resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
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.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
Create Your Niche in the Marketplace
By Cary Bayer
What do people think of when they consider your service? Do they lump you in with the rest of the competition? If you're tired of trying to carve out a living in a competitive massage therapist marketplace, consider creating your niche to position yourself apart from the rest.
Creating Your Nouveau Niche
The word "niche" is derived from the French word "nicher" meaning to nest, where a person or thing is best fitted. In the marketplace, the word refers to being specialized, setting something or someone apart from the competition. There are two excellent ways to create such a niche.
One is by doing something nobody else does, and the other is by creating a perceived point of difference. The former is accomplished by having a unique training; the latter is achieved through advertising.
Let's consider the first way: Suppose there are 15 successful LMTs working in your market. And suppose you're the only one who practices Thai or Lomi Lomi massage. Positioning yourself as a Thai or Lomi Lomi expert brings you the overwhelming share of the market for those specialty techniques. This creates a huge surge in business.
Last year, I taught a CE seminar in which one participant was an LMT in the southeast who owned a day spa that offered prenatal massage. It was the only day spa in her city that offered massage for pregnant women. Mid-sized cities like hers are composed of huge numbers of pregnant women at any given time. This gave her spa a point of difference in the marketplace - it was her niche.
Let's take another example. Suppose you work in a small market in which all the other LMTs work out of rented offices. In other words, no therapist in your area does outcalls, and you don't mind driving. You could then position yourself as the therapist who makes house calls. At a time when medical doctors no longer do, you could stand out. You'd have no competition, giving you the lion's share of the market for clients wanting massages in their homes. Naturally, you would charge a premium for that service.
Advertising, as mentioned above, can create a position in the marketplace. Let's return to the outcall example. Whether you're working in a city in which nobody else does outcalls, or even if you work in one where virtually everybody does, your advertising can set you apart by positioning you as the therapist who makes house calls. Your promotional brochure and Web site could support that position. Miller Brewing's Miller Lite became the leading light beer when that category took off in the 70s, not because they were the first in the market, but because they were the first to promote the brand. Try to imagine a sports event on TV today without light beer commercials.
What if you're a massage therapist with no specific training that sets you apart from other LMTs in your city. How do you stand apart then? This, by the way, is the same problem that faces most packaged foods and products that you pile into your shopping cart at super markets every week. The answer in this case is advertising.
You could depict the hour that you give people on your table as a mini-vacation. I know of a few therapists in the south, who do just that. The copy would have to position the massage as a brief getaway, and graphics would have to further illustrate copy points with palm trees and the ocean, for example.
Advertising can be remarkably effective for an LMT. In what seems like a previous lifetime, I used to work in an ad agency in a small town called New York, New York. The company--Doyle Dane Bernbach--was widely known as the most creative agency in the business. Years earlier, they helped put Volkswagen and Avis on the map, and gave Heinz ketchup a huge point of difference. All three clients had perceived difficulties in the marketplace, but for all three it created enormous breakthroughs. I'll share this marketing history with you because it can help you see how much intelligent advertising can make a difference for you, as well.
Volkswagen was a small and ugly little import from Germany when it entered the U.S. in the 50s. Doyle Dane copywriters and art directors came up with novel new ways to see the auto. "Think small," it implored readers leafing through magazines like Life. "It's ugly, but it gets you there," said another ad, citing the sturdiness and reliability of the Bug that they helped make adorable.
Avis was number two in the car rental business, miles from the leader Hertz, and barely in front of number three. My agency's creative positioning: "When you're number two, you try harder." The slogan revolutionized the way Avis staffers felt about their jobs, changing them to highly dedicated employees.
Then, the piece de resistance, Heinz ketchup Here was a product with an obvious disadvantage: it took forever for the ketchup to pour out of the bottle. All the other brands delivered the goods much faster than Heinz. What to do? The agency turned the whole matter of speed on its head, by reframing the argument altogether. Their positioning for their ketchup became: "Too thick to win a ketchup race." Doyle Dane succeeded in changing the context entirely. Instead of the competition being about speed, they made it about thickness - and the results became a part of marketing history. Heinz is far and away the most successful ketchup in the world.
If your work stands head and shoulders (no pun intended) above your competition, chances are good that you're so busy you don't need to position yourself in the marketplace. You already enjoy the number one position. Only one therapist per market gets to enjoy that status, however. For everyone else, being "busier" will make a big difference, and positioning is one good way to accomplish that increase in numbers of massages given. If you don't have a point of difference with regard to the modalities you offer, use advertising to create one.
Click here for more information about Cary Bayer.
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