resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
July, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 07
Licensed Massage Therapist: Profession or Hobby?
By Terry Russell
Do you run your massage therapy practice as a profession or a hobby? This is a question every therapist should ask themselves. Whether you are a therapist that is new to the industry or a therapist that has been around a while, you need to evaluate your business practice on a regular basis. Not every week, but at least once or twice a year. While you may consider yourself a professional, the way you conduct your day-to-day business may dictate differently.
Have a Plan
Do you have a business plan? I am not talking about an elaborate plan that you need for a business loan, but just a basic plan that states where you want to take your practice and how you plan to get there. Without some type of plan or route, you are merely drifting in the wind and bound to get sidelined and stranded. Time to ask yourself a few hard questions. What is the state of your current practice? What kind of growth has it seen the past year? What kind of growth do you want to see this year? What hindered your growth last year? What do you plan on doing to reach that growth?
Business plans need to be more than just about how to make more money. Don't get me wrong, making more money should be at the top of your priority list. It just shouldn't be the only thing on your priority list. In addition to your revenue potential, one needs to consider getting new clients, current client retention and how to handle what the competition is doing.
What are some easy ways to increase your revenue? By now you have probably seen countless articles on the benefits of retailing. Why is it that many massage therapists do not consider themselves as sales people? Your clients come to you for a service just like one seeks a sales person for service. Same goes for your market cashier, mechanic and everything else that you bring into your life to make it better or easier. Isn't this more than just a mere coincidence? It begins with a need for something currently missing in your life and the search for a person standing by readily to offer professional assistance.
We as massage therapists have the luxury of having access to some of the greatest products on the planet. The manufacturers in our industry work hard every day to be on the cutting edge of science and innovation. There is constantly something new being manufactured to enable massage therapists to perform at their peak level. With all of the products at our fingertips, why is there such as disconnect when it comes to our clients? When you use a new product, take time to educate your client on what you are using and the reason why. Have a small size (4oz or 8oz are always a good start) to sell if that client seems interested. Don't wait for them to ask, but let them know it comes in retail sizes perfect for home use between sessions. If you are using it and believe in it, there is a good chance your client will follow suit.
Get New Clients
How do you attract new clients? Marketing is a key factor whether in social media, print collateral or community involvement. The most successful practice neatly combines all three aspects to get their message out to the masses. Social media is a great way to spread your news and keep up with what is going on around you. Print collateral such as business cards and flyers will never go out of style. Plaster you name and menu of services everywhere your town allows. Last, but not least, been seen in your community. Chair massage is a great way to let the community experience your touch without the potential client committing. Not only will this get your name out there, but it shows your support of the community.
To maintain quality credentials as a massage therapist, continuing education for certifications and licensure empowers massage therapists to expand their current tool box, step away from the old tried and true and keep abreast of the latest in trends and lifestyles. Expanding your modalities not only expands your menu of services, but allows you to market to new communities. This constant redefining of yourself keeps you vibrant and engaged in your community. Don't you think your clients deserve to share in your educational experiences? Share in the power of that new modality you just learned. If it is a totally new modality for you, sometimes offering a short 30-minute add-on to try it works great. When is the last time you bought something on impulse just because someone gave you a sample? Client retention is critical to defining a successful profession over a hobby of a career. The sampling I mentioned above is a great way to get your current clients engaged in your practice.
How do you use your down time? Do you set aside time to work deals during the day? This takes on a twofold purpose. First, from your client standpoint, social media is a good way to offer a special to fill that last minute cancellation or vacant spot on the schedule. Blast a special for 4 p.m. today only. You'll be amazed by the people ready to take you up on a deal. Losing 10% off your normal fee is better than not making anything at all for that hour.
Are your clients curious about your modalities? It is easy to market your modality with a general description of what it is, but does your client "get it?" To make sure they do, mention potential outcomes with the service. For example, Swedish is known for relaxation but changing it up to stress reduction and stressing reduced daily tension, better sleep and lower blood pressure may peak a curious client. Describe your services as part of wellness plans with possible benefits. This new approach over the traditional descriptions help the client understand solutions instead of appearing like a sales pitch.
Know the Competition
How well do you know your competition? If you don't know what they are up to, you stand the risk of losing clients to them. Combat the risk of losing clients to your competition by providing solutions to your client needs and constantly being aware of their changing needs and patterns. Ask your client questions with the objective of creating detailed client profiles. With this knowledge regularly updated, you are in a position to create a wellness plan specifically for them and keep them away from the competition. This personal approach can lower the risk of the client shopping and build loyalty along the way. The end results should be client retention, not to mention referrals to their friends, family and co-workers.
Now that you have had the chance to look over your day to day actions, the way you market your talents and how your fill your down time, ask yourself the cold hard questions. Do you have a business plan? Do you utilize the potential retail dollars of selling them what you use? Do you educate your clients about potential new modalities? Do you offer add-on services? Do you promote yourself? Learn what the competition is doing? And lastly, do you run your massage therapy practice as a profession or a hobby?
Terry Russell has been involved in the massage community since 1999. His previous career includes being a full time therapist at Spa Palazzo in the Boca Raton Resort & Club, as well as owning a successful private practice. As the Director of Sales – Schools, Distributors & Franchises Division at Universal Companies, his efforts are now focused on bringing schools, distributors and franchises the best of equipment and supplies with outstanding customer service. For more information, visit www.universalcompanies.com.
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