resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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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