resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
June, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 06
The Heart of Business: Client Relations
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Business does not have to be about accounting and long-winded business plans. Even though that is a valid aspect of professional development, many massage therapists hire accountants and some never write business plans.If you enjoy those pieces of the business side of massage therapy, good for you. However, I feel the most important aspects of business revolve around client relations. Getting the clients scheduled in the first place, performing excellent customer service beyond the "hands-on" work and retaining clients is paramount to success. A successful massage career is much more than a good massage just as a five-star hotel is much more than a comfortable bed.
When you first hear the term client relations, what do you think about? Of course, it means different things to different people but I want to try to put together a list of some of the top things that client relations mean to me. For the purpose of organizing this information, I am going to break it into three categories: before the massage, during the massage and after the massage.
The first time you speak to someone on the phone or meet them in person is critical to the success of the long-term relationship. You have about five seconds to "impress" someone and the average client sizes you up in a short time. How you handle this interaction is very important.
You must be professional, clear, and establish your value in a short amount of time. There is no un-doing the first meeting. You never get a second chance. This is the first step in establishing a good relationship.
The ease with which a client schedules and your promptness in returning phone calls is the next thing to pay attention to. If a client cannot get through to you or if it takes too much effort to book an appointment, they won't be a client for long. Convenience and impeccable phone etiquette is key to client relations.
Once you get the client in the door, excellent service and paying attention to their needs tops the list. If a client likes an abdominal bolster, make sure it is set up before the client comes in for an appointment. Don't make the client ask or worse, have them go without. Client preferences must be noted on their chart and should be adhered to each time.
And speaking of charts, keeping accurate records is a must. You are the keeper of people's lives and there is no excuse for not doing an intake and tracking progress with good notes. Use whatever format you like, although SOAP notes are widely accepted. The point is to understand your notes, be able to defend them if necessary and have a clear picture of what your treatments consist of.
Once the client has left the office, follow-up is imperative. Marketing studies show that the best bang for your buck is follow-up. It costs less money and takes less time to keep an existing client than to bring in a new one. A little time spent keeping your current clients happy will go a long way towards ultimate success. Check in and see how they feel after their first appointment. Whatever they tell you, write it in their chart so that you "remember" it for their next visit. If you read an article that would be good for a certain client, take the initiative and send it to them. Clients love that.
Because you've taken such good treatment notes, the next time they come in for an appointment, you will be able to ask them about their current condition. "Remembering" the details is easy if you write it down and clients will feel cared for. In a world where health care is challenged and medical professionals don't have time to converse, let alone remember details, you will stand out amongst the stars if you do.
Good client relations isn't hard to accomplish, but it takes time, thought and effort. With some practice, these techniques can become second nature and be part of your standard of care. Clients will appreciate it and as a result, will come back. I truly believe if more massage therapists focused on client relations, there would be more success in our industry.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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