resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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?
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."
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Low-Cost, Low-Tech Solutions to Gain Clients
Gaining and retaining clients is one of the most important tasks you will face in your career as a therapist. You may be one of the world's most naturally gifted therapists, proficient in multiple modalities, with a strong and impressive education and certifications to cover the walls. You may have a beautifully finished table, with the most comfortable and luxurious appointments, and a treatment space that is tranquil and healing. You may even have harps and violins playing live in your space! But in the end, none of this is financially fruitful for you if the client does not know about it, experience it, and return for more.
You may think your role is that of a therapist; but as an entrepreneur, your role is far wider than that. One of the most important roles you fill is that of being a proficient marketer. Marketing is not scary, and in reality, it can be quite fun. Even if it is not in your nature to "sell," you should definitely learn how to gain interest for your practice with the public, give a compelling and interesting reason for them to try your services, provide a unique and positive experience whilst on your table, and learn to engage them on a regular basis to keep them coming back for more. I know there are therapists out there who are not tech savvy, or are afraid of building business pages on social media. What I am about to share with you is about as low-tech as you can get, so anyone can do it. This process is really not as hard as it sounds, and if you can think a season, a need, and a likely place to find candidates, you can build on that.
Let's use spring as the example. We all love spring, and with the flowers and blossoms come a number of opportunities to utilize in order to reach out to potential clients in a meaningful way. Spring is a season when people get out into the yard and begin caring for their lawns, pools, and gardens. After long months of looking at the inside of their homes, they look forward to the time when they can get in the sunshine and work up a sweat. While everyone can appreciate the work that goes into keeping your place in tip top shape, this can also mean these clients with green thumbs and sparkling pools have sore muscles. This would be the need, a potential client in need of massage to help with sore muscles after overworking them. In order to find likely candidates who may be experiencing issues, consider reaching out to your local nurseries, home stores, and pool supplies and see if you can leave a stack of business cards along with a framed sign with the details of your business, perhaps with the targeted message concerning your skill at helping with sore muscles resulting from gardening. Include an introductory offer, specially priced for customers of the business you have targeted. The business you approach will see this as an added benefit for their clients as you have a deal created specifically for them, and the client will feel a connection as you are speaking to the very thing they are experiencing at the moment; sore muscles from yardwork.
Consider spring as an opportunity to reach out to those who have been held captive by winter, to escape and go out to play the sports they love. These might include golfing, rock climbing, softball, baseball or even fishing. All of these sports require repetitive motion, and with this kind of motion, the opportunity for injury or soreness abounds. Sports massage is a highly sought after skill set, particularly if those who are playing the sports have been less active over the winter, or are weekend warriors. Let's take the same idea we had for the home improvement clients, and apply it to these sports enthusiasts.
You can reach out to golf courses, indoor sports arenas, sporting goods stores, and pro shops with the same outreach request. You can even target your local gyms. Tailor the message to meet the client needs of the establishment you approach. For example, you might look at a fishing pro shop, and have your sign speak about being sore from reeling in "the big ones," and how you can help relieve some of the shoulder and lower back issues these sportsmen may face.
You can likely come up with a number of scenarios and places you can connect with in order to reach potential customers. In every case, you should provide an incentive for them to call in the first place. An appealing introductory price is a great start. You may also wish to include an incentive for an additional perk should they also bring a friend. This perk can be an add-on treatment at no charge, or a small gift with purchase. Maybe even a deal that allows the client to buy one treatment session, and get another for a friend at 25% off. The goal is for them to bring you another potential client to the table, and allow you the opportunity to book them an appointment as well.
Once you have established your relationship with the businesses in allowing your cards and information to be shared on their premises, you might inquire if they have a weekly, monthly or quarterly newsletter that goes to their clients. In many cases, these businesses market in a host of arenas, not the least of which may be a targeted email to their client base with information the client may wish to read. If they do, you should inquire as to whether they would entertain an ad, or an offer for your services to be included. They may well charge a fee, and if so, weigh out the cost to see if it makes sense for you and your budget. Seeing your business name in alignment with a company they already frequent and trust can serve as a manner of endorsement, and keep your name top of mind should they have a need, or hear of someone in need of a therapist.
Once you have a robust list of clients, you should consider your own newsletter. In this newsletter, you can share information that massage clients may find interesting. You can create your own content, or you can also share research findings showing the efficacy of massage therapy in specific instances. In each newsletter, I would suggest making an offer of some kind to engage the client, and compel them to book an appointment. Again, this can be a discounted price, a buy one get one offer, or even something as simple as a free beverage in the quiet room before a treatment. Your imagination is your only limit.
In a world filled with technological marketing solutions and social media advertising, it is still possible to find ways to inform the public of your existence, your abilities, and your business using a less technical approach. This is not to say you should forsake all technology. In fact, I suggest you do embark on educating yourself on the proper uses of social media, online marketing and website development. But if you are looking for grass roots, low cost-low tech means to get the ball rolling, I am in hopes you will find these suggestions of use. I would love to hear your success stories. To share your grass roots marketing story, email me at email@example.com.