It's Time for a Functional Approach to Chronic Illness
It seems one of the more modern buzzwords is chronic, referring to diseases – that is to say, "ongoing and incurable." However, we can take a different perspective and recognize that, although the body may have been traumatized and injured, healing should always be viewed in the realm of possibility.
New Opportunities for DCs
For decades, the model chiropractic practice has been the single-doctor practice. Recent surveys have found that approximately two-thirds of U.S. doctors of chiropractic still practice this way, with another 20 percent practicing in multiple-chiropractor practices.
Paving the Way to Integrative Health & Wellness
Jared Polis (D-Colorado) and Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) launched the integrative health and wellness (IHW) caucus in October, 2018.
Missed Causes of LBP: It's the Syndrome, Not the Subluxation
When I read the chart notes of other chiropractors, I am usually disappointed. They list what vertebrae are fixated or misaligned. They may describe the involved fascia and muscles.
Better With Chiropractic
While chiropractic care is receiving high levels of exposure these days, most pain patients who consult with a health provider still do so with their primary-care MD. And of course, that means in most cases, they're receiving standard medical care, not chiropractic.
Reducing Allostatic Load & Stress Through Heightened Awareness
Your contemporary mental health and psychotherapy colleagues may often approach the treatment of allostatic load as a mental health condition and use prescription psycho-pharmaceutical medicine to affect general and specific central nervous system (CNS) pathways and brain neuro-chemistry medicine to alleviate the associated symptoms.
News in Brief
Parker University Launches New Open-Access Research Journal for Chiropractic; Western States, Cleveland-KC Name New Deans of Chiropractic Colleges; Sherman College Goes Tobacco-Free; Life University Wins 11 Awards.
Chiropractic's Next Frontier: Adjusting the Microbiome
Restoring a healthy microbiome to help treat disease may be the next frontier in chiropractic offices around the country.
Multi-Dimensional Acupuncture: 3D, 4D & 5D
Maggie is an intuitive healer and workshop leader who I met on a recent hike. While we were talking she told me how she had to take it easy because of her knees. She said that her doctor told her that she has the early signs of arthritis.
Spring Allergies & The Spleen: Looking at Pattern Differentiation
As the season of Spring fades away and we shift into the warm summer months, many patients suffer from chronic allergies. This is by far one of the most common issues I see in the clinic as well as often mistreated and misdiagnosed.
Official NCCAOM Practice Tests
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is excited to announce the launch of the new NCCAOM Exam Preparation Center.
The Acupuncturist and the Opioid Crisis: Conquering Pain & Addiction in the U.S.
The current opioid epidemic dominates the discussion among national health leaders, recovery advocates and families nationwide. Opioids include heroin as well as prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others.
Transforming Exam Delivery
The NBCE Board of Directors has never wavered on its promise to deliver an excellent, on-campus computerized testing experience to students. Likewise, there has never been a compromise to the delivery of fair, valid and legally defensible exams.
Cyber Threat Checklist: Defend Your Business With These 10 Steps
Living in an internet connected society brings many conveniences and benefits. The power of the internet to connect us with customers, store data, and find information has opened the door for many small business owners to grow and flourish.
TCM Codes for the World
I just received an email concerning the ICD-TM11 codes. The World Health Organization (WHO) will be presenting the new ICD-11 codes to World Health Assembly very soon.
Catch the Workplace Wellness Wave
Do you offer workplace wellness services to local businesses? If not, you might want to consider this lucrative channel for expanding your practice. Workplace wellness programs and wellness-related benefits have grown in popularity over the past several decades.
Dropping Insurance: 4 Steps
My office manager just got off the phone with the secretary of a long-standing patient. I have treated this woman and 10 members of her family for more than a decade. She has, as have all of my patients, paid my fee at the time of service since I dropped insurance in 1997.
Acupuncture's Standard of Care
Both a concern and critique of acupuncture, frequently espoused by the bio-medical community is, "there is no standard of care in acupuncture." The following is why I believe this statement is disingenuous at best.
A Novel Way to Prevent Elderly Falls: Toe Strength
In any given year, nearly 40 percent of senior citizens ages 70 and older will fall at least once. Each fall significantly increases the risk of not only sprains, strains and contusions, but also fractures.
First World Spine Care Graduate: Hildah Molate
Hildah Molate, the first World Spine Care (WSC) scholarship student, graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic earlier this year and is now working at the WSC community spine clinic in Shoshong, Botswana.
NBCE to Reinstitute Computer-Based Exams
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has announced it will reinstate computer-based testing in January 2019 courtesy of a partnership with testing and assessment solutions provider Prometric.
Bastyr University: On the Front Lines of the Pain Epidemic
At University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center, the Seattle region's only Level I Trauma and Burn Center, the demands for in-patient care are dramatically different from a private clinic environment.
Old Trend, New Risks: Heavy Weight Training
With more opportunities to exercise than ever, a greater selection of exercise options, and the subsequent opinions supporting and challenging their merits, it's easy to be confused as to which approach is best.
Diagnosing & Treating Aggressive Energy
Recently, there has been an article, and subsequent discussion, about the subject of Aggressive Energy (AKA "AE"), including ways to detect its presence and an alternative method of treating it.
Prompting Memory: How to Stimulate Cognition
Recently I gave a talk titled, The Art of Memoir – Tapping the Past to Sharpen the Present at a senior lunch event in Austin, Texas.
Regenerative Medicine: How to Do It by the Books
The "lay of the land" for regenerative therapies, including but certainly not limited to adult stem-cell treatments, seems to change almost daily.
Prevention: Stop Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
The recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of those nuisance conditions that can play havoc with quality of life, and this particular infection is much more common than most people realize.
Practice Pearls: There's More to ROM Than Meets the Eye
As part of my neuromusculoskeletal examination, I perform range-of-motion (ROM) evaluations. I can "eyeball" the range and measure, I can use a goniometer and measure, I can use my phone app and measure, or I can use various other instruments to help determine degrees of motion.
State by State: Chiropractic Leads Changes in Health Care
Monumental legislative bills in support of the chiropractic profession were passed recently in Washington, West Virginia and Oregon. Here is a review of this important legislation, state by state...
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.
Click here for more information about Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT.
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