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A Question of Ethics
Recently, after I had finished teaching a class on ethics, I  read a blog post on the AAAOM
website regarding "gainful employment." The published information made me reflect on what I had just discussed with the students — the acupuncturists' ethical responsibility to the patient, the profession and the public.

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Massage Today
March, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 03

WIBB Exclusive: Are You An Order Taker?

By Irene Diamond, RT

If you want more clients, more appointments, the money and all the rest that goes along with a successful practice, then I encourage you to become familiar with a concept I feel is so important that I teach it in ALL my business and clinical seminars and programs.

The concept is called "The Advisor vs. The Order Taker." Now, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that most of you are Order Takers. It makes sense that you are an Order Taker, and it's not a bad thing, it's just not effective in running a business.

Scenario Samples

Client: "Can you spend most of the session on my back and shoulders and leave 5 minutes for my feet?" (And the therapist does it.)

Client: "I'm so tired, I know we were gonna do some exercises today, but can I just have a massage instead?" (And the therapist does it.)

Client: "That was great, thanks, I'll call you to re-book in about a month or so." (And the therapist accepts it.)

wibb - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark I understand why therapists are Order Takers and do the type of things I illustrated above, it makes sense. Most of us became a therapist because we want to help people, and many of us are very gentle by nature, so sometimes when I suggest people take control of their business and adopt more of an Advisor role, it doesn't feel natural. Also, for some therapists, it is also because they are not confident in their ability to BE an Advisor in regards to clinical results, protocols and handling client expectations. Is that you?

Another reason most therapists are Order Takers is because in massage school, most of us were taught to provide a massage, but not taught how to create therapy plans or taught about the business of running a successful therapy business.

I could spend hours on just this concept but today, I'm going to give you a simple place to start so you can begin to take on the Advisor role." When you are an advisor to your clients, they appreciate your advice. Your clients will begin to see you as a higher-level service provider and it will certainly help you separate yourself from all the other "regular therapists" in your area.

Build Trust

Let's look at the same three scenarios, but I will change them so you can see what an Advisor Therapist would do instead.

Client: "Can you spend most of the session on my back and shoulders and leave 5 minutes for my feet?" (And the therapist responds, "I can understand you want me to work on your feet however, I know your original complaint was the knots in your back, so my therapy plan for today was to address that for you. We can always add on 15 minutes of extra time or schedule another session for your feet.")

Client: "I'm so tired, I know we were gonna do some exercises today, but can I just have a massage instead? " (And the therapist responds, "That's correct! We scheduled that I was going to teach you some stretches and strengthening exercise today. If we don't do that today, it will delay your progress, so I suggest we stay on the plan.")

Client: "That was great, thanks, I'll call you to re-book in about a month or so." (And the therapist responds, "Sure, I'll wait to hear from you, but since you were saying that knot between your shoulder blades keeps coming back. I think it would be best for you to see me for three more sessions within the next 10 days so we can finally try our best to stop it from being a chronic problem for you. Does that sound good? Great, let's schedule you now in my calendar so you get the best times for you!)

Like I mentioned, responding like this is all part of being the Advisor for your client. Remember, they are not an expert in therapy, You are! They want (and need) your advice on what is best for them. (Within your scope of practice). When you take this Advisor role approach, you will not only see happier client results BUT your practice will begin to be much more consistently filled!

Now, I'll be the first to say, this approach will NOT be for everyone. It only works if you are absolutely clear that you CAN be an advisor. If you are still a little wishy-washy, just continue to do what you've been doing until you feel more confident in your skills and knowledge. But I am sure, if you look closely at the therapists who are crushing it in their practices – you'll see they are Advisors to their clients.

Editor's Note: To read more from our expert WIBB bloggers, visit

Irene Diamond, RT, is the founder of the rehabilitation technique, Active Myofascial Therapy ~ The Diamond Method and creator of Successful Massage, the world-wide online resource for massage therapists. Irene is honored to be inducted into the Massage World Hall of Fame in 2013 for recognition of and www.SuccessfulMassageTherapist. Irene's next Active Myofascial Therapy seminar will be held August 2012 and therapists can register at You can also find tips from Irene by visiting the Women In Business Blog at


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