resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Facing the Pressures of the Digital World
Everywhere you turn, practices are facing tremendous disruptive pressure to join the digital world. The real issue is how practitioners are dealing with this change. Transforming your practice from offline to online is a huge shift for most seasoned practitioners. For those in business prior to the Internet, the very way business was always done is now being called into question. Alternately, for those just starting out, most feel like they have a "leg up" because they have never known a world without the Internet. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they understand how to use it to market their practice. No matter where you are coming from, it's impossible to escape the pressure of operating your business in the digital world.
Many Moving Parts
A common scenario if you are working with a chiropractor, in a spa or if you operate your own massage practice: you have an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company performing online ads for a set of keywords as one program, a "web guy" is managing the website going in another direction, a millennial is managing the social media without supervision, an office manager or receptionist is organizing offline events (including printing flyers, postcards and print ads) and none of them are communicating with each other. No one is coordinating efforts or has any type of planned outcome. Sound familiar?
Some or all of this may be what you currently have successfully happening in the practice where you work. You can't say for sure what is working, but the practice has new clients and existing clients and everyone is too busy to think about managing the marketing aspects of it all. Think of it this way, you have four people in a boat each rowing in a different direction, with bullhorns touting four different messages about your practice. And even though you are taking on new passengers, just as many might be exiting.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
This isn't meant to be doom and gloom. If we want to work smarter and not harder in 2016, then take a step back and evaluate what opportunities are being missed and think about how much more progress could be achieved when everyone is rowing in the same direction. If your practice lacks customer referrals or has a difficult time with client retention, you need to start by evaluating the message behind the experience. That's not to say you need to modify how clients are receiving treatment, but rather what needs to be evaluated are the marketing expectations. Are the message, expectation and experience congruent in all forms of communication? I understand each client has a different set of physical issues and the forms of treatment might vary, but when that client refers a friend or family member, they are expecting the same results.
For example, let's say a potential client attends a live seminar educating them about stress and how they can benefit from your treatment. This new client books treatments, is seeing results, raves about the experience and refers a friend to your website to check out what you offer. But, the message on your site doesn't talk about stress at all or very little. The website does a great job of describing how each person's treatment is "customized" or "special" and goes into great detail of what is going to happen on their first visit. And now the potential client is confused because they can't find what they are looking for. They see a completely different focus. Next, they go to your social media page and what they see there is post after post of treatment specials, the hours for availability and occasionally a post about why massage is important, but nothing specifically about a process for dealing with stress. That friend begins to doubt if they have the right practice information. You can substitute whatever the condition is, but if you don't have the right message communicated on all digital and print formats, there is most likely confusion.
The new thinking says you have to start looking at the big picture from the first day and you have to consider the impact that these mixed messages have on your entire organization. Most of the time, one or two of these marketing arms are producing clients and as an owner, you assume they all are successful because you continually have new clients every month.
Flexibility is Key
As the captain of your vessel, have to have a clear plan and clarity for the future. You need a way to put your practice on course to deliver that vision. Innovative thinking needs to be integrated into every process and because everyone has time management considerations, everything needs a plan and a process.
Seat of pants management or continuously running from one fire to the next is exhausting and generally results in burn out or turn over. In this digital age, especially when it comes to social media, things are in a perpetual state of change. Some flexibility needs to be considered when thinking about logistical processes, however they don't necessarily disrupt the visioning process. Finding ways to help communication and the culture shock that rapid change brings is going to be just as important as the technology used to get it there.
The rate of change is accelerating dramatically due in large part by so much of society depending on digital notification, communications and connections. Sometimes the speed of change is coming so quickly, and the requirements are so daunting, it is easy to get overwhelmed. It may require you and your organization to shift your mindset completely. This may mean being able to experiment and look at things with a different perspective as long as they meet Federal, state and local guidelines. Ultimately, it is your reputation and your wallet on the line. Those days of blindly trusting all messages are within regulations and letting everyone row in their own direction are a thing of the past. You are going to have to be a part of the marketing plan and involve all members of your organization (including those independent contractors) into the process.
Any type of mass marketing program tends to have less flexibility. In order to make that work with the rest of your marketing, you may need to get creative. Figure out the best way to keep what's working and incorporate with other parts that can be flexible for your existing and future clients, so they have a clear path to recommend others.
As creative thinkers and entrepreneurs, we have been attacking this type of change by throwing different technologies at it. Technology can certainly help, however, I caution that it requires a much more personal approach to organize and make sure all automated or systematic processes are still working together as efficiently as possible. One of the biggest problems is getting away from thinking, "we do it this way because it's always been done this way." Or continuing to believe that, "this is the only way" of performing the action. By opening minds to more creative measures and seeing how it not only fits but makes life easier, should be your ultimate goal.
Most of the time, this is going to require communication, input and involvement with all parts of your organization. Even those who are thinking, "I'm a one person business," need to have a mind shift. Every component of your business, whether automated or not, requires human interaction and needs to be integrated and working together. It's not difficult to see the rate of change is happening quickly. The cool thing is that you recognize what part is holding you back and use this new knowledge to progress forward.