Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
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.
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.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
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.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
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 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
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.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
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.
April, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 04
The Business Side of Adding Aromatherapy to Your Practice
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
While I usually focus on the therapeutic benefits of adding aromatherapy to the massage session, I receive many queries asking practical questions about resourcing quality oils and the retailing potential.Here are some helpful pointers and advice on the business aspect of adding aromatherapy to a massage practice.
Important Facts About Quality
Other archived articles I have written discuss how quality and price of essential oils is based on where and how a plant is grown, how difficult it is to harvest or extract the essential oil and, of course, the ever-changing issue of supply and demand. The manufacture of essential oils is a very large and well established industry. Most of the oils produced are purchased in large quantities by the cosmetic and food industries. That leaves a much smaller portion for other buyers, like aromatherapists. Naturally, the bigger buyers get the lower prices. No essential oil retailer has exclusive access to a certain product, unless they grow their own plants, and this requires huge amounts of land in prime locations. It is highly unlikely that any company could own enough land to manufacture some 350 known extracted botanicals, or even the fifty most commonly used in aromatherapy. In fact, no such retailer exists. For the most part, there are long established, well known suppliers who service a growing number of retail essential oil companies.
How Much Will it Cost?
True essential oils will have different prices for the same quantity. In other words, 10 mls of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) might cost $16 or more, while 10 mls of Orange (Citrus sinensis var dulcis) costs $6 or less. The price of certain essences, such as Rose (Rosa damascena) at $45 or more for 5 ml, or Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis or Matricaria recutita) at $22 to $33 or more for 5 mls, might discourage therapists from purchasing and using these very helpful substances. But we must realize that we work with drops, not whole bottles. And we may add only one or two drops of these more expensive oils to the massage blend. Once the cost per drop is discovered, the costlier oils might be within reach.
It is very easy to calculate how much it costs to use each essential oil by dividing the price, by the number of mls to get the one ml price, and then dividing this by 25 as the number of drops in a ml (an approximate measure that is standard). Example: Lavender 16.00 divided by 10 mls = 1.60 per ml, 1.60 divided by 25 drops = 0.064, a little over six cents a drop. If you used 5 drops of Lavender in a 1 oz carrier oil blend, it would cost 0.064 x 5 or 32 cents. A drop of Rose would be 36 cents (45 divided by 5 = 9.00 per ml, divided by 26 equals 36 cents per drop). You might use one drop in the blend, possibly two. Generally speaking, the cost of any blend that includes some essences that are less expensive per drop and some that are more costly will come to or under $5 (including factoring in the cost of the carrier oil). In order to cover the cost or make a profit, it is necessary to charge at least $5 to $10 to add aromatherapy to the massage session. $10 is really best, as the client is also paying for your education and expertise in creating the blend.
How can you resource quality you can trust?
Apart from high profile multilevel companies whose prices can be much higher due to payments for the upline, there are many very reputable companies who retail essential oils. If you research resources online and find a company that belongs to a major aromatherapy organization like the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), (which gives you information including Latin binomial, country of origin, method of extraction and says their oils are periodically tested by GCMS analysis), there is a good reason to trust their quality. Further investigation of other such companies will show that prices for specific essences will be very similar. Pay close attention to the Latin binomial to be sure you are looking at the same plant. A wide difference in price for the same amount might indicate a different plant, method of extraction or country of origin, or a specific chemotype. If you see a company with very low prices on essences that are usually costly, it is unwise to make the purchase, even though the price is tempting. Very low prices (unless wholesale or wholesale direct from distiller) frequently indicate a diluted or adulterated product.
Can I retail essential oils in my office?
Many massage therapists will not have the time to deal with all the issues of creating their own essential oil company. Apart from legal matters to register the business name and get the retail license, there is the time consuming process of resourcing and storing wholesale bulk essences, bottles and other apparatus. Then there is pouring them into smaller bottles, and labeling with the right information to provide protection from lawsuits. If you don’t wish to dedicate that kind of time, there is the potential to represent an essential oil company. Naturally, your profits are smaller, but so is your workload and your potential liability. If interested, contact me for the names of reputable companies that have representation opportunities.
Other than retailing the essential oils themselves, you can charge a higher amount for the aromatherapy massage if you utilize a custom blend and give what is left over to your client to take home. Inclusion in the session cost circumvents the whole issue of retail. If you are going to do this, make sure you clean off the plastic massage bottle, or pour into a glass bottle with a dropper insert. An individual blend can be added to bath salts or used on the body. Also be sure to provide instructions for use which include adding to the bath and the fact that once the essences are in the carrier, they need to be used within a month. Be sure to keep a record of the blend recipe. Your client might ask you to use it again.
It is important to remember that most massage insurance coverage does not extend to any essential oils or blends that you sell. It will usually cover any reaction to an essence used during treatment, unless the treatment includes a method that is recognized as unsafe use. Be sure to check with your insurance to find out if it covers techniques that are done with undiluted essential oils.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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