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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.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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.
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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?
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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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