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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
October, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 10
Are You My Perfect Customer?
By Lisa Curran Parenteau, LMT, NCTMB
Perfect customers - who are they; how do we find them; and why are we looking for them? In my last article, we looked at an "elevator speech" formula, the third step of which was describing some characteristics of your perfect customer. In this article, I hope to help you discover your perfect customer and expand your tribe.
Traditional marketing focuses on going out in the marketplace and finding your perfect client/customer. Building a profile and going out to find them. There is another approach that I think is far more effective called attraction or seduction marketing. Attraction marketing is typically referred to in the dubious world of multi-level marketing (MLM). But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Attraction marketing says to focus on your product and improve it. I am suggesting a logical extension of this: Be the best you can be at what you do today, and you will attract your perfect customers and also find your tribe. What does this mean for bodyworkers? Be honest with yourself, uncover, refine and bask in your light and then let go and trust the process.
In the book Attracting Perfect Customers: The Power of Strategic Synchronicity, the authors describe the concept of the Lighthouse Test:
"The water is calm, the sky is blue, and many boats are out at sea. But off in the distance, a storm cloud is forming. It approaches the shore very quickly. The sky is getting darker, the waves are getting rougher, and many of the boats are being tossed about on the water. As the rain and the wind pick up strength, the power of the beam of light emanating from the lighthouse increases. The darker the skies become, the brighter the light shines to provide safety and security in the midst of the storm. Notice that not all of the boats need this beam of light to guide them to safety. Some have more confident captains and crews, and some are fully equipped to manage through storms safely and effectively. Now imagine that the lighthouse gets upset because some of the boats are choosing to follow their own path. The lighthouse feels that it is not successful if its light is not guiding all of the boats in the sea. It sprouts arms and legs and runs up and down the beach acting like a searchlight, doing its best to catch the attention of all the boat captains, attempting to encourage more of them to depend on its light.
"What do you think would be the result? Most likely, the boats whose captains were depending on a steady, constant stream of light to guide them safely around potential dangers would be damaged or destroyed in the chaos and confusion. Other boats might be steered dangerously close to shore so those on board could get a better look at the spectacle. Still others would be perfectly content to stay out at sea, relying on their own navigational equipment. The result: very few boats would be served well, or at all, by the lighthouse.
"Here's the test: How often are you, your employees, and your coworkers operating like lighthouses standing securely on the shore, attracting and safely guiding the boats (customers) that need your business with your light? How often do you run up and down the beach frantically looking for boats (customers) to serve?"
The authors believe "Perfect customers are most likely to find you when you are standing still!" In order to think about what is meant by standing still, lets consider "running around."
Do you have clients or employers who ask you to work in ways that make you feel uncomfortable or perhaps like you don't have the skill set for? Do you have clients that really push your comfort zone regarding boundaries: are chronically late or ask you for discounts for friends, or freebies? Are you running around trying to be all things to all clients, afraid if you pass up a client, you will lose them and their business? Consider the Lighthouse Test; have you been jogging up and down the beach?
So how do we stand still and attract others to our light? The first step in finding your perfect customer requires self-appraisal. Start with being honest about who you are as a massage therapist, how you want to practice and what you are good at today. Ask yourself some hard questions:
Sometimes, it also helps to identify things you don't like. Ask yourself, "What clients do I have now who really bother me?" "Why?" You will soon uncover or validate some truths about your passions and your wiring as a therapist and as a person. As you allow your distinctive light to shine, you are allowing yourself to improve your product.
When I began my journey as a therapist, I was asked to "work deeper" than I was comfortable doing, and also to do treatments that I was not trained to do. Those experiences made me feel insecure and question my abilities. When I learned about the importance of standing in my purpose and following my passion, I took a risk and allowed my practice to reflect my passion. I always loved working with elders. I really felt good, deep down, about myself, when I was able to connect with someone in this special population. I also really gravitated to energy work of all kinds. I believed in it from the very start and knew that I had a little bit of intuition and inner guidance in this area. I knew that I didn't want to do sports massage or deep-tissue massage.
I researched and found advanced training. I also became a hospice volunteer and took the 30 hours of training offered by my local hospice organization. It resonated as no other modality or approach. I felt good about my skills and myself. I also really resonated with the people who were attracted to this kind of work. So we have taken an inventory of our current practice, uncovered and articulated some of our talents and interests. Now how do we refine them? The obvious answer is to develop advanced skill sets in those areas.
Here's another suggestion: Find a mentor in this specialty area and connect with them in some way. E-mail, call or sign up for a workshop. If not, explore and investigate everything you can about the person and their education path and those that they studied with. Look for someone who is successfully doing something you would like to do. Who do you want to be like when you grow up? What are those qualities, skills and accomplishments? I was fortunate to find leaders in my chosen specialty and the writings visionaries like Elisabeth Kubler Ross. I also continue to seek out marketing/sales mentors like Seth Godin, Michele Miller and Guy Kawasaki.
If you want to attract your perfect client, you also have to be willing to give up clients that are perfect for someone else. That is where letting go and trusting the process comes in. When I am standing in my purpose, among my tribe, it is a relief to refer clients who were looking for sports massage to other colleagues. The customer is best served by someone else, and my schedule is open for work that I am best suited for. Consider partnering or collaborating with other local therapists so you can create a referral network.
It is both an awesome responsibility and an honor to stand in your purpose and be a beacon of your unique light. If you continually center yourself in this truth, you will attract the attention of your perfect customers and clients who are a "perfect fit" for you and your practice. Your tribe will grow and your satisfaction in your work will shine brightly.
In the next article, I will explore the use of social media tools for business and marketing and how it might serve the massage therapy community in general, but how it also helps to build your tribe of raving fans. Let's be part of the emerging best practice conversation! Until then, enjoy your summer. Namaste.
Lisa Curran Parenteau is a specialist in marketing and practice development. She serves as marketing consultant for the Center for Compassionate Touch, LLC and contributes to curriculum and program development. She also consults with other businesses, non-profit organizations and professional associations. Lisa serves the American Massage Therapy Association as the 3rd VP, webmaster for the Mass. Chapter website and will serve as a 2009 Mass. Delegate to the 2009 national AMTA conference, where she will be presenting a Position Statement to the 2009 House of Delegates. She also serves the Massage Therapy Foundation as a member of the Community Service Review Committee and the Chairperson of the newly formed Marketing Committee. Lisa can be reached at
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