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News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
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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