resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 05
The Five Fundamentals for Building Your Business
By Cary Bayer
As a business coach for massage therapists, every day I see so many people in pain — suffering in relationships, in unconscious communication and in desperate financial situations. As LMTs, you see pain, too.You and I face similar challenges: namely, how do you get people to recognize they deserve relief from pain? The answer: knowledge and techniques to help break through to better health In your case; and better relationships, more money, and greater happiness in mine. I've seen similar patterns in the more than 260 massage therapists I've coached so I'll draw on them to offer you motivation now and practical tools for the future. To invoke the Chinese proverb, "I'll offer you fish for food for the day, and knowledge of how to fish to feed yourself for a lifetime."
To become successful and happy, you need more than massage techniques alone. Being alive means that you're on an intriguing journey to self-knowledge, peace and prosperity. So, what do you know about journeys? "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step," said Lao-Tzu, the great Taoist master. Yogis offer wisdom, too. "You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going ‘cause you might not get there." That yogi was named Berra. Continue reading to learn the five "S's" for creating a successful massage business. These are: self-knowledge, Strategy, serenity, sales effectiveness and success thinking.
The 1st S: Knowledge of Self
You need to know what you want from business and who you truly are. Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living." He might have added, "The unexamined massage business is not worth practicing." Self-employed people are often so busy trying to make ends meet, that they overlook taking time to shape their businesses. So ask yourself some vital questions:
Find these answers right away to progress with a direction that you could move in with velocity.
The 2nd S: Strategy
Managers hustle to get things done to meet various deadlines. Leaders, on the other hand, create visions to evolve the business into and a strategy for the manager to accomplish them. Strategies are necessary for people or organizations intent on growth; they incorporate short-, mid- and long-term goals. When you've got a plan, you know where you're going and can guide your actions effectively.
The 3rd S: Serenity
People want to work with you because of your hands and your spirit. Many clients see you as a healer who helps them manage stress. Clients don't want stressed-out massage therapists. Therapists with good hands and good vibes succeed. So much success depends on our serenity. As the great French philosopher Blaise Pascal said, "all of man's troubles stem from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone." I could give you the experience of profound serenity, but I'd need to put on my hat as a teacher of Higher Self Healing Meditation, and it takes several hours to do that, and I can't do it by remote. In one minute, however, I can give you a small dose of serenity.
Close your eyes now, and take a deep breath. Release all your cares and breathe like this for a minute. Do you feel silence and peace? Can you see what this one-minute breather can do if you center this way before each massage? This is the value of serenity.
The 4th S: Sales
Many therapists dread selling their services. Mostly it's because they think they're selling themselves, and if nobody buys, they're not liked. A person can't be sold in America. You can rent your services by the hour on your table. Once you truly get the distinction between selling yourself and renting your services, anxiety and the sense of rejection can completely disappear. Do you remember when you were in kindergarten, and you played show and tell? You brought something to school that you loved and shared it with the other kids. Perhaps a favorite doll, baseball glove or teddy bear, and you inspired the others. Unfortunately, they had no way of getting it, because there was only one of them and it belonged to you. Show and tell is a bit of a selfish tease because your enthusiasm interests people in having something that they can't have.
Therapists can play a similar game today, in which they just as enthusiastically describe whatever it is that they love. Only this time, it's spelled slightly differently. It's called show and sell. It's similar to show and tell, except that you don't have a stuffed animal to show and pass around the room. But you do have massage techniques that you can talk about. In fact, in half a minute you can even demonstrate the benefit of such techniques. The good news about your work is that it doesn't take more than a few seconds for someone to feel the benefits of it.
So, if somebody asks what you do, show and tell them. Their neck and back are very interested in what you can do. You have no idea how people value your work. The famous actress Hedy Lamarr once said, "I don't fear death because I don't fear anything I don't understand. When I start to think about it, I order a massage and it goes away." Virtually every adult you see every day, wants what you offer. Everyone wants less pain. When someone is interested in having less pain, ask them, "Would you like to set up a session to relieve this pain?" This question sets show and tell apart from show and sell, because now the person can have the great thing that you're enthusiastic about. You're not five-years-old anymore and neither is this person — you're probably each closer to forty five than to five. They have been holding tensions in their body for longer than five years. It's innocent to ask if they would like to have less tension. It's what we call selling. It needn't be more complicated than that.
