7 Simple Tips for Massage Therapists Partnering with a Chiropractor

chiropractorPartnering with a chiropractor’s office can be a rewarding experience for a massage therapist at any point in his or her career.

For those who wish to improve skills, gain a deeper understanding of functional anatomy, and learn new approaches to addressing chronic conditions, a collaboration in chiropractic care is something to consider. Depending on how you negotiate your arrangements, it may even provide an opportunity to grow your private practice.

These are a few tips we’ve gathered for making the relationship between massage therapist and chiropractor a successful one:

1. Proper introductions

Beginning a partnership with a chiropractor might start in a few different ways. One way is applying for an open position in a practice. Another might be renting space in a chiropractor’s office, but not necessarily working as part of the team or working hourly.

But let’s say you aren’t applying for a position in a chiropractic practice, but want to introduce yourself for networking purposes and to get your name out there, be sure to make a good first impression. Use professional introduction letters on letterhead when communicating with a new chiropractor or medical professional.

2. Make friends with the receptionist 

Get your foot in the door by connecting with the receptionist. Laura Allen gives this advice in her ebook “Working with Physicians: A Massage Therapist’s Guide,” which can easily be applied to chiropractors:

“I always have a little box in my car of business cards and business card holders. When I have time, I stop into the offices of physicians, dentists and chiropractors and talk to the receptionist. It’s impossible to get to the doctor without going through the receptionist… I’ll leave behind my letter of introduction, the card holder and cards, and a few research articles in a manila envelope. I invite the receptionist to the office for a complimentary half-hour massage — which they usually end up upgrading to an hour—so she can give a firsthand account of the professional atmosphere in our office and the skill of our therapists.”

3. Hone your skills 

Ground your expertise in anatomy. If you’re serious about working more closely in a clinical setting, focus on a modality that aligns with chiropractic therapies.

Along with your own areas of expertise, you would benefit to expand your knowledge about chiropractic care as well.

4. Be professional

Professional appearance and conduct are important to consider when partnering with a chiropractor.

Dress as part of the team. It may feel strange or sterile at first if you’re used to a more relaxed and casual environment, but you will find greater success when you fit into the team dynamic.

5. Show professional courtesy

Respect the relationship and be a partner. If you are renting space, be respectful of the chiropractor who is renting to you. Establish yourself as a partner, not a rival or competitor. Never speak negatively about the people in the office or undermine the chiropractor who may be treating your client as well.

6. Advantages and trade-offs 

If you are hired hourly, it’s good to understand the advantages of not paying any overhead. This is especially important in considering how much you should be getting paid. The costs of ownership can easily add up. Take it from Debbie Roberts, LMT, in her article on MassageToday:

“I’ve had countless conversations with massage therapists complaining that chiropractors don’t pay well enough. Many feel that the percentage is too low. Some even told me they thought chiropractors were making too much money off of their labor. We all deserve to be treated and paid fairly. And as a talented massage therapist, you should absolutely negotiate a fair agreement that you can feel good about. But there is one issue that massage therapists who feel that they’re not being treated fairly often overlook or underestimate. And that is overhead…. [it] can easily eat up to 90% of your profits. (No kidding!)”

Overhead includes:

  • Rent
  • Utilities: lights, water, heating, cooling
  • Laundry
  • Taxes
  • Marketing
  • Emergencies

7. Follow up on referral

If you get a referral from a chiropractor, follow up on your client’s progress with them. Introduce yourself and let them know in concrete terms what you are helping the client with, the progress, ask if there’s anything he or she would like to have for the patient’s file, etc. Present yourself as a health professional who cares about their client or patient, and establish a line of communication.

You can watch this video from Irene Diamond as she does a live call to a physician who referred a patient to her.



Comments from original Massamio post:

What about HIPPA laws.If the client was secretive & didn’t tell Dr you were working with her, was”t this a violation without her consent? (Which wasn’t mentioned that I heard.) — Posted @ Wednesday, May 28, 2014 12:47 PM by Valerie

Being professional is one of the most important factor which is mentioned in the article — Posted @ Wednesday, June 04, 2014 7:22 AM by Chiropractor Dubai

Good question about HIPAA, Valerie. It’s not clear in the video how this was taken into account. Keen comment! — Posted @ Thursday, June 05, 2014 1:57 PM by Benjamin McDonald