resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03
Make a Resolution to End the Massage Therapy Discount
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
All too often, massage therapists discount their services in an effort to bring clients in the door. Sure, it is risky for a client to spend $100 and an hour (or more) of time on an unknown massage therapist.But why do many massage therapists feel it is their job to lessen this risk by providing deep discounts? Not only does this impact the bottom line of the massage therapist, but it also affects the perceived value of the massage. Furthermore, I believe it can have a negative impact on the industry in general.
The first point is obvious. If you discount too much or too often, you will not bring in the amount of money you planned to make, or need, or want to sustain your life. I've seen some therapists discount as much as 50% just to schedule a client and then be upset at the end of the month when they couldn't pay their rent. Well, whose fault was that? This is especially true now that deal-of-the-day sites are becoming more popular. The bottom line is, you can't give away the farm and still pay your bills.
Perceived value is the bigger point. It is up to the therapist to educate the client about the value of massage. This comes from discussing the benefits of massage, outcome of treatment, reputation, the relationship that is established between client and therapist and lastly, pricing. It is this perceived value that keeps clients coming back. After all, if it isn't "worth it," a client won't return and a successful practice is built on client retention. What does your pricing say about your product or service? Have you discounted yourself so much that your clients consider your services cheap or cut-rate? If you discount too much or too often, you run the risk of being viewed as less valuable compared to your competition. I have found that keeping prices steady and resisting the temptation to discount has long-term benefits for my practice and for the perceived value of my work.
This is true in so many other areas of life. Consider the vendor on the streets of New York City. If you have never been to the Big Apple, there are street vendors everywhere with deals that are sometimes too good to be true. When confronted with three of the same jackets at three different prices, I feel like a character in the Goldilocks story. One jacket is "too expensive" and one jacket is "too cheap." The third jacket is "just right." Why is that? It is human nature not to want to spend the most money for fear of being ripped off. Equally, spending the least amount of money symbolizes a cheaper or lesser product. The majority of consumers will pay the middle amount or what is considered fair market value. There is an underlying psychology behind every purchase you make and massage is no exception.
The psychology behind purchasing a product or utilizing a service is called neuro-marketing, a fast growing field. I recently read a book by Roger Dooley, called Brainfluence. In one study, the author points out that people who were given the same wine to drink thought the $45 bottle was superior to the $5 bottle, even though they were the same bottle of wine. In another study, 85% of the subjects given a placebo for pain relief reported a reduction in pain when they were told the pill cost $2.50 per dose. Only 61% reported pain relief when told the pill cost only 10c a dose. The pills had no active ingredients. The key point of these studies is that the price of a product or service has a very real and tangible effect on the perceived value. This perception is so powerful that people who thought they were drinking the expensive wine thought it tasted better and people who thought the were taking the expensive pill actually felt better. In other words, when you discount too much, you're damaging the perceived value of your service which, in the long-run, will reduce your ability to generate healthy revenues.
The industry has always struggled with the balance of what is the fair amount to charge a client and what is the appropriate amount a therapist should make. This battle happens annually as therapists debate whether to raise rates or not. I don't know a therapist who hasn't walked this line. Discounting too much or too often has ramifications on the entire profession. After all, clients will always have a plethora of MTs to choose from. Have you ever been asked, "Why should I schedule with you when I can go down the street for $30 less?" It's maddening, as I have to defend my position each and every time against the therapist who only wants to undercut my price. The answer lies in perceived value and that is where the conversation begins. You have the ability to boost the entire profession by not giving away too much. Consider these points and resolve to end the discount. It is win-win for everyone.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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