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
I was contacted by an associate editor of MASSAGE Magazine yesterday as an "expert" in the area of cryotherapy and thermotherapy. This is my response to her. Hope you enjoy and so you can call them out if they don't acknowledge me! LOL
First let me thank you for considering my input on this subject. I have studied the uses of hot and cold therapy and feel that it is therapy that works, as it has over the ages when people did not have anything else to use. I feel that the best ways of using both cryotherapy and thermotherapy are still some of those original ways also – Ice and heat in their natural forms. That does not however keep me from using some Tiger Balm or Polar Lotion on occasion.
So, let me answer your questions and give a little background on why to use these things. The main reason for using any hydrotherapy method is to take the body momentarily away from homeostasis to let the body respond by stimulating the system to heal itself. And obviously cryotherapy will take the body further away from homeostasis than thermotherapy when we look at the base body temperature of 98.6F. Both applications have a physiological and circulatory effect on the body by causing vasoconstriction/vasodilation thereby causing either a decrease or increase in both circulation and metabolism. But that is the science of hydrotherapy.
The benefits of cryotherapy and thermotherapy are therefore based on this science. And the benefits of each will depend on the duration of the treatment – short or long application. An ice pack left on for 10 minutes will be totally different from an ice bath used by athletes. Likewise a hot pack applied on a sore muscle for 10 minutes will have a different effect than an hour long hot stone massage.
The benefits of cryotherapy include:
We need to respond.
And in stating my title I also submit this to all massage therapist in the state of PA to send to their respective State Legislators if you so desire.
First thing that you need to do is read this article from a leader in our industry as it was posted in the publication Massage Today - http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=15275
I believe that this article has great importance to massage therapists throughout the country where it talks about the "organizations" that are trying to "rule" massage therapy. And the state of PA is a prime example. I just spoke to a massage therapist trying to get a license in the state of NY who stated that he needed a certain number of hours of Eastern therapies to get his license there. Hmmmmmm, are these not the same therapies that the state of PA is trying to exclude from re-licensure?
Back a few months ago I drafted this letter -
An open letter to the Pennsylvania Massage Therapy Board
It is our belief that you are limiting the practice of massage and the profession of Massage Therapy in the state of Pennsylvania.
SO we are going to discriminate against Asian Modalities. Why? You are making it a restrictive environment to be a licensed, accredited Massage Therapist in the state of Pennsylvania
Will this stop Asian Massage establishments in the state of PA? Asian Modalities have a place in the practice of massage regardless of the Boards non-belief in the meridian system… a system which is based on ancient Chinese Medical practice. Will you also regulate Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners out of the state?
You are creating a “black market” for Asian modalities in this state.
Limiting the public’s access to legitimate Asian Modalities adversely affects the public you are trying to protect. It negates all massage therapists training by limiting the study of Eastern traditions and modalities just because it doesn’t fit into your Western model. Chinese/Asian Massage “parlors” will not go away because of your regulating it out of the practice of Massage Therapy. Many of the same modalities that you are trying to negate within the practice of massage are already being accepted into our hospitals and medical wellness centers all through our country. Instead of trying to regulate Asian Modalities out of Massage why not make it illegal for landlords to rent to someone with signage that says Oriental/Chinese Massage without the associated License Number?
We are legislating a climate where people are becoming unlicensed rather than stay or become licensed. What you are trying to do is taking a giant step back for massage therapy in Pennsylvania. By creating laws we are leaving out the human element of massage. We are letting those who seem to know (or remember) nothing about the application of massage or for that matter any healing therapy to govern us. Where are the massage therapists on the board? Will you not stand up for the rest of us? Have you forgotten your training? Are we to be bullied by the Western/Allopathic medical industry to be part of mainstream Healthcare? Do we want out licensed numbers to continue to dwindle as we whittle away at what we are and are not allowed to do as massage therapists.
LMTs as a group need to come together in numbers to effectively communicate what we want to be able to do in our jobs and create a stronger massage community in PA. The AMTA, AMBP and others need to come together to represent us and not acquiesce to the Board. We need to change definitions within the rules to make a difference to the community.
How is the public being protected by beating us up and not allowing us to practice the healing art of massage as we were taught and certified by our respective educational facilities? Legislation is currently regulating us out of business because of all the costs and stipulations put on how we can make a living. And all CEs must be hands on? That is not part of the original licensure document!
And a note to CE Providers – If you think you are already certified in PA for CE because you have submitted your classes in the past and are therefore “grandfathered” in, think again. You will have to resubmit and be approved all over again.
This was my original rant. And for the most part I still stand by it. I think we all need to take a look at Ralph Stephens article and do our own research into what is really happening within our industry. We need to go through the proper channels - our legistlators - and see what we can do. Those of us who are currently licensed need to stay within the rules and regulations of the state we are licensed in and continue to move forward to make massage available to all people. I will continue to teach those classes that I have always taught, in the manner in which I have always taught them, to the best of my knowledge and ability. I also will take those classes that I feel will be of the greatest advantage to my clients regardless of the tradition from which it came. (Also, why are some excluded while others are not?)
Please join together and fight for the public as much as yourselves. All modalities should be available to our clients.
This post may not be my most eloquent but at least my feelings are now out there and it is up to you to make it known across the state and then to the proper places at the state level.
