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A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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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