resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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 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?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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