Podcast

Episode 366

Jul 23, 2021

Allissa and Michael discuss why massage therapists need to stop asking clients to get a note from their doctor to approve massage therapy.

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EPISODE 366

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

Quick Tips

  • It’s ok to declare email bankruptcy

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

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Michael Reynolds:

Hey everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

I'm Alissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

We're your host as always. We are happier here. Thanks for joining us, Alissa, what are we reading today?

Allissa Haines:

We both happened to read an email from a marketing business dude named Rob Hatch that we've talked about before he is the co-owner of Owner Media with, along with Chris Brogan, who we've also mentioned, and he sends a weekly, Rob Hatch sends a weekly email on Thursdays, and this one, this week's was about what are we avoiding? And he talked about relationship building as part of the business contact process and part of the selling process even, and how sometimes we spend a lot of time building the relationship and putting the emphasis on the relationship just to avoid being a little bit uncomfortable and asking for the sale. Let's let you expand upon this a little bit, Michael.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I mean, that's kind of the gist of the message that I got from it is that we don't want to be salesy. Massage therapists, we're really, I think, sensitive to being salesy. We're in a wellness context, very caring, compassionate profession, and that doesn't really always align well with asking for a sale and even the word sales or sale seems to kind of cause a little bit of a bristling among a lot of massage therapists, because it feel so businessy and assertive and aggressive.

Allissa Haines:

So, I really liked his message because it's like, "Hey, you're not really selling, you're not forcing people into things. You are allowing to be served by your expertise." We're serving people. We are helping them. We are providing a lot of value to them. And if you think of it like that, you're building a relationship so that you can give them the opportunity to say yes to something you do that is super valuable and really important. So, I like the reminder that it's important, not just to build the relationships with people, but to actually kind of fulfill the entire goal of why you're doing this, which is to help people. And so, if you replace the word selling with helping, I think that helps a lot of people kind of get over the word sales, at least in my mind.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. And we see this a lot in massage where someone will reach out or a friend of a friend or you'll whatever, be sitting next to somebody at your kid's softball game, they'll be like, "Oh yeah, I've got this problem with my knee." And I'd be like, "Oh yeah, hey, this is, I've got a really great video on my website about self massage for your knee." And the person likes it and likes that video in the email. You're like, this really helped when still having a problem with this. And then we might send them to another resource instead of just being like, "I'm glad that really helped. I think what could benefit you is some actual hands-on massage. Would you like to make an appointment?"

Allissa Haines:

We do so much to give them a whole bunch of things, instead of just saying "You could really be helped by some hands-on massage." I'd love to give it a try and it's okay to ask for that appointment. If they're not ready to book, then they're not going to book, and that's okay. But it's hard and it's something to get over and it's good to be aware of what we might be avoiding and replacing with other things. When we just need to say, "Hey, I think you could really benefit from making an appointment."

Michael Reynolds:

And a quick note on finding it. So Chris and Rob purposely do not put their newsletters on the web anywhere. So we can't link to it. I've actually emailed Chris Brogan. And I was like, "Hey, we'd love it if you would, or I'd love it, if you would put your newsletters online so we can actually link to it." And he wrote, but I knew he would do this. He wrote back and he was like, "Actually by design, we keep it private because we want to be in your inbox." And he's very focused on being in your inbox. And I'm like, "Okay, fine." So we can't link to it. But we do encourage you to consider subscribing to their newsletter, which is at owner.media/nl. And we'll link to that in the show notes, you can go subscribe if you want to get future issues. All right. So with that, we've got a fun topic today, but first let's give a shout out to our friends at Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

This episode is indeed sponsored by the original Jojoba Company. The Jojoba Company is the only company in the whole wide world that carries 100% pure first press quality or jojoba. We are so delighted to be partnering with them. It does not go rancid. It doesn't contain any triglycerides, like other products do. So jojoba can sit on your shelf during a pandemic for a year and a half and not be nasty when you go back to work, which has been really helpful for me because I had like two gallons of it. This makes a jojoba, a great carrier for essential oils as well because you can put your essential oils into whatever your eight ounce bottle of jojoba and the oil. The jojoba is not going to get all disgusting and rancid and ruin your expensive essential oils.

Allissa Haines:

So yay. It is non-allergenic so you can use it on any client and every client without being concerned about an allergic reaction. My friends, you can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you. Okay. You're ready?

Michael Reynolds:

Go for it. I'm ready. I'm so ready.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. I don't accept. Expect there's going to be any swearing in this, but stay at the ready. If you got your kids with you, maybe check and see if there's a little explicit there.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. Super big pet peeve of mine in massage communities. When someone puts up some kind of clinical contraindication question and roughly 32 people will chime in and say, "Get a doctor's note." This breaks my heart and annoys the crap out of me every time. It is a ridiculous thing to slap under a question about contraindications or concerns.

