18 years of writing about things I have learned about building a massage business is about to come together with the release of the book – Massage Practice Builder. It is a collection of all of the pages of this website with a few added insights. It includes all the info on practice building and what I have called the 5 Pillars of Success (Websites, Referral Networks, Rebooking, Ethics and Self Care plus all the articles about billing insurance and massage politics). I will still be writing blog posts about my new journey of restarting my massage business after more than a year off due to COVID. (I just decided to start very slowly through the summer and gear up to go back full time this fall.) You will be able to follow the journey in the blog link.
As I was working on it today and checking all the links, I came across Ralph Stephens articles on Massage Today. If you haven’t read any of his articles, you might want to start especially if you are thinking about the future of the massage profession or any of the things going on at a professional level. Oh…you aren’t interested. I get it. I wasn’t either for the first 10 years or so of running my business. Some of my favorites are:
It’s Titanic time, yet our stakeholder organizations continue to serve high tea on the pool deck. State Boards (with the support or tacit inaction of our membership associations) are passing ever more restrictive regulations, making renewal and portability for therapists and educators more burdensome and expensive every year. It’s all done under the banner of “public protection,” but in reality, they are restricting the public from receiving quality massage. This is no way to attract new people to a profession (or even a trade).
Expanding Regulation in a Shrinking Profession By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB January 11, 2017
Regarding dealing with health insurance companies: Debunking Insurance Myths
Why can’t the membership and certification organizations of our profession realize that we hold all the cards? They should be protecting their members from the predatory practices of insurance companies by defending our fees. They should be demanding that insurance companies accept us on our terms, without allopathic gatekeepers. Instead, they seem to be bowing down to insurance companies, begging them to take advantage of and enslave our members. Are the associations getting kickbacks from the insurance companies to sell their members down the river? Every wellness-based form of health care has been sold out from the inside by misleadership. Will we be the next victims?
On CE: Do we really need it?
All of this dogfighting between organizations has obscured the real questions that must be addressed, “Is mandatory CE in the massage therapy field necessary to protect the public?” Studies conducted by the prestigious Pew Research Center show there is no improvement in public safety resulting from mandatory CE requirements in licensed professions.
A Continuing Problem: Making Sense of Continuing Education By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB
Here is the thing….it doesn’t appear like anyone else is interested in what is going on.
I have done what I could.
10 years ago or so after the first health insurance company reduced its allowable fee almost in half which was a big part of my massage business at the time, I have helped to start a new WA State Association with the idea of working on the issues in with the insurance companies. I also was on the Board of the WA State Political Action Committee and got a chance to see professional politics in action as well as State legislative issues. I have been writing about many of the issues like Why is the massage profession so far behind WA State in getting Massage Covered by Health Insurance? and have written about Medical Massage (there is no such thing as a type of massage that is medical massage and there is NO CERTIFICATION in Medical Massage despite some claiming to provide one) and also the CE conundrum.
I have worked with a few others in trying to start a new massage association because I really think our massage associations have failed us miserably but go back and forth with the idea because the two associations have already split our profession to a point of no return. I am watching the efforts of United States Organization of Massage Therapists closely, but frankly the Pandemic and having all this time off has made me realize how much I really enjoy life without the stress of trying to herd cats as it is referred to – organizing massage therapists is like trying to herd cats. (There was once someone on Facebook who did say something like “and Julie turns the herd north”:)
Less Facebook – Facebook has become a drag. It is so buggy right now. I can’t share posts I make on the page to my group or other groups I manage. People don’t see what I post. I could write the key to success or give away a Million bucks and no one would see the posts. People are also not nice.
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I’ll buy your book! Thanks for all the work you’ve done! It’s been a pleasure to get your insights.