Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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Time to Address the Global Impact of Pain
More people may be living longer, but they're not enjoying it, particularly when it comes to musculoskeletal health, according to the latest Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study.
Melatonin: A Promising Natural Agent in the Prevention of ALS
A number of years ago, experimental studies suggested melatonin could block key steps in the development of Alzheimer's disease, primarily by acting as a brain antioxidant and inhibiting the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.
Embrace the Necessity of Change
My son, David, and my daughter, Deborah, play high-school and club soccer. For those of you who aren't familiar with this lifestyle, each practices two to three times a week, 48-50 weeks a year. Between the two, they play approximately 70 games annually.
The Roots of TCM in Depression Treatment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there is historical precedent for the treatment of so-called "Shen" (Heart-Mind) disorder, or disorder/dysregulation of the spirit, which is also considered as distinct but not separate from the cognitive function of the brain.
Online Marketing Basics: Google Ranking, Part 1
We all know there is so much opportunity with online marketing. And, let's face it, if you don't have a presence online with a website and social media, you are probably not where you want to be.
The Integrative Medicine Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
The conversation is changing in the broader healthcare community with patients actually moving the discussion toward more integrative topics. Patients today want to know their options.
Coding for Functional Performance Testing and Measurements
I have noticed a trend for medical necessity of chiropractic services to be defined with statements and language indicating "functional improvement" as one of the standards for efficacy of treatment.
Medicine as Metaphor
The practice of medicine is both an art and a science. We study and learn the system so that when the time comes to apply it, there is a greater possibility of successfully helping others.
Merger Creates New Model of Care
Two San Francisco powerhouses of holistic healing, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), are merging. Together they are building a visionary approach to applied integral health.
Exploring and Learning from the Gift of Life
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to teach cadaver dissection classes and workshops with Stephen Cina at the New England School of Acupuncture over the past seven years, first through the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Program and later as a NESA elective course.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 3
Dr. Nguyen Nghi (NVN) was born in Vietnam and is one of the most important scholars, writers, teachers and practitioners of modern time. Many of his theories and applications are the source of modern teachers from Europe and the United States.
How's Your Bucket? Two Key Benchmarks to Help Plug the Holes
Just about every businessperson knows it's far less expensive to hold on to a repeat customer than it is to acquire a new customer.
The Art of Creating a Healing Space
I always advise my graduates to examine their group practice or treatment rooms with fresh eyes after they leave my CE workshops. I tell them, "Ask yourselves - is your space qi filled, welcoming and healing? Or is it cold and clinical?"
Adding Microneedling to Your Clinic for Results and Profit
Microneedling has taken the beauty world by storm over the last 10 years. Under the names dermaroller, microneedling or skin needling you will see these treatments listed in the services of nearly every fashionable beauty salon and day spa in the country.
Abdominal Acupuncture for Eye Healing: The Sacred Turtle and Ba Gua Map
Our ideas about western medicine have shifted in recent decades, while the public is asking more from health care providers.
Viewpoints: Pes Anserine Tendonitis vs. Medial Meniscal Tear
What do you think stiff golf shoes, playing with a child, riding a bike, running and swimming the breaststroke all have in common? Each requires knee joint involvement. To quote physical therapist Gary Gray, "The knee is just the dumb guy in the middle."
A Simple Exam Protocol to Assess Lower-Extremity Imbalance
One of the most common conditions of the human frame is excessive foot pronation, in which the foot rolls inward, creating a foot that is flatter, wider and longer. A resultant subluxation pattern of the various tarsals and metatarsals results.
Are You Using Your Professional Title Ethically?
Many faculty members teaching in the classroom or performing research within academic institutions have earned doctorates and use the title of "Doctor" or "Dr." They are usually referred to as professor or doctor within the classroom by students.
Sacroiliac Pain: A Complex Puzzle
I don't think we manage SI misalignment properly. First, we tell our patients they have an SI problem. I am not convinced this is accurate, and I will speak to that issue. Second, I think repetitive mobilization of the SI joints is not useful.
Can Acupuncture Treat Knee Pain?
Recently, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that, "neither laser nor needle acupuncture conferred benefit over sham for pain or function" among older chronic knee pain patients.
Colon Health and TCM
I still remember many years ago, the loud "Yuck" from my wife at the time when we were together watching the Chinese movie "Last Emperor."
September, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 09
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
We live in interesting times. It seems the good is better than ever, but the bad is worse than ever. Chaos Theory says this is an ongoing evolutionary process, so expect it to continue to even greater extremes.Maybe some global polarity therapy could help.
