Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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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?!"
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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)?
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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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