resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
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.
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.
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.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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?
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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.
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.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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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