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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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 04
Is This Any Way to Run a Business?
By Cary Bayer
Retail advertising, discussed in my previous column, requires precise advertising layouts and copy. Make certain that the words "50 percent off" are not only prominent in type size, but the very headline of the ad as well.It should look something like the following: "50% OFF MASSAGE SALE." Directly below that, indicate what the actual cost will be for first-timers who respond. For example, if your normal fee is $70 for an hour-long session, indicate that your price has been slashed to $35. One effective way of doing this is to use the universal language of the line through the center of some image or piece of copy. Also, make certain that it's clear to any reader of your ad that the offer is only for new clients.
The buy-one-get-one-free promotion is the one I recommend more highly than the 50-percent-off special, because the new client gets to experience your healing art twice and also pays full price for it once. Your message should feature the word "free" in very big and bold letters. In recessionary times, that word is of huge importance to people. It seems as if every single aisle that I push my shopping cart through at my grocery store has a promotional offer featuring the word "free" in big letters. The supermarket isn't the only category of business doing buy-one-get-one-free appeals; so, too, are restaurants, bookstores, clothing stores and many other retail establishments. Your layout should look something along the lines of: "Buy One Massage, Get One Massage FREE" or "FREE MASSAGE when you purchase one massage for (your price)."
Don't waste any valuable advertising space mentioning the many modalities you practice. Most people, especially those who aren't familiar with massage, don't know much about neuromuscular, deep-tissue or Swedish, and they couldn't care less about each. LMT lexicon is great to share in more appropriate settings such as local chapter meetings and state/national conventions but not to the average consumer. The average client or prospect of massage wouldn't know their myofacial if it hit him in the head. Instead, talk to them about the many benefits they will receive from their service, not the service itself.
Keep your communications simple, particularly in your ad, where less is more. Open space in the ad is of value; it helps convey the feeling of relaxation the client desires to experience on your table and that you're eminently capable of delivering. Ad messages that are very copy-heavy are less effective than ones that have more "air" or negative space in them. Empty space is a good thing; think of it as a kind of Zen approach to advertising.
I recommend that any offer you're touting should have expiration dates. This can be inserted right underneath the price. If your ad comes out at the beginning of the month, give the reader about 30 days to take advantage of your special. This encourages a prompt response if people are to gain the price break. Creating a sense of urgency is important. After all, why shouldn't they get cracking to get a free massage?
I wouldn't waste ad space communicating that the new client needs to redeem their free massage within a week of getting their paid massage. That's something you can convey when they call you on the phone and book a paid session. The reason for the free massage within a week of the paid one is to give the client the experience of enjoying your work on a weekly basis so that if they become a client, they have established a small habit of seeing you weekly. Naturally, at the bottom of your ad, you'll need to include your name, phone number, Web site (if you have one), address (if you have an office) and license number.
Incorporate these creative elements in your ad and you will have some new customers. One client of mine had 19 people respond to such an ad. Sixteen of these people never came back as regular paying clients. On one level, you might argue that the advertising was a waste of several hundred dollars. After all, that's a lot of free massages to give out. If you're paying attention to the numbers, however, you will have noticed that I didn't mention the other three. One became a regular monthly client. One came in regularly every two weeks. The third opted for a weekly visit. One other thing about this weekly client: she is a medical doctor, and has been referring many patients who have also become clients.
When you consider that 16 massages were given away for nothing, was this promotion worth it? If you think it was a waste, you might never be able to grow your business. Let's try to analyze what these new clients will be netting the therapist. Let's suppose each client keeps up the massage frequency they have begun. Then let's suppose each client remains a client for what most therapists say is the average length of a client relationship: three years. At a $70 massage rate, the monthly client will pay $840 the first year and a total of $2,520 over the course of this estimated three-year term. The bi-weekly client will spend twice that amount, or $5,040, in those 36 months. The weekly client will pay $10,080 in that period. If you add all this up, you reach a total of $17,640; and that doesn't account for any MD referrals. To generate such revenues, the advertising expenditure was about $400.
To paraphrase the famous old National Airlines advertising slogan: "Is this any way to run a business? You bet it is."
Click here for more information about Cary Bayer.
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