2014 – Relationship Awareness: Connecting with patients and understanding how to work best with different personalities.
Author: Shelley Lewin, Life and Relationship Coach, SDI Certified Facilitator Wouldn’t it be great if your clients came with an instruction manual on how they like to be related to? Becoming a skilled Therapeutic Massage Therapist doesn’t only require instruction and understanding of the hard skills (anatomy knowledge, techniques, skills etc). Mastery, in an industry of service, requires the soft skills of how to be “good at” relationships; relating to each patient in a way that they appreciate and enjoy. It requires having insight into what drives us, what makes us tick, and empowers us to communicate in a way that achieves instant rapport and connection. Psychologist, clinical therapist, educator and author Elias Porter Ph.D. developed Relationship Awareness® Theory, which provides those insights. The theory is taught in an interactive way with its learning tool known as SDI (Strengths Deployment Inventory). It is a dynamic and powerful way of looking at human relationships that helps build communication, trust and empathy, reduce conflict and ultimately provide for more effective personal and professional relationships. Recently I had the privilege of presenting Relationship Awareness® at the second Conscious Movement Pilates Conference held in Cape Town this year, where international and renowned local presenters covered a wide range of topics including Pilates, Gyrotonic, Hellerwork, Kettle bells and more. The positive feedback from instructors on their insights into building relationships with clients was overwhelming. In essence, SDI helps us to understand what makes us tick, or what makes us feel good about ourselves in two sets of circumstances i.e. when things are going well, and when things are not going well (in conflict). Porter states as one of four main premises that behaviour is driven by motivation. He elaborates further by stating that there are, what he calls, 7 Motivational Value Systems (MVS). These MVS are divided into four main types, represented as colours. Recognizing early on what makes a client tick by asking the right kinds of questions and keeping an eye on observable behaviours, therapists are able to interpret to some degree, the Motivational Value System of their clients, from their clients’ behaviour/language. In an ideal situation, I would facilitate a half, full or two-day workshop. The theory extends far and deep, not even a two hour talk does it justice. For purposes of this article I have skimmed the surface extracting a few descriptions of each of the main MVS (the remaining three are a blend of two combinations e.g. red-blue, red-green, blue-green).Below is a generalization of the motivations driving the behaviour of the ‘types’ Red, Blue, Green and Hub BLUE CLIENTS: The ‘Nice’ people of the world. Expectation: A pleasurable experience Focus on: It being a friendly, caring, pleasant experience. They need to ‘feel’ good and that you care about them and their lives. Be open, honest, personal and sincere. Listen fully and attentively, ask for their ideas, reactions, and feelings. People Focused. Blues Motives, Priorities and Observable Behaviours: • motivated by a concern for the protection, growth and welfare of others • sincere, trusting, softly spoken, accommodating • sensitive to the needs of others • wants to engage and build rapport with others RED CLIENTS: The ‘Doers’ of the world. Expectation: Progress and achievement Focus on: Outcomes. What will I achieve by when? No desire for details. Be clear,...read more
Author: Erika Kruger Massage therapists are very familiar with the signs and symptoms of adhesive capsulitis (AC), the chronic fibrosing condition of the shoulder joint capsule, also known as frozen shoulder, shoulder periarthritis, or obliterative bursitis. But what is not readily known is that diabetes mellitus is one of the risk factors for this condition. In fact according to Dr Gordon Cameron, “(s)ome experts think that shoulder problems in diabetics are so common that they should be regarded as a complication of diabetes and not a coincidental event”. A variety of conditions involving contractures in joints and peri-articular soft tissue and accompanying joint mobility limitations have been identified in diabetic patients (Friedman 1989). In young, insulin-dependent diabetics it involves mostly the small joints of the hands and is usually less painful while in older diabetics, the large joints of the upper extremities also develop contractures. (Friedman 1989, Smith, Burnett & McNeil 2003:30) The most disabling of the common musculoskeletal problems in diabetics, is AC. The condition is characterised by progressive, painful restriction of shoulder movement. It develops in up to 20% of diabetic patients (Cameron) and is seen in especially insulin dependent diabetics with type 1 diabetics. According to Walk, the numbers may exceed 35%. Patients with diabetes are also more difficult to treat, take longer to heal and may be left with some residual trouble even with treatment. Furthermore there is a link with the duration of diabetes and the age of the patient (Smith et al 2003:30). Causes and Risk Factors AC is usually classified as either a primary condition or a secondary condition. Primary or idiopathic AC refers to cases where there are no significant and specific reasons for the pain and immobility. It arises spontaneously with