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Marketing Your Specialty Practice

Private Practice Has Two Public Faces: Your Website and Your Reception Desk

In Your Private Practice, Are There Public Barriers to Finding and Retaining New Patients?

You’ve probably given a lot of thought to customer service for your existing patients and marketing avenues to find new ones. But are you overlooking the two most significant public faces of your private practice?

In short, your website and your reception desk are key areas of your practice that you can’t afford to ignore.

Your Private Practice Website

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about search engine optimization (SEO) for your website—making sure that patients who are searching for your specialty in your area will find you first. But don’t forget to think about what patients will find on your site when they get there! If they click away, you’ve wasted all your SEO efforts.

In many cases, your website will be the first impression of your practice for new patients. What does it tell them about your business? Remember, there’s the actual content of the site (the text itself) and then there are the subtle aspects that have psychological influence—the colors and images you present, the professional (or amateur) look of your site, and the amount of care that goes into the text so that it is clear and compelling—but not pushy.

Take a long look at your private practice website. Is it clean and simple? Is information easy to find? Does it answer the small questions that new patients will have, like how to find your office and whether their insurance will be filed? Does it answer their bigger questions, like why they should choose your office over someone else’s?

Optimizing Your Reception Desk

We sometimes talk about the reception “desk” as if it were an object. Of course, there’s more to reception than an actual desk, or even the people who staff it. The reception desk, in a sense, is a process. It’s how patients get greeted when they walk in the door, whether they are new or ongoing clients. It’s the atmosphere of the entire office, not just the waiting area. It’s also the experience that patients have when they call your office, whether it’s the first call about a new consultation or a question about billing.

As a process, the reception desk provides three aspects of customer service:

  1. Making a smooth transition from website to office
  2. Meeting the patient’s needs during the visit
  3. Following up after the visit

Do you know how that process feels to your patients? (Have you surveyed them, and continually asked for feedback, to find out?) Consider giving these questions at least as much consideration as your marketing budget or payroll issues, because without the answers to these questions, your practice may not be sustainable in the long term.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

Private Practice and the New Word of Mouth Process

What Private Practice Owners Must Understand About Content Marketing

Content marketing is effective, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s what private practice owners need to know.

You’ve heard it again and again in the past couple of years: content marketing is the new and most effective way to reach new patients for your private practice.

You may even have a pretty good idea of what content marketing IS, in theory, and why it should help your private practice thrive.

But do you know the particulars? In other words, exactly what kind of content should you be producing and disseminating on a regular basis to support your private practice marketing plan?

Remember first of all that the two main purposes of content marketing are to gain trust and to position yourself as an authority. (Guess what? Self-promotion is not the main focus of the content you should be producing.)

With that in mind, here are several types of content that everyone in private practice should be offering to prospective patients.

A blog on your website with curated content. You don’t have to produce all the content for a blog on your own. Instead, offer weekly (or more often) curated posts on a specific topic relevant to your private practice. Give readers a brief summary of news, videos, blog articles, and other online resources on one topic along with links.

A library of articles on your private practice site that address common questions and concerns. Think of this as cornerstone content that creates the foundation of your content marketing strategy. What do patients ask you the most? What are prospective patients searching for? You can provide the answers they need.

Ebooks on narrow topics that prospective patients frequently search for on Google. You can create a series of short, informative ebooks that go into more detail about common concerns that bring patients to your private practice.

Remember, any of these types of content marketing for private practice can be effectively outsourced.

Did you know that we offer mentoring and coaching programs to help private practice owners just like you? Click here to read more.

Autonomic Neuropathy: More Dangerous than You Think

Autonomic Neuropathy: More Dangerous than You Think

If you read our articles often, you know that we usually talk about peripheral neuropathy in terms of the pain and inconvenience it can cause for your patients.  We usually write about quality of life, but it’s also important to know about a much more serious element that can threaten the lives of the people you treat: autonomic neuropathy.

Autonomic neuropathy is the term that means damage has been done to the nerves that control the automatic functions of your body.  These functions include blood pressure, heart rate, bowel and bladder emptying, and digestion.  When the nerves are damaged, these functions can start to behave incorrectly.  It can be dangerous and even life-threatening when this happens.

