Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)?
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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?!"
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
January, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 01
Are You Convinced?
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Massage therapy comes as a second career for many people. Often, a large part of our identity is wrapped up in that previous profession. However, times have changed and many people are coming to this profession first.That thrills me because massage therapy is being considered a viable career path. However, if you are young and coming to massage therapy from your primary education, you still might have your identity invested in other things. Either way, if you are not comfortable with whom you are in this new role, how can others be? It's hard to successfully market oneself for a new position you are not yet completely comfortable in. If I may borrow an analogy, it's like putting on someone else's overcoat. It will suffice, but doesn't quite fit right.
It takes a certain amount of effort and time to make that mental transition; to convince yourself you are a now a massage therapist. I had a similar experience coming from a corporate career that I had been in since college. It was all I knew, and for many years, it was my identity. It was hard for me to introduce myself as a massage therapist without some sort of internal giggle. Was I really a massage therapist? Could I pull it off? Did I sound convincing? Add to that the fact I was so elated with my new identity; I was already giddy. What I found was not that I had to convince others; rather, I had to convince myself.
In the big picture of marketing, convincing yourself of your new profession seems like a natural place to start. If you are ambivalent about whom you are and what you are doing for your profession, no one else will be convinced. You must be secure in the product you are bringing to the table if you want the public to react favorably. In this case, you are the product. You have to know what you are selling and be able to communicate it. If you hesitate about your new profession, others will pick up on the insecurity and the initial impact of the first impression will be diminished. The first contact with a prospective client must be positive. There should be no wavering about whom you are or what you can offer. Your interaction must be clear and compelling for it to be truly successful. You know the saying: "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."
Consider the following example. You run into an old friend from college. You have not seen each other in a few years and you have no idea what they are doing for their profession, so you ask them. With a weak and indecisive answer, they tell you they are in business for themselves. The type of business is irrelevant if the answer is unsure and faltering. Are you anxious to utilize their product? Do you feel comfortable and secure about their ability to provide good service? Suppose their response is upbeat and affirmative. Would your reaction be different? If they express themselves with enthusiasm and eagerness, would you want to learn more and invite a dialogue?
Put yourself in the same situation. You run into a friend you have not seen for a while. They ask you what you are doing now. Do you have an answer? Does your answer sound secure? Is your dialogue filled with "ums" and "you knows"? Do you meet eyes, or do you stare around in other directions? Do you sound convinced about what you do? Say to yourself, "I am a massage therapist." How does that feel to you? Only you can answer these questions and judge what your feelings are. If they are less than convincing and there is any hesitation, practice is needed. If you feel confident, you are ready to continue.
I am a big believer in having a "canned response" for the question, "What do you do for a living?" The question comes up all the time. From the dinner party to the kid's soccer games, it's the number-one greeting question. Are you prepared with an answer? Remember, the average attention span is about 30 seconds, and in that time, you can attract a new client, educate someone about massage or lose the opportunity completely. Your words and the way you relay them have the power - so why not be prepared?
This is not to say the answer needs to be a monologue or sound like it was rehearsed. Rather, a prepared response should roll off your tongue and not have to be labored over. It should be sincere and come from the heart. It should show enthusiasm for your work and be articulate. It can be altered for the audience and the event. However, the basic outline can be memorized and perfected for any occasion.
I encourage my students to practice their "spiel" and have several versions in their bag of marketing tricks. This usually is one of the homework assignments and is done in front of the class. Through teaching and watching students present their spiel, I have found that many of them get tongue-tied saying "Swedish massage." Try it yourself. How does it sound? Now, imagine being nervous. When a situation is charged, wouldn't you prefer to know the phrases that hang you up? If you can't say it well, don't say it. Instead, I offer the solution of saying "Swedish-based massage," and it works great!
Often, my students approach me about how difficult or silly this exercise seems. Only after they graduate do they recognize the importance of the activity, and many have thanked me for forcing them to do it in the first place. Of course, your spiel will evolve as you evolve in the profession. That's the fun. Keep practicing and stay focused.
Click here for more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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