Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
July, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 07
Spa Issues and a Request
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nev., April 30-May 3, 2005, where I was invited to attend as a continuing education presenter. It was truly an amazing event, very well run and heavily attended.I got to immerse myself in the spa industry and talk to spa owners and operators, as well as spa massage therapists. There are some interesting issues bubbling in the spa industry regarding massage. The two I found most fascinating were injuries and product sales.
All health care professions have their "walking wounded" who are practicing through their injuries and "dis"-health. It is amazing to me how few health care practitioners actually practice what they preach. The spa industry is no different. The majority of the therapists I met at the show were suffering from massage related injuries and not getting proper care for themselves.
Of course, this is a problem in our entire profession because body mechanics are seldom taught and rarely learned when they are taught. The volume of work done at spas increases the incidence of injury when therapists do not receive adequate training in working postures and self-care. This will undoubtedly begin to cost spas a lot of workers' compensation dollars.
Maybe this issue will eventually force schools to teach body mechanics and self-care in a more than passing manner. If I had a spa, I would only hire therapists from schools that adequately trained students in these subjects. Isn't it time schools started conditioning their students to be able to physically do the jobs expected of them? Time will tell.
The second issue is product sales. Spas have products for sale for their customers and they want their staff, including massage therapists, to promote and sell those products. Usually the therapists receive a commission from the sales they make. Spa operators are rather perplexed because massage therapists are resistant to this concept.
For some reason, massage therapists are being taught that it is unethical to sell products or additional services to clients. This amuses me. I do not see why selling something is unethical. I do not know of a health care profession that does not sell products to their patients. MDs sell drugs, appliances, casts, braces, splints, TENS units and all sorts of stuff by the boatload. DCs sell supplements, pillows, braces, supports and lots of other useful items. I cannot think of a health care profession that does not sell "stuff." Yet, somehow, in the massage profession, selling something is this huge ethical issue. Would somebody please tell me what is wrong with selling something?
This pious, unjustifiable, false morality should be laughable, but, sadly, some take it quite seriously. It has always amazed me how indignant some massage therapists get when something is offered for sale at a massage school or continuing education event. Where is this coming from? If you don't want it, don't buy it. It is not unethical or immoral to offer something for sale. Is this some envy of success issue or poverty consciousness, or maybe some of both? What is wrong with offering (selling) a useful product that can be beneficial to a client or student?
Most likely comparable products cannot be found elsewhere, as schools, practitioners and spas tend to sell professional grade products that are not available in the public marketplace. Even if the product is available at a local health food store for instance, why not provide the convenience of availability and expert advice for use to the client? There is nothing wrong with selling stuff! A lot of struggling massage therapists could increase their incomes significantly if they added products sales to their practice. This should be taught, not discouraged.
No, I do not think a massage should be an hour-long sales pitch; however, it is very rare I have a patient who, during the course of the massage, does not tell me about some problem or another. I assume they are looking for suggestions and help or they would not bring it up. If a product I have is appropriate, I mention it (without missing a stroke), then let it go and bring it back up at the end of the appointment during checkout time. My patients are grateful for the high-quality, professional products I have available for them, not offended.
There have been some reports of spa operators imposing sales quotas. I understand that to tell a massage therapist they have to sell a minimum volume of product could be unreasonable, especially if the products are shampoos and creme rinses; however, if such quotas are made clear during the hiring process, and the therapists knows and understands the quotas prior to accepting the position, I do not see a problem. It is unreasonable and unfair if the quota comes down on their head as a surprise after they have begun working somewhere. So, if you are going to work for a spa or salon, be sure you know all the conditions of employment and have them in writing before accepting the position.
Help! Following the lead of my editor, Cliff Korn, I want to ask for your help with my column. If you have a hot therapy tip or a favorite therapy technique you think is worthy of sharing with your colleagues, send it in to me. I will share it in the "Try This" section of my column. Of course, I will give you credit for it, unless you want to remain anonymous. No more than 150 words and only one tip per person. Send to . We can help each other help more people. Thanks!
Try this: Having problems with neck complaints involving the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM)? Sometimes the SCM just won't respond to massage and relax like it's "supposed to." Move inferior and work the rectus abdominis, especially its upper attachments at the ribcage and sternum. Then work the sternum and the inter-costal spaces on each side of it. (Be sure to advise your female patients of what you are going to do and get their consent, as this can be a boundary issue.) Now return to the SCM, it will often respond positively. There is a fascial connection from the SCM to the pubic bone.
Have a great, safe 4th of July!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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