If your patients are presenting with symptoms of nerve damage like numbness or tingling, loss of motor control, sexual dysfunction, dizziness and sweating, or loss of hot and cold sensation, they may also have more serious damage to the nerves controlling your organs.

Nothing builds a powerful specialty practice like incredible results!

Many cases of autonomic neuropathy accompany cases of peripheral neuropathy that have more easily-noticed symptoms.  With autonomic neuropathy, a patient’s body can have trouble controlling their blood pressure, they might not digest food correctly, or they could have problems regulating their body temperature.  These conditions are dangerous!

Make sure your patients know they could be at serious risk!

Autonomic neuropathy isn’t a disease of its own, and it’s not caused by any one thing.  If your patients  suffer from injuries, have had an amputation, or even spend long amounts of time sitting still, they can be at risk of developing nerve damage.  As you probably know, though, autonomic neuropathy goes along with a disease or condition, such as:

  • Alcoholism
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer (specifically, chemotherapy)
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Lupus

If you work with patients who suffer from any of these conditions, be on the lookout for autonomic neuropathy.   Don’t rule out a patient just because he or she doesn’t have any of the “peripheral” symptoms!  Even if they are symptom-free, a patient might have damage threatening their organs.  We can’t emphasize enough that catching neuropathy early, especially the autonomic kind, gives you more treatment options and is the best way to help your patients.  Don’t forget: we’re talking about a life-threatening condition!

How can you determine if a patient’s organs are in danger?

Ask questions.  Patients can be shy about their lifestyle, exercise, diet, habits, and so on, but they’re the best source of information.  Remind them that you are here to help, not to judge.  It is vital to know any symptoms they might have, or any relevant medications or existing conditions that might contribute to neuropathy.

If you have any questions about how to examine a patient for signs of neuropathy, contact us! NeuropathyDR® has the resources you need to detect autonomic neuropathy early.  Most commonly, an examination of the extremities for infections or sores is a good first step, along with testing for blood pressure irregularities.  For autonomic neuropathy in particular, an ultrasound can help determine if the internal organs are functioning correctly.  There are also a number of other tests that are specific to certain organs such as the bladder, stomach, or lungs.

For autonomic neuropathy, taking the best care of your patient can mean a couple of different treatments used together to keep them healthy.  Several kinds of medications are available which will help slow the effects of nerve damage and reduce the symptoms.  Contact us for guidance on specific medications that might help; it can vary from patient to patient.

It can also be helpful to instruct patients about ways to make your everyday routine more conducive for living with neuropathy (again, NeuropathyDR® is a valuable resource for you in this area).  Patients usually have to adjust their diet, and certain kinds of exercise may be more dangerous to people with neuropathy.  We can help you find the best foods to recommend to your patients, as well as help develop exercise plans that are safe and beneficial to them.

There’s no absolute cure for neuropathy, but becoming a NeuropathyDR® doctor will equip you to help your patients when it comes to keeping them safe from the different kinds of neuropathy.  Remember, don’t wait!  The earlier you catch neuropathy, the better you can help!

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/autonomic-neuropathy/DS00544

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000776.htm

http://www.ccjm.org/content/68/11/928.full.pdf+html

 

 

Helping Your Diabetic Neuropathy Patients

If you have patients who are living with diabetes, chances are you are no stranger to making diagnoses of neuropathy.  While some patients (even those who do have nerve damage) might experience no symptoms at all, about 60 to 70 percent of diabetics experience pain, soreness, loss of sensation, tingling in the extremities, and even digestive problems—or other conditions related to organ complications—all symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.  Diabetes is, in turn, one of the most common causes of neuropathy overall.

A patient’s risk of developing diabetes-related neuropathy actually increases with age and extenuating health considerations (such as being overweight), partially because patients who have problems with glucose control for extended periods of time—25 years or more—are more susceptible.

The best defense against diabetic neuropathy is to get and keep blood sugar under control.

