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Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Marketing Deep Tissue vs. Spa Massage
Recently, while I was staying with my wife at a resort hotel, which happened to have a beautiful spa on the premises, I purchased a vacation package that included, among other things, a Swedish massage for each of us. My wife and I typically get a massage at least twice a month, and have for many years. Personally, I hadn't experienced a Swedish session since the last time I ate a Swedish meatball, which was many moons ago. More for professional purposes as a marketing coach for massage therapists than for my body's own rejuvenation, I decided to sign up for that particular treatment, instead of upgrading for $10 more for deep tissue. I figured since it's been such a long time since I've experienced a Swedish session, let me see what some of my deep tissue-oriented massage therapist clients of mine were competing against.
How Sweetish it Wasn't
The best way that I can think of depicting the 50-minute massage I received — which, by the way, was only 45 minutes on the table — was the rubbing on of oil. To say that the therapist's touch was light would be a bit of an insult to the word light. Now, to be fair, she did apply some pressure on the two areas that I told her were hurting when she asked what was going on in my body. But the word "some" is the way I'd characterize the pressure that she used. Light is probably a better way of characterizing her touch on the troubled areas; remember the rest of her massage was light lite. If Miller Lite beer used to be promoted with the campaign theme, "Everything you always wanted in a beer and less," her touch would best be described as, "nothing you always wanted in a massage and less."
If you go into a conscious eating establishment, you may very well encounter the expression "gluten-free," to explain, for example, how the bread was baked. I'm very familiar with gluten-free bread; I hadn't been familiar before with "glute-free" massage. That's how I'd have to depict the therapist's manner of treating my gluteus muscles. Well, free isn't exactly fair; she did spend almost one minute on each glute — over the sheets.
Knowing what I do about massage, having received many hundreds of massages during the course of my lifetime, I would never describe the three quarters of an hour that I spent on her table as anything like therapy. I'd have to call it relaxation, at best. (Although, I have to admit that the frustration I felt with her virtually no-pressure touch was anything but relaxing. But I laughed to myself when I realized that I did, after all, sign up for Swedish massage, so there it was, Swedish lite.)
Now, if you're a massage therapist who specializes in doing do deep tissue work, and there are a lot of therapists in your area who do principally relaxation massage, or if there are spas in your market that are popular, marketing yourself as a massage therapist who does massage therapy, as compared to relaxation massage, can be very strategic and an effective way to build your business. You might even tell people that Swedish massage is like deep tissue massage the way a fruit punch at a heavily chaperoned high school prom dance is like heavily spiked rum punch at a Caribbean local bar.
Swedish vs. Deep Tissue
The first thing I'd recommend in your advertising communication is to show the superiority of deep tissue massage versus relaxation massage. You could say that relaxation is a by-product of massage therapy; it needn't be the goal. (This is not to say that there's no value in giving or receiving a relaxation massage. In our highly stressed and tense world, where people spend 10 hours a week or more commuting to work in crowded trains, buses, and highways, relaxation is a highly valuable asset.) Even if a considerable amount of pain is felt in a deep tissue treatment, there's still some relaxation that results by the time the session is complete. It's expected that a client will leave a massage therapist's table relaxed and more free of pain. To be perfectly honest, I felt more relaxed waiting for 15 minutes in the waiting room next to a delightful flowing fountain than I did during, or after, the session I took at the spa.
A headline that you could use to compare your deep tissue treatments to the fluff and buff of some competitors, who specialize in relaxation massage, or spas, which do a great deal of Swedish sessions, could say the following:
MASSAGE IS THERAPY, NOT JUST RELAXATION. Body copy in the ad could then go on to cite research on massage that shows in a scientific manner just how much physical healing actually occurs with therapeutic massage.
Another headline could speak to the shortness of spa treatments. It could say: MY MASSAGES ARE AN HOUR, NOT JUST 50 MINUTES. Body copy might also indicate that your hour-long sessions often spill over an hour, while spa treatments often are just 45 minutes on the table.
You could also conclude either ad with a touch of humor: You could show a picture of the CBS-TV news program, 60 Minutes, and have a caption that says, When a show is called 60 Minutes, it goes for 60 minutes, not 50 minutes. Or you could say: Deep tissue vs. Swedish is more like therapy vs. "sweetish." Sweet is nice, but then so is candy. But you wouldn't use candy to heal your body — maybe to heal a broken heart, but not to heal tense and tired muscles.