Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations â€” A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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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.
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)?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 08
Protect Your Business: Certification & Permits
By Michael R. W. Houston, Esq.
The trend is clear — as massage therapy becomes more popular with consumers and health care professionals, more and more states are regulating massage therapy. Currently, legislation requiring massage therapy licensing or certification has been adopted or is pending in 43 states and the District of Columbia.1 Nearly two years ago, California adopted legislation providing for the voluntary certification of massage practitioners and massage therapists by the non-profit California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC).Designed to enable consumers to easily identify credible massage therapists and ensure that certified massage therapists have sufficient training from approved schools, California's statewide standards and certification program has been a success, with more than 22,000 applications received and nearly 16,000 certifications approved by the CAMTC as of October 2010.2 For therapists, perhaps the most significant aspect of California's legislation is that it limits the type of restrictions that cities and counties can impose on certified therapists — a significant help to your business.
As a massage therapist or practitioner, you may have already received your state-level certification; a vote of confidence in your training, expertise and professionalism. However you might be unaware that many cities and counties also have laws affecting massage businesses that must be complied with, in addition to state requirements. For instance, you also must confirm that your preferred location is actually zoned for the use, and you might need to obtain a local business license and potentially, a use permit . Local zoning and permitting requirements should not be overlooked, because operating without proper local permits could lead to closure, assessment of fines and even criminal penalties. A business proceeds at its peril if it operates without first determining what local permits are required.
State And Local Regulations
Regulations for therapists vary by state, ranging from licensure to certification or registration. States also usually allow for local regulation of massage businesses. (In California, cities and counties may regulate massage businesses under California Government Code 51030. However, as discussed below, Senate Bill 731 limits the type of regulations that cities and counties can place on certified therapists.) Cities frequently handle business permits differently, creating unique local requirements under which owners of massage therapy businesses must operate.
Cities have broad power to restrict most types of businesses and might even entirely prohibit certain types of businesses. Historically, cities can heavily regulate businesses that have a tendency for criminal activity or social ills, such as bars, gaming establishments and "massage parlors." While licensed and certified massage businesses are usually good corporate citizens, cities usually have common (and often legitimate) concerns with respect to massage businesses (as they do for any other type of business), including:
Understand Permit Requirements
With that in mind, massage therapy businesses must adhere to local zoning and business licensing laws, while ensuring that a city does not take advantage by regulating them too strictly.
Therefore, as a business owner, you need to:
Do Your Homework — Investigate what city permits are needed before signing a lease or buying property. Importantly, don't take a city employee's word about local restrictions. Do the research yourself.
Get Your Permits — Obtain proper approvals before operating. In California, having state certification will facilitate this process. If you need help navigating the myriad of regulations, consider hiring an attorney. Look for a lawyer who specializes in land use and one who is familiar with both state and local requirements.
Know Your State Laws — Don't let the city "over-regulate" your business by making you get unnecessary permits. For example, in California, Senate Bill 731 (adopted in 2008) establishes a state massage therapist certification that, if obtained, protects business owners by prohibiting cities from imposing unique permit requirements on the practice of massage by certificate holders.3 (Cities can still heavily regulate non-certified businesses.) This means that if a massage therapy business is composed of fully certified massage therapists, California cities cannot impose additional permit requirements just because the business provides massage therapy.
Despite your rights in a state like California, prepare for the city to "push back" (either due to ignorance of state law or in hopes that you are ignorant of state law). Consider retaining legal counsel to help educate city officials about state law. A small investment on the front end may save you thousands of dollars on the back end by avoiding delays in opening your business.
Know Your Rights — Know how to respond if a city tries to close you down once you have opened the doors. A permit is a "property right" that a city cannot take from you without following certain rules.
More and more states are passing massage license or certification laws. Generally, such laws help legitimize massage therapy businesses by giving them credibility both with consumers and cities. However, it is unwise to overlook local business licensing and zoning laws. It is imperative that you research local massage therapy and business permit requirements. With the proper paperwork in place, you will be able to focus on your customers and your business.
Additional information can be found at:
Michael R.W. Houston is a partner at Cummins & White, LLP, a business and insurance law firm based in Newport Beach, Calif. Mr. Houston has a practice that involves advising private parties and public agencies on the nuances of developing property in California's complex regulatory environment. He has served as counsel to numerous public agencies and private parties in connection with processing permits for various types of businesses and projects.
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