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How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
December, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 12
Adding Vision, Momentum and Growth: Working Beyond the Day-to-Day Business
By Ann Brown, LMT
As a spa director, I try to do my very best to not only manage my business day-to-day, but also steer it with some vision. It's a challenging task to take care of the present and look into the future at the same time, trying to see the forest through the trees when you are taking care of all the day-to-day operations that need your attention. It's hard to be the visionary and the operations manager as well.
To make sure I don't lose sight of the goals and mission, I try to spend a portion of my day thinking about the big picture. For me, reading articles about leadership, management and entrepreneurism really help me get excited and ready for the future. I don't want to stand still. I realize that no one really stands still in the spa/massage business because it is very physical work and sometimes very emotional as well. But we can end up standing still in where we are going personally and professionally when we just do the work and don't think about why and where we want it to take us.
Trying to just handle daily operational tasks can take up a lot of time, especially if you are a hands-on performer in your business. Oftentimes, the financial, management and leadership things are left until the end of each business day. I know many of you reading this article are hands-on and it may be very challenging for you to find the time to do the daily, weekly or monthly financials or set out a marketing plan for your business's future – the end-of-the-day tasks that can often get lost to dinner, family, kids or other obligations or to some simply much needed downtime.
I recently read a really good article, "Is your company willing to be challenged?" by Baron Christopher Hansen. I happened upon the editorial on Twitter and don't know Hansen besides reading his brief biography, but I really enjoyed what he had to say. I recommend you read it. It does have a big company/corporation feel, but I often look to the bigger fish for ways to grow and develop. Even if you are a small business – a one-man shop or managing only a few employees, you can incorporate big ideas into your personal and professional world.
In Baron's article, he said, "Some owners and CEOs are unwilling to be challenged or to implement improvements ‘under the hood.'" Some are fearful or insecure, in a complex conundrum or just plain stubborn. However, if your company plans to face today's economy and the future, being open to challenges as a leader and as a business may be the difference between your organization prospering or fading away. He goes on to talk about a competitor either "nearby or upstream."
I know that when the economy took a nose dive, it hit us hard in the third quarter of 2007. I decided to ask our entire team (40 at the time) to come to a strategic planning session to do a SWOT analysis to look at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This was not a mandatory meeting, but we had more than 20 staff members show up to help in this process and I thought 50% was a pretty good number. I know I was "fearful and insecure" because up to this point, it had been mostly smooth sailing for our spa. Since we had opened in 2000, our revenues had climbed each year. More and more LMT's were looking at our company to be a part of our team and we were seeing more and more referrals from clients that had already been with us.
I went into that SWOT analysis feeling really paralyzed. I wanted to keep growing our revenues and keep our staff making good money, but there seemed to be less and less appointments, less groups in our resort and less leisure guests taking vacations. Together, the 20 staff members and I spent four to five hours with a facilitator going through the SWOT process and it was one of the best things ever for our company. I think one of the largest outcomes was we made a decision as a team, not just a CEO or spa director or GM or manager making it – it was all of us together looking out for each other.
We were straightforward and honest with each other without hurting feelings and we tried to keep it at a level that affected our guest expectations and our bottom line, beginning by adding some new referral programs to ask guests back. It was so interesting to me to hear other perspectives and to hear some thoughts and concerns I had never thought about. The dialogue was very relative to the health and future of our business. It really brought the team together, and I think, even at this very moment, I still have 80 percent of the 20 staff members that came to that meeting because the task really bonded us to the big picture, helped us to focus on some new things and gave everyone a sense of ownership.
I realize many of you don't have 39 other team members and are running your own small business with just yourself or two to five others involved, but I would hope you would entertain the idea of doing some type of strategic planning session even if it is with you and a mentor, friend, business colleague or a coworker. Baron writes about a "turnaround-management team" coming in to examine your business piece-by-piece for potential leaks, operating flaws or critical areas of improvement. Many of us are not in the position to find that type of "spa/massage detective," but what can you do to help your business still grow revenue, thrive, grow your customer base and sustain?
Challenge yourself and set aside some time to look at all the pieces of your business and see what is working and what is not. I think it could be as simplistic as a list and maybe even a running list (something that you keep in your pocket while you are working) because sometimes thoughts are in and out, and it is best to capture them when they appear. A simple SWOT analysis can bring to mind some visionary goals you want to achieve and reveal some dynamics of your business that may need immediate tweaking to benefit your client or your bottom line. I also believe surveys (anonymous or not) that have a special something tied to them work very well. Plainly ask the guests in your business what they think – Who better to ask? This survey can be done by typing up three to 10 simple questions to hand them before they leave, or ask for an email address (also great to use in future marketing efforts) and send them an online survey. Easy to do! Give them $10 off if they fill out the online survey or the hard-copy one, and hopefully you get two things: (1) needed information about your current business and (2) a repeat client that wants to use their incentive.
There are so many ways to engage and grow your business. Don't get paralyzed thinking it will get better by doing nothing because that usually doesn't happen!
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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