Read the article I included! It is very important to us all!
The question of what is Medical Massage has become the million dollar question in massage circles. And the question I just received is this "Is there a difference between medical massage and clinical massage?" For the first part of my answer I will defer to James Waslaski, a leader in the massage field, and a quote from his article in Massage Today from June 2004!
"The best short definition I gathered from medical massage therapists is: "Medical massage is performed with the intent of improving conditions or pathologies that have been diagnosed by a physician; a wide variety of modalities or procedures are utilized to focus the treatment based on the diagnosed condition." I was determined to prove that advanced disciplines, such as neuromuscular therapy, CranioSacral Therapy (CST), myofascial release, lymphatic drainage, massage for cancer patients, orthopedic massage, etc., fall under medical massage disciplines, and certification in many of these disciplines usually requires a minimum of 100 hours of training." http://www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/06/03.html
Waslaski teaches an Orthopedic Massage class and has a book from Elsevier called Clinical Massage Therapy: A Structural Approach to Pain Management. I do not have this particular book but any other book from Elsevier is in the form of a textbook. Elsevier is a company that I dealt with when I was the Massage Therapy Chairperson at a private school in Florida. More about books in a bit.
So now that I have muddied the waters, let me address the Clinical Massage Therapist part of the question. I found the following quote:
While a massage therapist can work with clients who have tension, stress and pain, "more serious issues are often treated by a clinical massage therapist. This practitioner uses techniques specifically designed to help injuries heal, improve range of motion, and increase muscle function. Also known as medical massage, therapists who perform this work generally do so by prescription from a doctor." http://work.chron.com/clinical-massage-therapist-16412.html Please note that this person is NOT a massage therapist, but that does not make her remarks any less true.
About 10 years ago, I was lucky to attend a seminar at the Florida Chiropractic Convention in Orlando. This convention has in the past, and I would assume still does, hosted a Massage Therapist track as part of their training classes. At this particular convention I attended a CE Class about Medical Massage by Sandy Fritz. For those who do not know, Sandy is the main author of two textbooks by Elsevier/Mosby: Fundamental of and Science of Therapeutic Massage. In her lecture she feels the ALL massage is basically medical or clinical. Her reasoning for this is that all massage has some sort of "medical" benefit to the client regardless of why they are on the table.
But of course the massage industry as any other profession likes "labels". It makes for great marketing and sales for massage schools and continuing education providers. Don't get me wrong, I do believe there is such a thing as Medical Massage but contrary to some advertisments it is not a required "certification" to do that type of massage. (Disclaimer - My opinion and I do have a Medical Massage Certificate!)
The standard definition for Medical Massage is that it is an outcome-based, results-oriented specific treatment to a targeted area or problem. The treatment is by diagnosis and prescription of a physician and may follow their specific instructions after a thorough assessment or evaluation of the problem. It is also generally billable to insurance. Be aware that not all states allow billing to insurance companies by massage therapists, licensed or not. For more information about Insurance Billing for Massage Therapists please look up Vivian Madison Mahoney at www.massageinsurancebilling.com. I was fortunate enough to take her class and received great documentation on the insurance billing process. She does have an insurance billing seminar on DVD and if you take a class with Premier Continuing Education you can receive free CE hours from her. (Shameless Plug) www.premiercontinuingeducation.com
My personal opinion is that networking with a physician or chiropractor would be the best way to get into this type of massage. Advertisment and marketing to a specific client base would be another way. But first you need to have the training to do this type of work. Clinical-based massage is much more specific and requires the therapist to have more specific training and understanding of the mechanics of the human body. Back to that Anatomy and Physiology that you learned in school.
My recommendation and that of James Waslaski in his article mentioned above is to have training in as many advanced disciplines as possible. Recommendations include (but are not limited to): Myofascial Release, Neuro-muscular Therapy (NMT), Trigger Point Therapy, Cranio-sacral Therapy and Sports Massage/Stretching. Additionally more specialized Hydrotherapy applications, including Hot/Cold Stone and other more structurally-based modalities such as certain types of Lomi Lomi and Structural Integration techniques. You also need to know how to explain why/what you are doing to your clients.
Recommendations for books include (but are definitely not limited to): Anatomy Trains by Tom Myers, Kinesiology by Joseph E. Muscolino, A Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology by Ruth Werner (who by the way will be teaching some classes at Sage Continuing Education in Lancaster, PA this fall! - www.sagecontinuinged.com), any of the textbooks by Sandy Fritz, Trail Guide to the Body by Andrew Biel, Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment by Clay and Pounds (an LWW textbook), and Fascial Release for Structural Balance by James Earls & Thomas Myers. I am currently taking the online course by Niel Asher on Trigger Points that I highly recommend (NAT) and any of the books by Clair Davies on Trigger Points.
I hope this addresses the question posed by my Facebook reader this morning. Obviously the best place to start is in the beginning and being a licensed massage therapist is that first step! Having the desire to "make a difference in the pain and posture of the body" is the next step. I hope this points you in the right direction. Please feel free to comment here.
References used: www.medicalmassage.com, www.massagetoday.com, www.mmpa.us
Paula J Kaprocki, LMT
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist with thoughts, aspirations and opinions - much like any other person on the planet!