Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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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