resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
August, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 08
All Systems Go
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
As a practicing massage therapist who receives referrals from hospitals and physicians, I find fulfillment in helping my patients return to their normal activities of daily living (ADL).Yet, years of clinical practice have taught me that treating my patients involves more than just the application of massage. Whole-body wellness requires an integrative approach to health care. As a massage therapist, there are many integrative methods I can utilize, including referring out when a condition falls outside my scope of practice; educating my patients about self-care; staying current on the latest massage research; and maintaining comprehensive systems so I stay organized in my massage practice.
I recently was thinking about systems and how they are part of every aspect of our lives. Just as the universe is made up of systems (planetary, gravitational, thermodynamic, etc.), the human body is made up of systems (muscular, skeletal, fascial, digestive, nervous, etc.). Even our country is made up of systems: legal, educational, economic, etc. In short, virtually everything around us is composed of one system or another. Without systems, our lives would feel out of control. In fact, when these systems break down, things often do feel chaotic until order is restored. Take the body, for example. When the body's systems are in a state of homeostasis, we feel healthy, but when the body's systems are out of balance, we become sick and therefore, our lives are disrupted.
Systems also are important in a massage practice. In my own practice, systems are necessary for maintaining my livelihood, as well as educating my patients and engaging them to play an active role in their own healing. When my practice systems fall out of balance, this generally impacts every aspect of my life - and usually not for the better. Implementing effective massage practice systems and continually evaluating them to ensure they are working is a key component of a successful practice. Whether you are in private practice, perform outcalls, or work in a spa or clinic, it is important to have established systems of practice that will support both this growing industry and your needs.
CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
The philosopher Heraclitus wrote, "Nothing endures but change."1 While change can be positive, it is not always comfortable. Therefore, it is common to resist and continue to follow systems that are not always in the best interest of our personal and professional lives. We might continue to do things a certain way because we've "always done it this way." But consider for a moment how updating some of your practice systems - or creating new ones - might give way to a more streamlined and successful massage practice.
Since I opened my practice in 1992, I have continually been evaluating my systems. In doing so, I ask the following questions:
Are your practice systems working for you? Are you fulfilled in your career? If the answers are no, it might be time for you to improve your systems or create new ones altogether. Remember: The past does not equal the future; you are capable of changing direction at any time. Below are some suggestions for improving your practice systems.
THE SIX Rs
REVIEW your current systems. Take a good look at all of your systems from marketing to charting. Could your patient retention be higher? Perhaps you need to develop new methods to keep your patients coming back. Education is one such method, which I discuss below. Are your patient files in disarray? In my clinic, I have created a simple systematic approach to maintaining my clients' files to document and show their progress.
REORGANIZE your structures. In assessing your systems, you may discover that some of your educational materials are out of date. Part of helping your patients, and subsequently retaining them, involves staying informed about current massage research, utilizing current clinical methods and tools, attending educational seminars and learning assessment techniques that can save you time.
REDESIGN your methods. If you have grown accustomed to giving a massage and then cutting your patients loose, it might be time to take a more proactive approach to treatment. One way is to actively educate your patients so they understand the cause of their pain and how you can help.
In my seminars, I incorporate a balance of auditory, visual and kinesthetic teaching techniques to appeal to every type of learner. I also use a balanced combination of these techniques to educate my clients:
REDEFINE your goals and then design your systems with specific outcomes in mind. For example, instead of setting a goal such as, "I want to make more money," set a specific goal: "I want to make $10K more this year." Once you have clearly defined your goals, you will have a better idea of how to achieve them.
REINVEST in your practice. Purchase the tools you need to quickly educate your patients so they understand the importance of committing to a series of treatments. Selling products such as topical analgesics or exercise bands not only gives you the opportunity to further educate your clients, but it helps bring in additional income.
REACT. Don't delay - change starts now! To get started on improving your systems, check out my article, "The Power of a Minute," in the June issue of Massage Today, for a wealth of simple practice-building techniques. Visit www.massagetoday.com or www.kenthealth.com for additional resources.
Until we meet again ... all systems are go. You are cleared for a successful practice.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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