resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
March, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 03
Do Well to Do Good: How to Plan for and Measure Success
By Marshall Dahneke and Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT
Most wellness professionals find their motivation through the clients they help, the aches they ease, the lives they improve. This aspiration to make a difference can fuel a promising and fulfilling career. After all, as early motivational author Napoleon Hill wrote: "The starting point of all achievement is desire."
The massage therapists who thrive over time, however, possess more than good intentions and a healing touch. They also have a handle on the financial side of their business or practice. Even if passion — not profit — drives them, they know they need to understand basics like revenue, marketing, and client activation and retention to remain in this profession.
In a twist on the way the saying usually goes — "it's not just personal, it's business." Success can mean doing work you love, having clients who appreciate you, and giving back to the community. But knowing you can pay your bills, keep the lights on, and invest in a clean, peaceful space frees you to focus on the fulfilling aspects of your role. In other words, you must "do well to do good" over the long haul.
For the purposes of this column, we're defining success in financial terms. We're not advising you on how to squeeze the most out of every penny. Rather, our goal is to emphasize basics essential to building and maintaining a sustainable practice.
Start on Solid Ground
Successful businesses, including one-person massage therapy practices, begin with a plan. Before you open your doors, sit down and sketch out the funds you'll need to operate. Consider expenses such as rent, equipment and supplies, utilities, gas and mileage if you're mobile, and laundry.
Once you know the costs of operating a practice, think about how you will recoup them. The money you bring in is revenue, but it doesn't transform into income until it surpasses your costs. How many clients do you need, and how much do you need to charge them? Don't set your rates based only on what everyone else is charging. Consider your financial goals before you place a value on your time.
Take into account, too, your pro-bono and lower-cost work. Providing these types of services — for instance, free massages for local educators during National Teacher Appreciation Month or sliding-scale rates for community members in need — allows you to give back while building your business. However, you'll have to factor these into your calculations. Without doing well enough to keep your practice going, your service efforts will not be sustainable.
Love Your Clients
Priority one is to build your client base — the key to long-term success. Your business plan should include a marketing component spelling out how you plan to attract clients. Word of mouth remains powerful in this profession; your marketing efforts could include outreach to friends, family, and even clients you had in school. Also consider joining the Chamber of Commerce, connecting with physicians and other health care professionals to secure referrals, and even reaching out to local media.
Once people find you, do everything within reason to keep them. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, attracting a new customer costs six to seven times more than keeping an existing client. Businesspeople refer to this as client retention, and staying on top of retention requires a bit of organization. Use a program, system, or database to store client information, including names and addresses, their areas of pain and tightness, and insurance information, if you use it.
Of course, tracking clients alone won't bring them back. Ensure each person has a positive experience; beyond a high-quality treatment, provide convenient parking, an efficient check-in process, a clean and relaxing atmosphere, and simple billing. We've moved beyond the service economy into the experience economy — people value memorable experiences. Nailing the details and adding personal touches, such as remembering clients' preferences and stories, will keep them coming back for more, and referring their friends.
Build on Your Foundation
Your schedule's booked. Your clients leave rave reviews. You track your expenses and revenue each month, and you're coming out ahead. Perhaps you're even doing well enough to hire help, take a few days off, or weather a dry spell without worrying about paying rent. Congratulate yourself on your success, but don't stop planning, tracking, and reviewing. Successful practice owners not only know where they stand on a given day or month, they take some time each year to reflect back on the ups and downs of the past 12 months and look ahead to what they can do differently or better.
During these reviews, consider your bigger aspirations and how to reach them. If a sustainable solo practice makes you happy, you don't have to grow. Deciding to specialize in a particular technique or a given population, such as sports massage or pregnant women, could increase your practice. Or, you might aim to make the same amount of money while working fewer hours, leaving more time for service, travel, or other pursuits.
Perhaps you dream of expanding, hiring a staff, even opening a wellness center. If so, research what it will take to get there. Break this dream down into smaller, shorter-term goals, such as adding a staffer one year and renting a larger space the next. Check in annually on these objectives — you might find you're speeding toward them or need to revise your plans.
Of course, while it's important to nurture your practice, never lose sight of your passion for healing and helping. As Albert Einstein advised, "Try not to become a man [or woman] of success, but rather try to become a person of value." Recognize that financial success is an enabler that creates options to add value to the world, and you'll set yourself up for a truly rewarding career in every sense of the word.
Marshall Dahneke, CEO, is responsible for global management of Performance Health's business, including people, talent and strategy development and execution to better serve customers and promote growth. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Business Administration, both from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Lynda Solien-Wolfe is Vice President, Massage and Spa at Performance Health. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been in private practice in Merritt Island, Florida for more than 20 years. Lynda graduated from Space Coast Health Institute in West Melbourne, FL.
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