Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?!"
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
August, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 08
Challenges in the Treatment Room Can Bring Self Awareness
By Ann Brown, LMT
When I put on my writing hat for Massage Today, I usually feel I should speak about the spa industry, spa management, climbing up the corporate ladder or trying to bridge the gap between massage and spa (a relationship that is good, but could always be better).But beyond any executive or management level tasks that are on my mind, I still find myself back at the massage table and it is in this grounding that I find myself challenged. In my day-to-day role as spa director, I do at times step up to our spa's needs and provide hands-on therapy myself to our clients, standing at that massage table, in the same place as you. It is in that place that I sometimes find myself confronted with challenges I wasn't expecting.
I am very engaged in my work in the spa industry as it relates to massage, and I know you are, too. As engaging as the work is, I get stuck with my own responses with clients. Whether it is appointments cancelled minutes before the massage starts, clients in bad moods, clients that just aren't getting better or when I might, per chance, not be in the best of moods. We don't work in a vacuum and we are affected by the distances between ourselves, our clients and what we would like to have happen.
Recently, I found myself taken by an email I received from Wayne Dyer's organization about his daughter Serena's book, Don't Die with Your Music Still in You. The book's message hit a chord (no pun intended) with me and what I realize are my challenges with massage clients.
In her book, Serena says, "I'm always interested when I see acquaintances posting positive quotes and inspirational messages on Facebook and Twitter, yet I know that they're incredibly judgmental in their day-to-day lives. I hear them talk poorly about their friends and see them treat some people better than others. It's as if they don't believe the waitress is of the same caliber as the priest or lawyer, and therefore she does not deserve the same kind treatment."
To be honest, when I read that, I had to question myself. Do I do that on some level? While I strive to treat everyone with kindness, how much do I subconsciously judge others? Do I judge my clients when they don't meet my expectations or cause me a bit of challenge?
I filter everything that happens in my daily life, minute-to-minute. Part of this filter allows me to scan my environment and/or person and put them in a category. I think I've done this since I was a young child and I am sure it first came about to provide safety for me. I would scan people to check facial expressions and make sure they were friendly and not going to harm me. We all have basic survival mechanisms we use to protect ourselves from harm and maybe it is a primal part of our brain that helped the cavemen and cave ladies watch for danger including cliffs, animals, predators, storms, etc.
Even Serena admits that she has been guilty of these same judgmental behaviors. "We're all evolving. But I am becoming ever more aware of the judgment that creeps into my life. I observe it, even embrace it, and then let it go. I'm trying to live more positively, knowing that who I used to be, or what I used to do, does not shape who I am or what I do today."
As I have grown up, my adult filter has a tendency to judge and make assessments before I really know a person's whole story. Whether welcoming regular massage clients or first timers, we typically tend to assume things that we really don't know for hard facts. Do some of these sentences ever apply to you and your thoughts? "This client doesn't want to get better and will not do the work." "This client really doesn't have the financial resources to see me regularly." "This client is needy and stuck and I cannot really help."
I trust that all massage therapists want to help clients with wellness/prevention and rehabilitation and relaxation. I know this intention to help get them better can sometimes cause frustration when the desired results are not achieved. A positive attitude can do all kinds of things to help achieve results and that positivity must start with me and I must share it with my client.
Serena Dyer's words have helped me just try and embrace the good and keep things positive. "We can talk about positivity until the cows come home. But if we have constant thoughts of negativity, we will only find more negativity showing up in our lives. In order to see things change, we have to change the way we think about things. As the Abraham-Hicks teachings say, stop telling it like it is and start telling it like you want it to be. Life isn't happening to you, it is responding to you."
Once I get negative about another person, I have infected myself. That is not what I want for myself and that is not what I want for you. Wayne Dyer puts it best, "An eye for an eye keeps the whole world blind. Don't forget that."
Standing at the massage table, I look back over my career and I think about Serena's words. I see how the spa is not a job, but part of who I am, and I am grateful. I am grateful for the zigs and zags that I didn't plan on in my life, but that sparked my interest in the spa industry and kept me here. I have learned so much and know that it would take many lifetimes to even scrape the surface of all the spa history and understand the theories and fundamentals that originated thousands of years ago.
We are in a profession that dips deep into the past and connects deep with clients – and often times helps us connect deep within ourselves. As Serena puts forth in the title of her book, don't die with your music still in you. We all have music within ourselves, and we all work to find the rhythms and learn our life lessons that let our music loose. Cultivating a spirit of openness with our clients and forgiveness for ourselves when we falter helps let our music sing.
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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