The "corporatization" of America continues to accelerate and thus the corporatization of the massage profession continues along with it. I have nothing against corporations by the way. The tax laws are written to favor corporations. If your business is not structured as one of the several corporate entity forms, you probably are missing out on a lot of advantages. There is one limitation, a huge one, for individual massage therapist's setting up a corporation, so incorporate only with good professional advice. But, I digress.
Some of the corporate mergers and buy-outs will be good for the profession overall. However, when it comes to the delivery of massage therapy to the public, for the most part, this corporatization means guaranteed mediocrity. For example, I spoke recently with a therapist who works for one of the up-and-coming massage franchises. She must do the massage routine exactly as choreographed, asking the same questions, the same way, at precise times during the massage. The "Cosmic Mother Company" sends in "mystery shoppers" who check her out for compliance. If the customers request a particular therapist for return appointments, that therapist is grilled as to what she/he is doing different or special and "mystery shopper" visits increase. I am sure such franchises are impatiently waiting for the day when they can install mechanical massage robots. The McDonald's- and Wal-Mart-conscious faction of the public probably is just as anxiously awaiting that day and will stand in line to receive it.
A colleague reported he went to a very large, exclusive day spa on the "Gold Coast" of Florida where he paid $145 for an hour massage. The therapists were not allowed to touch, let alone massage, the abdomen or the hips. Yes, forbidden to touch the abdomen or hips - some of the hardest working and most important musculature of the body, and not even if the customer requests massage in those areas. Pitiful.
This is what the public is experiencing as "massage." This certainly is not health care, nor is it compassionate touch therapy. For many years, I have argued that we should use the term "patient." I never even considered the term "customer," but that is the appropriate term for the recipients of massage in venues like these.
On a much more positive note, Dr. Tiffany Field and the Touch Research Institute have just released a study, funded by Biotone, showing that a 30-minute massage twice a week can significantly reduce lower back pain, increase range of motion, decrease pain-induced sleep disturbance and improve overall mood. Cool! This is huge. Now, where can the public get this massage?
Quilting Bee Continues
I see the great state of Massachusetts just got a massage law passed, and over the veto of the governor no less. I think that is a first. Congratulations! The bad news is that the patchwork quilt of dissimilar state laws grows. This new law has some very interesting language in it. Massage therapists cannot stretch a specific muscle, but can do a "non-specific stretch" and many standard terms now used in our profession appear to be forbidden in advertising, like "medical massage," "orthopedic massage," "neuromuscular therapy," etc. My favorite clause forbids a massage therapist from doing exercise. No, it doesn't say anything about on a patient, it says, "No person licensed to practice massage or massage therapy shall perform any of the following: exercise. It's very clear. So, there will be lots of out-of-shape massage therapists in Massachusetts, I guess.
Speaking of licensing laws, my next few columns will focus on professional regulation. You need to know this stuff. I will keep it interesting and entertaining. Professional regulation is a classic example of the political double-speak we are faced with everyday. Like The Medical Privacy Act, HIPPA, which sounds like a great idea until you realize the only privacy it provides is to the government, insurance companies and medical researchers to go through your personal health care records without you ever knowing about it or being able to prevent it. You now have no privacy; in fact, you barely can get access to your own records or the records of your family. Who passed the act? The government. Who gets the privacy? The government and its health care cartel do. All true cartels are linked to government. Your government and mine got the public to fall for the privacy act because the public believes their privacy is at risk and the government is there to protect and help them. The first part is true, but the second part is no longer the case. The government is now there to protect itself and help itself to more and more control over you, as well as to an ever-increasing share of the fruits of your labor.
Professional regulation (licensure of some sort) is another form of double-speak, only more subtle. We are told licensure is to protect the public, right? That's the mantra from the departments of health and/or professional regulation, "protect the public." Think about what you have observed about licensure. Do you ever remember the public going to the legislature demanding the licensure of a profession? I am not aware of it ever happening, certainly not in the last 25 years. It's always the profession that goes to the legislature begging to be granted a monopoly in the form of a license to practice. The dirty little secret is that professional regulation was originally created specifically to protect the profession being regulated from the public.
Think about that, and I will explain more of the licensing scam in November.
Don't Try This
Pesticides (insecticides), which are derivatives of WWII nerve gas weapons, kill by attacking the nervous system of insects (or humans). A new Harvard study, the largest ever done, has linked pesticide exposure to a 70 percent increased risk of Parkinson's disease. Learn more at www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_902.cfm.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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