resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
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.
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?!"
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.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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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