David's Blog

This is where you'll find out about changes to the site, business announcements, what new modaility(ies) I'm learning, and other fun stuff like how to get FREE massage, and possibly what I had for breakfast (besides coffee).

Supporting the Massage Therapy Foundation

Collette Wilson in TeamMTF tech shirtIn 2016, I had the pleasure of not only financially supporting the funding of Community Service and Research Grants awarded by the Massage Therapy Foundation, but I also ran in the 120th Boston Marathon with the MTF’s and the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Bib Program‘s support – what an AwEsOmE adventure!

This year, I am proud to support my colleague and friend Collette Wilson in achieving the same goals for awareness, FUNdraising, and completing – through her vigilant training – the 121st Boston Marathon.

motionmailapp.com
Time Left…until Wave 4’s Start of the 121st Boston Marathon!

Her goal of raising $15,500 for the Massage Therapy Foundation is only matched by her inspiring story that accompanies her rigorous training schedule – Why she’s making her first marathon the Boston Marathon.

In just a couple of weeks, I, too, will be in Boston again – supporting my friend who has successfully worked long, hard hours, dedicated massive amounts of energy preparing for and achieving the experience of a lifetime.

Won’t you please join us in moving the massage therapy profession forward by assuring the Massage Therapy Foundation is able to award Grants to professionals that help people’s quality of life by providing the information that changes lives?

Thank you!

donate now button

all donations are mediated by Crowdrise,
to benefit the Massage Therapy Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Look for (and use!) these hashtags on social media:

  • #RunningforResearch
  • #BeBoston
  • #TeamMTF
  • #TeamCollette
  • @theMTFoundation
  • @amtamassage

Visit Team Collette’s Facebook Page…and join her on her adventure!

Small Business Saturday – Another Shopping Holiday?

When more than 50% of the workforce in the United States works in a Small Business1, it’s no wonder that American Express’s wildly-catchy Small Business Saturday has joined the shopping Holiday Season immediately following Black Friday, the Saturday before Cyber Monday.

141125 SBS-AX imagePre-Black Friday – Opinions?

The mega-companies that have been trying to up the stakes and increase Our Calendars’ real estate for their marketing and spending of Holiday Season dollars that they “own” in the season of buying where “the best deals” are offered have been plagued with the fruits of their labor…namely their labor issues, public-created mob mentalities with SUPER-early store openings on Black Friday (even as far ahead as “the day before” – Thanksgiving Day) and rock-bottom pricing, and the fallout from companies that provide products that are just released and fighting to get shelf space and air-time for their commercials…by starting the shopping Season earlier.

Personally, I have always worked in the customer/guest service industry and have been working on holidays as long as I can remember.  When I gained enough seniority to be able to pick a holiday that I wanted to be “off”, I always picked Thanksgiving.  To me, Thanksgiving is a time to be WITH family and friends and enjoy the many wonderful blessings and fortunes that we have amassed throughout the year – a good harvest, to be acknowledged and enjoyed by all…no matter how epic or quaint the celebration.

Complaints by employees and customers alike of super-chains like Walmart, Target, Macy’s…to name a few…that will be open on Thanksgiving Day around 5pm or 6pm makes people start wondering about the fairness of it all.  Websites and Facebook Pages dedicated to supporting businesses who treat their employees in a more traditional sense – letting them be with their families ON the holiday itself – are springing up.  They are eager to promote personal time spent at home, with families, and promulgators and critics supporting family values by listing the stores, in their local areas, that will be open for business.  This serves two purposes:

  1. it tells people who do want to break away from tradition for shopping, where to shop on Thanksgiving; and,
  2. it tells people who do not want to break away from Tradition where NOT to shop on any other day of the upcoming & soon-to-follow shopping Holiday, if visibly ‘not supporting’ those non-Traditional companies is their goal.

Another ploy for your holiday dollars?