Allissa Haines:

It is lazy and it is absurd. And here's why. Doctors don't always know what massage does to the body. Like most of the time, we don't know what massage does to the body. And a doctor cannot and should not be expected to make safety decisions around a modality that they do not practice. And that they very likely don't know much about. Most MDs don't get training in what various soft tissue modalities do to the body or when they are, or are not contraindicated. A doctor's knowledge could be limited to that one cruise massage they got in 2009, that was super, super light touch and had lots of lavender. So if a client with a clot in their calf says, "Is it safe for me to get a massage?" The doctor thinks, "Yeah, it's just like oil application. Sure. Go get your massage." But we know that we really shouldn't be working on the leg of someone with a clot, but the doctor doesn't necessarily know that.

Allissa Haines:

Or, the Dr. May think that massage is all like the very super spot specific work they once got and physical therapy after they tore their rotator cuff. That is dramatically different from the kind of work that I do. So giving an okay, thinking that massage is just like that, could be harmful to someone who comes to me. I don't do that kind of massage. I can use things that are a little more systemic and could be more harmful in certain situations. So that number one reason is that doctors don't know what massage is safe or not safe. They don't always know, and it's not their job to know it's ours. Next, a note does not absolve you of liability if the client is harmed. Like a doctor said it was okay, here's this piece of paper is not going to help you in court. I don't think it's really going to help you sleep at night either.

Allissa Haines:

It is our job to decide if we can apply a safe and effective massage, any person with any particular medical complication or issue. It is our job. We are the ones with the massage training. We are the ones who can and should know how to adapt a massage to be safe. And because we can apply safe and effective massage and 90% of situations when there's some kind of complication or potential contraindication, like 90% of the time, we can find a safe way to apply massage. And it is your job to know that, and it is your job to refer out if you don't know that, but it is not your job to expect a doctor to do your job.

Allissa Haines:

There are times when we may need to communicate with a client's medical provider in order to help determine that. But that doesn't mean you write a note or an email or you call a doctor's office and talk to a receptionist and say, "I need to know if Dr.Smith thinks it's okay for me to massage their patient because of this." That's not what that looks like. It has to be a conversation with your client. And then maybe the client's medical professional asking, "So this is how massage is. This is what my massage looks like. This is how it might challenge the body." The client is challenging their body this way on a daily basis. And if you don't know what that means, let me give an example. So how does a client challenge their body on a regular basis? Are they walking up and down stairs with laundry comfortably? Are they exercising? Are they vigorously working out? If someone is vigorously working out, then their system likely can be challenged by a massage. It's recovering from the systemic changes that could happen as a result of massage is not unlike recovering after a vigorous workout.

Allissa Haines:

So if a vigorous workout doesn't cause angina complications than your basic massage probably won't, unless you're doing something different than I don't know about, which is why you have to make this decision and not the doctor or any other massage therapist. You might need to ask a medical professional about medications. And sometimes it can be hard to get in touch with someone's health care provider, but you can call a pharmacist and say, it's always good to know your local pharmacists or have some relationship so that you can call and say, "Listen, I got this client on this. And I'm pretty sure that it means I need to watch pressure, blah, blah, blah. Is that your interpretation of this?" And of course, you can call a doctor for that too, but we might need to communicate, but we're not necessarily asking permission because it's our job to decide if massage is safe, it's not the doctor's job to say, "Sure, it's safe."

Allissa Haines:

And Ruth Werner has beat the drum about this for years and makes the point really well on a recent podcast episode about clots. And it's a part of her in her ABMP podcast series. I have a client who, this is episode 90 lots of clots, part two. I recommend you listen to part one too. It's awesome. And I'm just going to quote her directly here. She says, "In order for a massage to take place, only two people have to give permission, the massage therapist and the client. You know who doesn't have to give permission, the doctor. I've said it before. And I know I will say it again. It is not a doctor's job to determine whether your work is safe. That's your job. And you are the only person who can do it." End quote.

Allissa Haines:

It is so important to think that over and really remember what it is you do, how you were trained. If you were not trained to handle this kind of clinical reasoning, then take some classes, take some glasses, more pathology. The class where I learned how to evaluate for safety more than anywhere else, was in Tracy Walton's Oncology, four-day oncology intensive. And there are plenty of other classes out there for learning how to evaluate safety of a massage. Take a class or just get used to referring out for more complicated things, but asking for a doctor to say, this is safe. And then acting like that gives you permission to do whatever kind of massage you do is ridiculous and borderline unethical.

Allissa Haines:

So here is my hope for this episode. I'm really done this lecture now. My hope is that the next time you're attempted to say, "Get a doctor's note." You change that to a more refined and thoughtful questioning of, have you spoken with the client about their normal activity? Have you considered if you're a massage would challenge the body more or less than that? Are there things about this illness or medication that you feel warrant a conversation with a medical provider to clarify your understanding of the issues?

Allissa Haines:

And finally, it's my hope that the next time someone asks some kind of question online about safety for massage, for a particular client or issue. When you see 35 people say, "Get a doctor's note", slap the link to this podcast episode there, it would make me so happy to see that because it means you're thinking and you are committed to asking and guiding in a more thoughtful way versus trying to incorrectly shove the liability off onto a different medical provider. And that is what I have to say about that.

