resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
September, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 09
Oh, The Places You Will Go
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Massage therapists are notorious for not taking their own advice. Most of the therapists I know tell me they are too busy or can't afford to get regular massage. When asked, "When was your last massage?" I am often answered with a rolling of the eyes and the statement, "Way too long ago." Why is that? Schools train students that consistent massage has lasting benefits, and on an intuitive level we know it to be true.We advocate for our clients to schedule weekly, bi-monthly or monthly at the least, for their own benefit (and for the benefit of our pockets) yet most therapists don't walk the walk. In fact, I know therapists who lie to their clients so they don't have to admit they don't care for themselves the way they recommend their clients do. It's nothing short of madness.
Since the two greatest objections to receiving consistent massage are time and money, you must overcome these obstacles on a personal level if you expect your clients to do the same. How can you ask your clients to do something you are not willing to do? And if you've read any of my other articles or blog posts, you will recall that these objections of time and money are a CHOICE. After all, don't most people have the time and money they need for the things they value most? If your clients are not willing to spend time and money on massage, you haven't convinced them of the value. Moreover, you are not convinced in the value of your services and your profession if you don't receive regular bodywork yourself.
Let's drop the money argument right away. There is no reason for you blame finances on your lapse in getting regular massage care. Barter it. You have a valuable service and most therapists would be thrilled to set up a trade. Remember, as per Internal Revenue Service regulations, bartering is considered taxable income but that's a topic for another article. Look up www.irs.gov and type "barter" in the search bar for more information. Personally, I prefer to pay for services instead of bartering. The boundaries are cleaner as I usually don't work on the therapists I see for care. I also don't have room in my schedule for additional clients so fitting in a barter appointment would prove more stressful than paying out of pocket. Each situation is different, but with the option at your disposal, the money barrier is swiftly removed.
Time is a factor that you control. Sure we could all use more time. There isn't a person I know who isn't "way too busy" and desperate to find more hours in the day. Make caring for yourself a priority or sooner or later, you'll be useless to everyone. Many therapists start carrying a grudge after years of caring for clients and not caring for themselves in similar ways. These grudges can show up in your hands. Don't have time for a full hour massage? Get a chair massage or schedule a half an hour. You know the drill; find a way to fit it in. Enough said.
When asked how often I get massages, I can honestly look in someone's eyes and say, "every two weeks." I have done that for the 20 years I have been practicing with very few exceptions. Once a month I go to my regular therapist. She is consistent, works my injuries and knows my body very well. I rarely pay attention to what she is doing and often drift off to my happy place. Once a month, I go to someone I have never been to before and will probably never go back to. Even if I like the person, this experience is more research for me. Learning about the industry, picking up new techniques, I pay very close attention to every detail of the experience from the initial phone call to the exit interview. In fact, I often don't confess my profession so I can be incognito. For some reason, when it is discovered that I am a massage therapist and educator, the conversation and the treatment changes.
Moreover, I like to get massages from other places in the country and the world. Whenever I travel, I take advantage of seeing a therapist that trained elsewhere. Technique and overall approach varies dramatically based on geography and I find the experience fascinating. Because I travel so much, I often find myself in airports with time to kill. This provides an excellent opportunity for a massage. Just last week, I was blown away in Atlanta by a woman who promised to make my feet "lighter than air" and get me to my flight on time. Her attention to my schedule meant I didn't have to look at my watch or be concerned about my departure. This was all part of the experience and as a result, she received a handsome tip. As promised, I floated to my gate after the treatment.
You may not travel as much as I do, but I guarantee you'll find yourself out of town at some point. Don't miss the chance to experience someone else's work. Don't miss the chance to take care of yourself. It is sure to be a positive experience for your body and your mind. And to quote one of my favorite doctors, "Oh the places you'll go."
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.