I think the media and marketing mogul mayhem created by this frenzied, fanatical firestorm is a choice of the American Consumer – it is an environment that is created by giga-companies, but can be tamed and diminutized by the patrons of these giga-companies.  I found an interesting analysis of the past 6-8 years’ trend of holiday shopping windows of time becoming earlier…and more spread out…to get away from the mayhem.  And: what is the ‘hourly changing of prices’ the author is referring to?  Wicked…and not Customer- or Experience-Oriented.

But, still: is Small Business Saturday just another ploy to garner your hard-earned dollars?

To me, American Express made an investment in one of the fastest-growing markets in America today – small business owners – when they made popular, through marketing and strategic social media alliances, their campaign back in 2010.

You may not know this, but American Express invested in small businesses through social media that has brought attention and notoriety to brick and mortar establishments that would otherwise be lost in the fray of the larger, giga-companies whose practices seem to reflect the nature of their sizeable beast.

Click on the image to enlarge @ Column Five Media

Click on the image to enlarge @ Column Five Media

I think small businesses today, and in the foreseeable future, offer a personalized touch that aims to support not only their own families and employees, but also the neighborhoods’ efforts to build community and a sense of belonging – a value that the giga-companies strive to but seemingly and evidentially do not achieve as a whole.

So, Yes: it is an awareness campaign that seeks to draw attention to smaller companies and highlight the features and benefits of becoming familiar with and a regular part of the community in which a customer lives.

Remote, a number, a statistic, a target, a segment, an audience: these are all phrases and senses of identity that alienate a customer when folded into the theories and practices of capitalism from a skyscraper’s corner, window office.  These are practices of giga-companies and there is no way around it – it is their nature.  To manage such enormous expectations of service and protection from liability, these terms become every day terms of endearment for their customers.

Discovering Value – “on Sale”…or not

When a person shops local, buys local, and reinvests locally, with a known, well-reputed small business, they are building experiences that put themselves in the context of community, confidence, commiseration, and collaboration.

There are over 22 million self-employed small businesses in the United States2 – over 50% of the working 120 million individuals in the U.S. work in a small business3.

The internet is such a great place to discover small businesses these days – from reviews by real people (read “why they’re important”, at Milo), to product availability and delivery to your door, virtual tours of establishments, to video interview with the owners themselves, discovering local businesses has never been more accessible…and desired by customers and residents in the neighborhood (see infographic Figure).

Shameless plug for Hands In Motion Therapeutic Massage services

I invite you to celebrate small businesses – When it comes to investigating and investing in your health, discover if massage therapy is a part of your health care goals.  Read about massage, about me, my client testimonials and reviews on Yelp, and contact me, via email or give me a call, if you want to know more about my practice, schedule an appointment, or get a referral to a qualified healthcare practitioner – I will do my best to make sure your needs are fulfilled.

To help you understand massage and my practice a little better, I am offering a $20 savings on your next 60-minute massage with me in December – regular price: $70.  I come to your home with table, linens, music, and an eclectic style of massage that integrates all the modalities you might need to relax, relieve pain, or mentally restart your kinetic chain or neural patterning.

I look forward to seeing you for your massage – the sooner, the better!

Click HERE to schedule your December #SmallBusinessSaturday Signature Massage

SNEAK PEEK at HIM’s November 29th-ONLY #SmallBusinessSaturday Special!

#SBS Signature Massage – 60 mins

_______________________________________________________________________

A therapeutic massage that is developed specifically for you, based on your needs at the time of session.  Utilizes a variety of modalities, including: Swedish, Russian Sports, Trigger Point Therapy, and Structural Integration, to name a few.  Deep or Moderate pressure are always optional and included in this eclectic method.