Michael Reynolds:

That was really insightful. I do see this a lot. I'm in a couple of massage groups on Facebook and I do see it all the time. You're right. I just don't even think about it. People say, "Get a doctor's note", all the time and really insightful commentary.

Allissa Haines:

It makes me so deeply and viscerally angry.

Michael Reynolds:

Good job not swearing though. Didn't have to put the little E there.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Well thank you. So before we move on to quick tips, let's show some love to our friends at ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. ABMP says they're delighted to sponsor our podcast and we believe them.

Michael Reynolds:

I believe them.

Allissa Haines:

I believe them. There are so many benefits of ABMP membership. There is the five minute muscle and pocket pathology apps. And let's talk today about the massage and body work magazine. Award-winning magazine, my friends and it's included in print for ABMP members, and they make it available for everyone to read online at massageandbodyworkdigital.com.

Allissa Haines:

We have a column called the Blueprint for Success. And every issue in the Best Practices section, there are a handful of really delightful columns and informative columns and just wonderful featured articles about the mind and the body of what we do. It's really important. It is some high level professional journalism, and it includes techniques, in-depth features, video tie-ins, lots of video tie-ins. It's really cool. I get the print issue. And then I also skim through the digital issue, just to get some of the video stuff. So that is what I have to say about that. It's a good magazine. We've got a column, lots of cool people do. And Ruth's Pathology column is phenomenal. It's been in there for years and years, and it's one of the finest pieces of writing in massage. And yeah, I guess I've done a lot of sucking up to Ruth this episode. So you can learn more about ABMP at abmp.com.

Michael Reynolds:

I mean, you can do worse than sucking after Ruth Werner. So.

Allissa Haines:

I know. I can such after Ruth Werner any day of the week.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Quick tips, I've got something, if you'd like me to share.

Allissa Haines:

Bring it.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. So I want to offer this up to those who are struggling with inboxes that are out of control. You know who you are. So this is for those of you who have 10,000 unread emails in your inbox. And again, you know who you are. It's okay to declare email bankruptcy. I want to just reassure you and say from an outside perspective, that it is okay to do this. And email bankruptcy is kind of a term people use for just starting fresh and just clearing everything out and starting from zero. And this can be effective for some people, because let's say again, you're one of those with 10,000 unread messages in your inbox. And realistically, you're just not going to go through them all. It's just not going to happen.

Michael Reynolds:

But for some reason, a lot of us want to keep them there because, "Oh, what if I need something?" And it's just kind of how we've always done it. And it just kind of clutters up your whole relationship with email.

Michael Reynolds:

So email bankruptcy can take many forms, but one form is people just say delete everything, which I think that's a little bit extreme. So what I would recommend and I've heard this from other productivity expert in the past is create folders for every year. Let's say your email inbox goes back to the year, I don't know, 2015. So you would make folders called 2015, 2016, 2017 and so on. And then you just do a mass select of all the emails in your inbox for that year, drag them over into that folder for that year and do the same for your entire inbox until you're down to zero, then you start fresh.

Michael Reynolds:

And if you really truly need to get to an email that was in your inbox, just go to that year and pull it out and you can get to it. But if your email inbox is that full and that out of control, you and I both know you're not going to go do anything about those messages. So just start fresh, clear it all out, start from zero and create better email habits going forward without the baggage of all that stuff that's already in your inbox.

Allissa Haines:

That is brilliant, filing it away, or like archiving it by year because that'll make your searching a little bit easier.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

If you do have to like find that one email sent by your kid's teachers or confirm that you received an IEP, like weird, important stuff that you're afraid of losing, and that has paralyzed you into having an inbox that's just packed full that's brilliant and really like learning the search features of your email program is game-changing. Yeah. So that you don't fear archiving everything, because you know you can find it again if you need to.

Michael Reynolds:

Right.

Allissa Haines:

That's huge. That's a great tip. Thank you, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

Sure.

Allissa Haines:

That's all we got.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Well, great. Well, let's wrap it up there then. So as always, you can find us at massagebusinessblueprint.com. And if you want to email us, you can email us at podcastatmassagebusinessblueprint.com. And just a reminder. We are always taking a look at those reviews more often lately, because when we get a new review or two, we will pick one of those out. During an episode, we'll read it on the air. And if we read your review, then you can let us know, reach out and let us know it was yours. And we'll schedule a complimentary consulting session with Melissa and myself and chat about whatever you want. We'll do our best to help you in your business with any challenges you are facing at the moment.

Michael Reynolds:

So leave those reviews wherever you listen to podcasts. I think most of them come from Apple podcasts. So we're looking at those. So take a look and as always, if you want to check out our private member community, if you're not a member yet, check it out at massagebusinessblueprint.com, click on Community, and you can try it free for 30 days.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Thanks everyone for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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