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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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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