resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
Socializing in Your Slippers: Building a Virtual Village
By Kimberly Thompson, LAc
When I graduated college, I had grandiose dreams of becoming an amazing acupuncturist. I wanted to build a great practice and make a good living. For four years, 13 semesters to be exact, I had a spreadsheet.I always knew exactly how many classes I still needed to take and how long it would take for me to complete them. If I wasn't studying, I spent my time imagining how life would be "after college." I created an image in my mind of the perfect community for my family. It had four seasons; hunting, camping, fishing, affordable housing, a hometown feel, a university and an airport.
The lifestyle I wanted to enjoy was perfectly planned and based on how many patients I would eventually treat. I'd done the math, crunched the numbers and laid out a plan. I would become a specialist in chronic pain, pregnancy and pediatrics. I had rubbed shoulders with the best while I was in school and I'd continue to do the same in my career. I wanted to continue learning and growing, with the end goal of someday retiring and teaching other acupuncturists the things I'd learned. The picture was perfect. I bet many of you have had these same plans as you navigated chiropractic college and prepared to venture into your practices.
How the Story Begins
I found the perfect community that fit my vision precisely. I had everything I wanted for my family and my practice. Well, almost everything ... My plan would involve moving far away from California after graduation. This was a bit scary. California was my hub. If I ventured into the great unknown (beyond California), who would I turn to for support, to discuss cases, get clinical advice and learn new techniques? I thrive on continual growth. Could I do that in a small town without any other practitioners? I had a decision to make. My opportunities to rub shoulders with colleagues would be few and far between. I did not want to become a boring practitioner who wasn't progressing in the field. I knew that if I wanted to teach someday, I would need to develop those relationships. On the flip side, I also knew that my family would do best in the community I had chosen.
I was apprehensive, but the decision was made. My family came first. I settled — knowing that I couldn't have it all, but the decision I was making was good. I was getting 90 percent of what I wanted. Maybe I'd create a new "happily ever after," and move back to the hub once my kids were grown.
The Next Chapter
Now that I was done with school, I had plenty of time on my hands. My kids introduced me to Facebook. I thought it was a good way to keep up with family back in California. Little did I know that the AMAZING, beautiful world of social media would allow me to change the ending of my life story!
Who knew Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter could open so many opportunities to rub shoulders with pracitioners all over the world. No longer was I alone in Idaho! Social media changed the way I communicated with colleagues. As it turned out, I have friends and associates who answer questions and give advice instantaneously.
Let me share what I've learned.
A Place to Rub Shoulders
There are social media groups to fit the interest of any practitioner, whether it be your alumni group or groups with specific interests such as Acupuncture, Building your Dream Practice, Microcurrent, etc. It's all out there.
Social media isn't just for socializing with your family. Some call it a waste of time, but I have found it a valuable resource for connecting with fellow practitioners. One group I belong to has more than 6,300 following practitioners. I love "rubbing shoulders" with so many amazing practitioners who share their advice openly, many of which are BIG names in my field. It's a great place to stay up on anything that is new or changing. I can't tell you how often I've been able to read advice directly from practitioners.
If I have a question, there are always immediate answers. The advice you receive through practitioners on social media will often include personal clinical experience along with references and resources on how to study a subject deeper. Sometimes, there are even heated discussions and differing opinions relating to the politics of our profession. (This makes me feel like I'm back in California with my colleagues!) You can learn about anything you want through social media. Here are a couple of interesting topics that have shown up in my feeds within the last few months:
The archived conversations have proven to be an amazing resource. The search tool allows you to quickly bring up conversations that may even be two or three years old. I've found some really great clinical pearls of wisdom hidden behind that little looking glass.
I keep a file in my computer called "Treatment Strategies." In this folder, I keep notes for things I've searched and things I've learned from practitioners via social media. Some of the notes I've saved include: fibromyalgia, frozen shoulder, Multiple Sclerosis and sprained ankle.
Getting Your Name Out There
I've seen many up and coming big names get their start through social media. Have you heard of Medigogy? Medigogy is defined as the study of health and wellness via online media. It is a great resource. I did an interview with Dr. Lorne Brown, the owner of Medigogy.com, and I was pretty impressed.
First, he explained how Medigogy helps practitioners build their knowledge, for free, by offering one-hour lectures from a plethora of great instructors. For example, he offers one-hour webinars from practitioners all over the world who have clinical experience to share with colleagues. These webinars are archived on his website, ready to teach people like me (in Idaho) who want to learn, but don't want to travel.
Finally — once we, the practitioners, decide the new up and coming teacher is awesome, (because of our reviews) he takes them to a higher level and helps them to create a name for themselves by teaching more webinars through Medigogy as well as expanding into the field of paid seminars through a sister company offering CEU/PDA credit. Lorne says Medigogy has an "Oprah effect" in that after offering one to three webinars, the speakers experience spikes in book sales and they receive invitations to lecture internationally at conferences.
In Medigogy's free learning website, you will find free educational video training. You will also find amazing up and coming practitioners teachers. What a great way to learn. It's free, it's relevant and I can do it from Idaho!
How does the story end? The dramatic changes in the world of communication has allowed me to build a life I didn't even know was possible. My learning opportunities are infinite —which makes my potential unlimited. And yours, too!
There was a time in my life when I was willing to settle. Not anymore. Technology allows me to see bigger and to be better without compromise. I'm not just big on technology for communication. Technology is great in your practice as well. With a changing world, technology makes us better practitioners in every way imaginable.
I won't wait until I'm retired to teach; I can do that now — in my slippers. Maybe I'll inspire others to embrace all forms of technology in their practices. I can live anywhere and do anything I want, and so can you!
Kimberly Thompson is a busy wife and mother of 9 children. She and her family reside in Meridian, Idaho. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, sewing, camping, fishing and casual bike rides. Follow Kimberly's page on LinkedIn: Acupuncture Technology, her blog at Miridia Technology miridiatech.com/news/ and @acukimberly. She can be reached at
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