Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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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