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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
October, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 10
Business Basics: Products That Sell Themselves
By Angie Patrick
A wait-and-see approach to strengthening your business will not work in this economic climate. There are many thoughtful ways you can better serve your clients, and in the process, improve your bottom line.
Americans have had their share of economic woes. When I turn on the evening news, I hear stories about the economy showing signs of recovery and consumer spending is slowly beginning to rebound. With all of this uncertainty, how can you strengthen your financial stake, and do it in a method consistent with your beliefs as a health care provider? Should we all just "wait and see" what happens, or should we perhaps bring the power home and do something within our own spheres of influence to improve health, reduce the mental stress of our clients and strengthen our own financial circumstance ethically and thoughtfully.
I am not talking about a huge swing in your behavior or your practice that will require you to revamp your whole philosophy. I am talking about things you can do and implement now without much effort, which may well be the key to your reaching and retaining more clients and strengthening your own bottom line.
I want to share three ways to expand your outreach, and help you care for clients in new and thoughtful ways they may not expect. When you are able to supply for a need proactively rather than waiting for someone to have the epiphany they even have a need, you are doing a great job of caring for your client in the physical, as well as the mental, sense.
Caring for a Need
What do I mean by caring for a need before the clients have the epiphany they even have a need? Let's start with pain management and client self care between visits. Clients come to you for a wide array of reasons. One reason which leads the pack in many cases is pain. Your clients come to you in the hopes you can learn what may be causing them pain and then treat it. In this, and every case, they look to you to be a health care provider. We know that proper assessment and treatment are key to success in alleviating pain, however, many experience ongoing pain every day. How do we serve these clients in between visits and maintain our connection with the client for return visits to help manage their issues?
This method, in my mind, represents the better of two worlds. In doing this, you are caring for the needs of your client both in session and out, and doing it utilizing product for retail. Here is the easiest method I know to build revenue. Find an analgesic you love and believe in; one that you would use on yourself and your family should the need arise. Have this product available for sale in your practice. When you use this product on your client, no doubt they will want to know more about it and have some for use at home. This is a natural progression that requires no specific salesmanship. Your client can feel the product working and they then wish to have some to take home. You provide the product because it is a product you believe in and use, and they trust you in making the health care decisions. The client is cared for, and being proactive and having goods available for purchase has helped your bottom line. It is a natural win-win.
Benefiting Your Practice
Here is another way this type of retailing, or selling what you use in treatment, can benefit your practice. Let's say that your client shares their product with a friend battling pain. Inevitably, the client shares they get this product from their massage therapist and offer your name to the friend. This is a fantastic way of receiving client referrals, as they just shared their trust in you for pain management, and that you offer this product to help with ongoing issues. This represents two great reasons someone may wish to call and book an appointment. Make sure your clients have a few of your business cards for just such an occurrence.
The second way you can strengthen your income and provide valuable service to your clients is to think ahead for them. It sounds crazy, but one thing people all share is the feeling that we never have enough time. With the holidays just weeks away, it feels like there is never enough time to get everything done we need to do and have any time left to smell the roses. I am sure you have heard this from your clients and when they come to you for the gift of relaxation, you are already imprinted into their minds as a place to go for stress relief. Why not take a bit more burden off their shoulders and offer creative solutions for the upcoming holiday gift giving? In doing this, you can expand your care for the client past the physical and begin to help them mentally and emotionally by providing solutions to save them precious time.
How do you do this? It is not as difficult as you may think. Consider gift certificates for your services. I am not talking about a sign at checkout that says you offer gift certificates. I am going a few steps beyond this. Gift certificates are an amazing way you can provide a great gift idea for your client to give, as well as perhaps bring potential new clients to your practice. These are an especially attractive gift idea when you have taken the time to create a small gift basket of items you have chosen to help provide relaxation and pain relief at home. Consider what an impactful and thoughtful gift this will be when you offer someone an hour of massage therapy and it is in a basket with a bath mitt, sugar scrub and a candle. This is a gift I would LOVE to get, and one everyone would love to give. It is this type of unique gift you can create and provide as an option for your clients to give friends and family. It is a truly thoughtful gift, one they will not find in big box stores, and you have supplied the means. You have effectively taken a shopping burden off your client, fulfilled their desire to offer the perfect gift and potentially expanded your practice. Again, this is a natural win-win.
Finally, consider building your holiday traffic by offering seasonal treatments utilizing products that speak to the client. How delicious does a Chocolate Peppermint scrub followed by a massage sound? It sounds divine and speaks to the holidays without being too commercial. Consider a cranberry inspired treatment utilizing products that carry the scent of cranberry. This is not only a fantastic Thanksgiving promotion idea, but also a wonderful regional idea for our friends in New England where cranberries rule. Treatment products come in a wide array of scent profiles that will enable you to use professional grade products while offering seasonal or regionally inspired treatments. Think about a pumpkin body scrub followed by rich emollient body butter. Does this just scream Thanksgiving or Halloween, while not compromising the professional treatment from a professional therapist? I believe this is a sound and practical way to entice clients to come back during the "busy season" and find time to re-book to see what wonderful indulgences you have planned next.
And let's not forget the secondary upside to offering seasonal treatments: THE RETAILING! It is highly likely someone who has just been treated to a relaxing chocolate treatment will want to buy product to use at home or to give to a friend. Have product on hand, visible for the client to see and offered for sale outside the treatment room. This type of retailing also requires no salesmanship acumen, as it is suggestive selling without being overt. This will allow your clients the space to choose to buy goods without your feeling you have to "sell." The key to doing this successfully is to use only professional goods in your practice. Buy from places that most consumers know nothing about because they cater to professional healthcare providers. Be sure to use goods they likely will not find on the shelves of big box retailers.
When you think about the scenarios I have provided, you can see how the idea of helping others is still the forefront. When you offer solutions in various forms to your clients, they will appreciate your caring attention to detail and understanding of their needs. In their own desire to help others, they may refer you to their own friend and family. This will only bring your clients closer to you, and in doing so, help strengthen your practice. Another more personal side effect is the additional income these ideas can bring you and your family. These ideas are simple and available for everyone to try. I encourage you to pick one or more and give it a try in your own practice to see how easy retailing can really be. I would love to hear about your success stories, so please be sure to share them. Happy Retailing!
Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.
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