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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.).
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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