resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.