So, what causes a patient who has diabetes to develop neuropathic symptoms?  Research is occasionally unclear on the subject, but it is generally agreed that exposure to high blood glucose (high blood sugar) has a negative effect on nerve condition.  Of course, this is in addition to other conditions or lifestyle factors commonly associated with causing or exacerbating neuropathy, such as injury, metabolic inconsistencies, inherited traits, or substance abuse.

There are a few kinds of neuropathy associated with diabetes, the most common being peripheral neuropathy (this is the type usually referred to when people simply say “neuropathy;” but we’ll get to the other types in a moment).  Peripheral neuropathy is characterized by pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of motor function, among other sensation-related symptoms.  This type is written about extensively, and can greatly impact quality of life for its sufferers.  Most treatments available to medical practitioners target peripheral neuropathy, so the good news is, there are plenty of ways for you to treat this type.

Focal and proximal neuropathy result in muscle weakness and pain, and typically target a specific nerve grouping.  These types of neuropathy are commonly characterized by weakness in the legs, causing difficulty standing and walking.  This type of neuropathy often accompanies peripheral neuropathy, so be on the lookout for patients who experience weakness alongside loss of sensation or soreness.

Autonomic neuropathy, as the name implies, causes changes in autonomic bodily functions.  These include bowel and bladder functions, sexual responses, and digestion.  Autonomic neuropathy can be life-threatening in extreme cases, as it also affects nerves that serve the heart, lungs, and eyes.  Especially troubling to diabetic patients is the resulting condition of hypoglycemia unawareness, which can obliviate the symptoms most diabetics associate with low glucose.

It is recommended for any diabetic patients to receive at least an annual foot exam.  If neuropathy has already been diagnosed, a patient’s feet should be examined much more frequently.   Additional to diabetic amputation concerns, you should test your patient’s protective sensation by pricking their foot with a pin, or running monofilament across their skin.  If your patient has lost protective sensation, he or she could be at risk to develop sores that might not heal properly, leading to infection.  If you have any questions about the proper methods to use in examining diabetic patients for neuropathy, contact NeuropathyDR®.  We can be sure you have the tools and knowledge you need!

For other types of neuropathy, properly-trained clinicians should perform a check of heart rate variability to detect how a patient’s heart rate changes in response to changes in blood pressure and posture.  Ultrasound imaging is also useful to diagnose autonomic neuropathies and to ensure other internal organs such as the kidneys and bladder are functioning properly.

To control diabetic neuropathy, it is important to advise patients to maintain a tight blood sugar control and a healthy diet (this methodology is advisable for diabetics in general, of course).   Even if a patient does not have symptoms of neuropathy, regular checkups are wise.  NeuropathyDR® can train you to spot warning signs of factors that could endanger your patients’ nerve function or even be life-threatening.  In addition, we can help you treat pain symptoms by providing valuable information about appropriate medications.

If your patients have diabetes, they are at risk!  Don’t let neuropathic symptoms go unchecked.  Remember, the sooner neuropathy is diagnosed, the easier it will be to treat and to slow the progression of this degenerative condition.  NeuropathyDR® clinicians are trained to identify the various types of neuropathy and recommend the treatments that help their patients retain their quality of life.  If you have any questions about treating patients who have or might have diabetic neuropathy, contact us!

http://www.medicinenet.com/diabetic_neuropathy/article.htm

http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/neuropathies/

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/neuropathy/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetic-neuropathy/DS01045

 

 

The FULL Imact of Sleep, Sleep Apnea and Neuropathy

 

If you treat patients with neuropathy and pain, you’re probably very familiar with complaints about lack of sleep, trouble staying asleep, and general restlessness at night.  It’s hardly surprising, given the intensity of many neuropathic conditions, that they make it tough to rest.  Insomnia (lack of sleep) affects almost half of the overall population, but among neuropathy sufferers, that ratio jumps to over seventy percent (according to the Journal of Pain Medicine). Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep for most adults, regardless of their age or gender, an intimidating goal for people whose chronic pain keeps them up at night.

Research suggests that sleep apnea, a common cause of insomnia, can actually cause peripheral neuropathy, as well. Beyond a mere relationship, studies have shown that apnea is a high-risk condition among the insulin-resistant, which could likely be affecting incidents of neuropathy among diabetics in very direct ways. Some doctors have reported that treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea has actually helped their cold or numb extremities recover, indicating another condition (possibly Raynaud’s phenomenon) masquerading as neuropathy.  If patients suffer from sleep apnea, CPAP treatment may be a viable avenue to explore to address their tingling or loss of sensation.

