Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Preaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
Patient Retention Techniques
When talking about techniques to grow your business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the patient base, that is, on strategies to attract new patients. However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your patients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation.
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
September, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 09
By Steve Capellini, LMT
Author's note: The Spa Letters column features news, personality profiles, trends and plenty of professional possibilities for LMTs in the spa industry. The style is epistolary, meaning the articles are letters to a fictional massage therapist friend of the author.
So, the roller coaster ride isn't over yet, just because your new day spa is open, right? In fact, a new ride has just begun.The ups and downs of the long planning stages are over, and you find yourself behind the wheel of a new enterprise with all the unforeseeable problems and challenges that are sure to arise. You're encountering one of those problems right now, in the very first month of operation. Though it's not a pretty one, it's all too typical.
After months of training and coaching, trusting and coddling, and friendship and teamwork, your lead esthetician, Marie, has shown her gratitude by not showing up for work one morning - quitting without giving notice. Isn't it amazing what goes through the minds of some people? What could she have been thinking to justify such an unfair move? Now, she's taking her newfound knowledge with her to a spa that is going to open across town in a few months - a new business, no doubt, inspired by the splash your Spa House made. The competition is going to be fierce, especially with the "insider's" knowledge that Marie will take to the other spa.
"Life is not fair!" You think, and perhaps you're right. But, as we say in the spa industry, Lou, it's no use crying over spilled milk and honey- exfoliating paste. There are a few proactive steps you can take at this interesting juncture.
Job Security - In Reverse
Usually when people talk about job security they mean the employee, not the employer. As a spa owner and employer, you are looking for the same kind of security from your employees as they're looking for from you. How can you trust them when you give them your best and they still abandon ship - like Marie? How can you know they'll be there for you in your time of need? Is there really any such thing as job security in the spa industry?
Spa employees know that their security is somewhat tenuous at times. There are a couple of spas that are unionized but, by and large, the majority is not, and employees have little recourse in instances of dismissal. Perhaps that is part of the reason why so many of them are ready to leave even a good job at the first sign of something better on the horizon. How can you get employees to be loyal?
There are some techniques that work well for some spa owners, such as offering money for continuing education, contingent upon the employee staying in the position for a certain amount of time; increasing pay scales over time often work; and giving people responsibility and a clear path toward career advancement helps, too. However (and this may be just my own overly nihilistic opinion), in the end, employees are out for themselves; they will do what they will do. It is better to go into your role as boss realizing this. It may be a mistake to put too much stock in your friendship with your employees. Doing so will often lead to disaster (emotional, as well as business-wise).
This is not to say you shouldn't be friendly with your staff - that is desirable. Remember though, that part of the relationship, no matter how friendly it gets, is also based on economics. Employees need you for the money you give them. You need them for the money they bring through the clientele. Friendships that exist within that dynamic are sometimes fragile things. That said, now what do you do? You're short an esthetician. In fact, you're short your only esthetician. You've spent months training her and thousands of dollars on the products she was going to use. Ahhhggg!
Of course, you've got to begin the search for a new esthetician. You might offer some of those incentives I mentioned earlier to your new recruit. Tell her you're going to increase her pay over time, and offer money for continuing education after a year of service. Tell her she'll make a higher commission rate as a "senior employee." And treat her like a professional first, a friend second.
In the meantime, before you find this person, you can take some immediate steps that will help you fill the gaps in your appointment book and make sure that you'll never ever again have to explain your complete lack of facial services to clients.
Face Treatment Options
You have a secret weapon on your staff when it comes to facial services. I'm talking about your massage therapists. You haven't been thinking about them offering esthetic-type treatments, but as I told you before, there is no reason to confine their scope-of-practice to the body alone. The face, in fact, is a part of the body, right? There are many face-specific services that massage therapists can perform to the satisfaction of your guests, the great support to your bottom line, and all without greatly angering the folks at the cosmetology board.
For example, I teach an Ayurvedic face massage treatment to students in my spa workshops, and they love it. The treatment consists of an application of herbs that are left to dry and then exfoliated off with the fingers. A hot towel is applied, and then herbal floral water followed by a pressure-point massage with essential oils from India. The treatment is finished up with a short massage using an emollient cream. It takes just half an hour, and it does not include extractions, diagnoses, or any of the specialties of our esthetician colleagues; however, clients report a healthy glow to their skin afterwards, induced, no doubt, by the balancing herbs and oils, plus increased circulation from the massage.
Clients also report feeling relaxed and cared for in that particular way that facials can make you feel. An esthetic treatment is different than a massage treatment. They both have their advantages, and these hybrid "face massage" treatments sometimes offer the best of both worlds. The Ayurvedic treatment can be emulated with a wide range of other products and techniques. Some of the more popular these days are Balinese, Indonesian and Thai. Getting your entire massage staff trained on these modalities is a great way to offer guests something different and assure that you won't be left without a facial service to offer if something like this ever happens again.
Of course, it's always a good idea to be aware of the laws in your state regarding face treatments. You definitely do not want to break any of them; in a few states, it is actually quite difficult to do even simple treatments, like the one I described above, if there is any chance it might impinge on cosmetologists' practice. Just be careful and do the right thing. I'm sure once your business starts to really rock, you'll have more than one esthetician on staff, and perhaps this problem will never arise again, but it's always good to be prepared, right? And don't forget about the new retail possibilities you'll be creating by adding these spa face massage treatments to your menu!
Well, Lou, I hope your second month in business is a little less traumatic than your first, and that you and your partner, Barbara, get the operation running smoothly after these initial hiccups. Always know that in the spa business there are usually more surprises than certainties. This makes for some great rewards, as well as challenges. I know you're up to them all!
Talk to you soon,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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