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Putting POLITE Into Practice
First came the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), which eventually became PRICE (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Then in 2015, we started hearing POLICE (Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
Six Things Every Chiropractor Should Know About Opioids
An increase in addictions and deaths due to opioids has raised significant concern and media attention. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing chiropractor.
Case Study: 2-Year-Old Suffering From Urinary Reflux
A19-month-old female child presented to my office for treatment. Her mother reported the child had been diagnosed with urinary reflux and associated urinary tract infections, recurrent bouts of otitis media and inability to sleep.
CE Regulations Are Hurting Chiropractic
During my 35 years in the chiropractic profession, I have been forced to attend available continuing-education programs that were occasionally incredibly beneficial, but frequently not worth my time.
Dealing with a Pain in the Butt
The patient came into my office with the classic antalgic stoop. She was bent over almost to ninety degrees, leaning on her husband for support and staggering to walk. She had been under supportive care for a long time, but this new pain scared her.
HVLA Technique: Addressing Myths
In the annals of chiropractic history and literature, and in the imagination of the public, there is one manual adjusting technique that can produce a wide range of responses, both from patients and casual observers.
Acupuncture Earns BLS Unique Code
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that acupuncturists will have their own unique occupational code in the 2018 BLS Handbook. The new Standard Occupational Code (SOC) is 29-1291, will be included in the next edition of the BLS Occupational Handbook, which will be published in 2018.
Acupuncture's Essential Role
Acupuncture should play a more prominent role in U.S. healthcare during and after this post-Affordable Care Act era when chronic care and population health management are key concerns for all healthcare providers.
Patience vs. Patients
How long have you been in practice? I began my journey more than 20 years ago and opened my first acupuncture clinic in 2008. Just like you, I've learned a lot over the years. Recently, I sat in an interview and was asked what made me successful.
Comparing Costs of Care: DCs, MDs or PTs - Who Costs More?
In a health care era where evidence is increasingly the benchmark for insurance coverage, patient care and even cultural authority, we get plenty of it courtesy of a retrospective cost analysis spanning 10 years, more than 660,000 "covered lives" and nearly 7.5 million claims from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
The Drug Epidemic: Are You Guilty, Too?
Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become epidemic among children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of school-aged children diagnosed with ADHD has grown from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 11.0 percent in 2011.
Letter to the Editor
On December 7, 1999, the U.S. FDA reclassified the status of acupuncture needles from class III (investigative devices subject to investigative device exemptions...) to class II (special controls).
The Most Important Vitamin You've Never Heard Of: K2
Imagine if one in every three patients who walked through your door was afflicted with a debilitating, yet completely preventable and treatable disease.
The Lung Official
The Lung is known as the "Official Who Receives the Pure Chi From the Heavens." The act of breathing in, known as inspiration, brings oxygen into the body from the atmosphere. Each exhalation or expiration removes and releases carbon dioxide, a waste product of the body, into the atmosphere.
Concerns Regarding CDC Guidelines for Pain Management
In response to the epidemic rates of opioid and heroin addiction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set new guidelines for physicians regarding treatment for pain.
Sacroiliac Joint Fusion: Where's the Wisdom?
We should be very skeptical of the purportedly less invasive version of the already defrocked sacroiliac fusion surgery, "minimally invasive" sacroiliac joint fusion; and concerned this procedure simply represents the device manufacturer's attempt to find yet another new market.
News in Brief
F4CP MEmbership Milestone Reached; ICA Challenging New California Vaccine Law; TCC Names New President; New Provost at UWS.
Forward Head Carriage and the Feet: What's the Connection? (Pt. 2)
Clinical evaluation of standing posture using relatively low-tech tools has been confirmed as valid and reliable by several studies. The original device used to evaluate posture was the plumb line, which served as a reference line for the effects of gravity on body alignment.
University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Students Make Rounds at Sisters of Notre Dame
Nuns are not stereotypical acupuncture patients, Dr. Jennifer Brett acknowledges with a laugh. But then again, acupuncture has gone mainstream, just like cappuccinos and recycling. "It's changed a lot from the '70s and '80s," said Brett.
We Get Letters & Email
Our Medicare Challenges Aren't an Education Issue; Passion to Succeed: More Pivotal Than GPA?
NBCE Fumbles Computerized Testing Process
Imagine being a student again, about to take one of the four tests required to become a doctor of chiropractic. You've studied almost nonstop for the past few weeks. You can feel your anxiety level rise as you sit down in front of the computer screen.
Why We Need to Fix the Mechanoreceptors (Part 2)
The muscle spindle, a particular type of mechanoreceptor, is located deep within the muscle belly, encapsulated in fascia made up of intrafusal fibers, all within the extrafusal muscle fibers.
Infertility: Managing Irregular Menses
Infertility is an area where Chinese medicine is particularly helpful. In the main, in women below the age of 38 without organic disturbance, the success rate using TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) should exceed 85%.
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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