Whew, that title is a mouthfull isn't it?
Been doing A LOT of reading during the Covid pandemic and I have come to some conclusions about self-help and who we really are. Lots more than just one blog post but to start I want to address those things that I always talk about in my Personal Development classes that I have taught for years and add some of the newer things that I have learned this past year.
First of all let me give you the authors that I have read up to this moment in time. I have been a follower of Mike Dooley, Tony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer, as well as others including my research into Hawaiian spiritualism. Lately I have been reading Eckhart Tolle and Debbie Ford as well as having some readings done and research into the whole Human Design phenomena.
I love quotes so here are the quotes that led to this blog post:
Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny. attributed to Gandhi
It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them. attributed to B. Franklin
I have taught for years that what we think about is what we become and that our habits become us as well as the fact that our beliefs shade how we look at the world. Our beliefs begin the cycle as in the quote above, but where do our beliefs come from?
Many, if not all, of our beliefs are learned. We learn from our parents, our teachers, our peers, the books we read and our experiences in life. But how many of our beliefs are actual truths. We can look at history to see how beliefs have played out over time when an entire group of people is led to believe something that is not true in fact!
AND, our beliefs about certain things - life, love, money, people, success - are what create the habits that we continue to use every day. If you think that money is the root of all evil (not the actual Biblical quote by the way) then maybe you will have a hard time charging the true price for a service you offer in your business or think that having financial success is a bad thing. If that is true then you may be self-sabatoging your own goals for your business or employment opportunities.
So, on to EGO! Most people think of ego as the definition of I, the who I am used in psychoanalysis. Or, someone with a big ego who has a large image of their self-importance. Or, a persons self-image or self importance as in - their ego was wounded by that remark. In Philosophy the ego comprises that whole person meaning their physical body and their soul. And in Ethnic studies, ethnology, the ego is a generalisation or central reference of a group of people, organizational structure or their kinship.
Ego comes from our beliefs and thoughts about who we are and it is the ego part of our brain that creates our words and actions and ultimately our habits and values. Our ego is what is "in our head" telling us how we should act in a given situation and then creates that definition of who we are - good, bad or indifferent. If we "think" we know more than another person or group of people we then act in a different way from if we are just learning something for the first time in a classroom situation. Of course those people who think they already know what a teacher is teaching will act in aa different way in the classroom situation.
The ego that puts thought in our head is sometimes the "voice" that needs to be turned off so that we can really appreciate life and move in the direction of our goals. Many of my goals have been stifled because of that voice in my head that has said, "You are not good enough" or "You don't know enough" or "no one will want to learn anything from you".
Take some time after reading this and review how those thoughts may have played on in your life AND where those thoughts actually came from to begin with.
Quite the buzz word lately.
Let me start by saying that I have been studying the Hawaiian method of reconciliation called Ho'oponopono for the last 15 years. Gone through lots of books and many different thoughts on the process including information from both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian writers and let me say that it is never quit that easy. All manner of reconciliation with yourself, others, the past, whatever, takes some work.
Don't get me wrong, those 4 simple sentences can make a difference if you continue with them every day and direct them over and over to the situation or person that you want to reconcile with, but that also is a problem. As long as you continue to dwell on that which you are trying to reconcile with the longer it will continue to be with you. At some point you need to let go of the issue and replace it with what you really want to be in that same place in your life.
Let me talk first about the word Ho'oponopono. The Hawaiian language is complex in it's word inflection (how the word is said) and in the use of words made up of other words (and then how they are used). I am no authority but again the Hawaiian words that I use specifically I have researched to understand their meaning. So let's look at ho'oponopono. In Hawaiian the prefix ho'o is used as a causative action to the word that follows it. What that means is that a Hawaiian word that is preceeded by ho'o means that it now is the action of or to bring about or cause the word it preceeds. The word pono means goodness, correct or proper procedure, well-being, right, just, fair, etc. etc. and when a word is doubled it is for emphasis. Ponopono is defined as neat, in order, arranged. Ho'oponopono is then defined as to correct, revise, edit, put to right mental cleansing, as by family discussions. (And yes, I have a Hawaiian dictionary!)
