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Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
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 previous articles by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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