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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
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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