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Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
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 previous articles by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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