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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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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