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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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
February, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 02
Are Your Clients Trained?
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Many of my students have been asking me about the economy and how it has affected my practice. I understand their concern and value their questions. I am also pleased that they feel comfortable enough to ask and are considering the future of the industry and how the changed economy is going to affect the bottom line. That's head-ups thinking and shows me my teaching efforts are paying off.
We have a candid conversation about the economy, where I think it is headed (not that President Obama asked me) and how my business is doing in these tough times. I am pleased to admit that my private practice has not suffered one bit. The reason is simple. My clients are trained.
There are two sides to the massage industry. There is the health care side of the industry and the personal care side. "Health care" encompasses medical massage, treatment of injuries and specific conditions, and massage for general well-being. This is by no means an exhaustive list. The "personal care" side of massage typically happens in spas and salons, on cruises or at resorts. The clients are not "regulars" and often schedule as a result of a gift certificate or special occasion. Both are necessary and valid models of care, and many massage therapists have their hands in both camps.
One of the most appealing aspects of being a massage therapist is variety and flexibility. The typical therapist has two or more jobs, so you often find an MT who works in both the health care and personal care setting. Other MTs have a preference and focus more in one area. Both are fine and acceptable; no judgment here.
The interesting point to make is that in these tough economic times, one of these camps has taken a "hit" and one has stayed constant. Can you guess? Americans, and people all over the world, have cut back on excessive spending. Much of that excessive spending falls into the personal care category. Getting your nails done or having highlights put in your hair can wait an extra week or two, or be tabled altogether. When the choice is between a good manicure or food, the right decision seems clear.
Health care, however, is an area that people have not skimped on. The dollars spent on getting well and staying well has remained constant and unchanged, and I believe that is the key to being recession proof. Taken to another level, the trend has been to spend extra money to stay well in the first place.
Training Your Clients
Here's where the training comes in. My clients are "trained" that the care I provide is health care. Now more than ever, it is important to stay healthy, not get sick and miss work, not throw out your back, and keep your musculature strong. This is not the time to skimp on massage dollars. You've heard the saying, "penny wise and pound foolish"? That applies directly to paying for regular massage as part of health care and preventing sickness or injury in the first place. The average client will save time away from work and money if they consider and use massage as part of health care.
The easiest way to "train" your clients that massage and what you provide is health care is to decline tips. Turn away money? Yep. Something as simple as declining a tip sends a message to your client that you are not a personal care provider. Just today, I was given a $10 tip. I kindly gave it back to the client, thanked her for the compliment and told her the best compliment is the referral of family and friends. She had a puzzled look on her face and I further informed her that I consider myself an allied health care professional. "Just like you don't tip your doctor or psychotherapist, I don't accept tips either. If I considered myself a personal care provider like your nail technician or stylist, I would happily accept the tip." She was blown away, but understood. Within minutes, she booked another appointment for two weeks later.
There is no doubt about it: Tough economic times are here for a while. People will continue to cut their budget and personal spending. However, I think you can recession proof your practice by positioning yourself on the side of health care. "Train" your clients by educating them about what you do, how you do it and how it can help them.
Click here for more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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