feel safe. Check out the location at different times of the day. This is particularly crucial if you plan on being open in the evenings or on weekends. For instance, let's say you are considering renting space in a large complex. During the days there is a constant flow of people in and out of the building. This feels really good to you. You drive by at night and you only see one light shining in a window and a single car in the parking lot. That sight most likely doesn't elicit feelings of safety or comfort.
Establish a professional space. Sight, sound, smell, touch and imagination all have the potential to arouse. Often times practitioners attempt to set up a very relaxing space with dim lights, candles and soft music. These can be wonderful, but they can also send confusing messages — particularly to new clients or people who are in a vulnerable state in terms of their romantic relationships. Ideally, start with the room fairly well-lit and ask clients if they want the light dimmed. You can also offer them an eye pillow. Choose music that is soothing, without being sensual or romantic. You can never know what scent might trigger a sexual response in clients, but in general, avoid heady aromatherapy scents such as rose, musk and patchouli. In general, it's wise to be judicious with scents, as many people have allergies and sensitivities to fragrances.
Create a comfortable, yet professional treatment room. Use high-quality equipment and supplies. Keep extra linens handy for additional draping needs. Consider hanging anatomical charts and other posters that are health related. Limit your displays of personal photos and keepsakes.
When doing outcalls, set up a space that feels like an office. I recommend you have a hard case on rollers that holds your supplies. When you set up the table, also arrange your supplies on top of the case. This helps to make the space look a bit more office-like. Avoid setting up your treatment table in a bedroom unless you are working with an injured or ill client.
General Safety Precautions
If you feel threatened, leave the room and call the appropriate authorities. If you are in a spa or clinic, go directly to the front desk. If you are in a private office, leave the building. If you are doing an outcall session, leave the premises — you can return later, accompanied by someone, for your equipment and supplies. (See the September 2010 Issue of Massage Today, "When a Client Crosses the Line," for detailed information on this safety precautions.)
The manner in which practitioners interact with clients holds many potential cues. Depending on the actual type of hands-on treatment, the specific factors that could allude to sex include: degrees of nudity; the manner of draping; the positioning of the client; the type of touch; and lubricants such as oils and creams.
Many factors effect how a client reacts. Set the tone for professionalism from the outset. Greet clients with a smile and a handshake. Use appropriate language. Make sure that your words can't be easily misconstrued as suggestive. Choose words carefully when describing a client's body and use proper terminology for anatomical structures. Also, be conscious of body language: sometimes just a smile can make a client feel aroused or even scared. Immediately take control of the situation if a client attempts to sexualize a session verbally or physically (see September 2010 Issue for tips); don't let it escalate.
Do thorough pre-treatment interviews on first visits. Discover clients' long-term goals, as well goals for the current session. Work together to determine the course of treatment. Next, explain what is going to be done and why. Obtain written informed consent in the first session and additional consent when changing a treatment plan or working on or near sensitive areas. Keep accurate records and let clients see that you document your sessions. Give explicit instructions regarding the articles of clothing to be removed and the draping procedures. Allow privacy for disrobing.
Express confidence in your work. A hesitant touch could be easily misinterpreted. Apply lubricants with a firm touch and avoid dribbling them. Also, be careful about body contact during sessions. Avoid stray touching or movements. Position yourself in a manner so that only your extremities come in contact with clients' bodies.
Massage therapists are responsible for creating and maintaining a safe environment for clients and themselves. This is done by proactively working to ensure that the touch experience is not sexualized. While the tips in this article can't guarantee that a client won't get sexually aroused or act inappropriately, they set a foundation for a professional, safe, desexualized environment.
Click here for previous articles by Cherie Sohnen-Moe.
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