Touchstone Article Submission Guidelines
Articles should be 1000 to 3000 words (longer is acceptable if the quality is good; we can also break them into sections for multiple-issue topics) and relevant to the field of massage therapy. Content needs to be written in a manner that provides value to Touchstone readers and should not be written in a marketing style. Typical information that is of value to our readers includes some or all of the following (not necessarily in order, but in an order that makes sense for your content):
What is the background of this modality/service/product? How/why did it evolve or why was it created? Include relevant contributors or influences.
How is this used today? Is it used in other cultures/environments? Without being negative towards competitors, describe why this is the best for usage now.
Describe how to apply the modality somewhat thoroughly, including indications, contraindications, special concerns (draping, heat/cold precautions, etc.), and body mechanics. This does not mean you need to "teach" the entire class on paper, rather it is enough information so that massage therapists can have an understanding of what type of client this treatment would be applied to and how they might be able to apply it. (Again, this should be value-based. Statements like "If you've had problems treating TMJ, this is your solution!" are not helpful.) (Photos should demonstrate the uniqueness of this modality so that it doesn't just look like hands on a client.)
Trips for CE
Describe the trips, possibly even have a former person who has taken a trip write this portion. Is the trip a continuous itinerary of coursework and labs? Is it self-healing focused? Would people consider it an adventure or life-changing event? This should really describe what the trip is like to be on. Often the reader of an adventure is more inspired to take one by seeing how wonderful the experience was for someone else and wanting to have similar experiences. (Photos should demonstrate a unique environment--something that can't just be captured anywhere).
What do the services do for a massage therapist? This category is best served by giving concrete information that would normally be charged for. For example, a business coach needs to offer some actual advice. It can be in one small category (for example, marketing ideas for Mother's Day) or in a larger, broad category, but giving enough detail to explain why it is necessary (for example, having a solid business plan and how to utilize it/modify it as your business evolves). The more specific the details, the more that the audience will be willing to purchase services because the value will be better perceived. (Photos may not be relevant, but a sample, graph, or "tips and tricks" section can be of significant value.)
Explain, in-depth how the tool(s) are used, including indications, contraindications, and special concerns. If it is relatively simple, like a stretching tool, explain how 1 or 2 stretches are done, and then indicate that a full list of stretches come with the product. (Photos are especially beneficial for this) If it relates to an entire modality (for example, massage cupping), then it may fit better under a CE class or should have some kind of a disclaimer regarding that individuals should have the proper training to use them. Photos are still relevant and critical.
If what you offer does not fit into the previous categories, please contact the Touchstone Editor for guidance.
Where can someone go (besides you or your company) to do their own research on the subject and/or what references did you use to create the information in your article (if you include quotes, please include the source).
A two to three sentence author bio, describing the author's qualifications or background relevant to the topic is required. An image of the author may also be submitted under the guidelines for images and format.
Contact/Purchase Information/Schedule Information
If the article is about a type of massage class, please also submit a course schedule including dates, course title(s), locations, pricing, and contact information.
If the article is about a type of massage product or service, please also submit pricing and contact information.
Images and Format
At least one relevant image should be submitted with the article, along with a description of what is being shown in the image (essentially, something that could be used as a caption). In addition, a photo of the author may also be submitted.
Photos must be submitted in .jpg format and should be 300 dpi or better resolution.
You must own the rights to all photos submitted. Include photographer name and copyright information (year) so that appropriate credit can be included with the article. If the photographer is not known, but your company owns the right to the photo, the following is acceptable:
Photo © 2009 Massage Company(if taken by an employee or subcontractor for your company)
Photo © 2009 XYZ Images(if purchased and rights allow it to be used in external publications)
Images that are "found" on the internet are not necessarily public domain; usually images are copyrighted. Images that do not have an identifiable source will not be used to prevent copyright violations.
Changes may be made to your article for clarity, punctuation, grammar, or other structurally-related issues. Articles that are written in a marketing style may be returned for a rewrite or significantly edited prior to publication in order to meet the needs of the publication and the audience. First-person voice should be avoided except in relevant case studies or in articles about personal experiences. All articles will be returned to the writer for final approval prior to publication if anything other than extremely minor details (spelling, comma placement, or basic punctuation) are changed. If the author does not approve of the recommended changes, (s)he reserves the right to pull the article for consideration.
Submission and Contact Information
All information must be sent electronically to the Touchstone Editor. Text (article content, photo captions and credits, author bio) can be sent in the body of the email, in a Microsoft Word document, or in an Open Office document. Photos must be sent as a .jpg attachment. Please direct any further questions to to the Touchstone Editor.