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It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
March, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 03
By Linda Riach
Once upon a time there were many farmers all over the country with dairy cows producing milk of every variety. Some milk was from Jersey cows; some from Holsteins; some from Guernseys; some was organic; some not so organic, and so on.Some farmers mixed their milk with chocolate to create another offering for milk connoisseurs.
The diversity of the products was almost endless: one percent, two percent, with and without acidophilus, and more. Enterprising dairy farmers worked hard to meet the varied needs of their markets. Then, one day, the farmers realized that dairy consumption was going down; Pepsi, Coke, Snapple, Starbucks, orange juice (thanks to the efforts of the Orange Growers Association), Budweiser and Red Bull all competed for the attention of a thirsty public. The farmers realized that they'd have to do something for their industry to continue its growth. That's when the dairy farmers' organizations got together to determine how they could raise consumer awareness and the desire for all things dairy.
Thus, the (now) famous National Milk Mustache "Got Milk?"® Campaign, which is jointly funded by America's milk processors and dairy farmers, was born. The goal of the multifaceted campaign was to educate consumers on the benefits of milk and raise milk consumption by creating a single identity for milk. The industry created a brand - and it's working.
For the past 26 years, I've been lucky enough to be part of the massage therapy profession and to watch it grow. During that time, the industry has matured; it has created a standing and recognition of which it is rightfully proud. Endless success stories about high-profile sporting events, inspiring studies, expanding educational programs, and certification development ideas are tossed around to help meet the needs of the future by massage action leaders, as well as hardworking organizations. The opportunities and challenges in these areas are as vast as the inspiration these people and their efforts offer their individual communities.
Expanding equally fast is the volume of opportunities presented to the massage therapy industry by professions, including pain medicine, sports medicine, athletic training, physical therapy and spa communities, which are all part of growing global markets. There are opportunities for massage therapists to secure their scopes of practice in sports and sports medicine, pain medicine and pain management, rehab, psychotherapy, and more. But with growth comes expansion, sprawl and diversification. The industry has become so spread out, so disparate, that many of us hear only snippets of those accomplishments or the potential opportunities. This growth has also meant that many practitioners now only identify with their individual communities and not with the idea of a unified interest.
None of us presume to have the one "right" form of massage or the one "best" response to the needs of a touch-thirsty public. Each facet of the industry is an important part of a gleaming gem. One facet may shine especially brightly in a certain light, but the strength and durability will best be recognized if the whole gem is swathed in flattering light so that it gleams. So now, as we turn to face new challenges (much as the milk industry did), there are questions that we need to ask ourselves in examining what next steps should be taken to showcase the whole massage therapy industry and to keep it thriving.
For me, the answer about how to best respond to the burgeoning opportunities on the horizon is straightforward: Put more focus on communications as a practitioner and as a community, in our organizations and as a whole. Why? Because much of the public is not aware of the power and efficacy of massage therapy in all of its forms. Few are adequately educated to be able to identify how to find a therapist qualified to meet their needs, expectations and personal preferences. Few understand that it will require a series of visits to experience lasting results. And, on a more technical note, most consumers are not aware of all the research that has been done to establish the credibility and efficacy of massage in many situations.
The truth is that the market for the services of massage therapists is boundless; in fact, it's booming.
There are 77 million aging baby boomers primed to hear the message about your services. There are as many varying needs for therapeutic touch as there are people in the world. And yet the industry is so disparate, so spread out, that it is not seen as a single entity to consumers. We in the industry are missing an opportunity, which, by harnessing our combined strength, can corral the full potential of growth for the good of all. So, how can the massage therapy community promote itself within these venues? What needs to be done to teach to these opportunities? How do we establish credibility and working relationships with those who might be sources of referral?
A powerful unifying force lies in the creation of a brand for therapeutic touch - to use the brand to educate the masses, drawing them in for individualized pursuits of health and wellness. Promoting the use of massage therapy for pain and wellness management is easier than promoting the products made by the drug companies if for no other reason than there'd be no long laundry list of side-effects and contraindications. In a day and age where stress-related illnesses are at almost epidemic proportions, with such a potent tool in our tool box, don't we have a responsibility to promote what we have to offer and to find the resources to do what it takes to invest in, create and promote the brand as a whole? We also owe it to the students who will be attempting to make a living. As school graduation numbers increase, so must the numbers of people needing, desiring and pursuing the use of their services.
The world of massage therapy is as diverse as the universe of clients who need its services. There is room for all under the tent. To that end, we must all work together to solidify and hold in even higher esteem our expectations for each modality through modality-appropriate accreditation so that the end user can be ensured a positive, consistent experience. As the experience is unified, word-of-mouth increases and awareness goes up. Simply put, a rising tide lifts all ships.
While we are not producing a single product, we should be working to promote a unified experience, a brand called "massage." That brand should embody the experience for the customer of the personal pursuit of wellness and the role of the practitioner as partner in that ongoing endeavor. If we can get behind that, there's no end to the people we can reach.
Click here for previous articles by Linda Riach.
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