Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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?!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Clients
By Stephanie Beck
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with them? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will want to know more about this one little symbol: #.
The # symbol, which I always lovingly referred to as a number or pound sign, has taken on new meaning in the last few years. With its use and popularity on social platforms, it is now commonly known as as a hashtag. Although Twitter was the pioneer and leader in using hashtags, other platforms such as Instagram (owned by Facebook), Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Google+, Flickr and as recent as June 2013, Facebook added the hashtag option for their users. But social media platforms weren't the ones to invent using the hashtag. Actually, Stowe Boyd was the first person to use the word in 2007 to track topics on online forums.
Today, you would be hard pressed to watch a television show, sporting event or listen to the radio without a reference being made to hashtags. From the national news to late night television, hashtags are mentioned through prime time, especially if you recently watched any part of the Olympics or Super Bowl. You would have noticed the # proceeding a word or series of words near the bottom of the screen. The official description from Twitter explaining hashtags states, "the # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages." You might be wondering what hashtags are? Or you understand what they are, but you aren't sure how best to use them for your massage practice? Let me share with you the importance the #, some basic uses and how best to use them.
As mentioned before, a hashtag is a word or term that is preceded by a # symbol. There are no spaces or special characters (!@$%&-"?) between the # and the word(s). For example, I created #AllianceforMassageTherapyEducation and #AFMTE when the organization wants to share massage education information. This automatically creates a hyperflink that people can click to find all the posts and updates from the organization or members who have used the hashtag to talk about the organization.
Hashtags work a couple of different ways on Facebook. First, when you click on a Facebook hashtag, whether it's on a personal profile or business page, a box will open up showing other people and pages within a user's network that have recently used that hashtag in chronological order. You should also see contributions from other users as long as those users have set their profiles to be public. Therefore, even if they are outside your network, they could show up if they have also publically used the hashtag.
Secondly, you can also search for a hashtag in the Facebook search bar at the top of the page. If you wanted to see what people are saying about massage or back pain, you can type #massage or #backpain and click on the results that populate below the search bar. You can select pages and news feed posts within your network and other public profiles that have recently used that word or term. Also note: when you click to contribute something, that hashtag will automatically populate your post.
Twitter lends itself to be more of a "public soapbox" for the majority of the users. Because of this, you are able to see all kinds of data from the content Twitter users share. What this means is, if you click on a hashtagged word, it allows you to view any other message that contains the same hashtagged word or phrase. That way, you can see what others have to say on that particular subject. Because these are so wildly popular on Twitter, many businesses will sponsor a trending topic. That means a business pays a fee to Twitter to get bumped to the top of the list, giving huge brand visibility to its sponsors.
In general, hashtags make it easy to search and track ongoing conversations, Twitter users are more about sharing with the universe. Facebook added hashtags so friends and brands could create conversations with each other. And unless shared publicly, only friends and can participate, whereas on Twitter anyone could participate.
With more than 1.5 billion users between them, Facebook and Twitter are still the undisputed leaders when it comes to social media. The environments are about as similar and different as a PC and a Mac: we use them to achieve similar things, but they look, feel and in some cases work, quite differently. I think it is safe to say the two networks have a fierce rivalry and it seems the developers are intent upon differentiating their cyber-scapes from each other as much as possible. This fierce rivalry has created severe loyalty in both user camps. To the die-hard Facebook fan, Twitter will often look like a confusing jumble of weird code. To the loyal Tweep, Facebook can seem like it requires too much maintenance and time.
Hashtags have always been an important and vital part of the Twitter universe. But in spite of their popularity, many people who spend their time on Twitter don't use them properly and end up getting their content filtered from search results. With the addition of hashtags to Facebook, we suddenly had millions of people who were clueless as to what they were and essentially clueless about how to communicate with them. Let's start with the basic benefits of hashtags and why you would want to use them. It's important to keep in mind the following:
The differences between the Twitter and Facebook hashtags are:
Some people have questions about the @ symbol and the #. Both are referred to as tagging but they perform differently. The difference between the two symbols is that a hashtag links to all other instances with anyone who mentions that specific hashtag, whether you "follow" them or not. Something to note: although Twitter automatically shares publicly with Facebook's closed nature, you have to set your post to public to have the hashtag shared to people other than your friends. Also, anyone can see a hashtag you create for your business page because the business pages are public to begin with.
Just remember that on Facebook and Twitter, you tag your friends and fans with the @ symbol and tag topics (or brands) with the # symbol. Essentially, the main reason for hashtags on any social media network is to encourage users to engage in a public conversation by using the clickable #hashtag word or phrase. Using the hashtag on photo sharing sites such as Tumblr or Instagram helps push your message further.
I recommend searching similar hashtags to inspire fresh content for blog posts as well. The purpose for hashtags on Facebook is similar. They want users to be able to find useful content in an easier way. And, it's worth noting that hashtags have also morphed from just a filter and finding conversations into a way that has helped save lives in disasters or forming and coordinating revolutions.
You may have ventured into using hashtags on one of the many networks. Here are a few helpful tips for using hashtags effectively and ultimately assist with brand engagement and awareness. Limit the number of hashtags you utilize in your posts and tweets. I recommend 2 to 3 hashtags max in your tweets and no more than six on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or Facebook. When using hashtags, select one(s) that are relevant to your topic. You can see how a hashtag is being used simply by clicking on it. You want to make sure that your tagged addition adds relevant content to the conversation.
To best use hashtags effectively, they should be used consistently across the different social media platforms. If you're going to do a social media campaign on Twitter for #AFMTE you should continue using #AFMTE on Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., to relate it back to your specific campaign. This helps establish the use of the hashtag and increase your brand exposure. Try jumping into a conversation on a topic – meaning use a hashtag that's already trending or running a contest or promotion using hashtags.
When hosting an educational program, attending a tradeshow or webinar, encourage topic participation on your social networks with special hashtag words. This is helpful for building brand engagement success. You can also create a hashtag ad campaign specific to your brand. Be sure to TEST your hashtag first to see if other people are using it for a different purpose.
Things NOT to do with hashtags:
For Facebook, type the hashtag into the search bar and see all the most recent posts by you and others that have your hashtag and see how many likes, comments and shares you are receiving. This is a great opportunity to for you to comment on your fans and friends posts and it allows you access to new threads that you might not have ever known about had they not used your campaign hashtag.
I love it when we are able to integrate different forms of technology. Using hashtags across multiple social media networks, onto websites and into blogs is a great example of how to cross-feed each other. This creates a greater possibility of results for everyone, as long as we are using them correctly, respectfully and sensibly. The proper use of the # isn't for you to invade your potential customer's online world, but rather a way for you to invite them into yours.
Click here for more information about Stephanie Beck.
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