San Diego, CA – January 26th, 2011 – ChiroTouch, the nation's leader in chiropractic software, has just released it's latest article, titled "Acupuncture and Massage in Chiropractic - Is it Right for Your Practice?"Acupuncture and Massage in Chiropractic -- Is It Right for Your Practice?
Chiropractors are used to thinking outside the box when it comes to treating patients. Where a general practitioner might prescribe an anti-inflammatory, a chiropractor could provide equal, if not better benefits with a simple adjustment. This willingness to go against the flow of traditional medicine and incorporate a holistic view of treatment is what sets chiropractic apart as a discipline.
That being said, however, some chiropractors are resistant to the idea of using other therapies like massage or acupuncture to treat their patients. However, these therapies shouldn't be discounted so quickly. In fact, one of the rising trends among higher-end chiropractic practices is the incorporation of acupuncture and massage with traditional chiropractic treatment.
Physical Benefits of Acupuncture and Massage:
First, it's helpful to understand a little about the physical benefits of acupuncture and massage. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence about the benefits of massage and acupuncture, but there is also a significant amount of medical research on the subject. Of the scientific studies done on massage and acupuncture, there are several obvious conclusions.
First, both massage and acupuncture are beneficial for stress. They promote a relaxed state in the body, and can help your clients feel better almost immediately. This sense of well-being and pain relief is of course temporary, but can give your clients' bodies a chance to have some "down time" from being stressed, which can help with their recovery, and make your treatments more effective.
Secondly, massage and acupuncture are stimulating. Both stimulate blood flow when done properly, which can certainly help with the healing process when it comes to basic chiropractic complaints, including back pain, joint pain, and long-term low level bodily pain.
Additionally, massage and acupuncture have both been shown to increase joint flexibility, another goal of chiropractic treatment. Massage and acupuncture treatments can both release pent-up tension in muscles and joints, which helps the healing process and increases your patient's range of motion.
Finally, much like chiropractic, massage and acupuncture can both promote better posture. This is a great way to help your patients maintain good posture and bodily poses through a natural and enjoyable method, and in a way that will help make sure that they're not simply undoing all your treatment as soon as they get back home.
Benefits to Your Practice:
With this in mind, there are a number of benefits to incorporating massage and acupuncture in your practice. First, both make an excellent stream of alternative revenue. Whether you subcontract out to various local practitioners or you decide to hire a massage therapist or acupuncturist full-time, this is a great way to diversify your profits, especially since both massage and acupuncture are becoming ever more popular for alternative treatments.
Additionally, providing such advanced kinds of alternative treatments demonstrates to potential clients that your practice is on the cutting-edge of the profession. Those who are interested in chiropractic are more often than not interested in other alternative treatments as well, and being able to provide all of those treatments in one place is both convenient for the client and impressive in terms of the quality of service offered. This can be a quick and easy way to set your practice apart from others in your area.
Finally, one of the greatest benefits of offering holistic services such as acupuncture and massage is the almost immediate results that patients get. Massage and acupuncture are innately relaxing and soothing and make the patient feel better immediately, which gives them a better impression of your practice. If they are seeing immediate results, they're more likely to stick with your chiropractic treatment until the long-term results associated with traditional chiropractic show up. This means that they are more likely to see real benefits in a relatively short amount of time, meaning that you are virtually guaranteed more repeat visits and they are more likely to refer other clients to you.
How You Can Do It:
There are several ways that you can incorporate acupuncture and massage into your practice. First, you can get the training yourself. There are a number of physiotherapy colleges that offer basic training in both acupuncture and massage and you can get certification to perform basic therapies fairly quickly.
If you are uncomfortable performing the procedures yourself you can also choose to work with the practitioners in your community. Many massage therapist and acupuncturists do on-location calls, and it's easy to work out an arrangement where they rent a room from you or agree to work at your practice on certain days of the week.
You can also choose to hire a massage therapist or acupuncturist outright, which can be the best way to go if you are planning on using them extensively. With all the new HIPAA privacy regulations it can actually be easier to hire your therapists on a part-time basis than it is to go through all of the certifications necessary for them to be able to use your EHR system or have access to your patient records. It all really depends on exactly how much you want to incorporate their services into your practice.
Massage therapy and acupuncture are two very hot topics in terms of alternative healthcare right now, and many top chiropractic practices are getting in on the market. Since there are very definite physical benefits to such treatments and it is clear that offering such treatments can benefit your practice, deciding whether or not to incorporate such therapies into your normal treatment plans certainly merits some serious thought.