resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
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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