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Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
May, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 05
Tilling the Soil
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
I've been enjoying the coming of the central California spring: alternating days that push temperatures into the 70s and beyond with days characterized by rain squalls dropping ice water. The daffodils started blooming early with their displays of gold and white, and trees have put forth their yearly show of pink and white blossoms. The hills, which turn golden brown in summer, are now verdant green and in places interlaced with yellow mustard. As I run with friends at noon, golden-orange poppies grace the fields and the redwing blackbirds remind us with song and swoop that we are merely visitors in a territory to which they have long ago laid claim.
These features of spring also bring me back to the days in which I was a dues-paying member of a garden club. There are lessons learned in the endeavors and rewards of gardening that long reside within the memories of our bodies and souls, forming a metaphorical guidebook for our endeavors in general. These lessons apply as well to the learning and practicing of the art and business of massage as to the tilling of the soil. A successful practice, like as garden, is not made by sitting in the shade and saying "Oh how lovely"; it requires planning and effort.
Among the first decisions in planning a garden are the choices of place and structure. What is the goal? There are plants that thrive in full sunlight and plants that require shade. There are aquatic plants that must have their feet wet, and others that will rot and die if overwatered. Choices of structure and place, once made, hold for a while, like the garden plot along a chain link fence a friend chose to support her raspberries. In choosing training and locations for massage practice, consider whether you are aiming towards relaxation and stress management, sports facilitation, or therapeutic intervention. Do you want to do orthopedic work on injuries, lend comfort to the bodily strains of pregnant women, or add touch to the lives of the aged? Do you want to run a one-person business, share a practice with others, or work within a larger organization such as a health club or spa?
Just as a gardener will consult books and landscaping experts in laying out a new back yard, tie yourself in to available resources in doing your practice plans and business goals. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), for example, provides both e-mail counseling and offers local workshops through its chapters. I maintain a list of links to SCORE and other small business resources on the McKinnon Institute website.1
In gardening, once the site is chosen, the work of soil preparation begins. Around here, the soil is heavy clay. To grow anything other than deep-rooted weeds requires a lot of shovel work, breaking through the hard crust, turning over the soil, and mixing in lots of organic compost. It's said that "if you double your initial estimate for bags of mulch and add three you'll only end up two bags short." Similarly, creating an office space that will be of comfort to you and your clients requires some thought, work, and final adjustments. It will likely be more work than you anticipated. If you are opening your own office, there are choices to make of wall color and decor, floor surface, furniture, clothing, and massage equipment and supplies. You might find yourself doing some cleaning and painting. Even working in an existing context, some of the choices remain. Depending on your opportunities, you also may find yourself wanting to add some "just in time" learning to reinforce your knowledge and skills in a particular area.
Once the soil preparation is done, the tasks of planting and tending begin. In the practice of massage, there are tasks of networking, marketing, record keeping, and beginning to tend to the needs of clients. Here you start needing the full combination of massage skills, communication skills, and business savvy to grow your practice - a combination that Claude Whitmyer and Salli Rasberry lump together in the single coined word "tradeskill."2 They note 10 characteristic traits that they have identified in those who have the knack of making small businesses succeed: being persistent; facing the facts; minimizing risks; being a hands-on learner; being good with numbers; being organized; being able to read carefully; possessing self-starting energy; relying on cooperation; and being consistent in behavior. Over time, you'll begin to discover what efforts and clients are working for you, and begin to thin and weed the rest.
Finally, with the hard work done, there comes the time for harvesting, enjoying and sharing the fruits of you labor. There is a deep satisfaction in seeing what you have started from seed become substantial. There are also important opportunities to network with colleagues and to mentor those learning the way after you. I encourage you to take full advantage of these fruits of your "soil tilling".
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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