Learn these "S's" because an increasing number of people will be coming to you for massages. According to AMTA research, through 2012, massage therapists are likely to see a 20-35 percent rise in job opportunities. Some 47 million Americans got massages between August 2004 and July 2005, with 34 percent of adults receiving a massage in the previous five years. With only 17 percent of men in that previous year having been massaged, more than 8 of 10 men haven't experienced massage in 365 days. That's a huge opportunity for them and you. Two of three adults haven't been massaged. Virtually everyone wants what you offer. Ask clients to share their benefits with friends. Seventy three percent of people polled who get massage would recommend it to others. Talk to health professionals, too. Seventy percent of therapists receive two referrals monthly from healthcare pros. Talk to these medical doctors and chiropractors.
The 5th S: Success Thinking
Success is a function of our attitude. As positive thinking guru Norman Vincent Peale said, "change your thoughts and you change your world." You ate 20,000 meals at your parents' dining room table while you were growing up under their roof. And money was a major topic of conversation at that table. You learned many limited ideas there, as if they were Reality with a capital "R." They weren't. They were just your parents' opinions with a lower case "o." Here are some common ones:
There are three other big opinions. The first is so universal that I've seen it in students from all over the world:
So I ask, who's left? Known enemies? That's why, at different points in your career, you've unconsciously turned bosses, clients or customers into known enemies. But don't despair. I have a technique to transform limiting beliefs. First, I want to show you how to receive, because parental training about receiving money has confused the act of receiving itself. It's important, as therapists — masters all at giving — that you learn how to receive. You voluntarily massage politicians, marathoners and Olympians. Now it's time to master receiving.
If it's difficult receiving appreciation, it's difficult receiving money. Your net worth is tied to your self-worth. Enhance the latter and you can increase the former. To prosper, it's essential that you master receiving money. This technique starts by acknowledging someone for a minute. t can look something like the following:
And so on. After a minute, have them acknowledge you. This can look something along the lines of the following:
If they acknowledges your dress, please don't say, "This old thing." Or, "got it at Marshalls for 60% off." You do this every day. You'll be amazed at how powerful this technique is for overcoming this kind of deflecting of appreciation. Two minutes daily will increase your self-esteem and teach you how to receive appreciation. You may want peace of mind more than a piece of Berkshire Hathaway stock, but you can have both. You're more effective when not worrying about how to pay this month's mortgage. The Italians say, "the money you refuse will never do you any good." A Yiddish proverb goes, "with money in your pocket, you are handsome, you are wise, and you sing well, too."
Confidence and competence creates success. I can't teach you competence with massage techniques but I can teach you confidence. When confidence is overwhelming, others want to be around you, they want what you have, and they will pay you for it. Babies emanate positive energy. That's one reason you love their presence. Material success — in the Olympics, business or massage — depends on your inner success. I've seen many talented massage therapists quit doing body work because they couldn't support themselves. That's a real loss for the world and for themselves. I don't want that to happen to you.
To master the inner life, transform negative thinking in your conscious and subconscious minds. It's essential to believe in yourself and overcome fears of failure. Athletes succeed on playing fields because they master the mental field. This technique creates powerful transformation. Think the thought: "I can prosper and succeed as a massage therapist." Then record the first negative thought that disagrees with it. Let's say that it's, "Massage therapists don't make much money." We're not focusing on the negative here, we're releasing it. These thoughts live in the subconscious part of the mind and help attract that corresponding reality to you, as the Law of Attraction points out.
"A" invokes a reality that you desire to be your reality. "B" releases an obstacle that prevents the thought from becoming reality. The next step transforms the limited obstacle with a new affirmation geared specifically to present a larger reality to the smaller part of your mind that entertained the limited thought in the first place. Here's a good one, "I'm so magnetic to clients that my schedule is always full." It's difficult to prosper as a massage therapist when you don't think that you can, don't deserve to, aren't smart enough to or aren't talented or experienced enough to. Why should people flock to you if you don't think they should? When you're clear that you deserve to prosper, think that you can, and are smart, talented and skilled enough to, your chances rise significantly.
I call this ABC affirmation technique, the ABCs of Transformation because, in three steps, it introduces success, eliminates failure in your thinking, and re-introduces success to parts of the mind that entertained failure. We just did one repetition; do a few more for 10 minutes daily. It's an inner prosperity aerobics workout.
Click here for more information about Cary Bayer.
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