Hawaiian Ho'oponopono is an ancient and traditional Hawaiian forgiveness and reconciliation process which was modified in 1976 by Morrnah Simeona into a 12-step program. Traditionally ho'oponopono was used to resolve problems within the family (ohana) group. This could have been a traditional family or a village family. The traditional process would have involved prayers, fasting, cleansing as well as the talking between the parties and then ending possibly with feasting when all was reconciled. Morrnah wanted to make this into something that could be used in the modern world. She started with a conscious connection to self (and possibly the issue that needs reconciliation) with a prayer (pule) and then a connection to a divine (aumakua) and then breathing techniques to release and replace negative thoughts and emotions about the issue. She would have the person make a list of the issues that needed to be reconciled which could then be released, cleansed and transmuted (let go). The entire process ends with a closing prayer and breath (HA).
Quite a bit more than the 4 sentences we have been taught. Don't get me wrong if the 4 sentences are working for you then go ahead, but it you need more then maybe we need to go back to some of the traditional methods. But for the New Age, cultural appropriation method I will say:
Please Forgive Me
I Love You
I taught Ho'oponopono that way for years but recently I have started teaching it based on my most recent Lomi Lomi instructor, Dr. Maka'ala Yates, and his 4 steps to Ho'oponopono. Do these with Action, clarity and determination. And I still suggest making a list of those things that you want to disconnect from and reconcile with. Disconnecting from negative energy is essential for you to move on or initiate change.
Step 1: Sever ('oki) the unwanted energetic cord between you and the person, place or thing. Some kahunas (master) or kumus (teacher) use and actual physical cord when they do this in ceremony.
Step 2: Transmute (loli'ana) or surround that which you are disconnecting with into clear white light.
Step 3: Recycle (ho'ohana hou) this transmuted energy into the ethers or Universe around you. In other words, let it go!
Step 4: Replace (kuapo) the empty energy receptor, which is created when the cord is cut, with the feeling of joy or positive outcome or energy you would like to have there. Your thoughts become things so come up with a positive feeling to replace that which you had been attached to in the past. E malana pono (Take good care).
These 4 steps come directly from Maka'ala's book Na'auao Ola Hawaii Hawaiian Principles and Practices of Being Well.
I will be presenting a Ho'oponopono class starting in 2021!
Annoucements! Annoucements! Annoucements!Changes are coming!
"What you learn, teach..."
I'm paraphasing Maya Angelou but you get my meaning.
I have spent over 25 years learning massage and energy work. In fact, I am still learning new things about the Lomi Lomi work that I love as I just finished a class with Maka'ala Yates, DC, developer of Mana Lomi. I have studied Chakras and Reiki for years and also the Law of Attraction and the works of Napoleon Hill, Wayne Dyer, Mike Dooley and others. Over the last 30 years I have attended workshops, added another degree and become both a Certified Professional Life Coach and an Infinite Possibilites trainer as well as written a self-published book about Napleon Hill's Law of Success called Success, Attraction and Other Secrets.
(shameless plug - https://tinyurl.com/y2oyj6pr )
I am more than ready to share what I have learned.
If 2020 has taught me anything it is that I have gifts to share outside of just massage and bodywork. As I have slowly brought my clients back into the office I am starting each session with energy work. My adaptation of chakra balancing and reiki. I have also been able to intuit more and more since taking a class with William Stillman, which adds to my work. It is time to make a change.
My class schedule for Massage CEs into January 2021You can see my schedule and sign-up on my website
www.thebody-mechanics.com under the Current Class Schedule tab
New classes with Spirited Events by JofaI will be doing some Zoom session with Jofa starting in January 2021
and search the Upcoming Events.
