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Let’s talk business

Massage therapy professionals, products and service providers gathered in Burlington, Ont., last September for the first annual Massage Therapy Canada Business Forum.


October 14, 2014
By Mari-Len De


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Massage therapy professionals, products and service providers gathered in Burlington, Ont., last September for the first annual Massage Therapy Canada Business Forum.

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“This Business Forum is a great step forward (for the profession),” said Andrew Lewarne, executive director of the Registered Massage Therapists Association of Ontario. Lewarne delivered the luncheon keynote address to nearly 100 attendees.

Lewarne pointed out massage therapists, especially those fresh out of school, are often lacking the business knowledge essential to ensure their success in practice.

“They are typically left to fend for themselves when it comes to the development of their practice,” he said, pointing out that running a massage therapy business requires more than just practice skills.

Marybeth Roblin, health and wellness consultant, also spoke to attendees about achieving personal health for the busy practitioner.

She said health practices have to be “easy and simple” so they can be integrated into a practitioner’s daily life.

Don Dillon, a RMT, author and speaker, provided Business Forum attendees some food for thought about the realities of practice.

Dillon said new graduates typically have a notion that being self-employed is the direction they should take when starting practice.

“Employment is often criticized and overlooked, but don’t dismiss it yet,” said Dillon.

He said, to succeed in business RMTs need capital, contacts, competence and commitment (4Cs). Very rarely would a massage therapist fresh out of school have all these criteria to launch his or her own practice fresh out of school.

However, one can work toward acquiring these elements over time, he pointed out.

Dillon urged attendees to keep an open mind when it comes to business and employment options that are currently available.

Research enthusiast and RMT Jennifer Bloch shared some insights to Business Forum participants about research literacy and using it to enhance professional credibility.

“No matter how much you know, explaining it to the people is a very different thing,” she said, and research literacy provides that ability for informing a patient or another health professional about a particular treatment.

Business Forum attendees were also given a crash course on record keeping compliance by Andrea Collins, an educator, author and RMT.

Collins covered three important aspects of record keeping – general practice records, regulatory records and financial records – and urged attendees to always adhere to best practices.

“If we just do the minimum compliance, are we going to gain credibility? No,” she said.


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