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News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
September, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 09
Questions With Direction
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
One of the most challenging aspects of being a massage therapist is trying to build a thriving practice with repeat clients. So, it's no surprise that many therapists have felt the crunch with the recent downturn in the economy.Unfortunately, services like massage therapy often are among the first to be cut from one's budget in times of economic crisis.
Therefore, it is now more important than ever to convince your clients to stay the course with their massage therapy sessions. This article will show you how asking some simple questions can ultimately lead to repeat clients, whether you work in a spa, outcall, seated or clinical massage setting. Soliciting a client's feedback by way of asking thorough questions will better help you understand your client's needs and deliver results. Even more important than asking questions, however, is listening and responding to the information your client provides.
One way to organize your questions is to make use of the wide range of forms available for these purposes. In fact, your questions will, to a degree, be directed by the information you obtain using forms. I have my clients complete intake forms prior to therapy. These help me develop targeted questions to clarify my knowledge about their health history, specific areas of pain, stresses in their life, ergonomics of their activities of daily living, medications they are taking, and to identify any precautions or contraindications before the session begins. Using intake forms helps me develop goals for the client's current and future sessions, which also is useful in persuading my clients to commit to ongoing treatment.
There are various types of questions. However, this article will focus on two primary categories: general and those related to a client's pain. General questions are great for helping you understand your client's expectations no matter what kind of practice you have.
Question: What are your goals for today's session?
Reasoning: If you don't ask this question, you won't know if a client wants a relaxing Swedish massage or a vigorous sports massage that integrates stretching. This also is important so you're responding to your client's needs and not responding to your perception of your client's needs.
Question: What areas would you like me to focus on today?
Reasoning: This question also relates to the previous question. At one time or another, we've all probably had an experience with a therapist who seemingly ignored the very thing that brought us to therapy in the first place. When you ask this question, it's very important to listen closely to the answer. When you listen to the client and deliver results, it increases the odds your client will reschedule and/or refer others.
Question: Have you received massage therapy before?
Reasoning: Regardless of the client's answer, this is the ideal time to communicate to the client how you will perform the session. For new clients, you might advise the client to disrobe to their level of comfort and then discuss draping techniques. For veteran clients, you might ask if they'd like you to do something extra special, such as incorporate essential oils into the session.
Question: If you have received massage therapy previously, please tell me where you received it, by whom, and which treatments were the most beneficial?
Reasoning:This information can help you understand how to adapt the session to the types of massage therapy that have produced positive responses for the client in the past. You might also ask the client what they think makes a great massage - and then do what you can to meet the client's expectation.
Question: What type of pressure do you prefer?
Reasoning: Keep in mind that levels of pressure are subjective for each client. What you perceive as light pressure and what the client perceives as light pressure could be entirely different. It's important you check in with the client at the start of and during the session.
Question: Have you ever had any negative effects and/or experiences from receiving massage in the past?
Reasoning: People respond to massage in different ways. Some get ill or are sore for several days after they receive a deep massage. This is where intake forms and questions can be very useful. Some questions might include what medications the client is on, if they bruise easily, what the client's diet is like, as well as questions related to general health and exercise.
Question: Is there anything else I should know?
Reasoning: I intentionally keep this question open-ended so the client can add additional information at their discretion. It's up to me to connect the dots. I am frequently amazed by how many clients will tell me about a traumatic accident and/or major surgery in the past that they didn't mention previously.
Questions About Pain
Question:What other health care providers have you seen recently and for what?
Reasoning: This question immediately informs you if your client has seen a doctor or if the client has self-diagnosed. I can then quickly perform a postural analysis (See "Getting Comfortable with Postural Analysis" in the July issue), check range of motion and perform relevant muscle tests and orthopedic assessments to determine if it's appropriate to proceed or if the client needs to first follow up with a physician.
Question: Have you tried different health care practitioners over time? If so, which one(s) provided the most relief? What did they do and how long did the results last?
Reasoning: Understanding more about the treatments a client has sought for pain relief will give you insight into how you can best help them. For example, if the client sees a chiropractor on a regular basis, you might suggest they schedule an appointment with you immediately before the appointment with their chiropractor for maximum results.
Question: What do you do for pain relief?
Reasoning: I am always surprised by how many people buy topical pain relievers at a drug store. Why should the drug store get the money? Consider selling topical ointments in your practice. Integrate a topical into the therapy session, then send the client home with a sample. The next time the client buys a topical ointment, it might just be from you.
Question: What aggravates your condition?
Reasoning: If the client reports increased back pain when standing or straightening after bending down, it might indicate lumbar and hip flexor or extensor involvement. A muscle movement chart can help you determine exactly which muscles to assess. Trigger-point charts are useful for educating clients about referred pain. Additionally, using the postural analysis information combined with photos helps show the client how stressed or shortened muscles have contributed to the formation of trigger points. This further leads into a discussion of how a series of treatments can be beneficial.
Asking the right questions can help your practice tremendously. I am looking forward to learning how the questions in this article worked for you. I encourage you to read my other articles that can help during these challenging economic times.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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