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News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
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 more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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