Regardless of the root cause, your patients’ pain can intensify in the evening hours, both in reality and in their own perception (fewer distractions of the day can cause a patient to focus more on their pain the closer they get to bedtime).

Insomnia from neuropathy can perpetuate its own problem, too.  Not only is your patients’ neuropathy prodigious when it comes to nighttime restlessness, but the resulting lack of sleep can make the pain even worse!  Rest is essential to recovery and treatment, and a patient’s lack of sleep can lower their pain threshold drastically.  Take into consideration that insomnia, diabetes, and other imbalances related to neuropathy can also contribute to high stress, depression, and mood disorders, and your treatment plan become that much more complicated.

If you’re treating patients whose insomnia could be caused by neuropathy (or vice-versa), NeuropathyDR® can provide the tools and information you need to help them get a good night’s sleep.  Specifics vary from patient to patient, of course, but here are some general guidelines that might be useful:

  • Instruct them to keep a regular sleeping schedule.  Getting to bed and getting up at the same times each day is one of the best ways for them to teach their body to sleep correctly.
  • Patients should limit their intake of caffeine and any medication that incorporates a stimulant, especially in the evening hours.
  • Avoiding heavy foods in the evening is important.  Metabolism continues hours after we eat, and the resultant energy boost can be bad for sleep.  Many cultures eat their biggest meal of the day in the morning and only a small snack at dinnertime for this reason.
  • Turning off the TV and computer a few hours before bed is a good idea.  Mileage varies from person to person, but electronics tend to stimulate the senses.  Suggest a book or quiet conversation, instead.
  • Counsel patients to adjust their environment to be ideal for sleeping.  They should layer covers to ensure they stay warm but not hot, and should minimize light and noise.

In addition to great care from you as a first line, there are a number of herbal and natural sleep aids as well, which may help insomniacs fall asleep quickly.  Sleep expert Elizabeth Shannon recommends entertaining a number of stress-relief methods, psychological conditioning, and homeopathic solutions for insomnia before resorting to pharmaceutical sleep aids, which can often form dependencies and, over time, exacerbate the problems associated with restlessness.

Of course, for severe chronic pain, prescription medications may be necessary.  Ultram, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and acetaminophen, codeine, and morphine might be used in more extreme cases. Some antidepressants or anticonvulsants could be valuable as well, depending on the specific symptoms your patient is presenting.  Benzodiazepine and nonbenzodiazepine anti-anxiety medication is also occasionally helpful, again, depending on specific symptoms.  If you have questions about pharmaceutical sleep aids, NeuropathyDR® can help provide guidance for you.

Be sure to remind patients that altering their sleep pattern won’t happen overnight (so to speak)!  It could be three to four weeks before any changes made to their routine begin to have meaningful impact on their success.  Often, since changes in routine can be unsettling in themselves, restlessness can become worse before it gets better.  Contact NeuropathyDR® and we can give you even more information about how to help your patients suffering from neuropathy to get the rest they need.

http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/content/159/1/213.full

http://www.webmd.com/brain/understanding-peripheral-neuropathy-basics

http://www.sleeplessnomore.com/

http://www.neuropathy.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8145&news_iv_ctrl=1221

Maximum Patient Benefit and Recovery-CCTxs

Patient Co-Treatment Plans CCTxs

One of the biggest clinical lessons that has come from our work with peripheral neuropathy patients is just how powerful “Patient Co-Treatment Plans” can be.

Traditionally, we might think of patient components of recovery from illness as a relatively passive home care program such as “just take these twice a day” or “do these exercises”.

Clinical Co-Treatment Plans (CCTxs) involve much more specific, multifaceted approaches to patient care, that not so surprisingly yield often greater results in several areas than just professional advice or professional treatment programs alone.

Some of the keys to CCTxs success lie squarely in getting the patient to accept responsibility for all the components needed to foster maximum results. Commonly observed side benefits may include enhanced family support, approval and greater involvement of other health care providers and especially reduced use of pain and psychotropic drugs.

