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Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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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