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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."
February, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 02
The Massage Road Show
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
When I lived in Boston, I owned and operated a wellness center. I had full control of my surroundings, which included a lovely treatment room that was set up exactly how I wanted it. When I relocated to New York six years ago, I decided not to open a store front and I started a travel business instead, offering massage in the comfort and privacy of people's homes.
There were two reasons behind my decision. First, I did not know anyone in New York and securing office space seemed risky. The allure of savings from a lack of overhead was another reason. I have been on both ends of the spectrum and, recently, many of my students are asking which I prefer.
Office-based space and travel businesses each have pros and cons. As a massage therapist, it is common to have more than one job or work at more than one location. I know many therapists who choose to have office space, work for someone else part time and do some outcalls as well. Here is the good news: there is no right answer. We are so fortunate that in our profession we can design a work strategy that fits our personality and lifestyle. So although I will give some thoughts on office space versus house calls, it is up to each of you to decide what works best for your life, family, and schedule.
My physical office in Boston was lovely. I am often nostalgic about it; remembering the quintessential New England home that was converted to commercial space. My treatment room was the former living room, complete with hard wood floors and a fireplace. I had several therapists working for me and each of them had a room that had also been converted. We had a shower for clients, a lovely garden in the back of the house, ample parking and were off the main road so it was very silent and peaceful. It was really quite perfect. But it cost a lot of money. Overhead was high, maintenance was endless and the landlord had control to some extent. I made a very decent living and was very happy. I saw 25 clients a week for about 12 years. Had my life not changed on a personal level, I am certain I still would be there.
I moved to New York and because I did not know anyone or have the same "connections" compared to Boston, I decided not to rent office space. It just felt too risky. I also decided I no longer wanted to see 25 clients a week and not having the office space meant lower overhead. Lower overhead equals less need for income. Massage by Land & Sea was born, offering massage in the comfort and privacy of people's homes, boats and offices. The first thing I realized was that travel and set up time is more than expected. So while I charge $100 per hour, when I tack on travel and set up time, each one hour session takes about two hours. My $100 per hour rate goes to $50 per hour (without expenses) in a heartbeat. Obviously, overhead is lower. Linens, lubricant and laundry will always be an expense, unless you work for someone who provides those things. The other big overhead item is the travel; car expense, insurance, gas, tolls and parking, along with phone, insurance, membership dues, continuing education and music round out the list of expenses. Am I really saving on overhead? The answer is yes, because I do not have rent to pay.
The downside, as I see it, is the lack of control over my surroundings. I described a perfect set up in Boston and when I step into other people's spaces, it's not the same. There often isn't enough space, meaning I have to move furniture to fit my table. It is not always as clean or quiet as I would like either. The other downside is the extra wear and tear on my body; lugging the table, as well as the supplies. I have a light weight table but it is still heavy. There is no way around it. Overall though, people like massages in their own space very much. There is something to putting on your snuggly robe after a massage, curling up on your own sofa with a cup of tea and not having to step into your car and fight traffic. I have created a lovely massage road show business for myself and am quite happy again.
On a side note, my students ask what I bring when I travel for massage. Here is a list of all the items I carry with me each time:
Do yourself a favor and get a really good carrying case for your table. I have a heavy-duty one and it protects my table well. I carry the rest of the items in a strong canvas bag so I only have to make one trip from the car. It's not ideal, but it works.
I enjoyed having office space and I currently enjoy my massage road show. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Some days I long for what I currently don't have, but that's the nature of the beast. Most days I am really happy that I have had the experience of both, and I trust that I am exactly where I belong.
Click here for more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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