resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
November, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 11
How Do You Retain Your Clients?
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
In my last column, I wrote about how to reactivate clients. You know, the ones who go missing for one reason or another. I hope it was helpful and your practice is experiencing the fruits of that labor.Now that those clients are back, how do you keep them? After all, the winner of the game is the therapist who has the greatest ability to attract and retain clients. Imagine if you didn't retain your clients, but wanted a thriving practice? It would be like trying to fill up a bucket with a big hole in it. No matter how much water you put in the bucket with a hole, it will never fill. Well, if you are not retaining clients, that is what will happen with your practice - it will never be full.
The bottom line to client retention is keeping them happy. Of course, that means different things to different people. However, in today's economy and stressful times, people are looking for something special and unique. People are looking to be treated in a certain way and consumers want an experience. Gone are the days of just being satisfied with an hour massage. Consumers are smarter and the number of therapists is growing exponentially. So, how do you set yourself apart from the myriad of others? What makes you special and how will you provide an experience for your clients?
I strongly believe the experience starts with the first interaction. Whether it's in person or over the phone, the clock starts ticking and the value of the massage is being tallied. Do you take the time to conduct a proper interview? Do you ask questions that show you care? Are you rushing to book the appointment? The answers to these questions tell the client what kind of therapist you are and what they can expect from future interactions with you. Similar phone protocol is imperative for on going clients as well. Do you return calls promptly? People will leave voice messages if they know you return calls in a timely fashion. If you are receiving hang-ups, chances are your time- management and phone skills need a makeover. If you are professional, caring, prompt and unrushed, your long-term therapeutic relationship is well underway.
The next phase of the experience happens during the treatment time, but before hands-on. How do you greet your client? Do you remember (or write down) the things discussed during the interview or do they have to repeat everything? Do you remember what you did with them during their last visit? Do you have the table prepared the way they like it (abdominal pillow, face cradle, etc.)? Do you listen to them? What extras do you provide at the office? Do you offer water after the session or teach them exercises to do at home? All of these little things add up to a richer, fuller hour of care.
The massage itself is up to you. Your work is your own and it must be nothing short of awesome to keep people coming back. However, my area of expertise is business so I won't go into how to give a good massage. That's your job.
Follow-up is another key to client retention. Whether you do a 24-hour follow-up call for a new client or send a monthly newsletter to an existing one, the continuity is imperative to long-term success. It's so easy for you to slip from people's minds; you must stay at the forefront at all times. Birthday cards, newsletters, follow-up calls, reminder calls and holiday greetings are examples of ways to keep in contact. If you don't believe how effective this can be, allow me to provide a real-life example. Every month, I send out an e-mail newsletter. As I recently started another new practice, this has only been happening for about six months. The last two newsletters got amazing results! Three clients e-mailed me back within minutes of receiving my newsletter to book appointments, for two months in a row. They commented that they loved being reminded of me, couldn't believe it had been a month since their last massage and appreciated how easy it was to hit "reply" and book an appointment. Whatever method you choose to stay in touch, the premise is that you still are thinking about your clients long after the hour massage is over. The dollar value of the treatment is being extended beyond the 60 minutes, and the experience is still continuing.
Retaining clients is the key to the ultimate success of your business. It costs far less money to keep your existing clients happy compared to drumming up new business. It takes less emotional energy to work with an existing clientele, and it's just plain easier. Business peace of mind comes when the clients are happy with your work, pay you a fair amount of money and reschedule for many, many years.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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