no obvious preceding trigger factor. The secondary type of frozen shoulder develops after trauma, surgery or illness. Patients presenting with diabetes as well as a number of other medical conditions such as hyper- and hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis and Parkinson’s disease, appear to be predisposed to develop secondary AC. The natural history of the disease is characterised by three distinct phases: painful, adhesive, and resolution phases (Smith et al 2003:30). The painful phase starts with the gradual onset of an aching shoulder developing into a widespread pain pattern often worst at night and when lying on the affected side. This phase can last anywhere between 2-9 months. During the next phase stiffness starts to become a problem although pain level usually does not alter. The affected shoulder starts to interfere with daily tasks such as dressing, preparing food, carrying bags and working. Muscle wastage may be evident due to lack of use. This stage can last between four to 12 months. During the final or thawing stage there is a gradual improvement in range of movement and a decrease in pain that may however re-appear as stiffness eases. This stage can take up to two years. In order to understand the relationship between diabetes and AC, it is important to understand the anatomy and the pathogenesis of the condition. AC is a disorder involving the shoulder capsule and the connective tissue around the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder. It presents with inflammation and a thickening of the capsule indicated by increased vascularity visible on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Rotator...read more
Therapeutic Massage Therapy is the mobilisation of soft tissue, for example: muscle, fascia and body fluids, to restore normal systemic and biomechanical, or functional, use. Massage is used to treat most musculo-skeletal and associated problems. Massage contributes towards improved circulatory, lymphatic and neurological functioning. Massage can be stimulating or soothing depending on the technique, depth and speed used and is both safe and effective when carried out by a trained registered therapist who, with the co-operation of the patient, helps to create balance and harmony from within. Therapeutic Massage is indicated as a relevant choice of health care in the following: Health maintenance and health promotion – Promotes general tissue health and encourages lifestyle and general health awareness. Stress management – Helps relieve associated muscular tension and encourages general relaxation. Post-operative care – Helps reduce recovery period and speeds up elimination of anaesthetic, as well as reducing pain and stiffness associated with bed-rest. Emotional and/or psychological disorders – Releases endorphins that help to uplift and reduce depression. Terminal illness – Helps reduce pain and discomfort associated with long term bed-rest as well as providing support and reducing the effects of emotional stress for the patient as well as the family. Chronic pain – Helps break the “pain – spasm” cycle whilst reducing associated muscle tightness. Care of the disabled – Provides emotional support as well as assisting in the maintenance of general tissue health. Sports’ participation – Improves performance and recovery and reduces the likelihood of serious injury. It is important to choose a registered Therapeutic Massage Therapist with care. Members of MTA are required to abide by a Code of Ethics that ensures patients are treated according to recognised professional and ethical standards. All members of MTA are registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South...read more
FOCUS ON SPORTS MASSAGE: In terms of the current South African health and education legislation, the use of the term ‘sports massage therapist’ is illegal. Therapeutic Massage Therapy representative on the Allied Health Professions Council (SA), Briony Esterhuysen. Sports massage is a term that is bandied around by current and prospective massage therapists as well as training institutions wishing to portray a trendy niche service namely treating sports injuries with massage. In South Africa where the profession of Therapeutic Massage Therapy is statutory recognised it is important that we understand the legal context of using the term sports massage therapist in relation to the professional practice of Therapeutic Massage Therapy when treating athletes and patients in the professional practice. The scope of treatment for athletes traditionally extends to pre- and post-event treatment, maintenance treatment to manage wear and tear and the development of myofascial lines of tension as well as the treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. For this reason, if a therapeutic massage therapist has an interest in sport or participates in sport himself or herself, they will have a more realistic approach to the treatment needs of the athlete. SPORTS MASSAGE IN THE LEGAL CONTEXT There is however only one statutory register in that permits the practice of any form of massage for gain. This register entitled Therapeutic Massage Therapy is controlled by the Allied Health Professions Act, No 63 of 1982 and its regulations. A person whose name appears in this register may use the designation Therapeutic Massage Therapist after their name to indicate the nature of their professional practice. According to Section 16B of the abovementioned regulations, the