resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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."
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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."
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 01
When Money Is Tight: Five Tips for Marketing Cheaply and Effectively
By Diana Moore
Small businesses face a perpetual challenge: how to grow the business and stay within the marketing budget at the same time. Follow these tips to market your bodywork business for next to nothing.
Be Picky About Business Cards
Business cards are arguably the cheapest marketing tool around. They are also fun to choose! But don't forget that you want a business card that will dazzle the people you hand it to.
First, look around and see what appeals to you. Be picky about how it will represent your business. What graphics do you find inviting, yet won't interfere with the readability of the text?
Second, decide what you want it to say. Make your message short and concise so people can quickly grasp what you do in their brief look at your card. Include your name and/or business name, contact phone number(s), e-mail/Web address and possibly your physical address. Then add a tagline or summary statement about what you do best: "Sports Massage and Injury Treatment"; "Chair Massage at Your Worksite"; or "Pregnancy and Infant Massage". Don't list techniques like myofacial release or neuromuscular therapy that people may not understand. That's for your brochure and your Web site. Instead briefly state, for example, that you can help relieve back pain, headaches or chronic tension.
Third, get them professionally printed.
Target Your Ideal Clients
It is a waste of time and money to market to people who don't care about what you have to offer. Look at the second step again. What did you write for the tagline for your business card? Does this tell you anything about what kind of person benefits most from your work? Those are the kind of people who will care about your ability to help them, whether they are pregnant, seniors or people with chronic pain.
Get creative and focus your marketing efforts (and dollars) on these ideal clients. Go out and find places they go: community centers, gyms, office buildings, etc. Opportunities abound in these arenas. Hospitals and corporations, for example, have employee bulletin boards where you can post flyers. Look for places you can leave business cards, such as clinics, salons or gyms. Write articles for corporate or community newsletters that target particular groups.
Boost Client Rebooking
Encourage your clients to come in more often. One marketing adage says that getting repeat business costs less by far than gaining new clients. But massage therapists often don't want to seem pushy. Realize that people rely on professionals to help them determine how to cope with challenges. You are one of those professionals. If you want to help your clients feel better, you will encourage them to receive bodywork regularly. This can be as simple as having your schedule book out as your clients are leaving, asking them, "Would you like to reschedule now?"
Clients who come in sporadically often appreciate efforts made to contact them. Use marketing to encourage clients to re-book at the same time you affirm that you care about their well-being. Call to find out if their last session helped. Send a postcard or e-mail announcing mid-day openings to clients with flexible schedules. Mail or e-mail newsletters or articles with self-care information.
Make the Most of E-mail
Unless your clients aren't the online sort, use e-mail to notify them (inexpensively!) of your availability. Online communication reinforces the warm, personal connection you establish with clients in your studio. It encourages back and forth exchanges, helpful to the client and good for building a more client-centered practice. Here are some examples. Send e-mails about an upcoming special targeted to particular clients who might like it. If a client has a particular condition, send information about an upcoming yoga, tai chi or other class that might help. If a client is having a particularly stressful time, send a check-in e-mail and share your openings that might fit his or her schedule. To take it a step further, send an e-mail newsletter, an even more in-depth client education tool.
Contact Other Professionals
Whether they are looking for injury treatment, spa experiences, stress reduction or something else, your ideal clients seek out what they need in the community. Who are the other professionals providing solutions to the problems characteristic of this group? Let them know what you are doing.
Say your ideal clients are professional women over 40. You know that most of them get their hair cut, styled and colored. Many of them workout in a gym and/or attend yoga, Pilates or tai chi classes. Some of them have sought mental health counseling and support. Send a letter of introduction to hair stylists, personal trainers, directors of yoga studios or mental health counselors. Then drop by, introduce yourself and ask if you can leave your business cards. Hand out gift certificates or discount coupons and invite them to come experience your work. You may even want to give a presentation or two to groups such as the staff at your favorite health club or your local chapter of the American Holistic Nurses Association. None of these efforts will cost much other than your time.
If advertising isn't in your budget, don't give up on marketing. There are plenty of good avenues for expanding awareness of your practice in your town and community. Try one of these suggestions at a time, and find out what works for you.
Diana Moore has worked in marketing for more than 10 years. Currently, she works as a writer and editor for Natural Touch Marketing for the Healing Arts. Before her career in marketing she practiced massage therapy for 14 years, many of them as a hospital-based massage therapist in Olympia, Wash. Diana also teaches yoga to people with heart disease and other chronic conditions. Reach her at
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