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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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."
December, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 12
Year in Review
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
As 2008 winds down, I am reminded of all that I have to be grateful for: good health, my friends and family, and, for the most part, a thriving business and practice. Yet at the same time, I am concerned about the future.The economy has reached record lows and has negatively impacted massage therapists everywhere. Right now, you may be wondering if it's possible for your clinic, spa or outcall practice to weather these storms. The answer is yes. However, surviving these challenging times will depend largely on how resourceful and creative you are when it comes to your business.
During the course of the past two years, I have had the privilege of writing numerous articles for Massage Today that offer practical solutions about how to create a flourishing massage therapy practice. I'd like to take a moment to refer you to them now. Whether you are a new or experienced therapist, this article will provide you with a cheat sheet to my previous articles. Think of it as a solutions guide that will help you find new ways to energize and reinvigorate your practice.
Eliminating Blind Spots
Our thoughts determine our focus, which influences our actions and effectiveness. If we think negative, unproductive thoughts, we produce outcomes at a lower level. An example of this would include looking for your keys while continually saying, "I can't find my keys." Stating that you can't find your keys over and over simply reinforces the negative situation that you are trying to avoid. Or at the very least, it creates a blind spot in your thinking. Are you creating blind spots in your career? Then you need to focus on solutions. If business is slow, don't focus on how slow it is. Instead, focus on what needs to be implemented to turn things around. One rule of thumb is to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on 20 percent of the things that matter to most to you. (Read: "The 80/20 Rule: Maximizing the Return on your Investment," MT March 2008.)
Attaining Your Goals
We must take a few minutes every day to work on attaining our goals. What are three things you could do right now that could help your practice, but that you have delayed because you are fearful of the unknown or of possible rejection? To put those thoughts and fears behind you, be proactive. Make a list twice as long of all of the good things that will happen by taking action. You will immediately have clarity and a desire to move forward. (Read: "The Power of a Minute," MT June 2007, and "The Power of the List," MT January 2008.)
Balancing the Systems
Just as the body has many systems that work in harmony with one another, so must the systems in your practice work in harmony. Is your practice operating as efficiently as possible? What isn't working that you would you like to change? (Read: "Massage Your Balancing Act" MT June 2008; "All Systems Go" MT August 2007.)
Keep Your Skills Sharp
They say "If you don't use it, you lose it." I still regularly treat clients at my clinic and love to receive massage. I learn a lot from every treatment I receive. When was the last time you received a massage? Are you following the same recommendations that you tell your clients?
What about hands-on seminars? Have you studied anything unique lately? (Read: "The Body Is in Charge," MT February 2007; "Feeling Is Believing," MT April 2007.) What textbook could you read to improve your knowledge and skills? Are you reading any articles on treatment? (Read: "Safety Protocols: Carotid Artery," MT October 2008; "Subscapularis: Overlooked and Undertreated," MT November 2008.) For many, DVD programs with accompanying photo manuals are aids. This type of tool supports hands-on seminars by allowing you to study prior to or after a training.
Maintaining a Polished and Professional Demeanor
Imagine walking into a store to buy a specific item. You locate the item, which is manufactured by two different companies and sitting on the shelf, side by side. Each is priced the same. One box is nice, new and brightly colored; the other box looks like it was run over by a truck. Which one would you buy? Now imagine that you are a potential client or employer looking to hire a massage therapist. Do you think that a therapist's overall appearance and actions might influence your purchase? Are you dressing or "packaging" yourself in the right light? What sets you apart from other therapists in your area? Do you specialize in a particular modality or possess special training? Are you setting high standards of care by asking your clients the right questions? Are you communicating to clients that you are highly skilled and knowledgeable in your field? (Read: "Questions With Direction," MT September 2008.)
Tools of the Trade
All health care providers use paperwork, instruments and devices to gather information, as well as to evaluate, educate and treat their clients. Pain scales are great tools to show progress over a series of therapy sessions. Many massage therapists take postural analysis photos to document their client's progress and educate their clients about the benefits of treatment. Trigger-point charts help you explain referred pain patterns to your clients, which gives them confidence that you can design a treatment plan to help them. (Read: "Charting your Progress: Visuals for Success," MT February 2008; "Simple Answers Create Positive Results," MT May 2008; "Getting Comfortable With Postural Analysis," MT July 2008.)
Building Your Practice
Does the community know about you and your business? How do potential clients contact you? Have you distributed your cards and/or brochures in health food stores, gyms, and chiropractic and medical offices? Have you met the tennis and golf professionals in your area? Have you considered writing an article for the local paper about the benefits of massage therapy and/or your particular specialty? Do you have a Web site that is up-to-date? If you are a new therapist, are you communicating your availability with phrases such as "Now Accepting New Clients," "Outcalls Available" and "Introductory Specials"? Are you taking a few minutes to follow-up with new clients after their initial visit? Are you sending thank-you cards to your clients and referral sources? Always remember to show your clients and your referral sources your appreciation. A little acknowledgement goes a long, long way. (Read: "Building Raving Fans: Consistency Is Key," MT April 2008.)
As we move into a new year, I encourage you to stay focused and positive. Times are tough right now, but things will get better. In the meantime, continue to educate yourself and improve your craft. Check out MassageToday.com for unlimited resources to help you build a successful practice, and stay tuned for more great articles in next year's "Keeping It Simple" series. Happy Holidays!
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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