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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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
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.
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.
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."
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
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?
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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