CCTxs typically consist of dietary advice, timed exercise and stretches, massage, oral and topical medications and supplements and in the neuropathy patient, use of the Clinical Co Treatment Kit.

You CAN Learn to Help More Patients with CCTxs

With just a little foresight, the same principles can and should be applied to a vast array of health conditions.

We have found it extraordinarily beneficial to specifically package CCTxs with custom iPhone®/ipad® Apps, DVDs and books, newsletters and exercise books or sheets.

Be sure that any supplementation or medication is always supplied with detailed written instructions. We attach specific, written and sometimes color coded instructions to each bottle or applicator.

But the real key to success is indoctrinating your staff and patient families from the outset that your approach to treatment mandates CCTxs.

You see, when you mandate patient co-operation as part of case acceptance, patient compliance is usually greater. There are also far fewer questions about fees, length and extent of care. The value added benefits of dealing with your office as opposed to a competitors becomes readily apparent. Most of all, your role as teacher with these patients can reduce office stress levels and interrupting phone calls dramatically!

But another less thought of benefit from running your professional health care practice in this way becomes positioning and marketing.

When the community understands the depth of your concern is far greater than making payroll, referrals seem to magically follow. It becomes Disney-sequel- patients can’t resist telling others. New Patient flow tends to come like a freight train with patients and their families who are clamoring for this type of care.

Of course, this is especially true as we move towards a public system of healthcare in which these “touches” have all but vanished forever.

So, how do you actually implement CCTxs in practice?

Obviously, take a look at what’s out there and don’t reinvent he wheel. If you are a neuropathy clinician, we’ve already done all the work for you!

By the same token, if you have an idea, first sketch it out. Be sure to include all the components needed to foster not only patient recovery, but also compliance.

Keep in mind, today, you must build in all the appropriate self-care tools, including books, DVDs, and now especially those that will “push” information in a consistent, replicable manner.  Timed information and self-help content that will also allow for patient (or a family caregiver) self determined interaction.

I’m clearly talking about automated SMS (mobile device text communications) and mobile device apps, which will have an ever-expanding role in private health care practices.

In the coming days, I’ll be showing you precisely how all of this technology can be tied together seamlessly with CCTxs to not only educate your patients, but also become part of the vast repertoire of social media as well as traditional marketing and private practice development and management.

The future success of private practice will mandate such an approach.

Stay tuned to http://neuropathydrprofessionals.com

Marketing the Specialty Practice in 2013

You know the issues…

Your chiropractic, physical therapy or medical practice offers a myriad of special services…

•       For women to combat the effects of osteoporosis and/or hormonal issues

•       Sports rehabilitation services for the athlete

•       Recuperative and NeuropathyDR® Treatments for seriously ill patients

 

Any of these specialties should be bringing in the kind of varied patient population that would not only keep your practice exciting but do great things for your bank balance as well.

 

Still, day after day, you treat the strained back from the construction worker or the sore knees of the weekend warrior.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  You just know you could be doing more.

You know the demand for your real expertise and special services is out there but for some reason you’re not reaching them.

It’s not a lost cause…

Try these tips for reaching the kind of varied patients you know you can help:

Get In Front Of Your Prospects

You know you can help all these patients but if they don’t know you exist, you can’t help them.

You have to take your message to them.  Go where you know they are.

If you want to treat sport injuries or athletes, advertise with the local marathon organizers.

If you want to specialize in senior care, get your message out to the local senior centers and retirement communities.

For chiropractors and physical therapists:  If women are your target market, start networking with ob/gyn’s referrals or speak at local professional women’s clubs on the benefits of specialty care for common female complaints.

 

What’s In It For The Patient?

When you get in front of your prospective market, don’t dwell on how great you are or how you’re an expert in whatever field.

Emphasize what’s in it for them.

Greater mobility, playing golf, or enjoying the grandchildren…

Less pain…

Success and healing are both so formulaic…

Literally, getting their freedom or their life back…

You have to sell the benefits of your treatment, not your expertise.  Always make sure that your top priority in marketing, initially, is answering the patients all important “What’s in it for me?”

