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The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
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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