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Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Patient Retention Techniques
When talking about techniques to grow your business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the patient base, that is, on strategies to attract new patients. However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your patients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation.
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
Peaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
February, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 02
The SMARTER Approach to Achieving Goals
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
If you are anything like me, you have a to-do list of projects you are never quite able to finish -- or even start. Perhaps some of these items have been on your list for years, but a lack of time or other circumstance prevents you from moving on them. This article will review the SMARTER way to organize and complete those items on your to-do list.
S = Specific
A = Attainable
R = Reasonable
T = Timely
E = Evaluate
R = Reorganize
To focus your efforts and begin moving in the right direction, you first need to be specific about each of your goals. Thinking about your goals is good, however, writing them down in specific detail is the only way to clearly define them and solidify them in your mind. When putting your goals to paper, make sure they are straightforward and free of ambiguity. For example, instead of: "I want to lose weight," try: "I will lose 10 pounds over the next 10 weeks." Instead of: "I want to make more money," try: "I will increase my income by $2,500 over the next 12 months."
We've heard it said that if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Reviewing your goals and documenting or measuring your progress daily will help you to make the choices that continually point you in the right direction.
For example, documenting your workouts and the foods and drinks that pass through your lips, as well as using the same scale to weigh yourself are ways to measure your progress toward your weight-loss goal. You'll also confirm your measurable progress by noting how well your clothes fit, the numbers on the scale and how you feel about your accomplishments. To measure your financial goals, you'll have to track your spending versus your income or find measurable ways to track what draws more business to your practice. Paying off debt, opening a savings or retirement account, or investing in tools and/or seminars that increase and improve your knowledge, thereby aiding your treatment sessions, are all effective methods of measuring your financial progress.
Is your goal realistically attainable? If you are naturally stocky or big-boned, for example, setting a weight-loss goal that would be difficult for a super model to achieve isn't realistic and probably not attainable. In fact, setting unrealistic goals likely will result in burnout and failure. However, losing 10 pounds and improving your all-around level of fitness are definitely attainable goals. It's also important to identify realistic, attainable actions that you can take to move you toward your goal. For example:
Problem: Sweets and snacks pose a weakness for me.
Problem: I tend to overeat when I dine out.
Financial goals can be attained easily by realizing that consistent efforts can produce big returns. For example, making or saving an additional $50 a week x 4 weeks = $200 a month x 12 months = $2,400 a year. Another $200 a week x 50 working weeks in a year = $10,000 additional in annual income.
Instead of working twice as hard to earn more, it's easier to improve your bottom line by simply spending less. Is this an attainable goal? Sure! Buy in bulk from wholesalers and save on items like detergent, linens, face-cradle covers, lotions, oils, creams and topical analgesics. Watch for special offers and use discount codes whenever possible and re-evaluate what you have purchased in the past and then ask yourself if purchasing the same item(s) is the best choice moving forward.
How about implementing realistic, attainable methods to make passive income such as selling products like topical analgesics? One company offers complementary educational brochures personalized with your name and contact information with a sample pack of the product attached.
Don't reinvent the wheel, just model what works for others. Is there something you could offer to distinguish your practice from the competition and attract new patients? Medical doctors often offer free screenings or educational classes, chiropractors offer free X-rays and spinal exams. Massage therapists can offer a free evaluation that includes postural analysis, muscle and range-of-motion testing, orthopedic assessments and a trigger-point educational session. Offer these services at a value to new patients who purchase a series of treatments. By adding to your menu of services or making some minor adjustments, attaining your financial goals is within reach. For more practice-building tips, read Tools to Succeed for Massage Therapists (MT, May 2009).
Now that you know what it takes to attain your goals, you must know that your goals, and the steps toward achieving them, are reasonable and sustainable in both the short and long term. Create a separate "do-able" action plan for each project by making a list of two short-term and two long-term goals related to the project. Next, list the tasks required to complete each short-term and long-term goal. By outlining your goals and each task needed to achieve them, you will have created a detailed blueprint to navigate your course. The key here, of course, is to make sure you are using reasonable methods to attain your goals.
Part of your action plan for losing weight might include getting some form of exercise every day, drinking more water and using smaller plates. Are these lifestyle changes reasonable and sustainable? If so, you are on your way to permanently achieving your goal. If not, you'll need to determine what steps are reasonable to you. Perhaps it's more reasonable if you allow yourself one "cheat" day a week.
Is setting aside $50 a week reasonable for moving you toward your financial goals? If not, how about $20 a week? Again, you must find what works for your situation. For more on creating lists to help you achieve your goals, read The Power of the List (MT January 2008).
To successfully achieve your goals, you must set completion dates. Setting timelines for each task gives you clear targets and deadlines. Without completion dates, your goal will always be open ended. To learn more about finding the time to achieve your goals, read The Power of a Minute (MT, June 2007).
To determine if you are on track toward accomplishing your goals, you should review and evaluate your efforts many times a day; at least at first. The more you review your goals and focus on the actions you need to take to achieve them, the sooner your goals will become a reality. Continually evaluating your progress will also help you find your weak points and identify the areas that need improving. This process also helps you evaluate if your time and efforts are being spent wisely. One rule of thumb is to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on 20 percent of the things that produce the greatest results. This is also known as the 80/20 rule. For more about the 80/20 rule, read The 80/20 Rule: Maximizing the Return on your Investment (MT, March 2008).
Once you have determined what works and what doesn't, make the necessary adjustments to your approach to maintain focus and stay on track. Continue to regroup and reorganize your efforts until you know you are on a stable path toward success.
The SMARTER approach to achieving your goals is similar to cooking. First you need to know what you are cooking (Specific). Then you pull together the amounts (Measurable) of each ingredient (Attainable), and bake everything at a specific temperature for a determined (Reasonable) length of time (Timely). Then you taste (Evaluate) the food and finally decide how you will modify (Reorganize) your recipe to improve on your next attempt. Have fun with the process, and please let me know about your progress as you apply the SMARTER approach to achieving your goals in all the areas of your life.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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