resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
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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