To anyone who has ever taken any of my Chakra classes you know that I specifically talk about the "laying on of hands". My classes combine what I know about the Chakra system and also what I know about the anatomy and physiology of the human body. My studies have been with "hands-on" teachers and through numerous readings on the subject. I also have knowledge of spiritual teachings of a number of different disciplines. In all that I do as a massage therapist and energy worker I always, always lay hands directly on the body of my clients.
So now, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) has bowed to the powers that be and decided that all my energy classes (including the one that I had just updated and paid for) will be archived until I add the wording "lying on of hands through the application of professional therapeutic touch". I can only hope that all instructors teaching any energy classes received the same email that I did.
My classes have always included this wording (or I should say the original wording that they requested that I added to my classes). They seem to have now changed what the wording should be.
My Energy classes will continue to be taught with the information about the Chakras and Usui Reiki as taught to me by my teachers and include hands-on application of both Chakra Energy Work and Reiki. I have made the modifications to my class descriptions, outcomes, and learning objectives and submitted them to NCBTMB for their approval.
I have Chakra/Reiki classes scheduled throughout 2020 and will continue with my original schedule. I will notify anyone who signs up for my classes if NCBTMB decides to not allow them for CEs. If they do not, they will still be taught. AND I will continue to do Energy Work with my clients in my office.
END OF RANT!
Who is your market? Most therapists market to everyone - all types of massage that you learned in school to bring in new clients. Those of you who had me in school might remember me saying that the 4-5 classes that you had in Reflexology do not make you a Reflexologist. And not everyone wants a basic Swedish massage. What else have you learned or who do you really want to serve? Rather than marketing to everyone, find your niche - and market to that client base. Imagine every client that walks into your office is there specifically for the type of work that you LOVE to do. AND maybe that is relaxation type massage, so go with that - make relaxation and stress relief the main thing that you market!
Don't know what your niche is? Well, imagine your ideal client and the ideal day of doing massage. What work are you doing? What is it about massage that energizes you? Who are the people you enjoy working with as clients? What is the modality that gives you the most pleasure in doing? What is the modality or type of work that you would enjoy doing every day whether you got paid or not? Well, getting paid for what you like to do is a lot more satisfying than doing modalities that you don't enjoy doing.
Figure out what type of massage work that is and then advertising the heck out of it to get those clients in your door! Remember it is your mindset and visualizing those particular clients that will help with this. Put it on your business cards, your facebook page and anyplace else that you "advertise".
Create the life (work and play) that you love!
Want to be successful as a massage therapist? You may have to change your mindset. You have to be committed to making your business, practice or just you in your massage job successful. No excuses or complaints about what is happening around you. Go out and make it happen. In order to be successful you have to act successful.
Try to imagine (daydream, if you will) what is important to you. What is it that would define success for you? Spending more time with your family? Having a full book each and every week? The ability to take time off? Being able to hire another therapist if you own your own practice? Adding more modalities or services to your menu? Additional trainings? Teaching? Let yourself go with defining the picture of your own successful practice. Your mind won't differentiate between the real and the imagined and remember what you think, you become. Visualize what you want and your thoughts will make it your reality!
Stay tuned as I build on this first step!
My Big AnnouncementNew Classes,
New Locations!Please check out my website to see the new places and new classes that are on my agenda for 2020 & 2021
New and updated classes!The following classes are new or have been updated:
AND coming in 2020 some classes will be held "On the Mountain". They will be pop-up classes and are not listed on the website quite yet!
I have finally gotten my book published on CreateSpace and would love for you to take a look at it.
It is about Napoleon Hill's Law of Success specifically but includes my thoughts on The Law of Attraction and how the whole secret Laws may have come about through history. My love of Mike Dooley and his Infinite Possibilities and the time spent reading Napoleon Hill made me want to learn more about those people who had gone before. If you would like please take a look at my book or click on the link to the right and get the Kindle version if you are so inclined.
A Glimpse at the book I am working on!
Marketing for the Massage Therapist
Just the word marketing sends many massage therapists into a state of confusion. What exactly is marketing? How do I do it? Do I have to sell?! First thing let’s define marketing.