60 minutes – $50

No other discounts or promotions/programs apply – One per client, please. Location of outcall massage must be within HIM’s business license jurisdictions (Cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, and Clark County – map) and is based on availability (appointment only).  IS TRANSFERRABLE.  MUST be used by December 31, 2014 – if scheduled after, regular pricing (“$70”) applies – you may pay the difference upon delivery of service. Ω

 

1 generally, less than 500 employees – more: https://www.sba.gov/content/what-sbas-definition-small-business-concern
2 according to Forbes in a Sep 2013 publication – Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/09/09/16-surprising-statistics-about-small-businesses/
3 according to Forbes in a Sep 2013 publication – Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/09/09/16-surprising-statistics-about-small-businesses/

Victims Speak Out – Massage Therapy: “Under Fire”

The massage therapy industry is under fire in Las Vegas.

So, what else is new?  “Sin City” has a reputation for providing The Unscrupulous ways to satisfy their deep, dark desires, whims, and habits.  Massage Therapy is used as the face of some less-than-virtuous ways of enjoying what the City of Las Vegas, its surrounding wildlife and lands, and neon culture have to offer.  Massage Therapy, as an industry and a profession, is again, based on the public response from KTNV’s “Contact 13 Investigates” story about questionable corporate practices at Las Vegas Valley Massage Envy locations, defending itself against a negative public perception.  The story ran first on May 1, 2014, during their live action newscast, part of a Series presentation called “When Massage Becomes Misconduct”, focusing on Las Vegas Valley Massage Envys.

Watch this video, then please continue reading140501 KTNV Contact 13 story

 

Before I try to address what is really going on in the publication of this story, please know:  I am not and haven’t been an employee of or investor in Massage Envy.  I am not a representative for any law enforcement agency.  I do not know any of “the players” in this story.  But I am a concerned citizen – for the rights of potential and the alleged victims in this story.  I am also a pro-active Massage Therapy professional and Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists-licensed massage therapist (NVMT.103).  Oh: and I have an opinion, with some solution.

Please allow me to make some distinctions via definition for some of the terms I will use here:

  • Company – Massage Establishment
  • LMT – NSBMT-licensed Massage Practitioner
  • Complaining Client – customer who lodges a service complaint with a Company
  • Accusing Client – massage recipient/client who files/has filed criminal or civil charges against an LMT

I think, in our industry especially, any company that receives an first-time complaint against an employee LMT should investigate it internally and Play It Safe. There is no “report of criminal activity” by the company because they are not the Victim nor is there a law (that I am aware of) that requires employer to report “suspect LMTs” to the Business License Department, but I think Massage Envy [ME] has a franchise policy of “zero tolerance” for their employees already. Yes, the LMT/employee may not get the benefit of any doubt as to the veracity of the complaint…and that is another issue [if they are terminated over a complaint]: one the LMT would take up with an complaining client in a civil case. If the complaining client (based on the legally-consequential nature of the complaint), after being advised by the company of their options (in writing, too) to report the alleged ‘complaint’ additionally as a crime committed by the LMT, chooses NOT to pursue legal action, then the company is not legally bound to report the criminal act because they are not the victim. If the complaining client pursues criminal accusation and the LMT is convicted of a crime, then the company has ‘no choice’ (in my head) but to terminate employment (and according to their own company policy) – they, themselves, cannot pursue a criminal case against the LMT. Without a registered client accusation, This is a civil case. If (a franchisee of) ME is found to be negligent, then it is also a civil case.

The company may, but IMHO not successfully, pursue a civil action against the convicted LMT if libel or defamation of reputation is incurred by the company. Who knows? Maybe that is what we hope can be established…but not until fair notice and counseling for employment is documented. Apparently, ME as a franchiser has a “Zero Tolerance” policy, which is a great statement, but they seem to not be living up to it at the news-story-targeted locations. Sometimes, news stories like these will put the franchisees under investigation by the company (Franchiser) and they may lose their franchise if not following contracted agreement, but the franchisee will not be responsible for a single LMT’s actions. I suspect that the franchisee will take the entire responsibility/consequence for re-employing, with documented counseling of the LMT prior, but ME’s lack of organizational oversight (because maybe there is a lack of network information for the re-employing franchisee) may be where the blame is set, finally. Again, This is a civil case.