Don’t Forget The Power Of Referrals

Referrals can be an invaluable resource for building your practice.

The art of getting referrals from other professionals takes time to develop but if you learn to foster and develop relationships between your practice and referring practices, you will reap the benefits for years to come.

If you get referrals from another practice or specialty, always make those patients a top priority.  See them when it’s convenient for them and do it as quickly as possible.  If you develop a reputation for giving top notch care to the referrals you receive, your fellow practitioners won’t hesitate to send you more patients.

And always, always thank the referring doctor for every patient they send you.  And don’t forget your referring doctors’ staff members.  They are often overlooked but many of the referrals you receive will really come from a referring practitioner’s front desk staff.  They’re the ones who hand out your card, give people your web address, or even call to setup appointments.

It has taken years for you to become a specialist.  And you expended the time and effort in your particular specialty because you knew there were people out there who needed your help.

They are your target market.

You have a priceless opportunity to help your prospective patients and grow your practice into a thriving concern all at the same time.

Go where your patients are, show up in their web space and social media, at your live events be sure to tell them what’s in it for them, build your enormous referral network and you’ll be well on your way to living and practicing by design.

And when you are ready to expand your horizons even further, go to http://perfectpracticeweb.com/home or call me 24/7 at 781-754-0599 John

Alternative Therapies for Your Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy Patients

Alternative Therapies for Your Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy Patients

One of the more challenging patient populations you can treat is the chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patient.  They’ve already been through the cancer diagnosis and are either in the midst of chemotherapy or they’ve finished their treatment.

Just when they think they’re done with all the side effects of chemotherapy, they’re visited with[1]

–       Shooting pain

–       Burning and numbness

–       Tingling in the hands and feet

–       Inability to sleep because of the pain

These Patients Require All Your Skills!

Can you imagine the frustration?

Chances are really good that no one told them that chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) was a potential side effect of their treatment because, let’s face it, no one can really predict which patients will develop chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.  Why bring it up if you don’t know for certain that it’s going to happen?

For many, their symptoms last well beyond their chemotherapy.

For your CIPN patients, the first option is, of course, drugs to deal with the pain.  But many chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patients are choosing to be more proactive and do everything they can to alleviate their current symptoms and lessen the possibility of permanent nerve damage.  They don’t just want to take a pill to make them feel better. They want to give their bodies the best treatments available.

What Else Can They Do?

More and more CIPN patients are opting for what used to be called “alternative medicine” treatments.  While many think of anything outside of conventional medicine as “alternative”, that’s really not accurate.  Alternative treatments are defined as anything not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  The treatments we’re talking about here are more complementary or integrative therapies.  In other words, they’re therapies used in addition to and to complement traditional medicine, not taking the place of it.

Because of the growing popularity (and effectiveness) of these complementary and integrative therapies, the medical community has actually named them – Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Some complementary and alternative therapies providing good results for chemotherapy induced chemotherapy patients are:

–       Cancer treatment specific diets

–       Herbal supplements

–       Non-herbal supplements (like Vitamins B6 and B12, alpha lipoic acid)

–       Acupuncture

–       Massage therapy and Reflexology

–       Exercise

–       Homeopathic and ayurvedic medicine

Any of these therapies, in the hands of skilled practitioner, is a great complement to your chemotherapy and other cancer treatment and can provide substantial relief from chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy pain.  Offering these services to your chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patients is an excellent way to treat the whole patient and not just the symptoms.

Involve Their Oncologist

Before you start any Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatments with your chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patients, talk to their oncologists.[2] Make sure that what you’re planning to do will not have an adverse effect on their chemotherapy regimen (some antioxidants do).  Always keep the oncologist in the loop on what you’re doing to complement or following a chemotherapy regimen.

Why These Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments Work

Many of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine regimens we mentioned above will help deal with and even alleviate some chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

The body is a finely tuned instrument and all the systems work together.  Massage therapy, acupuncture and Reflexology can help with muscle pain and stimulate the systems within the body to fight the cancer.

Certain supplements can help give the body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to repair itself and eliminate the possibility of permanent nerve damage caused by chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.


