resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.