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The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
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 more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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