resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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."
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
December, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 12
Making the Leap
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
How do you know when the right time to jump from employment to private practice is? I have been asked that question a lot lately. Often I consult with massage therapists who have enjoyed the benefits of employment at a variety of venues but somehow think they are missing out on the opportunity to run their own show.They ask me, "When and how do you know you are ready to make the leap?" It is a question that is not easily answered but I will address some key points to consider before making any moves.
Let me start by saying that not everyone is cut out for self-employment. It seems desirable and in this day and age when any employment situation feels less than secure, being in business for yourself has an allure of self-sufficiency and security. Not so fast. Small businesses are closing at alarming rates for the simple reason of not making it, not being able to pay the bills and not generating enough business. That being said, I am not discouraging you but want to pose a few questions first.
Look Before You Leap: Questions to Consider
There are many other factors that bode well for self-employment but in my mind, those are the top four. If the answers to those four questions are less than favorable, do not despair. It might mean that you are better suited for part-time private practice and part-time employment. I would suggest that you not rely 100 percent on self-employment and mix it up with working for someone else.
Is There More Money in Private Practice?
Many people think that private practice means more money. I hate to burst your bubble but not really. If you are one person working in private practice, the amount of money you stand to make is usually close to, if not equal to, what you would make if you worked for someone else. For example, I have a travel business. I charge $100 per hour. Sounds like a lot of money, right? But it takes me almost two hours for every one hour client, with travel time and set-up time. Right away I am down to $50 per hour. Take out expenses and I am knocking on the door of $40 per hour. Gee... I could work for a chiropractor and not have to do any marketing, not have to do any laundry, not make any phone calls, and make about $35 per hour. Why don't I do it then? For me, it's simple. It's about control and the need to be in command of my schedule. So ask yourself, why do you want to be self-employed? If it is for more money, think again. If it is because you want more control, freedom and flexibility, read on.
Knowing When the Time is Right
So when is the right time to make the leap? My suggestion to students is to do both at the same time. If you really know you want private practice and that is the "big" dream, start right out of school, in addition to working for someone else. After all, private practice can mean one client. But that one client turns into two and four and so on. Once you have established a solid base of 10-15 private clients per week and consistently can count on those numbers, it would be safe to consider leaving your employment situation. The problem with those numbers is that often an employment situation means 10-20 clients per week as well. That seems like too much work for the average therapist. The trick is to find the balance.
If you are currently working at Main Street Spa and see 20 clients per week over five days, consider reducing your days to four and taking private clients on two days. That may mean you work six days a week but that is what it takes to build a business. As your two private practice days fill, give up another day at the spa. As your three private practice days fill, give up another day. At this point the spa may catch on that you are working privately and unless you have signed a non-compete agreement, there is no problem. But as a former business owner, I looked for consistency of care for clients and once you are no longer "available", you may want to consider leaving the spa altogether and running with your private practice. If I have the numbers figured right, at this point you are working three days privately and three days at the spa. Your private numbers should be around 12 or so per week, seemingly enough to rely on so that if you quit the spa, you are not destitute. You now have created space for new private clients as well. Remember the universe hates a void and space must be created in order for abundance to fill it.
The bottom line is that I cannot tell you when to make the leap from employment to private practice. Every situation is different. It also depends on how much money you need to make and who else is able to support you, if anyone. This is a case-by-case situation and a large part of my consulting revolves around this very issue. Check your motives, ask yourself the tough questions and be realistic about expectations. Businesses fail every day. The latest statistics suggest it takes two years to build a self-supporting private practice. Having built two massage businesses of my own in two states, I concur with those findings. However, if you do your homework beforehand and don't rush the process, you can enjoy the fruits of self-employment.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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