The 4 Basic Food Groups that Feed Your Holistic Practice

Feldenkrais practitioners can market without feeling salesyI’ve been doing a lot of work with my diet in the last several months… getting out the things that cause an immune response and stop me from staying at a reasonable weight. As a result, I’m feeling better and better, and I’ve been thinking a lot about food groups and how they keep me healthy – and after several months of being conscious about it, I realized that the four I now look for every day are the ones that:
  1. don’t make me feel old
  2. don’t make me crave more
  3. make me feel satisfied and
  4. have just the right mouth appeal
Not the usual four, I know, but they got me thinking about _what food groups we need to feed our holistic practices, so that they stay healthy and vibrant!_ And that leads us to today’s topic:

The 4 Basic “Food Groups” that Feed Your Holistic Practice

Promote your Feldenkrais Practice with relationships1. Help people talk themselves into working with you

Your clients don’t want to be “sold” Feldenkrais® or any other practice, anymore than you want to be sold any of the millions of things you could buy. We all hate the sales pitch, and that’s why it’s not effective any more. If your idea of promotion is that you have to become a sleazy salesperson, your idea is out of date!

It took me many, long painful years of “explaining” Feldenkrais®  and “convincing” people to come and just “try it” to realize that this is the holistic-practice-salesperson equivalent of selling a used car in the way none of us likes. Typically the people I did get to lie on my table, did  “just try it” and I never saw them again!

I really believe that almost everything we need to have a successful holistic practice is already somewhere in our repertoire, only we don’t recognize it because we haven’t ever viewed it that way before.

As an example… I think most of us would agree that one of our primary jobs as Feldenkrais® Practitioners is to create the conditions in which people can learn something about themselves. Well, that’s what we have to do when we’re talking to prospective clients, too… _create the conditions in which people learn enough about themselves in relation to us_, to talk themselves into working with us!

Once you understand how to do that, it doesn’t take long to bring those skills into your life so that you’re practicing them all the time. When you read about people who have been working with me… that’s what they learned to do! I know it can work for you, too!

Feldenkrais practitioners relieve back pain2. Give a simple FI that connects their dream with their power and your vision

How many times have you given a “convincer” first session? You know the one I mean – you pull out every stop, work longer than usual, do everything you can think of to make the person “get it” that working with you should be at the top of their priority list!

They get up, feel something different, tell you they’ll call you, walk out in a daze, and you never hear from them again. _Bummer_.

We’ve all been there and done that. We overload people with information, give them the equivalent of 4 or 5 lessons, and create conditions in which they can’t “keep” any of the changes. And when they don’t call, we blame our Feldenkrais® skills.

Well, I’m here to tell you – it’s not that you have too little Feldenkrais ®skill… but that people need help to make the connections that are important so that they can see the value of working with you.

That happens when you give a lesson that helps them feel how powerful they can be in getting what they want for themselves, and connect that with your ability to see what they need to work on to realize their dreams!

That kind of first lesson does wonders for everybody’s ego! Your clients feel hopeful because they’ve finally found someone who understands them better than they understand themselves. You feel great because the likelihood that they’ll sign for a series of lessons skyrockets!

cardfile3. Follow up

Experts estimate that people need to see your name or your service between 7 and 15 times before they even believe it _exists!_  In addition, people are bombarded by advertising messages from the minute they get up until they go to bed.

If they never hear from you the likelihood that they’ll completely forget about talking with you in the express lane at the supermarket is pretty high.

You owe it to the people you’ve talked with as well as to yourself to have a good follow-up system in place so that you don’t lose track of them. For sure, you want to stick with them until they decide it’s time to give you a call!

Follow-up doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive — it just has to do the job. You can find free systems that work on your computer, or you can make one from index cards and a cardboard box.

Follow-up doesn’t have to be complicated, but to be effective, it does have to be consistent. Remember — the most important thing is showing up! If you say you’re going to call, you need to call! If you say you’re going to email, you need to sit down and do it!

Even if you are not currently sending out a newsletter, make it a goal to get a person’s email address so that you can easily stay in touch. Do it even if you think you won’t ever have the desire to write a newsletter – you never know what’s going to happen. Case in point – If you had asked me 5 years ago whether I’d ever be interested enough in business to teach practitioners how to build their practices, I would have laughed and walked away!

Community is essential to Feldenkrais Practitioners4. Create Community

I had a call last night from a colleague who lives nearby. She’s got a long series of classes running and has to go out of town, so she was calling to ask me if I would teach her ATM class for her a couple of weeks from now. I said “yes!” even though it means getting up a lot earlier than I normally do.

There are 5 or 6 of us up here in our county, and we like each other! We help each other out. We have dinner together, socialize, call on each other when we need input, get excited, acknowledge each other, and raise each other up. We also have people to call when we need a sub for our classes!

Our students benefit because their classes don’t stop, and we can brainstorm about difficulties we may be having. We benefit because we don’t feel like we’re inventing every wheel by ourselves, because we aren’t afraid that someone will “take our clients” and because feeling the juice that comes from community makes everything better, in and out of our workspaces.

Our clients are not aware of all the things that go on in the background that make our work with them better, but if it stopped happening, they’d notice the absence!

I don’t have to tell you that our work is very internal, and we need to have the support of others if we want to do it as well as we can. It’s especially important for us to work on this in our Feldenkrais® community because that kind of cohesion doesn’t come to us as a birthright.

So these are my four food groups.

If you find yourself completely uninterested in any one of them, your practice may suffer from malnutrition, and it would be a good idea to look at why you feeling that way!

Once you include all 4 food groups in your life, you’ll find yourself feeding your practice without thinking about it!

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2 Responses to The 4 Basic Food Groups that Feed Your Holistic Practice

  1. hallo allison, thanks a lot for your sharing your life-experiences!
    I am an architecte and I work on increasing peoples consciousness of what space means to their positure, their ways to communicate, to their emotions or their behaviour.
    my own experiences with Feldenkrais-movements and their power of change and opening up the mind, have improved my capability to reach people and to understand the speech of their movements. on the other side, only movements make it possible to see and feel space and its qualities.
    all the best from austria (central in good old europe)
    margit schwarz

    • Allison says:

      Hallo, Margit! So nice to hear from you! I love what you wrote about what you’re doing. This was Moshe’s idea… that the theme of our work is applicable in every aspect of life. There is an architect in the current Victoria, BC, Canada training, and I’m sure you would have a lot of fun talking with each other!

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