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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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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