resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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?
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
September, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 09
Creating Your Path to Success
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
To establish a reputation as a skillful massage therapist, with a talented array of techniques, requires consistency in a few areas over time. To become that therapist and design the practice of your dreams, you must be clear as to the knowledge, professional image and experience needed to achieve those long and short-term goals.This article will take you through the process by providing insightful questions and examples to help you clarify the steps and ignite the motivation to follow through on the actions necessary to create your path to success. Refer to "The SMARTER Approach to Achieving Your Goals" and "Practice Building: Taking Your Practice to the Next Level".
Your ability to assess your patients symptoms, communicate your findings and design and implement effective treatment plans is easy when you understand how the body works and have the professional support tools to do your job. Mastering these skills and support tools can greatly influence if a patient reschedules, upgrades services, purchases a multi-session package, refers others and in some cases the amount of your tip.
Specialized areas of study are an excellent way to create a reputation and set you apart from the other massage therapists in your area. For example, since 1992 to the present, my continuing education involves dissection seminars at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. The knowledge from these seminars is applicable to all forms of bodywork. The decision to make the investment was easy since the percentage of healthcare providers who perform a human dissection during the course of their education and training is relatively low. I understood taking part in this unique learning experience created a special bond among its participants in the healthcare community.
I have met many physicians over the years that attended the College of Medicine in Tampa. Sharing that I studied anatomy in the same dissection lab is a great icebreaker that gives me further opportunity to develop an ongoing professional relationship — and a referral network.
Therapists who have taken a human dissection seminar have a definite advantage over those who have not. For one, physicians and other healthcare providers know that if you have taken a dissection seminar, you are committed to learning. If you were a doctor and had a choice of therapists in which to refer patients, do you think knowing a therapist attended a dissection seminar might influence your decision? What if you were the consumer? Would that level of advanced training influence your decision to see him or her?
There will be situations when your current schedule, location or finances prevent you from taking the seminar of your dreams. Your next option is to order the home study materials for the course. This gives you the freedom to watch and review everything anytime, anyplace, before and again after attending the seminar. Invest in well-organized programs that include manuals and other visual aids like charts that make the learning process easy and support your treatment sessions.
Ask yourself, what specific seminars or home study programs must I invest in now to achieve my long and short-term career goals? Then write a list of the seminars and home study programs and next to each item write the date you plan to accomplish this goal.
Presenting a professional image takes place on many levels; from how you speak and dress to the assessment and education tools you utilize. Read "Practice Building: Getting Inside Your Patients Head".
Besides the many talented skills in your hands, one of the most powerful tools a massage therapist holds is in the palm of their hand: an iPhone, Android, Smart Phone, iPad or Tablet. They allow you to run your business. You can make calls, schedule appointments, email, research online, get GPS directions, take payments and watch videos.
The built in camera lets you take still photos to document posture or video for range-of-motion and gait. The large screens let you zoom in to instantly assess and educate your patients. We all know the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words." Doctors utilize X-rays, MRIs and other imaging to educate patients, design treatment plans and document progress. You must use tools to take postural analysis photos to document and educate patients regarding how the effects of their high shoulder and forward head posture does indeed create myofascial pain and trigger points. The camera allows you to record video footage documenting dysfunctional movement patterns assessing their entire body during gait (Photo 2). Read "The Initial Treatment: Generating Thousands to Your Practice".
This Charts are a powerful visual tool that demonstrate your ability to understand the patient's pain and develop an effective treatment plan. Charts help you instill a comforting level of confidence to your patients as you explain the connection between their pain, limited range-of-motion, posture, trigger points and how your treatments help.
Charts are a phenomenal way to introduce a clinical presence to any treatment setting. Charts are engaging and provide a perfect visual aid for patient education. Hanging in each treatment room of my clinic is a postural analysis, skeletal, muscular, range of motion and full set of trigger point charts. I even have the same group of charts hanging in my reception area and use them when answering questions for the public that stop to inquire.
If you're a mobile therapist you might want to invest in flip charts to educate patients and present a professional image during outcalls, chair massage, health fairs or any time wall space is not available.
Ask yourself, what specific visual aids must I invest in to achieve my long and short-term career goals? Then write a list and next to each item write a target date.
It will require a little practice getting comfortable presenting the image of a confident healthcare provider. Part of this involves wearing certain attire and answering questions while referencing specific visual aids.
Practice taking posture photos and zooming in on each image to assess a forward head or slumped rounded shoulder pattern. Postural photos show which muscles are shortened, and which are lengthened contributing to neck pain and or back pain and how your treatments can help.
Learn how to properly use your charts to educate patients so you can show visual pain referral patterns of trigger points for common complaints like headaches, neck and back pain. A skeletal chart will aid with correlating trigger points and posture.
Practice by going out and "cold calling" a few miles from your ultimate target area. Pick multiple plazas to go introduce yourself and tell them who you are, what you do, where you are located and how you can help. After a few days, you will be amazed how much better and comfortable you will be answering the questions and referencing your educational tools. Now it is time to target your market.
Congratulations, reading and completing the steps outlined in this article was a major step toward creating your personal path to success. There is big difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know. Keep this list close, review your list frequently and take daily action. Your professional career investments must be wisely focused to be effective. Enjoy making your practice unique and setting it apart.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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