Marketing – The action of promoting products and services. Sales is what you expect after you market your service. Advertising is a way of marketing your service.
Your service is the type of massage that you are trained to do. And your massage modalities can be targeted to a specific “market”. A market is the group of people that would pay for your massage service. And there are many ways to find out who those people are.
A niche market is the group of people who would most benefit from the massage service or services that you offer. EX: Someone who specializes in Sports Massage would be looking for those people who are athletes either as their career of as occasional athletes or weekend warriors.
SO…who is your niche market? Who are the clients who would benefit most from the type of massage that you do?
Start by listing what modalities you are trained or certified in. And make a list of those modalities that you would like to be trained or certified in as this will become your future market!
So what are my preferred modalities? The modalities that I like to use when working with my clients. What clients (and their issues) make you the happiest to work with?
Who are the clients that these modalities best serve?
Develop products and services that make your clients feel as if you were put on the face of the planet just for them!
What are the massage sessions that would be most accommodating to them? Length of time? Time of Day? Day of the Week?
So what is your niche market?
Age of client, Gender Specific (i.e.-pregnancy), Lifestyle (athletic, office worker, stay-at-home mom, etc.), Economic Status are all examples of a niche market.
Don’t market to clients that you do not feel comfortable or competent to work on.
This information is what defines your perfect client. Now take the time to visualize your perfect client. See them if their environment. See them making the appointment with you. See them coming into your office. See them as you are working with them. See them getting off your table energized/relaxed/de-stressed/in less pain, etc. The people that you visualize will be the people that you will draw into your business. Remember also that those issues that you may have knowledge of may be the people that you will attract. If frozen shoulder is something that you have worked through you may find yourself working on an entire client base of people with that same condition.
Now define your actual market. Your market is the total amount of people in a well-defined area that are looking for services such as yours. By having information about the market that is in your area you can then narrow down those that are in your niche market.
The first thing you should know is what is the size of your market? In other words what is the population in the geographic area from which you can expect to get your clients? What is the locality in which you are located? What are the income levels in this area? You should be able to get this information online through census statistics at www.census.gov
Size of your market, Population/geographic area (town, county, zip code, etc.), Locality (where is your office), Income levels (from census data)
You should also be able to come up with an approximate number of your market share.
Market share is the possible number of people available within your population who could get massage. This can be based on age, gender, activities, etc.
How many are available to treat – what is the population in your area who could possibly schedule a massage – # EX - 10,000
What percentage of that population actually want or get massage % – EX -25% so # * % (10,000 x 25% =2,500)
What is your possible percentage of that number? –EX - 5% - 5% x 2,500 = 1050
What is your benefit to this population? What do you do that others in your area do not do? What is your specialty? What are the modalities that you know that you could “market’ to this group? What is their WIIFM?
WIIFM – What’s In It For Me! How does what you are doing satisfy that question for this population? People need to feel that when they are paying for something they are getting value for the money spent.
What are you offering? What needs do your services fill? Come up with a few answers to these questions.
Now come up with the areas in your community where the people are that you are hoping to target in your niche market. Go to Health Clubs (athletic types), Pediatricians (stressed out moms), Obstetricians (Pregnancy Massage), Chiropractors (people with muscle tension, etc.), Health Food Stores (relaxation, etc.) and do some “marketing”. Talk to people, post flyers and do whatever you need to do to introduce yourself to the people who you think that you serve.
Post flyers where the people you want are!
They need to want it, need it or be ready for it!
This is the marketing end of what we need to do as massage therapists! The advertising end is a part of this and includes those flyers that you create, the postcard or e-cards that you send, your business cards, car magnets, brochures, rack cards or whatever way you chose to put your name and your business name into the hands of those people that you want to attract to your business.
Chose a job that you like and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucious
Paula J Kaprocki, LMT
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist with thoughts, aspirations and opinions - much like any other person on the planet!