If the company does not Play It Safe and counsel effectively OR terminate, the company becomes at risk for the accused LMT to be accused again. They cannot announce to every subsequent client that the LMT they are about to get a massage from has been accused (or complained against by another client) of criminal behavior – it is not their responsibility to announce an alleged perpetrator if they continue to employ a “suspect”. It is not the company’s responsibility when an LMT commits crimes – that is why we have a board for Massage Therapists, not Massage Establishments (and their owners) – if Nevada did, then the MEs featured in this story would be under investigation by the NSBMT (…for hiring/employment practices? that’s more likely an SOS function…). Massage Envy is one of the last places anyone expects to find criminals, which is why this story is so interesting – it’s the patrons and professionals that have conspiracy-theory attitudes that fuel the publicity derived from the fear developed in the telling of this story.

We all tend to like to be judges – we have seen the limited, edited testimony of the alleged victims…in the agendized new story. We all tend to want to convict the accused and alleged LMT(s) in the court of public opinion. But it remains to be seen that the LMT(s) are guilty, and that is only done by investigation and hearing/trial, and That isonly done if/when a criminal case is opened by the victims. This story is an example of civil unrest – and one certain way to resolve it to, again, show the public that companies are responsible, for the public’s sake and in my opinion, is to have ME conduct an internal investigation and publish its result(s)…and probably get a follow-up story done by the news station. 

Establishing that the LMTs in question are criminals is the key – complaints will take those victims nowhere, accusations will.


 

Here are some steps (but may not include all) in how to get the ball rolling for avoiding or accusing a perpetrator that violates professional and business massage therapy laws:

Before an Incident:

  1. Use a reputable company’s/organization’s Referral System for Finding A Massage Therapist, if you are starting from scratch: [for National searches: (use AMTA) (use ABMP) (use NCBTMB) (use Better Business Bureau)]  [for review-based searches: (use Yelp) (use TripAdvisor) (use Angie’s List)]
  2. Check the license status of a Licensed Massage Therapist in Nevada at the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists – “Active” means the Licensee is registered and legally-allowed and -qualified to practice massage therapy.
  3. Use a search engine* to “research” your Licensed Massage Therapist; discover more about your LMT than just a license number:  is their advertising consistent, therapeutic in nature, and do their goals as your practitioner match your therapeutic goals by getting a massage?  (use Google) (use Bing)
  4. Contact and interview your Licensed Massage Therapist by phone prior to your massage therapy session.
*your search engine’s settings will determine individual results

During an Incident:

  • Yell out for help,
  • Exit the room or get out of range of the perpetrator,
  • Call 9-1-1

After an Incident:

Read the Nevada Revised Statute (laws) and Nevada Administrative Codes regarding regulation and rules for behavior for Licensed Massage Therapists;

  • If you believe the offending LMT has broken a professional license/regulatory law, fill out this Complaint Form at the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists website.

Additionally, If you believe the offending LMT has broken a jurisdictional/criminal law (some NV jurisdictions’ websites), call the police non-emergency line (3-1-1 OR (702) 828-3111) and/or go into a police station (map) to file your report.


In my opinion, this story just puts the “news” spotlight on a wrongly-intended outcome – will raking ME over the coals stop or greatly reduce the number of sexual assault victims in the industry and profession? Maybe in the organization of ME, and that can be our first stand: to establish and support well-known, public companies that represent the industry/profession. I think ME is doing a fine job of being that face for massage therapy professionals, in spite of what a news outlet reports: only one side of the story so far.

