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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.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 02
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Last fall, I spent a bit of time looking at California statistics for massage education and practice. Partly as an outgrowth of legislative activity and partly out of efforts by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP),1 there was more raw data than normal lying around for me to nose through. One interesting item was the percentage of those entering massage practice that were still practicing five years later.
The data was broken down by hours of core education with a base of about 18,000 entrants per year - pretty solid for statistics. Five-year survival rates were 29.2 percent at a nominal 125 hours, 33.1 percent at about 250 hours, and 37.7 percent at a nominal 650 hours, the last category being 80 percent accredited career schools. The bad news is that the first doubling in training time only gave a 4 percent increase in survival rate and that the subsequent increase in training only contributed a 3.3 percent increase in survival per doubling of training hours.
This is a strong indication that what's being offered on the menu is at best tangential toward keeping people in the profession. The good news is that our statistics aren't devastatingly lower than general small-business statistics of about 45 percent survival at five years.4 The additional good news is that you don't have to ride the averages - individual effort counts for a lot. There are things that will help you much more than hanging around a massage school without specific business and practice goals yet in place.
As the story of "The Princess Bride" goes, Westley's ship has been taken by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never takes prisoners. Yet, moved by Westley's tale of needing to return for true love, Roberts does spare him to be his valet. Every night for three years, while Westley learns to fight and run a ship, Roberts says the same thing: "Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."
Finally, Roberts reveals that he is not the original Dread Pirate Roberts, is now ready to retire and - after a bit of final mentoring - goes his way to leave Westley as the new "Roberts."
The story is about living on the edge as a new entrepreneur, employee or apprentice. If you don't mean business, if you don't pay attention, you won't see the following day. In an article on business survival, Angelo Valenti comments that "in the jungle, animals that are aware are called survivors, while animals that are just awake are called lunch."7 He stresses paying attention to successes, failures and the environment in which they happen. You may practice massage to assist others, but you can only do that by developing and using good business sense.
Once you are consistent about pursuing a massage career, whether full-time or part-time, the next step is your first ad layout. This isn't about brochures and business cards; those come later. This is about the ad you are going to take with you on every interview, presentation or client contact; the one that will walk in on your own legs and that you will see in the mirror before and after. Likely the most important ad you will ever create is the presentation of yourself. It may be a maxim but it is still correct, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
Take the pointers available from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) to heart.6 In particular, think about the context of a job interview or a client situation. Your goal should be to interface seamlessly with their world and needs. Unless you really are providing massage on a Florida lawn, emulate the chameleon, not the pink flamingo.
If you aren't feeling comfortable about business issues, don't panic and don't ignore the problem. There are a number of resources, training programs and opportunities for finding mentors that are available to you at little or no cost. Both online and through regions centers, SCORE answers questions, offers workshops, and provides mentoring.5
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a gateway to regional Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), providing local assistance.10 The SBA is also a gateway to Women's Business Centers.
Try and find a niche of practice and clientele that makes you special.2 Look for opportunities within the social or work contexts with which you are already familiar and comfortable. When you identify a target niche, evaluate your training. If you have training gaps, you can now be specific about your needs and finding teachers who have mastery at what you want to do. You should be able to ask questions, and they should be able to give you specific answers about what you will gain.
Look again at the quote from John McWade at the beginning of this column. The focus of such training to application is what makes it worth your money and time.
If you aren't going to hire a designer, learn some basic design and copywriting yourself for brochure and business card layouts. There are good design books by both John McWade8 and Robin Williams.11 Copywriter Robert Bly has written several helpful books and has a number of articles on his Web site.3 Remember that you are selling satisfaction of your client's concerns, not your technique collection. Reflect that in your approach and advertising. To create success, mean business, find your niche, and get the word out.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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