Massage & Bodywork

JULY | AUGUST 2020

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N e w ! A B M P P o c k e t P a t h o l o g y a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / a b m p - p o c k e t - p a t h o l o g y - a p p . 75 N e w ! A B M P P o c k e t P a t h o l o g y a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / a b m p - p o c k e t - p a t h o l o g y - a p p . 75 the value of a session with you comes from so much more than just physical touch. Many massage schools do not teach the extremely unconventional notion that, as a manual therapist, you are providing many tangible and intangible benefits in addition to your physical touch. I can only scratch the surface here, but I suggest you look at the reality that you are providing a complete therapeutic alliance between you and your clients. If you are familiar with the biopsychosocial concept (the interconnection between biology, psychology, and socio- environmental factors), the simple act of a client scheduling an appointment with you begins to integrate all three aspects. Even when the session is held via video, your attention, advice, and guidance facilitates positive change for your client. Most of the value your clients received from their sessions with you came from the entirety of their experience—not just how you applied your massage techniques. This is good news because that means you can still deliver brilliant clinical results via a video visit that clients are happy to pay for—even without you touching them. To provide an effective video visit, you must first understand what your intent is for the session. The session structure may provide pain or stress relief for single clients or in a group format. Model your initial video sessions almost exactly as you would when the client comes to your office. The only physical difference, of course, is you're "treating" them through a computer screen because you cannot place your hands on them. I am currently working with a small group of therapists who are providing video visits. Some practitioners teach self-care techniques and methods that the client can continue to do on their own, which can range from self-massage, partner massage, strengthening, or stretching exercises to breath work. Other practitioners choose to use their session to advise their clients, guiding them through an actual therapy session. Rather than teaching the client what to do at home, the therapist proceeds with a plan of care based on the client's presentation that day. Because the therapist cannot touch the client directly, they instruct the client on what to do to provide the manual pressure or manipulation. As the session progresses, the therapist advises the client where to place their hand to relieve their own pain or stiffness. The most important (and difficult) part of providing video visits is creating and maintaining a therapeutic alliance with our clients. Building rapport and trust is different via video because we are now peeking into the client's personal space, literally their living room, or bedroom— and they get to see into our space, if we're hosting sessions from outside our office. Because many of the usual visual cues are skewed, we need to take extra care to show our empathy and understanding of their situation. We also see ourselves on the video, too, which for some providers is alarming and makes them uncomfortable. If you choose to take on video visits, continue to be your warm, genuine self. Ensure your clients feel comfortable with every Irene Diamond was featured in our sixth episode of The ABMP Podcast series "Conversations in Quarantine." To listen, visit www.abmp.com/podcasts. THE ABMP PODCAST SPEAKING WITH THE MASSAGE & BODYWORK PROFESSION step, and let them know they may end the session at any time if they need or want to. Video visits are effective for not only providing a solid clinical outcome that your clients will be happy to pay for, but also for giving them a way to refer their friends to you now rather than wait until your physical doors reopen. In addition to—or instead of—video visits, how else can you diversify your practice? You can begin by providing complimentary services. Although my San Francisco pain relief and wellness center had its physical doors shut on March 16, 2020, I wasn't too concerned. I continued to receive revenue through writing articles, business-growth coaching, investments in other practices, and teaching continuing education. Once you've put a few revenue streams in place, you can generate substantial income from incorporating one or more of these adjunct arms into your business. To help you get started, here are six not-so-run-of- the-mill suggestions to generate revenue that don't require any manual therapy. How are you at web and text stuff? So many practitioners are in desperate need of someone who can create or update their website, Facebook business page, LinkedIn profile, and the rest of their online presence. If you are skilled with a mouse and have the know-how to create effective web assets, there is a strong demand for your services.

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