resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
October, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 10
Tough Times, Don't Panic
Using Downtime to Build Your Business
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
I hear from many massage therapists that they are not busy enough these days. No one has to tell you the economy has had an impact on our industry. Spas are laying off therapists at nearly the same rate they were hiring five years ago.Some full-time therapists have to supplement income with other part-time work. Very few therapists I know are as busy as they would like to be. That means down time. How you use that time can determine your next level of practice and success.
Time off from clients is sometimes a good thing but in this economy, it can be scary and feel like a financial stab in the heart. You have a choice. You can use that time for good or you can wallow in it, obsess about it and remain unproductive. Remember, what you focus upon - expands. If you focus on the empty calendar, it will perpetuate. If you use that time constructively and to the betterment of your business, good things will come. I promise.
When you are in business for yourself, there is always a "to do" list. Often we are so busy with clients that the list goes unattended. Have you ever said to yourself, "I'll do that when I have time"? If you are like most business owners, you prioritize your list and a paying client always trumps an administrative task. Moreover, massage therapists tend not to be good at administrative tasks and often place them on the back burner. Of course, I am generalizing but I don't know too many people who say: "Yeah, filing and paperwork today! Woo hoo!"
Well here is the good news. This is your big chance. The down-turned economy is providing a wonderful opportunity to tackle those projects, big or small. Even 15 minutes a day devoted to mundane tasks, or things you would rather avoid, quickly means your checklist starts shrinking. It's amazing how just a little time each day can add up to many completed projects. Imagine if you find yourself with an entire hour to work on these projects? The results can be limitless. Of course, a paying client is always better but in the absence of one, get busy doing things for your business that will pay off in the long run.
If you are at a loss of what to do with your new-found time, I have compiled a list of projects the average business owner should consider. Some of these you may already do but I bet most of these could use some refreshing.
Database: Is it current? Do you have it in Excel or some other format that works for mailing labels or e-mails? Do you have all your clients' names, addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers and birthdays in a database? If not, you are missing a marketing opportunity.
Client files: Are they updated? Are they filed in alphabetical order? Does your intake form need improving? Do you have an intake form and are you keeping client charts? If not, do so. If so, do they need to be sorted, filed, color coded or improved in any way?
Web site: Do you have one? When was it last updated? Is the information current? Are you happy with the format? Should you look at other Web sites for ideas on how to improve yours? Is your biography current? Are your prices updated? Does your Web site reflect your current certifications? Have you hired any new staff who needs to be mentioned?
Mail merge: Do you know how to do one? This is a marketing must and learning how can be time-consuming but worth it. (For more information on this, contact me at .)
Birthday cards: Are you sending them out? Do you have a record of your clients' birthdays? Should you spend some time now writing out cards for the next couple of months so they are ready to mail when the time comes?
Maintenance: Are there knobs to tighten or light bulbs to replace? Does the refrigerator need to be cleaned? Are there any repairs to your space that are needed? How about shampooing the carpets? Washing windows? Cleaning the air filter or air conditioner filter?
Reactivating clients: Do you contact clients who have disappeared or have not come in for a few months? This can directly affect how busy you are. Call or write a note but reach out and let them know you are thinking of them and hope they are well.
Staff meetings: This is the perfect time to talk to staff about how things are going and what projections you have for the future.
Chair Massage: Get busy. Is there a farmer's market or organic market that could benefit from complimentary chair massage. Donate some time with a target market that could be your clientele.
This is just a short list of things that can be done in downtime. The state of the economy is not the issue. We all find ourselves with cancelled appointments and holes in our schedule from time to time. Use it wisely and plant those seeds for the future. When you are flooded with clients and have no extra time, you'll be glad you did.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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