resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 08
Are You a Chicken or a Duck in Business?
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Think back to massage school for a second. I know for some of you, that might be a distant memory but humor me. Do you remember learning about the difference between a chicken and a duck? It was about the difference between slow twitch and fast twitch muscles.Well, if this particular memory is escaping you, let me help to refresh it. Chickens have mostly fast twitch muscles, making them speedy and good for short bursts of energy. Conversely, ducks have mostly slow twitch muscles, making them better for endurance events, like flying. The same is true for human musculature, and you may have already thought about or have previous experience with the category you fall in. I am a chicken. Everything I do is for speed and in short bursts of energy. I am a sprinter by nature and as an athlete, I compete in short-speed events. There is no doubt about it. I have more fast twitch muscles, except when it comes to business. In business matters, I am a duck.
If you have read any of my previous articles, you know that practice management and success is about sales. In my article, "The Difference Between Sales and Marketing" (Massage Today, June 2007), this issue is specifically addressed. I don't want to rehash it. (It's a good article and I encourage you to read it). However, in order to be good at sales, selling yourself and your profession, you must be a duck. To be a duck in sales means you are willing to go the distance, treating the effort like an endurance event.
In marketing, there is no quick fix. Many of my consulting clients have been contacting me lately for quick-fix marketing solutions. The current economy has massage therapists scrambling for clients and income and instant solutions. I am sorry to disappoint you, but marketing is a marathon and cannot be treated like a sprint race. It takes time to plant seeds and requires watering, weeding and attention. Only then can the seeds you sow, grow and turn into paying clients.
I realize I am using lots of analogies but I think they apply. However, not everyone is an athlete or a gardener, so consider something else you had to put time and effort into in order to be successful. How about massage school? Did you choose the quick-fix school or were you willing to invest an appropriate amount of time and energy into becoming successful at your massage skills? Unfortunately, some graduates think that their amazing aura and social skills will build a business. Most of them have found that not to be true, only to contact me and say, "I didn't realize it would be so hard." It takes time. Period.
Slow and Steady Wins Every Time
Currently, I tell my students it takes at least two years to build a self-supporting practice. It was true 17 years ago when I started in this field and it is still true today. Of course, some folks can do it sooner, and for others it may take a bit longer but that is an average amount of time. Two years is not a sprint. In the big picture of your lifetime, it might seem like it but when you consider the average massage career is seven years, two years is a marathon.
Your marketing efforts must always be a combination of six to 10 ways to attract business. No one marketing tool is going to work 100 percent of the time. It must also be planned to work over time, building client retention and gaining referrals. If you approach marketing like it will be an instant fix, you will be disappointed. Chances are you might see a client one time but that alone will not build a supporting practice, based on client loyalty. There is no trick except time, perseverance and endurance. Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare? Remember who won? Slow and steady wins every time.
In almost all matters of my life, I am a chicken. However, when it comes to practice management, business building and developing a clientele, I am a duck. It takes a little extra effort to build slow twitch muscles. It is often out of my fast twitch comfort zone and sometimes my muscles get sore. But like an endurance athlete, I train, I stretch, I recover and then I do it all over again... and again. The key is not to give up until you cross the finish line.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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