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Update from the International AIDS Conference
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, brought together more than 15,000 of the world's leading scientists, activists, funders, policy makers, and consumers from 153 countries.
Treatment Success at the Won Institute
According to the World Health Organization's 2003 report titled, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials," acupuncture has been shown to improve many physical, emotional, and mental conditions.
First Annual ICD-10 Updates Take Effect
Yes, there was an update to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1. It was a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and will take place every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Four Ways to Attract Patients
Acupuncturist A has been in practice for six years and has struggled since day one. She spends as much time and money on marketing as she can, but since her practice is slow, her budget isn't that big.
Integrative Cancer Care: Chiropractic for Chemotherapy-Induced Hiccups
Hiccups (singultus) are a frequent occurrence during cancer treatment. The cause of the hiccups may be the chemotherapy drug itself, such as Cisplatin; or the prophylactic use of corticosteroids such as Decadron, which is used to prevent nausea and/or vomiting.
Going Beyond Just Feeling Good
We all know that most patients come to us for some pain complaint: neck pain, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc. We also all know that acupuncture is a great first-line care for these issues, as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Pediatric Asthma: A Case Study
I have had very good success with pediatric asthma, combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal products. Treatment is given over four to eight months, twice monthly, with herbal formulas rotated every month.
Getting Paid by Medicare Is Getting a Major Adjustment
The 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law to implement a new approach to clinician payments and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
Dysautonomia: The Medical Condition You May Already Be Treating
TCM practitioners have spent thousands of years healing patients without knowing or needing the names of their diseases as defined by allopathic medicine. We have syndrome names that are both poetic and efficient.
National Board Apologizes for Testing Issues
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has issued a formal apology following a series of computer-based testing malfunctions that impacted two separate examinations (March and June 2016) and caused "widespread confusion and frustration" to the nearly 1,500 examinees taking the tests.
Decoding the Mystery of Medical Insurance Acceptance
In the constantly evolving profession of acupuncture, one of the least understood areas is medical insurance acceptance. The profession is filled with controversy surrounding this topic: Is it ethical?
Upgrade to "Parker 2.0" in Las Vegas
Continuing your education and refining your practice: two key elements of a successful chiropractic career. Parker Seminars promises both as it celebrates its 65th anniversary in Las Vegas next February, according to Parker University President, Dr. William Morgan, and seminar consultant Dr. Mark Sanna.
Natural Cancer Prevention: Pomegranate for the Prostate
In recent years, the ingestion of pure pomegranate juice (8 ounces per day) has been shown in clinical studies with human subjects to slow, and to some degree, reverse, the progression of prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North American men.
Power to the Patient
Against a backdrop of splintered political parties, polarizations within nations, civil unrest, and distrust of established government (such as the growing anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment) comes the not-so-surprising finding that health care authorities and practitioners (with perhaps the exception of insurers) are turning over more and more powers to the individual patient.
U.S. Olympians Have a DC in Their Corner
It's probably old news to you that doctors of chiropractic play an increasingly prominent role in treating athletes, from youth sports participants to weekend warriors, to elite / professional competitors.
Using the Lens of Chinese Medicine
One of the most common medications I see in clinical practice on a daily basis is fluoxetine or Prozac. Consequently, I hear many complaints concerning the side effects of this medication and am frequently asked by patients to help manage these side effects with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Six Things Every DC Should Know About the Zika Virus
The Zika outbreak continues to spread across the continental United States and U.S. territories. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing doctor of chiropractic.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy: Multi-Faceted Approach Including Laser Therapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States1 and nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Many suffer from the disorder without ever identifying the cause.
Pediatric Footwear: Function Over Fashion
As practitioners, it is not uncommon for parents to bring us their children to treat or ask us questions related to the pediatric population. Children's feet tend to be a perplexing region for parents and practitioners alike.
Workers' Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution
You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.
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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