Treating the Whole Patient By Working With The Whole Team

None of the medical specialties treating chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patients operates in a vacuum.  You all need to know what the others are doing.

Luckily, most oncologists these days are familiar with the Complementary and Alternative Therapies chemotherapy patients are turning to for relief from the chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms.  Make sure that you involve your patients’ other treaters in your care by communicating with them.  By integrating your Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatments into the overall treatment program, you have a much better chance of giving your patients the optimum results they deserve.

When you are ready, let them know you’re there to help them.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

 

 

Designing Treatments for Lupus Patients

 

As physicians, we’re accustomed to a certain amount of variety in treating different patients with the same illness.

After all, we’re treating individuals.

But when you take on lupus patients, you’re taking the concept of variety in symptoms and outcomes to a whole new level.

Granted, there are specific symptoms to the various types of lupus, but no two lupus patients are the same.

Lupus is an ever changing illness with periods of activity and rest that are as different as the patients they affect.

Those differences can make developing a treatment plan difficult to say the least.

And when you add peripheral neuropathy caused by lupus to the mix of symptoms[1], you have an even more complex set of issues to treat and, hopefully, stay ahead of.

If you have any hope of preventing serious neuropathy complications in your lupus patients, you have to be diligent in monitoring your patients’ symptoms and, even more importantly, your patients have to be very conscious of their symptoms and keep you advised of any changes as soon as they happen.

That means you need to educate your lupus patients on their illness and peripheral neuropathy.

Helping Patients Lupus and Peripheral Neuropathy

Because the peripheral nervous system can be affected by lupus, every system of the body that is regulated by the peripheral nervous system can be damaged[2].

That means the nerves that control involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and perspiration.  Your patients need to understand that their body many not be able to regulate their heart rate or blood pressure, they might not be able to properly digest food,  their  kidneys can be damaged and they could develop urinary problems.

And even worse, lupus can cause serious problems with inflammation.  That can lead to:

–          Inflammation of the sac around the heart

–          Diseases of the heart valves

–          Inflammation of the actual heart muscle

–          Inflammation of the tissue around the lungs or pleurisy

Now, imagine having any of these issues and having peripheral neuropathy, too…

The peripheral nervous system isn’t functioning properly and can’t send the proper signals to the brain to let them know they have a problem.

It’s easy to see why this could be serious.  By educating your patients on these possible problems and the symptoms they present early on, they can keep a watchful eye out for any symptoms and get in to you see you before they have a potentially deadly problem.

Treating Lupus Patients with Peripheral Neuropathy

Once you take a very thorough history and physical (preferably one following the NeuropathyDR® protocol for lupus patients), you’ll have a better handle on your patient’s condition.  Pay particular attention to their symptoms, when they began, the severity of the discomfort, and any and all medications they currently take (including over the counter medications, herbal supplements or vitamins).

Once you’ve complete the history and physical, the next step in the NeuropathyDR® protocol will be to order some tests. Depending upon your patient’s actual symptoms and which systems seem to be affected, these tests might include:

∙           Neurological exam

∙           Electromyography

∙           Nerve conduction velocity test

∙           Antinuclear antibody test

∙           Blood tests

∙           Urine test

∙           Skin biopsy

Once the tests are completed and you determine your patient has peripheral neuropathy associated with lupus, you can design a specific treatment program based on your patients’ specific symptoms and adjust it as they enter periods of remission or as their symptoms change.

Lupus is not curable and your patient should understand this from the outset.  Your NeuropathyDR® treatment protocol should focus on relieving pain by reducing inflammation, repairing any nerve damage with nerve stimulation, slowing joint and bone damage and improving your patients’ ability to function with their disease.

Focus on:

∙           Rest and stress management.

∙           Exercise programs designed specifically for your individual patient based on their physical limitations.

∙           Pain medication as needed.

∙           Drug therapy as needed.

∙           Safety precautions to deal with the possible loss of sensation, especially in the hands and feet, due to peripheral neuropathy.

The NeuropathyDR® protocol is ideally suited to treating lupus and the peripheral neuropathy it can cause.

