resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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.
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.
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.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
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.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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?
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
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.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
May, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 05
Practice Building: Systems for Success
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
As healthcare providers, we understand the concept of "cause and effect" as it applies to the systems of the human body. When one system is compromised, others are affected. For example, when the muscular system is stressed due to trauma, poor posture, overuse or improper biomechanics, it affects the skeletal system in numerous ways; from limiting joint range of motion to increasing joint pressure and creating dysfunctional movements that can permanently damage joints.For the body to be in a healthy state of homeostasis, all of systems must be balanced and working in harmony. This same concept applies to each interdependent system that combines to form the unified whole we call our practice. When one or more systems of our practice are out of balance, stressed or "dis-eased," the affects over time are cumulative and could even be fatal. It is of vital importance that you make the transitions and integrate the systems needed to build a successful, sustainable and profitable practice.
First, you must know where you are going. Effective long- and short-term goals are created with a system of asking quality questions and providing honest answers. This process will help you design your dream practice and identify the systems necessary for it to be healthy. See my previous articles on this topic: "The Power of the List," (MT Jan. 2008), "Massage Your Balance Act" (MT, June 2008), "Practice Building: Taking Your Massage Practice to the Next Level" (MT, November 2009), "The SMARTER Approach to Achieving Your Goals" (MT, February 2010), "Creating Your Path to Success" (MT, September 2011), and "Survival Tips for Massage Therapists" (MT October 2011). Once your goals are clearly defined, the management of time and money are next.
Allocating and utilizing time efficiently, inside and outside of the treatment room, is critical to the success of your practice. Begin everyday by taking time to assess, organize and plan the top three or four items on your goal list that are most important for you to accomplish throughout the day. See my previous articles, "The Power of a Minute" (MT, June 2007), "The 80/20 Rule: Maximizing the Return on Your Investment" (MT, March 2008). Asking patients the right questions and listening to the patient's response will save time and establish clear treatment goals. (Read "Questions With Direction" MT, September 2008).
Muscular, skeletal, trigger point and other wall charts are great visually aids or systems that save time during patient education. Portable flip charts provide a quick professional presentation in any environment and are easily moved from one location to another. (Read "Charting Your Progress: Visuals for Success" MT February 2008, and "The Initial Treatment: Generating Thousands to Your Practice" MT, July 2010.) Are you utilizing the technology available like an iPhone, smart phone, tablet or iPad, to save time and work most efficiently? These mobile devices let you make calls, schedule appointments, take pictures, read e-mail, do research online, get directions, watch videos, take payments and more.
Are you looking for a more efficient, time saving system for depositing money? Did you know there are services that let you take credit cards on mobile devices by attaching a free credit card reader? Your patients swipe their credit card and their money, less a processing fee, is deposited into your bank account. We all know the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words." Doctors have a system using X-rays and MRIs to quickly assess and educate. You can implement a system of taking posture photos using the built-in camera and screen of a mobile device. Showing patients a picture of their posture, leaves a lasting impression of your ability to quickly identify the musculoskeletal cause of their pain while providing visual evidence of your objective findings. (Read "Practice Building with Postural Analysis" MT, January 2012, and "Practice Building: Getting Inside Your Patient's Head" MT, January 2011).
Massage therapists can use postural analysis photos as a system to assess, educate and document a patient's musculoskeletal health. Accountants and bookkeepers have systems that provide a "picture" of the financial health of your practice. Posture photos make it easy for you to show patients their high shoulder or forward head posture and how they contribute to their pain. Reports are the "pictures" that make it easy to see the expenses creating financial pain. When people have muscular pain, it is logical for them to schedule a treatment with a massage therapist. The therapist will assess and educate their patients about different "systems" for maintaining muscular health that include: regular stretching, exercise, eating nourish foods, rest and massage therapy treatments. Similarly, if you are experiencing financial pain or want to avoid it in the future now is the time to schedule an appointment with an accountant or certified bookkeeping trainer. They have the education and experience to evaluate your practice and recommend the systems needed to develop and maintain financial health.
Other systems of generating additional income without spending extra hours in the treatment room is selling topical analgesics, pillows and essential oils. Many clients use topical analgesics between treatments. There are several types on the market. One company offers free samples attached to a flyer with your name and contact information printed on it. This is also beneficial in promoting your business. Integrate the use of topical analgesics into your treatment routine and give your clients a few sample packs to use at home. Free samples often lead to future sales. If your clients want to buy a topical analgesic, it's better for you to make a few extra dollars selling it than sending them to the drugstore or the Walmart down the road.
Throughout your career, if items like your massage table or massage chair are not properly maintained they will wear out quickly and need to be replaced, costing you time and money. Are you practicing what you are preaching to your patients? Your overall health is the most important component of all the systems that combine for your success. If you are not maintaining optimum health, other systems in your practice are affected and suffer. You only get one body and need to take care of it. (Read "Preparing For The Game" MT January 2009.)
These tips are based on decades of experience as both a therapist and clinic owner. Failure to anticipate and or react to competition, technology, or other changes in the marketplace will cause you to fail. Everyday focus on improving the systems needed to build your successful, sustainable and profitable practice.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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