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An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
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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