resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
"Turn, Turn, Turn"
Many people are credited with saying, "If you remember the '60s, you really weren't there." Given the fact I didn't become a teenager until 1970, I actually do remember the '60s (or at least part of it). And as a child of the '60s, I was, of course, influenced by the music.
Chronic heightened emotional states create a perfect breeding ground for illness. Through my practice I noted the increasingly obvious relationship between one's mental focus on negative thinking, emotions, resistance to experiencing feelings and disease.
Implications of Section 2706: The Non-Discrimination Provision Survey
In late April 2014, NCCAOM diplomates received an email survey with the subject line: "End discrimination against acupuncturists" polling CAM practitioners for a Request for Information from the Department of Health and Human Services, released in mid-March.
Following the Thinking of the Classics
I have heard about the "best time of day" to carry out certain examinations or therapies. For example, I remember making a note years ago that early morning is the best time to take someone's pulses.
Five Element Acupuncture Can Enhance Your Practice
For eight years I have been teaching and supervising TCM students at an acupuncture college in Colorado, in Five Element acupuncture.
Giving Chiropractic Some Much-Needed PR
Public relations has not always been the chiropractic profession's strong suit, a shortcoming that has subjected the profession to countless attacks on its legitimacy and seemingly perpetual confusion among the public and the health care world as to the skills and services doctors of chiropractic provide.
Treating Chronic Depression with Acupressure
In Traditional Chinese Medicine there already exists a comprehensive theory linking the body and mind.
Correcting Dysfunctional Movement Patterns – Is Local Treatment Enough?
It is widely believed that mechanical, non-traumatic back pain is largely related to dysfunctional or compensatory movement patterns the body has adopted over time.
Capturing the Essence of Tai Chi
Over the last 12 years, I have been working on one of the few documentaries about Tai Chi. It's called The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West and it's about Cheng Man-Ching who moved to New York in the 1960s.
Chinese Medicine: The Natural Way to Children's Wellness
As a child, I did not like going to the doctor. For the most part, when I had to go I wasn't feeling good to begin with, and I was heading into a sterile environment to be awkwardly probed by a man in a white coat for a very short, impersonal period of time.
Acupuncture Detox as Part of Drug Rehabilitation
In the U.S., more than 2,000 alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs have added ear acupuncture to their practice. The development of the protocol was determined by Lincoln Hospital as it delivered 100 acupuncture treatments daily.
The Power of Mu Xiang to Treat Irritable Bowel Disease
Bloating and gas pain is something that everyone has had to deal with at one point or another; however, that's usually reserved for holiday dinners and other large gatherings.
Inspire Your Patients to Make Healthy Choices
Have you tried to get your patients to change their eating habits or their diet and couldn't get them to succeed? Were they confused and unsure of what the right thing was to eat? You are not alone!
Drug War Rages in Wisconsin
Based on its actions over the past 15 years (review the sidebar in the app version of this article), controversy and the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association seem to go hand in hand.
Peer Points: Promoting TCM Knowledge
When Elaine Wolf Komarow, LAc, received her first acupuncture treatment in 1989, she said it changed her life. "I felt more aware, calmer, and happier. I was so fascinated by the changes that I began to learn everything I could about the underlying philosophy of Chinese medicine," said Komarow.
The Acupuncture Now Foundation: What Our Profession Needs
Although acupuncture is growing in popularity it continues to be underutilized due to misunderstandings about its true potential. Only a fraction of those who could be helped by acupuncture know enough to seek it out.
Meat in the Middle
Have you ever wondered what's the truth about meat? Is it really as bad as many people think?
Treating Menopausal Women in Your Practice
I love what I do for a living. It's a great way to trade health for bread. And no topic of health, with the right bedside manner, is taboo.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Introduce Your Patients to Collagen Induction Therapy
Cutaneous (skin) aging generally occurs from either intrinsic or extrinsic processes. Intrinsic aging results from natural skin tissue damage and degeneration.
It Pays to be a Foodie
If there is an inner foodie in you, just waiting to burst out—this article is for you! Do you want to know how I know? I'm that girl. My middle name might as well be "Foodie." I love food! And if my patients are any indication, many of them do as well.
Micro-Needle Dermal Roller Use in the Treatment Room
Recently micro-needle dermal rollers have been getting a lot of media attention. As a practitioner who specializes in acupuncture facial rejuvenation, I know that skin needling with a dermal roller (also known as collagen induction therapy), promotes the natural reproduction of collagen and elastin, making the skin feel smoother and tighter.
News in Brief
Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Enrolls Second Group Member; Focus on Chiropractic Education at WFC-ACC Conference in Miami; Are You Ready for Another "Have-a-Heart" Campaign?
The Bottom Line ... From a Surgeon Who Knows
Regardless of individual relationships between providers, there continues to be a type of Hatfield-McCoy feud between the philosophies of medicine and chiropractic, particularly when it comes to musculoskeletal ailments.
Alcohol Consumption Strongly Linked to Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Alcohol intake is one of the primary risk factors for many human cancers, and is strongly associated with cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, and notably, the colon and rectum.
Don't Let Your Massage Therapy Friends "Like" You to Death
Everyone seems to be trying to get a handle on the whole "social media thing" and the reality is it isn't some great mystery, magic bullet or the "be all end all" to your marketing. It is a tool, be it a very powerful and helpful tool, when used effectively for growing your practice. However, the majority of people are misusing it. Similar to trying to use a screw driver to hammer in a nail, you might get the job done, but at what cost?
