resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.