resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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.
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?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03
Practice Building: Learning to Engage All the Senses
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Patients are constantly evaluating their treatment experience utilizing a multitude of sensory stimuli including sight, hearing, smell and touch. The human senses can influence your patients to upgrade to a series of treatments, purchase additional products, refer others and, in some cases, the amount of your tip.Implementing systems that make your practice standout from your competition are fundamental to insuring success. There are numerous strategies to build your practice by properly engaging the senses of your patients. (See "Getting In Our Patient's Head - Practice Building" MT, January 2011.)
Whether you work performing out-calls, in a spa or in a clinical setting, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Visually, patients can learn a lot about your practice by looking online at your web and social media sites. They can read, see pictures and take a virtual tour of your practice. Make sure you keep posted information up-to-date.
Show patients you use professional grade supplies and equipment that have been designed and tested for the therapy you perform. Selling these professional products like lotions, oils, topical analgesics and exercise balls to your patients will generate additional income that adds to the bottom line. Patients purchase these products for self-care and give them as gifts to family and friends. Your appearance, equipment and facility from the entrance, reception area, hallways, bathrooms and treatment rooms must also be neat and clean.
Postural Analysis photos add a whole new meaning to the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words." Postural analysis photos can be utilized like doctors use X-rays, CAT scans and MRIs to evaluate, educate, design treatment plans and document progress. Smart phones, iPhones, tablets and iPads have a built-in high-resolution camera and screen, making them the perfect postural assessment and education tools. No special software is needed, simply snap a photo and instantly educate patients of the roll their high shoulder or forward head posture plays in perpetuating their pain (Photo 1).
Postural analysis photos are a great visual tool for attracting new clients and selling treatment packages. (See "Practice Building with Postural Analysis" MT, January 2012.) While wall charts are great, mobile therapists use flip charts to educate patients on a number of topics from muscles and bones to myofascial trigger points and the referred pain they produce. (See "Tools to Succeed for Massage Therapists" MT, May 2009.)
Before you begin treatment, review intake forms, listen to your patients subjective complaints, make notes and address their concerns. Check with the patient throughout the treatment session that your pressure is comfortable. (Photo 2) Another component to creating a stress free ambiance is sound or the lack there of. Listening to music wearing headphones while receiving chair massage in a busy location can have a major impact on the patient's experience. Be conscious of the words you speak and the tone in your voice, as they can also affect the patient's experience.
Just like the aroma of freshly baked bread is a powerful trigger causing many to eat, aromatherapy can be used during treatment to stimulate the mind and body to relax. (Photo 4) Essential oils can be used in numerous ways for aromatherapy in oils, lotions, creams, baths, inhalers and vapor diffusers. A moist warm towel is another way of delivering aromatherapy to the face, hands, feet and other parts of the body. Selling aromatherapy products to your patients can be another way of earning additional income.
The skin is rich in sensory receptors that transmit the sensations not only of touch, but also pressure and pain. The last time you touched a hot pot or stubbed your toe, you felt your sense of pain. The goal of treatment is reduce pain, not create it. Continually confirm with the patient during treatment that their positioning and your pressure is comfortable. Only after reviewing the patient's subjective complaints and performing the appropriate objective findings will you be able to determine the most effective treatment techniques to use during the session. Pillows and bolstering systems allow for a wide range of positioning options. Some electric tabletops go a step further when it comes to making patients comfortable with sections that adjust to various angles.
The temperature of multiple items must be monitored and adjusted to ensure patient comfort. The checklist should include the temperature of the: reception and treatment rooms, treatment table, lotions and oils (Photo 4). Remember the temperature of your cold hands can be a very chilling and unpleasant experience for a patient attempting to relax. Many pillows and gel packs are designed for use at various temperatures. Some can be placed in either the freezer and or microwave. These items can also be sold to your patients or included in a package of treatments.
The Bottom Line
Engaging the senses of your patients is a great way to standout from your competition to build your practice. Keep in mind, that how the patient "feels" about their treatment can trigger them to upgrade to a series of treatments, purchase products, refer others, and in some cases the amount of your tip. Make them "feel like a million bucks" and they will share their wealth with you.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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