requirements for registration as a therapeutic massage therapist with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa, is a two-year qualification in Therapeutic Massage Therapy inclusive of all the prescribed subjects. No specific register exists for Sports Massage Therapy and there is no accredited training in to become a Sports Massage Therapist. As such the use of the term Sports Massage Therapist in reference to a therapist’s professional practice or nature of practice is illegal within the context of the South African health and education legislation. In the absence of a register entitled Sports Massage Therapy, the use of the terms specialising in sports massage or sports massage specialist among others as a qualifier in conjunction with the designation of the qualification Therapeutic Massage Therapist, is also illegal practise. To compound the transgression, it constitutes fraud as pointed out earlier, there is also no post-diploma qualification in sports massage currently available. Should a post-diploma qualification in sports massage be approved and legislated at some stage in the future, training will have to conform to higher education norms. This means that training will consist of a minimum 120 credits and 1200 notional hours of study over a period of one year. It is important to note that this additional training over and above the two year diploma course and not an elective. On successfully completing the additional training, the title of the Therapeutic Massage Therapist will be expanded as follows Therapeutic Massage Therapist: Sports Massage to indicate that the therapist specialises in this field. In view of the facts put forward, and in accordance with the current legislation and training scenarios in , no matter what kind of training...read more
Every therapist’s marketing campaign has to target a primary market (the patients) and a secondary market namely other health professionals. Therapists often focus on the primary market but neglect to pursue the secondary market. They tend to underestimate or deliberately avoid marketing their businesses to other health professionals despite it being an important source of new patients especially now that Therapeutic Massage Therapy is in the process of getting medical aid recognition. Promoting massage therapy to the public Make sure all marketing and promotion campaigns align with the Allied Health Professions Act. Establish a niche market – cultivate a field of interest e.g. pregnancy massage, orthopaedic massage, sports massage. Make your services known through advertisements in publications and websites that reflect the culture and life world of a health profession. Write letters of introduction to support groups and organisations. Sign up to internet referral lists such as the MTA list and other appropriate websites. Encourage word of mouth promotion by providing a safe, ethical and professional service. Consider a leaflet drop, taking into account that research has shown that it is one of the marketing strategies with possibly the lowest return rate. Address interest groups in person, on the radio and in printed articles. Make an effort to research your subject thoroughly beforehand (If you are unsure about content or legality of your article or presentation, consult with the MTA). Avoid copyright and reproductive right infringements at all cost. Promoting massage therapy to health professionals The most effective way of making your services known to colleagues is to meet them face to face. Although telephone calls, letters of introduction, asking patients to hand your business card to their primary health practitioners all contribute to raising awareness, it is the personal interview that will be the most effective marketing tool. Other ways of disseminating information about your profession and yourself is through writing journal articles and making presentations to health professionals. Link your marketing strategy including advertising, public relations, advocacy and awareness raising campaigns to the Health Awareness Days published in the MTA Notice Board. This not only brings you in contact with potential patients but also other health professionals. Remember the principle of abundance and rather than view them as ‘enemies’, build strong and loyal relationships with other massage therapists in your area. As colleagues we form part of one another’s referral system. If every body is a potential customer, there are more than enough business out there for all of us. Although the laws and regulations pertaining to advertising and promotion pertaining to Therapeutic Massage Therapy may seem restrictive, with some creative thought and a clear understanding of what is allowed and what not, innovative and resourceful opportunities for marketing our profession can be developed. Go forth and sell yourself! Avoid illegal marketing strategies Touting by making claims about massage therapy. Putting up outside advertising such as banners, sign boards that contravene bylaws and Allied Health Professions Act. Exhibiting and doing demonstrations at any fairs and festivals including health and wellness expos. Paying and receiving commission from companies, guest houses, hotels etc. Paying or receiving perverse incentives through i.a. mutual marketing schemes. Mutual marketing refers to a massage practice partnering with another local small business with the aim of growing both of businesses through joint marketing, advertising and...read more