In general, people are always looking for the "quick fix" and the same goes for business owners. Practitioners who don't really understand social media are getting sucked into a really BAD decision. The following is a real case study to help you avoid making the same mistake.
Red Flag #1
If you are a regular reader of my column, you know I spend a lot of time discussing marketing strategy, identifying ideal clients, search engine optimization, websites and social media. I've shared before how important it is for you to know who your target audience is and the importance of getting quality followers as opposed to a large quantity of followers. This example I'm about to share is the reason why.
A massage clinic owner asked for help in boosting the results of their social media, specifically their Facebook and Twitter business pages. On the initial analysis, it appeared to be normal with more than 400 Facebook fans, less followers on Twitter but obviously they had been investing some time and effort into building it.
They were posting approximately one post or tweet a day, but the concerning part was no engagement. No likes, no shares, no comments – in all fairness there might have been one or two comments on a very rare occasion but, in general, we are going to say basically no engagement. Once in a while, there would be two to three days of no activity and then maybe a day of two to three posts, then nothing. So, the first red flag is consistently posting three times a day is key to growing your social media market.
Red Flag #2
I dug deeper and evaluated the content. It was pretty heavy on the promotional side. Most of the posts were "get an appointment" or talking about how great the clinic was. So, the second red flag to notice: people are not using social media platforms as a "buyers and sellers" market, they are looking for information and education and connections with people. You really need to incorporate the 80/20 rule: 80% informational, educational and business/professional and 20% of the posts/tweets promotional and personal.
This example is typical when evaluating most social media. The practitioner wants to treat Facebook or other social media like eBay and thinks that people are jumping on Facebook to "buy" things. They proceed to always talk about how wonderful their practice is, when they have openings and how much their treatments are, instead of trying to make connections, share relevant information and start or participate in conversations that their clients or potential clients will derive some value from.
The fix for this is simply to plan your strategy and use the tool the right way. Use social media as a "social" tool to connect with current and potential new customers. Create topics and content that appeals to your target audience and sparks conversation around how they benefit by working with you. Create a weekly social media agenda and integrate your marketing plan into the mix to create a nice balance of informational and education content.
Red Flag #3
Here's where we get to another huge problem that I see beginning to snowball in a much bigger catastrophic way. It might even be an epidemic to many practitioner social media pages. Okay, too dramatic? Perhaps, but it is serious and can end up costing you a great deal of money to fix, so I would advise you to pay attention.
Every business owner and internet marketer is discussing how much the engagement has fallen on Facebook. It's true. Facebook, as well as all the rest of the social media networks are big data mining programs. What that means is they track every single movement a user makes on their program, including all interaction with friends, businesses, organizations, entertainment, political and public figures for every user and how often and how much time you spend logged in and participating. The main reason they do this is so business owners can target very specific key elements for advertising. Also, because there is so much sharing and so many people using social networks, they are evaluating the type of content you are sharing and the type of followers you have. If your content isn't something that the computer program (known as an algorithm) deems as something that the majority of your followers have engaged with (liked, commented, shared, etc.) previously, then even though they have "liked" your page, NONE of your followers will see the updates.
If there is a conflict of the keywords, hashtags, descriptions, content being shared with the type of fans/followers you have, according to the social networks, your updates/content will not be "prioritized" as they call it. Which is a polite way of saying, your updates will not be seen by your fans.
"Liked" to Death
In this example, the practitioner worked and invested some time into getting more than 400 fans and obviously had invested time in creating content and trying to utilize social media to help their practice but it was all for not. Here's why. Even after creating the right agenda and sharing some content for one or two weeks, there wasn't a change in the engagement. I soon realized the issue was much bigger than consistency and content. More than 95% of the fans on the Facebook page and 100% of the Twitter followers were all the owner's massage friends! When I approached the owner to confirm who the target market was for the clinic, they confirmed they were looking for consumers within their city and shared the other demographics and pain points. The audience they were hoping to attract was the complete opposite of the type of fans and followers both pages had.
When I asked how they had acquired the fans, I was told that they had used the "let's share each other's Facebook pages" posts in various social media groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and the hundreds of posts of therapists sharing their links to their Facebook pages to get other therapists to "like" them. Basically, the owner created the situation where their massage therapist friends had "liked" their page to death! I'm not being overly dramatic here, especially with the recent changes all social media platforms are making to their algorithms, they are coming down hard on what they determine are "fake" fans. Why are the social networks doing this? Because three years ago it was all about getting huge numbers of likes and followers to get the most engagement and the pages with the most likes or followers always had the top spots in the newsfeeds. Big brands were investing big money into getting the most likes and followers and didn't care where they came from. The social networks saw the amount of engagement dropping because it allowed big brands and few small brands to "spam" the newsfeeds.
To try to correct the issue, the social networks have been adjusting the algorithms to deter this type of behavior to increase the amount of time users were spending on the social network. One of the benefits is that this is supposed to correct and create a fair environment for smaller brands, too. Unfortunately, when practitioners are participating in these "Let's share and like each other's pages" and go out there and are liking pages they have no interest in or ever intend to participate on that page ever again, it can mean certain death to a page. But there is hope. A page can be "resurrected" and here is how to get the process started:
Yes, this means a little more work, but that is sometimes the price you pay if you try to take shortcuts, make "quick fixes" or use the tool inappropriately. Even if that wasn't your intension, most shortcuts in life really aren't the best thing. We all know that popular saying about the direction a certain "road paved with good intensions" is headed right? Let's just avoid that path to begin with. Unless your target audience is other practitioners/massage therapists, you aren't being a good friend by "liking" their page, but you are actually committing them to a slow and almost certain death.