The integrity of all massage therapists is not at stake or at risk, unless we falter and don’t believe what we are doing helps people, our clients/patients. The profession is tarnished and a company is cracked with this news story, but shining & repair is inevitable if we all are to survive an unwitting blow to our reputations as facilitators of health. Regaining trust and re-establishing confidence can only be accomplished by maintaining the strict line of therapeutic relationship and practicing (sometimes more noticeably [, now]) the ethics and standards of practice that the public (and professionals, alike) recognize as constitutional and trustworthy. Helping our clients understand what to do in a situation like these victims may have experienced is one of the best ways to communicate that we, each one of us that educates in this fashion, are NOT “those LMTs”. Here are some ways to hold the line:

  • Making public statements against crimes that are known to be and are regularly publicized and associated with our profession/industry is a very good thing
  • Allying, as a massage therapy professional/business, with organizations whose agendas refute and take action against prostitution (in SoNV, especially) and human trafficking
  • Using pro-therapeutic and legally-required verbiage in our advertisements,
  • Following the law(s) explicitly regarding scope and jurisdictional practices,

These are all ways we can regain the trust of our clients and never lose our integrity.

More Massage in Mainstream Media

Although the commercial is subtitled in English, it shows the typical perceptions of massage therapists in many countries. Note: working on models exclusively is NOT every MT’s dream. Really.

Bugs & the Bux: Old Dog Learns New Trick

“Please explain the primary reason you were not highly satisfied with the accuracy of your order.”

Now, doesn’t this seem like a ridiculous or nit-picky question to ask on a customer survey?

To me, it does…here’s why:

I’ve been in customer service my entire life – haranguing people about their experience to a depth that Sigmund Freud would think is intrusive is not a characteristic I appreciate in a company or the person asking for the feedback. Remember the dog in the Bugs Bunny cartoons that always asked Bugs (his prey) “Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?” with the adorable, yet annoying repetition and cadence that got you confused as to whether or not to feel sorry for the dog? I am Bugs Bunny and Starbucks (my long time favorite) is the dog.

Here’s my “ ‘Dat way…” response:

Highly satisfied would mean that I know the formulated way that the drink is made and that I also know that the barista, tweaked it, changing it to my specific taste, which I’ve never done (because I never was highly satisfied with a particular way a barista made my formulated drink, enough for me to stop and ask them “how did you just make my drink – I am highly satisfied” and then go on to continue to order an iced coffee in the exact same way, outside normal protocol and to my exact taste, in which case I would be “highly” satisfied each time I ordered it in that fashion) and being satisfied is like being pregnant, either you are or you’re not – there are no viable degrees of satisfaction when you are considering accuracy – either it’s accurate or it’s not. If I was served a caramel Frappuccino instead of my iced coffee, the order would be inaccurate and I could be highly dissatisfied with the entire visit, so accuracy and inaccuracy are really not in grades.”

The Bux is willing to give a free Tall drink, though, for their annoyance of completing a 5-minute (that’s a SUPER long time in the online world) online survey. That is what surveys are today for many customers: annoyances. I am rarely annoyed when I am asked to give a reasonable amount of time to feedback AND don’t have to give me email address: this is the case with the recent ploy by the Bux to get their data, called a Survey. By the way, Panda Express gives a free $1.25 entrée when you complete their online survey, too. Those that know me can assume that I like a good survey or two, especially if I think it will help a business that I like a lot or a person that is sincere in asking.

So, the businesses (en masse) asking for these random experiences to be quantified through filled bubbles and taken keystrokes are proving, to me at least, that they are willing, now, to pay for the respondent’s time. I have actually had my time paid for by Starbucks in “free drink” coupons by waiting too long for a drink at both drive-up and lounge windows. And, to get you back in, concerned and great customer service-oriented businesses will give something free to take the chance that you’ll buy something else while you’re there.

But, really: Asking a caffeine addict if they want free caffeine is like asking a crack addict if they want a hit…quite literally. They will come back, because they have no choice. Starbucks is my favorite crack…-aHem-…I mean, coffee shop.

