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As our health care system moves toward a more holistic model, it’s increasingly important for massage therapists to learn as much as you can about different complementary health care options.
Your clients will also be under the care of chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers and movement professionals—and the more you understand these modalities, the better prepared you will be to help your clients.
By attending a meeting—whether a conference, workshop or summit—where you can meet people working in other health care professions, such as those noted above, you can stay educated on the latest treatments, trends and research in complementary health care.
This will give you an edge that extends from treating your clients to communicating with these professionals in your local areas—and will increase referrals.
Your Complementary Health Care Network
Referrals are just one important reason to develop an active network of other health and fitness professionals. A strong referral network can help to build your business without having to spend loads of money on marketing.
People trust personal referrals, because it helps them feel they have even more help and support in improving their health and reaching their goals.
Attending a summit or conference will set you apart and position you as a therapist who takes your education and career seriously. That will, in turn, build up confidence in your ability to help your clients.
Everyone wants to refer to conscientious professionals who go the extra mile.
A summit, for example, is also a great opportunity to meet in person and get the complementary health care conversation started. We all know referrals are a two-way street, and you will be interacting with professionals who you can refer to as well.
Sometimes the best way to help your clients is to know your limits, and refer them out for more help.
For example, a client with knee or leg pain may have their tibia out of alignment. With one visit to the chiropractor, the client could be pain-free and telling everyone in town how helpful you are.
New Tools & Techniques
Because many of your clients are using a combination of therapies, increasing your knowledge of these modalities will enable you design more effective treatment plans.
Attending an event also attended by health care professionals such as chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers and movement professionals, will increase your knowledge through networking and attending CE classes. You can then bring home new tools and techniques to incorporate into your practice.
Let’s look at how a few related health care professions intersect with massage therapy.
By attending a chiropractic event, you can become aware of the latest professional trends and business practices. This is perfect for any therapist interested in working in a chiropractic setting.
Just imagine the difference in a business proposal or a job interview with a therapist who has attended chiropractic conferences versus one who hasn’t taken that extra step.
Athletic trainers are on the cutting edge when it comes to new tools and techniques that can be incorporated into a massage therapy practice. Kinesiology tape is a great example of this.
If you practice sports massage, you learn about the latest trends and you will meet and network with coaches and trainers, after all you have the same goals: performance, recovery and rehabilitation for athletes. You will be setting yourself apart as a serious professional who believes in advanced education.
Visit a conference where you’ll meet movement professionals for a great way to see things from a new perspective and increase your knowledge of the body. You will be expanding your mind, learning self-care and new ways of helping your clients.
In addition, you will have a wonderful way to connect with local therapists. Imagine calling a local yoga instructor and saying, “I just attended the Rockstock Movement Summit—would you like to meet for tea and see how we can work together to serve our clients better?”
A physical therapy conference might offer sessions on back pain, musculoskeletal pain and inflammation. You will be exposed to the latest trends, innovative content and access to the physical therapy profession’s forward thinkers.
Most physical therapists understand and respect the benefits of massage, but don’t have time to incorporate it into their therapy sessions. Attend a physical therapy event and you will leave with great ideas for cooperating with physical therapists in your area.
From a business perspective, attending these types of conferences can give you insight into the mindset, business practices and people who choose these careers. This will help you to gain insights into continuing your own education in a new direction or innovative ways of networking and business practices.
Opening your mind to new ideas and trends in a different profession—yet remember, they are all related as forms of complementary health care—might even help you to decide if it’s a career path that would be right for you. The possibilities are endless.
An Open Mind
It can also be very fun to join other professions for conferences. Besides the classes and exhibit area—in itself a great place to learn about new tools and home care products—there are usually social occasions where you can get to know people and enjoy the fellowship of likeminded professionals.
We all have the most important thing in common: helping people feel better and live better. You might even see an opportunity to speak about the massage therapy profession, and help attendees learn something from you.
Show up with an open mind and the intention of learning, growing and meeting as many people as possible.
Although there are many opportunities to learn within the massage profession, getting outside of your comfort zone and seeing how other professions approach things can help you both in the treatment room and in creating business connections in your local area.
Don’t keep it a secret when you attend a complementary health care summit—because your clients want to know that you are up on the latest techniques.
Gael Wood has more than 22 years of experience in the massage and spa industry. She now concentrates on training massage and spa therapists in business, spa services and greater success. She is a frequent contributor to MASSAGE Magazine.
RockTape is a global leader in sports medicine products and education. Located in Silicon Valley, RockTape helps patients and athletes “go stronger, longer” with the world’s best kinesiology tape, powerful pain-relieving topicals, unique evidence-informed education seminars, mobility tools, and joint support accessories.
Join RockTape for two days of peace, love and movement on the beautiful Southern California coast! RockStock’s mission is to unite a community of health and fitness professionals dedicated to movement science and innovation. We want you to leave re-energized, full of love for the work you do every day, bursting with the latest techniques and knowledge to help your patients and clients move. Click here to learn more.