resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.