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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 06
Summer Fun is Marketing Time
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
This is a wonderful time of year for marketing and it is in your best interest to capitalize on it. Not only will it benefit you immediately but your efforts can have lingering effects into the next season and even next year.It is proven that people feel healthier and have more energy when the weather turns warmer and days are longer. Outdoor fun increases as we have more daylight hours to accomplish activities. In addition, people tend to eat healthier and find they shed some winter weight. Sun-kissed skin and bare feet replace long layers and shoes. Why not ride that health train and drum up some business?
In my own practice, I find my clients tend to take better care of themselves in the spring and summer months. It is a wonderful cycle to witness. Increased daylight leads to increased activity. Increased activity leads to weight loss. Weight loss leads to increased energy. Increased energy leads back to increased activity and so on and so on. Since my practice is full of these newly "fit" folks, it is easy for me to suggest increased frequency of massage sessions to them.
For example, if I see a client once a month, I suggest that during these months of increased activity, they come for an appointment every three weeks. Often, my clients are asking their bodies to perform a new activity or resume an activity they haven't done for six months. Things like bicycle riding, golfing, gardening and swimming (to name a few) all put extra strain on muscles that might not have been used for several months. Extra massage to alleviate the discomfort associated with the new activities makes sense. What I find is that clients tend to respond and like the new schedule and even after the summer months are over, they stick with it. On average, that means the client now comes to me an extra five times per year, totaling $500. If I see someone every 2 weeks, I recommend every 10 days or adding one extra session per month. That can mean as many as 10 extra sessions per year or $1000.
The clients you already see have an affinity for you and your work. They are easy clients to market to. For the sake of argument, I will assume you believe in the cumulative benefits of massage. It is in your client's best interest to receive massage, to be on a maintenance plan and stick to a consistent schedule of receiving it. That schedule and frequency varies from person to person, but I urge you to help the client find the happy balance. It is also in the client's best interest to receive "more" massage and that means increasing frequency. I call it Lifetime Value of the Client (LVC). Your marketing goal should always be to increase LVC. With a population that already is familiar with your work, likes you, reschedules and pays you, it is easier than finding new clients. Remember, it costs less and takes less effort to increase LVC, compared to going out and searching for new business.
I have a client who I used to see monthly. Last spring she took up a new sport and was experiencing discomfort as her body transitioned into the new things she was asking of it. She commented that the week before our massage appointment, her body ached and she longed for the appointment. She was able to go three weeks without pain and complaints but the last week in waiting was "torture." I suggested she not wait the full month and that we see each other BEFORE she experienced discomfort. It was as if a bolt of lightning struck! "Genius," she said. I have seen her every three weeks for the last year and she (for the most part) remains pain-free between appointments. Rocket science? I think not; just good marketing.
There are also more opportunities to drum up new business in the warmer months. People who hibernated all winter have come outside to play, shop, dine and enjoy the outdoors. Moods tend to be better and I find people more approachable this time of year. Venues like street fairs, outdoor concerts, kid's sporting events, festivals and flea markets provide a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and discuss your profession. Be ready with what to say and have business cards on hand. Remember, you have five seconds to attract someone's attention. What you say in that initial five seconds can make or break a professional relationship. I know this kind of marketing isn't everyone's cup of tea but if you have the personality or the drive, it can be extremely beneficial.
Suggesting increased frequency of massage or LVC is a win-win for everyone. Warmer months and increased activity lends itself to receiving more massage. Most clients just need the seed planted. After you read this, pick one client to try it on. Make the suggestion to increase frequency or add just one more massage to their current schedule. What's the worst that can happen? They might say no but they won't leave your practice over it. But maybe, just maybe, they say yes. And then... imagine the possibilities.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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