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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
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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