Sunday, March 12, 2017

Why It's Not Always Easy to Find A Specialist

I have had several new clients tell me that it's hard to a specialist with a lot of continuing education.  Whenever I have had a regular client move, they would ask me how to find a specialist with a lot of continuing education.  Well, that is not an easy question to answer.  There are numerous reasons why it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  I am going to give you my perspective and the perspective that I have heard from others.

Not everyone is self employed with a website.  Most of the people I have taken continuing education classes with work for a fitness facility or a clinic.  Depending on how the website is laid out at places like that, will depend on the information that you find on the website.  Some of those businesses will have biographies of each of their staff, but most of the ones that I have seen do not.

Not everyone who is self employed has a website.  I have met several specialists who go by word of mouth only.  There can be as many reasons for this decision as there are people.  Some may do it for safety reasons and just prefer to work on people that they already know.  I don't know the other reasons since this is not how I operate my business.

I have my own website so that new people can find me online.  Past experience is what has shaped the running of my business.  Offering cutting edge techniques that are different and more effective than the traditional approach sounds like all fun and games, but there is a dark side to it.  The dark side to it is that if it's something most people haven't heard of, including other therapists, than it can create a lot of skepticism.  I am going to be blunt and say that for me, skeptics suck the fun out of my job.  Not all specialists feel this way.  Some love trying to prove them wrong as get a buzz off of it.

There are two types of skeptics:  The curious skeptics who want to know more and are willing to be proven wrong and then you have the debunkers.  The debunkers are going to block every effort that you put into helping them so that the treatment will not work.  Before I put a new policy in place requiring all new people to commit to a 3 session minimum, I was constantly being set up by the debunkers.  The debunkers have their minds made up before calling the person up that they are only coming exactly once.  They weren't there for pain relief.  They were there to try to prove a point.  THIS is why people say that the therapist isn't the healer, the client is.  It's true, because you have the power to block the efforts of those working on you and preventing change from taking place. This is also why I don't offer demos of my services at public events. It has been my expereince that people can tell by reading my website or hearing me talk whether or not they feel drawn to come.  No proof needed! People who are coerced into coming by friends and family members are a similar experience as the debunkers.  Most coerced friends and family members are also the debunkers.  They want to prove to their family member or friend that nothing works for them.

I used to be the type of therapist who really put myself out there.  I went to several networking groups, used to do talks at public events, etc.  While I have developed some wonderful professional relationships and have picked up some wonderful clients from doing that, the largest chunk of my experiences from doing that were negative.  This was before I started having new people do a minimum of 3 sessions and people expected to be completely cured after one session.  And they were rude and behaved horribly.

Many body workers are sensitive empaths and can be easily traumatized.  If someone walks into our office who doesn't want to be there at all or doesn't want to get better, that can be traumatizing for the person who is going to be spending the next hour or more with them.  The reason I am writing this blog and this topic, is because of how many other body workers have admitted to feeling this way and run their business in a way that only attracts who they want to work with.  I recently worked on another body worker who is very sensitive when someone comes for the wrong reasons.  He left my office telling me that my new client 3 pack policy has given him ideas for his own business.

Not all body workers are just trying to keep their schedules full.  Many really do care if it's a right fit.  However, some of the confusion lays on the part of the body worker.  Some body workers are more worried about not having enough business than they are about being true to themselves and will offer services that they do not enjoy offering.  As a massage therapist who would rather stick to the clinical treatments and energy work, clinical treatments and energy work are all that are offered at my office.  I don't offer full body massage.  Many body workers who specialize do offer full body massage as well.  Some like doing both and offer it gladly and some prefer not doing it, but offer it anyway and that can confuse the public into wondering what they are getting when they schedule an appointment.  I had a regular client years ago who booked a full body massage with a therapist who kept trying to fix her with specific techniques.  She did not want fixed.  She wanted a relaxation massage. Some body workers are also scared to let their unique brand shine on their website.  If they are scared of scaring someone off who isn't open to energy work for example, then their website is more likely to be confusing to a consumer who is looking for their unique style.

Being a specialist who offers a unique, unheard of approach is not for wimps.  Some body workers are scared to put themselves out there for this very reason and are not always clear and concise about what they do and the benefits of it.  Also, not everyone cares how much business they get.  It's not always about keeping every time slot and date full for some professionals.  If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and want to know how to find a specialist, one way is through the All Life Center in Delaware, Ohio.  It's an integrative health co-op.  However, I still think the best approach is through word of mouth and Google.  The folks that I see for my care are not with the All Life Center. 


