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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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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 Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 06
Getting Better With Age
By Ann Brown, LMT
In the United States today, we can look forward to living longer than ever before. By 2030, projections show that one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 50,454 centenarians (people age 100 or over) in the year 2000.By the year 2030, the number of centenarians is expected to reach more than 200,000 people. But why does this matter to you as a massage therapist?
The living-longer baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) represents a significant, potential source of business for you. Baby boomers aren't just getting older. They are looking for ways to stay active, healthy and vibrant. "Retirement" isn't in their vocabulary. Their focus is on getting better, not older.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Baby boomers have a need, not just a desire, for massage therapy in order to live the lifestyle they want and they have the disposable income to support their needs. According to the U.S. Census and Federal Reserve, 78 million Americans who were 50 or older as of 2001, controlled 67% of the country's wealth, or $28 trillion dollars (www.immersionactive.com/resources/50-plus-facts-and-fiction/).
For the baby boomers, massage is more than a luxury. As a spa director, I work to make sure our therapies and services go beyond the treatment table, because I want our spa to go beyond a treatment that they can take or leave. I want clients to understand how the entire spa lifestyle can support their desired way of life and is essential to achieving the activity and wellness they want to enjoy. For baby boomers, a spa treatment is not just a spa treatment – it's a lifestyle choice.
As a massage therapist, you have the opportunity to work with the same mission. Your offerings may be smaller scale compared to a full resort spa, but you can still consider the same spa strategies to make a healthy impression on your clients. Baby boomers are very concerned about their health. As a massage therapist, you can educate them on the benefits of massage to help them understand its potential for their health and quality of life. You know the benefits of massage: increased circulation, lowered blood pressure, pain alleviation, increased joint flexibility, reduced depression and anxiety and more. By educating yourself beyond the basics, with recent research concerning this age group, you can share and educate your baby boomer clients on how massage can impact their changing needs as they age.
For example, in a Brazilian study released in 2011, therapeutic massage was shown to decrease the severity of insomnia and anxiety-depressive symptoms related to menopause. A 2007 study at the University of South Carolina compared the effects of massage among older adults. The study found that adults 60 years of age and older who received massage therapy 50 minutes twice weekly for 4 weeks, experienced significant improvements in mood (decreased anxiety). Massage therapy is proven to enable baby boomers to feel good and do more. As a massage therapist, you have a great opportunity to help your clients realize the importance of massage and improve their quality of life.
Encourage Regular Visits
One of the keys to establishing a strong relationship with your baby boomer clients is to encourage regular massage visits. To help them make it happen, encourage your baby boomer clients to consider using a flexible savings account (FSA), healthcare savings account (HSA) or healthcare reimbursement account (HRA) to set aside funds and pay for their massages with tax-free dollars. Encourage your clients to check with their employer about one of these accounts if they don't already have one.
Your client will need to determine if a doctor's referral is required to use their HSA account for their massage sessions. Even if a doctor's referral is required, qualifying illnesses generally include carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, back pain, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression and pain management – a list that will somehow touch most of your clients in one way or another.
These types of accounts are often set up with employers in the fourth quarter of the year. Consider approaching local businesses at this time to discuss ways you could help set up a special series of offers for their employees, creating a wellness plan for employees to take part in. Structure a 12-month plan with options for one or two massages a month and an annual fee – one that is at a savings from your regular massage rate to incentivize the one-year commitment. Time the offer with the window during which employees can opt in to a FSA or HSA to benefit from the deadlines established by the employer and jump start your new clients' interaction with your business. As an added benefit for the business, you might offer free chair massages on a specific day, giving the company a great morale boost for their staff and creating an introduction for you. The 12-month plan doesn't have to be limited to local businesses, but you should look for ways to personalize your approach. Use such loyalty programs as a strategy to help your clients prioritize massage visits each month.
Ready to start now? Look at ways to bring a more comprehensive health focus to your practice. Search for ways to support the baby boomers' desire for overall wellness. A simple, no-cost, add-on you can implement in your service is a breathing exercise. Lead your client through a guided breathing meditation to begin the massage, increasing their relaxation. Let the breathing exercise start a conversation about how a massage is more than just a rub-down, but part of a greater wellness movement.
Stay proactive in your approach to help your clients find ways to make massage a regular part of their lives. They will physically and mentally benefit from the regular massage treatments, and you benefit from the solid, consistent appointment schedule.
Ann Brown, a licensed massage therapist, is a member of the International Spa Association's board of directors and serves as spa director at Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo. She also provides management consulting services through Spa Insight Consulting.
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