By Leslie Young
[Editor's Note]

Whether you’re an independent contractor or employee, you’re a professional. And ROI is important to you. In some circles, the acronym ROI stands for return on investment; in other words, how much money you pocket versus how much you invest in your practice. In the massage therapy profession, let’s imagine for a minute that ROI is return on intention.* Yes, consider the intent of your work and how much of that positivity flows back to you.

Massage therapists, for the most part, enter into the profession not because they want to be rich, but because their intent is to assist people, nurture them, and help them heal. MTs may not relish the accompanying operational demands, but they step out of their comfort zones, absorb business principles, and make a living with their hands.              

In 2007, Donna Surges Tatum, PhD, released a career patterns report to the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. Tatum and her team approached 75,000 bodyworkers across the United States to learn about practitioners’ commitment and satisfaction toward the profession. The results surprised Tatum. Of the 7,646 individuals who responded, 99 percent said they were happy they entered the profession, proud to be in the field, and enthusiastic about massage therapy as an occupation. A full 77 percent said they feel they have a responsibility to stay in the profession. While more than 75 percent believe they have many attractive options should they decide to leave massage therapy, less than 10 percent intend to leave. And 87 percent say massage therapy is important to their self-image.

Sometimes it’s helpful to look in the rearview mirror and remember that original passion that brought you to the profession: that desire to assist others. And because you’ve dedicated your career to reaching out to people in need, our intent is to help you on that path in each issue we publish. In the past, we’ve tackled challenging topics like working with someone recovering from abuse, cancer survivors, homeless clients, and struggling infants. In this issue, we talk about massage for obese clients. If you’re looking for ways to breathe new life into your practice, turn these pages throughout the year.

Remember, your intent inspires us. When you share your stories, we learn and grow, and we pass the knowledge on to your peers, so please stay in touch. Your ROI should keep showing dividends.


Leslie A. Young, Editor in Chief                                         


*The term isn’t mine (darn!). I first heard it a year ago at a Massage Therapy Foundation board meeting from Ed Hudner, an insightful organizational consultant who has helped the foundation board steer its course.