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Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
February, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 02
The Hidden Costs of Purchasing Massage Tables
By Linda Riach
There is an inclination among massage therapists, both experienced and inexperienced, to purchase inexpensive equipment. The reflex to save money on the spot is natural, but can cost you dearly in the end.Too often, with cheap massage tables, you get what you pay for. To avoid the hidden costs of tables, here are some issues to think about to ensure that you get the right table to maximize your practice. After all, aside from one's hands and training, the table is the single most important tool upon which the practitioner's whole livelihood hangs.
When purchasing a table, the first question to ask is, "What purpose will the table serve?" Will the table be used only for massages? If so, what type? Or will the table be used to offer other services, as well? If so, you'll want to consider a table with features that support each modality and functionality, such as padding, height adjustability, even a backrest. A less expensive table that is not as accommodating can cause you to incur greater costs, since an unequipped table cannot perform all the functions you will need. The wrong table will create a poor experience for your client and put undue strain on your key business investment - your body. If your table cannot accommodate your usage needs, you will have to purchase a second table, which will add an additional unplanned expense to your practice.
For the practitioner, a good table can mean the difference between a healthy career and a painfully stunted one. In this case, a "good table" means one that reflects your physical attributes and ergonomically supports your body mechanics, including your height, weight, strength and modality. In other words, you want a table that reflects your physical reality and allows you to service a thriving client list without suffering physical burnout. A well-designed table can turn your day-to-day practice into a lifelong career!
If you are not a sole practitioner, poor table choices can cost you one of your most valued assets - your employees. Ergonomically unfriendly tables can take a toll on your practitioners by creating "wear and tear" on their bodies, making the workplace unbearable, shortening their careers and increasing your turnover rate! Poor-quality tables can lead to ongoing frustration for your massage therapists; it sends the message that you don't care about their comfort or longevity. These factors contribute to costly staff turnover. Don't forget, word-of-mouth is an important marketing tool for a massage business. Employees - past and present - talk.
One good massage experience is often enough to keep clients coming back, which generates greater, ongoing revenue for you. All it takes is one bad appointment, and you will probably never see that customer again. Well-made, comfortable tables will enhance the massage experience for the client, helping to take it to a whole new level. Ironically, a great table "disappears"; the ergonomics of a great table go unnoticed during a massage and keep the attention on the treatment-where it belongs. Foam quality; table width; getting on and off the table with ease; and bolsters, all contribute significantly to creating client comfort. In short, a great table is the foundation upon which a great massage is built.
High-quality tables positively influence efficacy. In terms of table features and accessories, the right tool for the job can make the difference between helping or hindering a client's health and well-being. A good table, designed with both you and the client in mind, will enhance your therapy and help the client achieve greater wellness.
While there are reputable companies that manufacture and import tables from overseas, some questionable companies that offer less expensive tables often do so because they have less invested in them: less testing, less design and development, lower-grade materials and lower safety standards. Some of these are manufactured in underdeveloped nations, for low wages, in substandard conditions. Massage therapists that are willing to gamble on safety and table quality are opening themselves up to costly liability, years of potential litigation and a ruined reputation.
Safety is not the place to cut costs for you or your clients! Check with your sales representative about the company's commitment to safety standards, testing and weight-acceptance ratios. Do not underestimate the reputation, customer service and stability of the manufacturer. Who is going to honor a warranty if the table company goes belly-up? You want a table from a company that will answer your questions and be responsive to your needs. A table is a big investment for anyone, and a good one can last you a lifetime. Reputable table companies should back up any claims they make.
The Life of the Equipment
Better equipment lasts longer. Investing in top-quality equipment designed to last for years will go a long way toward creating goodwill among staff and clients, and generate additional cost savings over the life of the products. While it may be easier to buy less expensive equipment in the short run, in the long run, the high-quality tables cost less and actually pay you back in increased return business. Less expensive tables often have shorter life spans. Further, higher quality tables often come with lifetime guarantees, so you don't have to buy a table twice if you do experience any type of table-related defect or failure.
When considering purchasing a table - in essence, finding the right foundation upon which to build your business - consider all the real and hidden costs. Remember that investing in a table that supports its purpose, your employees and your clients will give you a great return over the life of the table. With that in mind, it is a good idea to resist the urge to save money now, rather than invest in the health of your business over the long term.
Click here for previous articles by Linda Riach.
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