resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.