The Paradox Pitch

I hate being sold to… almost as much as I hate selling.

But it’s true… we’re all in sales. The experts tell us to just talk to people and tell them how much massage therapy can help their pain, their anxiety, their headaches.

Sorry, I can’t do it. The most I managed was to introduce myself to other business owners, as a new neighbor. Just a courtesy call, not a sales pitch. If my acquaintances mention aches and pains, I will not be the one who says “Why don’t you make an appointment with me?” Continue reading

Why is Massage Therapy So Expensive?

(update 9/9/13: Reactions I’m getting on Facebook and in the comments here suggest that I haven’t been clear.
The image is making fun of my past self and other idealistic therapists who aren’t good with money. I do not suggest people should charge $25! I had hoped my post would explain why I think that in some areas where the cost of living is high, and office space is at a premium, even $100 would not suffice to cover the cost and a living wage.
Of course the price of a service depends on value for the customer, so I tried to explain this post is not about top-notch manual therapy, it’s about an “average” relaxation massage.
And last… I do value massage therapy highly, and I know of the benefits. I will not edit the post itself, since that would make a lot of the comments look strange, but I think I should have been MUCH clearer.
Please accept my apologies.)                       Continue reading

Treatment Guidelines for Massage Therapists #1: Trial and Error

from — good guide to trigger points

(this is part one of a series… please also check out part two)

If we look at medicine honestly, we see it’s based on trial and error. Even when the board-certified specialist prescribes a drug that’s been studied for decades, she won’t know how it affects one particular patient.

We often don’t know why a treatment works, we just hope that it will.

As therapists, we should be well aware of how hard it is to really determine cause and effect, and how much our own brains trick us into seeing causality where there is none. Continue reading

Massage Therapy in FL–the PIP bill passed

Billing PIP for massage therapy is almost over. The new bill is in effect, and we can’t bill auto insurance if the patient’s policy was renewed after July 1st this year.

If it’s an older policy, the patient is still covered for massage therapy and acupuncture, because the bill can’t revoke an existing contract.

Very soon, all policies will have been renewed, and Florida massage therapists will have a tough time in 2013 and beyond. Don’t think you won’t be affected if you’ve never billed insurance!

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Say “no”.

Let’s say I have a friend named Linda.

She is always running late. She keeps forgetting things she promised to get done. She stood me up several times when we wanted to meet for lunch. Last time we really talked, she told me about trouble at work. She was very upset, because people who she had a good relationship with were complaining about her.

Really, she’s one of the kindest, sweetest people you can imagine. But she’s letting people down because she just can’t say “no”.

Saying “yes” to every request just means that you can’t get anything done, you’re constantly stressed out, and by trying to please everybody, you end up pissing everybody off.


Don’t be Linda. Just say “no” more often.


I don’t take phonecalls.

ImageHaven’t done it in a month now. The only exception is my father–it’s rare enough that we get to talk, so when it’s him, I pick up.

Otherwise? Nope. I schedule phonecalls, and only pick up if it’s a call I’m expecting.

Results are AMAZING. I’m a lot more relaxed, free time starts feeling “free” again, and best of all I don’t have these annoying phone conversations.

Of course I can only do that because I have office staff seven days a week, and when they can’t answer, we have remote operators.

How do you handle phonecalls? Which ones do you answer?

take it from the Dalai Lama

I’ve read that the Dalai Lama is very mindful of the importance of keeping a sensible pace so he can live in the spirit of love every day. One time a reporter asked him how he remains so calm, so grounded, and so loving when his life can be so stressful and demanding.

He paused, gave the question some serious thought, and then answered, “I leave early for appointments.” 

I saw it in a random post a while ago. Unfortunately I could not find the original article, so I’m not sure whether it’s even a real quote.

The idea is true, though. The benefits of leaving early, showing up with time to spare, always planning on those extra ten minutes are huge.

In regards to being calm, relaxed and focused it’s a lot better than getting massages, acupuncture, taking supplements, and going on vacations. Additionally, if you show up early for appointments, you can get a lot more out of the appointment itself. In my case, my clients get a better and often longer session if they’re early.

I could go on here–I have a lot of examples where being early gave me an unexpected benefit. But I’d rather read your examples, your stories. How do you get “more” just by leaving early for appointments?

PIP scams in Florida

I run a massage business. We bill auto insurance after accidents, and soon that won’t be available any more. I’m not too worried, since most of our clients pay out of pocket, but the changes for the industry as a whole will be huge, and even we will have problems making payroll.

I’m very sorry for the massage therapists who work in facilities that specialize on auto accidents, because a lot of them will lose their jobs. (Btw… I’ll need an LMT with good deep tissue techniques for weekends). 

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One of my first real jobs was as the office manager of a small construction crew. Just temporary employment for one project. The boss of the crew had to learn using computers–it was the early nineties–and hired me to help him out. He was a lot more comfortable out on the site with his guys than in front of a screen.

I was hired for a position way above my experience and enjoyed the challenge.

Supposedly I was an expert on Excel, so I had to quickly teach myself the basic operations needed for calculating payroll.

I had a blast. The guys enjoyed bantering with me, my boss was happy he could do what he liked, and I was organizing the small office how I saw fit.

I also learned a lot about leadership.

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