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19/Oct/2018

Breaking the law

California prosecutors recently filed a false advertising lawsuit against lifestyle brand Goop. The online retailer, helmed by Gwyneth Paltrow, settled for $145,000. The prosecutors specifically listed three wellness products in the filing.

Quite frankly, the products listed, seemed to be marketed in a manner consistent with wellness advertising everywhere. That is, the description of the products included possible health benefits. Two yoni stones said to “balance hormones,” amongst other things, and an essential oil blend claiming to “prevent depression.”

The lawsuit stated this amounted to false advertising using unfounded claims. No medical evidence exists to support or contradict the purported health benefits of the products. Other wellness-related companies, such as DoTerra and Young Living, have had similar legal trouble. Both were reprimanded for representing their essential oils as pharmaceuticals.

Scientific Evidence

While wellness products and complementary therapies gain popularity, research remains elusive. Many such health-related offerings stem from traditional healing practices from around the world. Practices that pre-date modern medicine. However, these types of remedies rarely have strong (if any) scientific research to support them.

Massage therapy, for one, still has a long way to go in terms of quality evidence. For example, the massage industry has claimed for years that massage decreases the stress hormone cortisol. In fact, the current body of evidence does not support this claim. A 2010 meta-analysis concluded that the evidence at that time was inconclusive at best. A quick search of studies since then still show conflicting results. Some positive, some neutral, and some negative.

Massage therapy carries with it a long history of other unsupported claims including:

  • Massage releases toxins, which has never been studied. Indeed “toxin” has not even been defined in this context.
  • Massage increases circulation, which has conflicting evidence.
  • Massage improves immunity, which has not been well studied. (Although promising preliminary studies exist.)
  • Massage releases endorphins, which only has one study of 12 people behind it.

Massage therapists do not typically make these statements about massage with the intention of deceiving. In fact, many schools still teach their students these “facts.” As research improves and the body of evidence grows, marketing language should, hopefully, become more accurate as well.

Clear Language

In our own content, we try to be very careful and clear around our language. In keeping with scientific practices, when discussing the benefits of our services, we use the term “can” when a benefit has some decent research behind it. We use the term “may” when less evidence exists. If almost zero research exists we try to highlight that and discuss instead the tradition or theory of the work. We avoid concrete terms such as “proven” or “will,” because nothing is 100%. We also provide links to published research when applicable.

Wellness products can be a little trickier. We only carry products that we believe will have some benefit to our clients whether for pain relief, stress relief, or just plain fun. Certainly, not all products have gone through rigorous scientific testing to support their efficacy. However, we do need to describe the intended use of the product.

Foam rollers actually do have some supporting research. The Cranio Cradle and Thera Cane do not. Some essential oils have research into their effects, most don’t. In these cases, we try to use phrases such as “intended for headache relief” or “people use this product to boost energy.” Therefore highlighting the benefit without making a health claim.

No Fear

It can get tricky, and we probably do it wrong sometimes. However we make a concerted effort to use accurate and clear communication in our marketing. Some health advertising tactics we have seen seem quite unethical. For example, fear-based campaigns, characterizing something as a “miracle cure,” or capitalizing on people’s insecurities.

At Nimbus, we are about helping people in their wellness journeys. We like to think of ourselves as  warm, welcoming, and reassuring. We like to think of Nimbus as a safe, supportive, knowledgeable resource for complementary care. And we think what we do helps people in a meaningful way without us having to embellish. No gimmicks, no fads, no fakery.


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19/Oct/2018

Targeted = Focused on your specific problem areas and goals.

Therapeutic = Having a therapeutic goal.

Massage = Working with the soft tissue for a therapeutic outcome.

Finding a way to succinctly describe what we do in a way that people will understand posed a unique challenge for us. We wanted to convey that we specialize in therapeutic styles of massage with a focus on helping people manage pain. We also see a lot of clients who have specific goals for their care, some of whom have complex medical histories. We wanted to describe what we do without using boring industry terms and jargon. All while staying away from the misnomers of Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage.

Targeted Therapeutic Massage seemed to fit the bill.

We use a through intake process to learn our client’s goals for the session, factors that contribute to their condition, and what has or hasn’t worked for them in the past. We also like to learn the client’s preferences for techniques. We then use this information to tailor our work each time someone comes in. In this way, each session is geared towards each client’s therapeutic goals.

Our therapists all have experience that includes actively learning new skills and staying up-to-date in the field. We know a number of different styles of massage and can blend them during each session in order to achieve the best results possible. If someone feels high levels of stress and anxiety then we use calming techniques to help relieve those feelings. If someone has chronic pain then we use pain-relieving techniques to help them manage their symptoms. If someone has a recent injury we use structural techniques to focus on helping them heal that area. We use our skills to target each person’s problem areas.

We do what we do so that we can help people live life just a little bit better.

 

 

 


We help people get back to the business of living their lives a little bit better through targeted therapeutic massage sessions and programs.

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