resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 01
Marketing Yourself to the Aging Population
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
Most people starting their careers in massage consider working in spas or resorts, working with athletes or working for themselves: but do they consider geriatric massage? Massage for the geriatric population has become increasingly popular over the past five years and I currently have a practice set up in three different retirement communities.
The statistics alone demonstrate that this is the largest growing demographic for possible clients.In the 2010 U.S. Census, Americans aged 65 and older numbered more than 40 million. By 2030, their population is projected to reach more than 72 million, which will be approximately one out of every five people in the U.S. Those are impressive statistics for those of us who work with the elderly.
With such a large constituency base to work with, it is important to learn how to market yourself to aging clients. I have outlined some basic information on promoting one's business to aging clients in assisted living facilities, as well as seniors living at home. Remember that more than 60% of senior citizens live at home. We tend to think that most of them are living in assisted care facilities, but that is not the case. You can expand your client base by directing your efforts towards the elderly who are still living at home. My experience has shown that some prefer to have massage in their own home, rather than drive to an office, so having a "mobile" business can give you an advantage.
Business Cards and Brochures
When working with geriatric clients, it is still important to create some basic promotional materials. Business cards, brochures and folders targeting elderly clients will resemble your other promotional materials, but with information tailored toward the needs of this specific clientele. I have found it useful to always have copies of these items on hand - I keep mine in a small box in the trunk of my car - because you never know when an opportunity might arise to build up your client base.
Your business card is one of the smallest pieces of marketing materials you will own, yet also one of the most important. It can be frustrating at times to think that this tiny little thing creates the first impression of you and your work for all who receive one. I find it much more difficult to write and design a business card, than to write and design a tri-fold brochure. Make a list of the key ideas or information you want to include in your card and brochure, and look at as many designs as you can to determine what looks you like or do not like. I believe the most important information to include on these pieces are: your name, qualifications, all forms of contact information and dates/hours available. Some information to include in your brochure might be statistics on how massage improves the quality of life for seniors, especially those living with ALS, Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, Parkinson's and other muscular-skeletal conditions.
Folders are useful for introducing your work at assisted living facilities, special events, businesses and health fairs. Your folder should contain the following items:
When I first started practicing as a geriatric massage therapist, my promotional tools included phone books, phones and promotional postcards. Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate, making it easier and cheaper than ever to promote your business. Personal websites, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and the myriad other online resources are easy ways to make your business available online. And don't think that seniors are unlikely to be online: the most recent research shows that 59% of senior citizens are online.
Area Agencies on Aging
Use the internet to research community, county, state and federal agencies connected with aging that could be an avenue to help you market yourself. Also, locate a few that could be a good resource when you or a client might need information related to aging. Some of these agencies might sponsor wellness fairs which provide excellent marketing opportunities. Many of these agencies also have online or print newsletters, in which you might be able to place a small advertisement. Advertisements in these publications are a great way to advertise to the senior community, but they do cost money. You want to make sure you get the most "bang for your buck," which means spending some time and money to create an effective advertisement. You might even have the option of discussing a trade with the editors: free staff massages for a discounted or free advertisement.
Large, planned events like conferences or conventions provide an opportunity to generate a lot of business in a brief amount of time. While they do not consist solely of elder clients, many who attend will be over 60. Keep in mind that because most of the people attending these events are not locals, it is unlikely that you will pick up a large number of regular clients. Instead, it gives you an opportunity to develop a relationship with those who organize conferences in your area, and people who work at the convention and visitors bureau. For example, I know that when the National Police and Firemen Convention comes to Indianapolis, massage therapists will be making a lot of money that week! Other events to consider are setting up a booth at senior fairs, 5k races, triathlons or fundraisers.
Retirement Communities, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living
Locate retirement communities or assisted living facilities in your area. Make appointments with as many administrators as possible to discuss the benefits of a geriatric massage program at their facility. Offer several free 1/2 hour massages during your visit and make sure one is for the administrator. Remember to bring your promotional materials with you to leave with the administrator.
Many retirement communities and assisted care facilities sponsor health and fitness fairs throughout the year. Local organizations are invited to the facilities to hand out information on their services and provide demonstrations, if applicable. Representatives of products the elderly might be interested in also attend to hand out samples and information. These fairs are excellent opportunities to market your services to nursing homes. I attended one such fair and offered five minute head and shoulder chair massages. The fair lasted three hours, and there was a line in front of my booth the entire time. It was a well-organized event and I made a lot of contacts through it not just with the facility that hosted it, but also with residents in other facilities that were invited.
No matter where or with whom you choose to work, geriatric massage can be some of the most rewarding work to do. When working with vulnerable populations, we have a responsibility to protect them, in whatever form that may be. Gaining their trust is well worth the effort; one simple touch can make the difference between someone having a bad day and someone having a great day. I feel honored to be able to help the elderly live a happier life and I hope you feel the same.
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
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