On the Record – CAM Products and the FDA (revised)

This may be something you’re interested in: the adequate protection your health through regulated consumables: now, or in the future.

Last year, I wrote an article that outlined the FDA’s attempt to regulate CAM products, including massage therapy oils/consumables, to the Nth degree, mirroring Sweden’s [Medical Products Agency’s] current regulatory process for products on the shelves in their country.

Haven’t heard any more about it?

Well, here’s a recap of the article I wrote with some ancillary information you may be interested in reading. When you’re done, read on about a new initiative to reform the FDA – and understand how you can help yourself and the country’s regulation of food and drugs.

The Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) industry has boomed over the past 10 to 20 years. Thousands of CAM products and services have flooded the market, in which there is also the same demand – and it only grows. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that in May 2004, 36% of Americans, aged 18 or older, used some form of CAM product or service. This number is expected to increase dramatically over the next 10 years and beyond.

There is some concern in the general public, the CAM practitioner community, the bodyworker community, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the growing popularity of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the implications for regulation of the consumable products that are an inherent part of the delivery of the CAM service. The FDA is proposing regulation by law of the industry of CAM by regulating the CAM products that are used by practitioners in the industry.

The FDA Stance. They state that in the interest of the safety of the general public that utilizes the services and products of the CAM practitioners, they are considering restricting use of certain types of products that are produced in circumstances that are not advisable or regulated by the FDA, a governmental agency acting on behalf of the Consumer. Click here http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/06d-0480-gld0001.pdf to read their Draft Guidance and reasoning on the subject.

The CAM Practitioner Stance. Most tissue-manipulation and energy bodyworkers use only their hands (and no implements or organic products internally) and external lubricants to manipulate the tissue through the skin of the client. There are other CAM practitioners (like nutritional counselors and holistic doctors) that prescribe nutritional supplements, botanical or essential oils, and dietary aids and foods, under which the FDA would like to categorize, label, and regulate the production of these CAM products. What “CAM products” will become is: difficult to find – less available if laws regulate what can be purchased; more expensive to purchase – because of less competition and the cost to produce the product under FDA regulation; more processed, less organic – because of the proposed pharmaceutical nature and process of the production of CAM products; and, the variety of products will be greatly diminished due to the origin of the products not being approved by the FDA to be legally prescribed or sold for use in CAM practices.

The CAM Client Stance. The general public wants to know what is in the products that are being used on their skin and inside their bodies. They are becoming more aware of the old adage “You are what you eat” and how true it is in regard to what ever a person is exposed or consumes. They have a right to understand and be able to choose the products they are exposed to or consume based on the latest information possible from a consumer group that acts on their behalf. The possible regulation by the FDA may: limit the types and variety of products available to the CAM Client thereby removing a choice, raise the cost of obtaining these products due to the regulatory nature of the production of the CAM products, increase the safety of the products being used on or in the bodies of the CAM Client thereby reducing the physical response to a product that has been untested for safety and effectiveness toward the condition it is meant to address, and possibly change the face of the products that will ever be available to the CAM Client based on the recommendation of their CAM Practitioner.

Your Stance. The FDA is accepting and registering public comment for purposes of survey and public record about their proposal. You have the opportunity to register your opinion for the record, and may do so here: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/oc/dockets/comments/COMMENTSMain.CFM?EC_DOCUMENT_ID=1451&. If you are concerned about the CAM products that are on the market today and want to voice your opinion to the FDA, you’ll need to do so by April 30th, 2007, to be “on the record.”

There is a new movement, on behalf of consumers and the public affected by the current practices of the FDA, to bring to the attention of Congress the deficits the FDA places on the newest markets of drugs and CAM products; “new science.” The American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) is leading a campaign to reform the FDA, starting with a petition that will be delivered to Congress.

To read what the petition is about and to sign it electronically or print a copy to send to your elected Congressperson, visit the AAHF online.

You are the “one more” signature closer to changing things…