resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
February, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 02
A Successful Man Working in a Woman's World
By Terry Russell
It's a woman's world - verbiage heard through the ages. History resonates with women's issues like voting rights to equal pay. Media keeps women in the forefront with working women frying the bacon to anchoring world news. It is no wonder the mindset of strong women has filtered into the massage industry.
I remember sitting in massage school class being so excited to start my new career later in life. Massage therapy was going to be my new profession. It had become my new passion. I am so thankful that my school back in North Carolina did not bring up the fact I was not a woman. A fact I never really gave any thought to except to fill out a questionnaire or go to the rest room.
Graduation came, national certification passed, state license granted. Nothing was going to stop me now, or was it? My first real massage job was at a high end spa. Awesome, I thought. I would be working on educated, successful people who realized the importance of touch. Period. End of discussion. Not a specific gender touch, but just touch in its most sincere and healing intentions.
It was during orientation that it was brought to my attention that since I am male, I was automatically at a disadvantage. What? I have trained and embraced neuromuscular massage. I was put here to ease pain and educate those in chronic pain. While not totally in error, I was clearly far from the truth of my reason for existence. My client education was to be in the form of explaining to the public that a guy's touch has all of the same benefits that a woman's touch will have.
I remember vividly one night the spa was about to close and a client had just flown in. He was in desperate need of bodywork to prepare him for a seminar he was presenting the next day. He was a doctor so I thought there would be no problem with me being male. After all, I was the only one that agreed to work over. He met me with great resistance, demanding a female therapist. When he learned the next female appointment was the next morning, he opted to keep his appointment with me. By the end of the massage, he not only thanked me but apologized for his behavior earlier. He became a regular client of mine and would only schedule when I was available.
I continued to be one of the most booked therapists in the spa. Intent is everything, even if it is making the world aware that gender is not relative in touch. I firmly believe we are only limited by ourselves. If you see yourself less than anything other than being an awesome therapist, both your current clients and your potential clients will see you as less as well.
I went on to create a successful private practice by marketing my strong points and ignoring my manhood. Often, I was faced with questions that before I entered this field I would have thought of as trite. Early in my career, I learned most of these potential clients only wanted me to be real with them. They were going to be vulnerable on a massage table and needed reassurance the person in the room understood their concerns. It really was that simple.
When greeting new clients for the first time, I would take the time to explain how their session would work. I would ask them where they would like additional time spent. I would explain where and why I would work certain areas. The key I found was that I always finished my explanations by asking them point blank – do you have any questions or concerns? If they were apprehensive, I just opened the door for dialogue so they would not have to start an awkward conversation.
Many times, I was met with "well, this is the first time I have had a man work on me." Perfect. This was my cue to take the conversation from a zen-like tone to a more medical office tone. To steer the conversation into more of what I hope to offer the session and less about gender. I wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere so that by the time they were on the table, they were a little more at ease and by the need of the session they were glad they opted for a male therapist.
As my career has shifted and I have been in the multi-line distributor arena for several years, I have had to opportunity to meet many therapists, students and educators in the massage industry. I am amazed at how we, as an industry, can set limitations on our potential male therapists. I have had many conversations with male students at trade shows who show concern for their future because they heard in class that it's hard for guys to make it in the industry. Really? Don't you think it's hard on all therapists when starting out? We all had to sharpen our skills, build our tool box from scratch and build a clientele based on skill and talent. Nowhere in the last sentence can you insert the word male to make it harder. Face it, hard is hard. No matter where you live, what gender you are or the industry you are entering it's tough to start a new career. Tough is hard but not impossible or impractical. What is impractical is telling a very talented therapist, "you will have it harder because you're a guy."
This is for the guys. As you plan your future, don't limit yourself by thinking this is strictly a woman's world. You're strong. You're in an industry where skills and knowledge will set you apart. Always strive to add to your tool box. Look for continuing education that will improve your practice and not just quick and easy. You can make it guys, even when someone thinks this is a woman's world. Just a quick note to the massage educators - empower your male therapists instead of discouraging them. The massage industry is no longer a woman's world. A male therapist can make it whether looking to enter into the areas of spa, wellness, rehabilitation or medical. Good luck guys – you are in an awesome industry.
Terry Russell has been involved in the massage community since 1999. His previous career includes being a full time therapist at Spa Palazzo in the Boca Raton Resort & Club, as well as owning a successful private practice. As the Director of Equipment Development at Universal Companies, his efforts are now focused on bringing the massage and spa industry the best of equipment with a focus on providing outstanding customer service. For more information, visit www.universalcompanies.com.
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