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What is Your Worth? What do You Value?

Who do you put first in your life? Does that keep your cup filled enough to be there for others in the way that they deserve you to be? Think about this! I mean REALLY think about this. Put yourself in the shoes of those in your life and look at yourself through their eyes. I came from a family where women were taught to put everyone else's needs above their own. Through my eyes, the people who lived this way were hard to get along with. They were moody, angry and upset all the time. And filled with bitterness and resentment. Being around them was like walking on eggshells. There wasn't consistency as to what would set them off, either. What they would laugh off and consider funny one day, would send them through the roof in a fit of rage the next day. Still think that putting other people's needs above your own makes you unselfish? I was always the rebel in that regard. People would criticize me for making sure I got what I needed first. I was smart enough to know that was they only way I would get what I needed, or I wouldn't get it. I know myself well enough to know that I am not the type of person anyone wants to be around when my own needs are not met first. Selfish? I don't think so. Selfish people do not constantly work on themselves on a daily basis in order to make sure they have a hold of their emotions. When people react the way that they do when interacting with others says a lot about where they are. Where they are affects everyone else around them. 

Like many others, health and wellness was not not a huge topic in my house when we were growing up. The only time any of us went to the doctor is if something was either broken or sprained. If my parents were in pain, they slapped on the heating pad and bengay. The only exception I can think of was when my Dad was hurt at the factory he worked at and needed back surgery and was off of work for 6 months.  Knowing what I know now, was it from a one time injury that led to inevitable surgery, or were other things going on in his body that made him more vulnerable to injury, that could have been avoided, if health and wellness were valued in my family. Who knows? It could go either way. All I know is that he has always had back pain for as far back as I can remember. He always talked about his "bad back". Even if we had knowledge of the benefits of alternatives such as masssage and chiropractic back then, they had four kids to feed, so they would not have gone. How many of you can relate to this? It's very common!

I have observed some interesting things in the community when I interact with others. And this is true among lay people and wellness practitioners. Often times, wellness practitioners are more guilty of this than lay people. It involves observing who is obviously vested in their wellness. Some people trap themselves by limiting what they can and cannot have and others are unstoppable. I have some wellness practitioners who love my services and would see me regardless of whether or not they were paying in the form of money or an exchange in services. I have some regulars in the wellness industry who always pay in money. To be honest, most of the wellness practitioners I have met who have shown a lot of interest in my services have been very much "barter or bust".  Just like I get lay people who are unstoppable and will drive over two hours to come see me and others who live just the next suburb over, but consider me too far of a drive. I am going to be blunt and say that this speaks volumes to me about where the person is. I recently had someone who likes to send me referrals encourage me to come to some of her classes, because her clients are relationship oriented and she feels that would help my business. These same relationship oriented people see the same chiropractor that I see and he never comes to her classes. I have also had other wellness practitioners who put their client's needs above their own by cancelling an appointment they had scheduled with me because a client of theirs wanted that same day and time. 

I give myself scheduled days off and never miss my wellness appointments. Morning people wonder why I don't take my first appointment until 11am. For two reasons. One, I'm a night owl who wakes up at noon on my days off. Two, since my clients deserve me at my best, my workout days are the same day of the week that I see clients. Getting it in before work is what keeps me centered and present. I gives me my energy for the day. I can't do caffeine. That means that this night owl is waking up at least four hours or more before her first client of the day, in order to be centered and present for clients. Many wellness practitioners answer their phone during their workouts, multi task, etc. My phone is on silent when I am working out, in order to make sure that I arrive to my office in plenty of time for my first client. By putting my own needs first, I am able to give everyone else my best. And that makes me feel good! I feel well balanced. I don't live a life of regrets. Do you want a wellness practitioner whose cup is filled, or one who always seems tired? What fills your cup? Find a way to get it! It doesn't have to be anything that costs a lot. For me, it is often the little things, like a hike in the woods or good quality dark chocolate. It doesn't take much to make me happy at all.

And if you are guilty of limiting yourself, stop it!  Who you pick as your wellness practitioner should be based on whether or not they offer what you need, regardless of location, accepted forms of payment, etc.  As wellness practitioners, we do not set a good example if our own cups are not filled first. We can't offer anything that we don't have. Now go fill your cups!