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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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Avoiding These Five Pitfalls
In this day and age of worldwide connectivity, it's easier than ever to find someone to help you grow your practice at a price you can afford. Want to hand off your client scheduling? Your blog posting? Your bookkeeping? Your website updates? Consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA). You can work with them by the month, by the project, or even just by the hour.
A good VA is well worth the investment. The first one I hired in 2009, turned out to be a major turning point that allowed me to pass $100,000 in earnings. But take it from me, hiring the wrong VA can cost you dearly. Like eating up hours of paid time researching subjects you don't need to know. Or building web pages on outdated themes that don't support new technology. Or swearing up and down that your clients were contacted only to find out that it never happened. So give yourself the gift of learning from my mistakes. And avoid these five common pitfalls when you hire your first or your next VA.
Hiring Someone Because You Like Them
Imagine you just had a great conversation with a promising VA. And it felt easy because you had so much in common. You both love kids. And dogs. And Yin Yoga. You may even have thought, "We could be friends." That's your sign to take a giant step back because you're about to make one of the biggest mistakes human resource managers in every field warn about: Hiring on personality, rather than by skill.
The solution to finding a VA who makes you money rather than one who costs you money is searching for someone whose strengths complement yours. Someone who brings skills and experience to the table that you don't already have. It's not that personality isn't important because it is. By all means, you want assistants who are team players. But personality shouldn't be the only hiring factor. In fact, it shouldn't even be the most important one. So don't let your judgment get hijacked by a great personality. This is the time to take a critical look at the qualifications this VA brings to your business. Because personality is not a skill set.
Hiring a Jack- or Jill-of-All-Trades
If a VA tells you they can handle everything from web updates to bookkeeping to copywriting, take that as a giant red flag. Because no matter how talented someone is, no one can excel at everything. And specialization matters. You wouldn't go to a podiatrist for a heart condition, right? That's why before you interview a VA, you want to get crystal clear on the specific type of help you need.
Start by making a list of all the things you need support with. Add the tasks that you don't know how to do yourself. And then add those that you don't like doing because they zap your energy and leave you feeling drained. Once you have your list, prioritize. Focus first on tasks that'll free up your energy to expand your practice (and your income). The practitioners that I coach typically hand off their online technical support and their bookkeeping first. And since those are clearly two different skill sets, they're usually handled by two different VAs. And here's a bonus tip: When you're interviewing a potential VA, don't start by telling them what you're looking for. Instead, start by asking them what they specializes in. And how they think they can contribute best to your business.
Hiring Someone Who Wants to Be a Coach
Let me be clear about this: a VA is someone you hire to help you carry out specific tasks in your business. They may be experts in their field. But don't mistake them for business coaches, business consultants or even business partners. And don't rely on them for your strategic business advice.
One practitioner I know recently hired a VA to manage her email list and communications. Unfortunately, her VA talked her into switching from an inexpensive, easy-to-use email management system to a highly advanced, complex system with a price tag of $200 a month. That was 10 times what she was paying before. The problem is, with a contact list of some 700 people, she didn't need all those bells and whistles. And she wouldn't for quite a long time. So we urged her to get back on track with an email system that matched her business and her growth plan for years to come. Now she's got an extra $180 each month to invest in other areas of her business that will get her closer to her goals. So by all means, allow your VA to give you the benefit of her expertise. Just make sure you're balancing that out with practical, proven business guidance you're getting in other ways.
Hiring Outside of Your Time Zone
Thanks to the Internet, you can select your VA from a pool of qualified candidates all over the world. Thanks to books like The 4-Hour Workweek, the VA industry in places like the Philippines is exploding. But when you're working with someone virtually, time zones are an often overlooked challenge to your workflow.
If you live on the east coast of the United States and your VA lives on the west coast, you're looking at a 3-hour time difference. So by the time your VA is up and working, your day is nearly half over. This can make communication difficult and seriously impact your turnaround times on even simple projects. That's not to say you shouldn't work with someone outside of your time zone. A VA in another time zone may be perfect for projects that don't require daily communication, or that have plenty of lead time. But if you're someone who likes to work on the fly, you'll want to look closer to home.
Hiring Someone Who Wants a Business Like Yours
Years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Sonia Choquette, a spiritual teacher and author of numerous books including The Psychic Pathway and Ask Your Guides. And she told us about the time she hired someone who was "the perfect assistant." This woman was so enthusiastic about Sonia's work, and she really seemed to get it. And it was the perfect fit. Right up to the point when Sonia found out that her enthusiastic assistant actually stole her latest manuscript and tried to sell it as her own. While her story is unusual, we've heard plenty from other people who lamented hiring VAs who only worked for them long enough to figure out how to run their own businesses. And then their assistants left to compete with them directly.
So while it's great to have an assistant who loves your work, it's better to hire one who loves their work. Because as a practitioner, your business isn't just your livelihood. It's your lifework. Your mission. Your purpose. Your passion. And when everyone on your team does what they love and are naturally skilled at, everyone wins.