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Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
February, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 02
Make the Time to Transform Your Practice
By Anita J. Shannon, LMBT
Therapeutic benefits of massage therapies continue to be studied and documented. Recent studies have increased the amount of data supporting benefits beyond the wellness aspects and attention is turning to medical conditions.
A truly interesting scroll down the page "History of Massage" on the MassageNerd website reveals evidence of medical uses of massage from ancient times and states that, "before the 1900's, all massage was medical massage." It seems that a huge scandal in Britain around 1889, eroded the medical profession's confidence in massage as a legitimate medical art and the dark shadow cast on the massage field affected English and North American attitudes for more than a hundred years. Medical spas of the world had begun appearing in North America by the mid-1800s but by the 1940's, "spa as medicine was out, spa as beauty and pampering was in."
Many of us who started practicing back when massage was considered only a personal service, observed the resulting wellness, healthcare and medical benefits. Some of us even got to experience it personally. In 1982, I was told I was permanently disabled from a severe neck injury and it was neuromuscular massage and Iyengar yoga that I worked with to reverse that life sentence. Contemporary American medicine only had pain killers and the advice of, "learn to live with it" to offer me at that time.
For the second year in a row, 75 percent of individuals in the U.S. surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous twelve months was medical (43 percent) and stress (32 percent) related, according to the 17th annual consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association. Medical reasons include pain relief, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines, prevention and general well-being.
Health care providers and doctors are more commonly viewing massage therapy as a legitimate option to address health concerns. Fifty-three percent of respondents in the U.S. said their physician has recommended they get a massage.
Of consumers who discussed massage therapy with their doctors:
In 2011, ninety-six percent of massage therapists received at least one referral every six months from a hospital or medical office.
Industry trends include:
There is no sound statistic yet found for the number of hospitals in the U.S. that offer massage as an adjunct therapy.
Massage therapy is returning to its original place as a sound and viable CAM (Complementary Alternative Medical) treatment. Therapists have grown more sophisticated and knowledgeable through basic and continuing education and so many amazing modalities have come forward to command the respect of our profession and other health care fields by producing remarkable results.
Begin to pick your new tools and techniques by exploring information and articles online or in industry trade magazines. Attend a convention and receive CEs for attending short introductory classes that will give you a good sense of the educators and the techniques and visit the booths to get on the table and really experience it for yourself.
Research the educators and classes and if they list practitioners on their website. Contact a few of them to ask how they are doing with the techniques. One important question is how the tools and/or techniques affect the therapist, since ease of use leads to longevity of practice. Make an appointment with two or more different certified practitioners and get treatments to experience it for yourself. Visiting more than one therapist leads to a truer understanding, since each of us is unique and will adapt tools and techniques to our own style.
Let's be honest, the figure of 14 percent for referrals from physicians is a bit disappointing. There is a big difference between a referral and being "encouraged" to get a massage. The challenge is to find a way to improve that number and transform our practices by attracting a larger volume of medical referrals. Imagine finding a stack of fax referrals from your local physicians waiting for you when you get to your office each morning! All you need to do is call the patient to interview and schedule.
Building a healthy medical referral community requires time, dedication and a passion for helping the doctor's patients. It is also important to have evidence of training or certifications, along with records of past and current client successes. Our skills and successes build as we grow in knowledge and experience. Speaking from that knowledge and presenting sound documentation of our client results can make a meeting with the doctor a lot less intimidating. These meetings are often brief and it is a good idea to offer to bring lunch for the doctor to actually get a few minutes with them. It is even better to ask about their favorite restaurant and what they would like to order.
This is where the documentation comes in. It is easier for the physician to view photos, measurement charts or testimonials while they eat that memorable lunch you brought for them. Leave them a binder with your case studies and any supporting articles or data and ask to demonstrate that your work is essential to their patients with an initial referral of four to six people.
It is so important to reply to the referral by sending a thank you and notification that you received the referral and have scheduled the client for an appointment at your office. Stay in contact with the referring healthcare practitioner by sending updates and SOAP notes for their patient file. If these two steps are not followed, communication breakdown can occur and the medical professional may never know their patient was treated and responded so well. This is the key to continued referrals of both patients and other healthcare professionals.
Transform your practice this year by adding new techniques and tools and then take the steps to interact with the medical community to increase your referrals. There are so many areas of contemporary and traditional medicine that we can participate with including psychiatry and psychology, geriatric care, pediatric care, sports medicine, oncology, gynecology and obstetrics, chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, and the list goes on. You could even choose to specialize in certain conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson's, scoliosis, multiple sclerosis and more.
Anita Shannon is a Licensed Massage Therapist and a licensed Cosmetologist since the 1980's, specializing in skin care, body treatments, clinical aromatherapy and various modalities of massage therapy. She is a national educator since 1990, and the Director of Advanced Continuing Education (ACE), an NCBTMB CE provider established in 2001.
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