resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What's Bugging You? Probiotics and Your Health
An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.
Shedding Light on the Benefits of Heliotherapy
I can't imagine anyone not feeling good strolling in the sun on a beautiful spring day. The sun is responsible for all life on earth and is best illustrated along the equator touting the richest biodiversity on the planet, in stark contrast to the Arctic Circle and South Pole.
Help Save an Important Chiropractic Landmark
The chiropractic profession has a splendid and varied history. Sadly, many landmarks have been lost to bulldozers and wrecking crews, such as the Ryan Building, Little-Bit-O-Heaven, Spears Chiropractic Hospital, and Clearview Sanitarium.
Chiropractic: A Great Fit for the White House
Dr. Eric Kaplan is a New York Chiropractic College alumnus; a No. 1 best-selling author whose books include Awaken the Wellness Within and The 5 Minute Motivator; a chiropractor for professional sports teams and elite athletes; and even served as an advisor under the Clinton Administration to the President's Council on Sports & Physical Fitness.
Caring for Refugees in Greece
At the beginning of 2016 I had no idea what was in store for me, but I was looking forward to a personal retreat on the Greek island of Paros; a graduation gift to myself after 22 years of motherhood, and four-plus years of Chinese medicine school.
Making Sense of Liver Regulation
In Chinese medicine, the liver has the function of moving and storing qi and blood. In its moving function, the liver smoothly distributes qi and blood to the tendons, muscles and flesh through microcirculation.
News In Brief
A "Modern" Business Model. Acupuncturists may have a new professional atmosphere to consider, as a new concept is on the horizon - at least for one business.
The Chiropractor's Guide to CRISPR
Science magazine's "Breakthrough of the Year" award for 2015 was described as "the gene-editing tool called CRISPR." CRISPR stands for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats."
How to Correct a Cuboid Subluxation
Cuboid subluxation is a poorly recognized condition, even though it is not uncommon. It has been described in the literature under various names: cuboid subluxation, cuboid syndrome, locked cuboid, dropped cuboid, cuboid fault syndrome or peroneal cuboid syndrome.
Treating LBP the Right Way: Think Natural
An updated clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends spinal manipulation and other non-invasive, non-drug therapies as first options for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain, rather than pain medications, as stipulated in the original 2007 guideline.
Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Why Now Is the Time to Expand
In my January article, "Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Is It Time for Change?" I discussed the use of the term primary spine care practitioner, the loss of privileges to diagnose in Texas, and the fact that the definition of "chiropractic" varied from state to state.
Good Works at the Canandaigua VA
Faculty and students of the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (FLSAOM) of the New York Chiropractic College have provided acupuncture to veterans at the Veterans' Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Canandaigua, New York since September of 2007.
5 Ways to Enhance Your Family Practice
Every practice has a personality style. A practice that caters to athletes, PI cases or adults, for example, projects differently to patients than a family wellness practice.
Treating the Terrain of Chronic Sinus Infections
Chronic sinus infections can be stubborn to treat, but the therapeutic path forward can be simplified when utilizing three distinct treatment principles which take into account the terrain of the body, and the way in which microbes grow.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter (Part 2)
Now let's discuss the clinical approach to reducing WC and implementation in today's chiropractic practice. The primary intervention centers around dietary modification and lifestyle habits aimed to reduce adiposity, improve insulin sensitivity and ultimately, diminish systemic metabolic dysfunction.
NSAIDs No Better Than Placebo for Spine Pain
A meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials comparing the efficacy and safety of NSAIDs with placebo for spinal pain concludes that among 6,065 spine pain patients, "NSAIDs reduced pain and disability, but provided clinically unimportant effects over placebo."
Give Your Patients the Ergonomic Advantage
Prolonged sitting contributes to low back pain and is a health risk. When I discuss my POLITE technique practice recommendations with patients, ergonomics may be last, but not least!
Insomnia Treatment Based on the Yu Theory
In recent years, acupuncture has risen in popularity as a form of alternative or supplemental medicine for the treatment of many different types of disorders.
The Qi Focus: A Guide to Managing Stress
Stress, are you experiencing heightened stress levels? Your own, and your clients? Is Trumpitis getting to you? I recently polled a cluster of acupuncturists, Asian Bodywork Therapists (ABT) and psychotherapy colleagues on the issue.
The First (Only) Choice for Spinal Pain
The study on NSAIDs for spinal pain summarized on the front page of this issue is intriguing on a number of levels, the most obvious being the conclusion that "compared with placebo, NSAIDs do not provide a clinically important effect on spinal pain, and six patients must be treated with NSAIDs for one patient to achieve a clinically important benefit in the short-term."
Toxicity & Kids: The Importance of Environmental Intake
The old adage is true that children are not little adults. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long known that the physiology of children is unique, as are the diseases that plague them.
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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