Early intervention with a physician well versed in treating lupus and peripheral neuropathy, like a NeuropathyDR® clinician, is their best course of action.  While you can’t cure them, you can help them achieve a better quality of life and lessen the chance of severe and possibly fatal complications.

When you’re trained and ready to work with them, let them know you’re there.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

 

 

 


Treating Patients with Hypoglycemia and Autonomic Neuropathy

If you’re treating patients with diabetes, chances are very good that you’ve also got patients with hypoglycemia.

Many patients with diabetes are so accustomed to their symptoms that they don’t pay attention to the subtle changes that can present with hypoglycemia.  Often, they won’t have the very dramatic symptoms like loss of consciousness or diabetic coma.

More often, they have milder symptoms like[1]

∙           Tremor

∙           Sweating

∙           Heart palpitations

None of these are that severe and they might just write them off as a response to something going on in their everyday lives.  No big deal…nothing to worry about.

But they do have a problem and a potentially serious one.

That problem is hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia can occur in anyone with diabetes if they’re taking medication to lower their blood glucose.  If you have type 1 diabetes and you’re insulin dependent, you stand a good chance of developing hypoglycemia.

So how do you get these patients to come to you when they first notice these symptoms so you can help them with a proactive approach to their illness?

Educate your diabetes patients on the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and make sure they understand that the symptoms may appear to be mild but they can be physically devastating.

Understanding Why They May Not Recognize Symptoms

If your patient has type 1 diabetes, when their blood glucose levels fall, their insulin levels don’t decrease and their glucagon levels don’t increase.  They just reflect the body’s absorption of insulin.  It gives the body a false sense that all is right when all is wrong.   Because their body doesn’t register a problem, it loses its first two lines of defense against the imbalance in your system.  Their body’s normal response is impaired.

What Causes the Impairment?

Several things –

∙           The brain may have become used to hypoglycemia because it’s been dealing with it for awhile. If they’ve had frequent episodes, the system in the body responsible for transporting adrenaline to where it’s needed no longer senses a great need.  It just doesn’t respond.

∙           They may be using medications that mask their hypoglycemia symptoms and not even know it.  For example, if they take medications that are beta blockers, they’re designed to lessen the effects of adrenalin on the body.  They may not experience the tremors or heart palpitations that a normal person would during a hypoglycemic episode.  Beta blockers also block the liver from producing glucose so they’re giving the body a double whammy to deal with. Always ask your diabetic patients if they’re taking beta blockers as part of your history and physical.

∙           They may have autonomic neuropathy.  Explain to them that it’s a type of peripheral neuropathy that affects the nerves that control involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and perspiration.  The nerves are damaged and don’t function properly leading to a breakdown of the signals between the brain and the parts of the body affected by the autonomic nervous system like the heart, blood vessels, digestive system and sweat glands.  And, in their case, it may be inhibiting their liver from producing insulin.

Diagnosing and Treating Autonomic Neuropathy

Once you take a very thorough history and physical (preferably one following the NeuropathyDR® protocol for hypoglycemic and diabetic patients), you’ll have a better handle on your patient’s condition.  Pay particular attention to their symptoms, when they began, the severity of the discomfort, and any and all medications they currently take (including over the counter medications, herbal supplements or vitamins).

Watch for signs that they are not being completely up front about their diet, alcohol intake, frequency of exercise, history of drug use and smoking.  If they don’t tell the truth, you don’t have a clear picture of your physical condition.

Treatment and Prognosis

If you use the NeuropathyDR® protocol, you will find the treatment regimen ideally suited to treating diabetes, hypoglycemia and autonomic neuropathy.

Diabetes, hypoglycemia and autonomic neuropathy are chronic conditions but they can be treated and your patient can do things to help relieve their symptoms.

You can help them by offering[2]:

∙           Diet Planning and Nutritional Support

The body needs the proper the nutrition to heal.

If they have gastrointestinal issues caused by autonomic neuropathy, they need to make  sure they’re getting enough fiber and fluids to help the body function properly.  Provide them with a diet plan that ensures they get enough fiber, whole grains and drink enough      water.

If they have diabetes, work with them on a diet to control their blood sugar.

Devise a meal schedule as part of their dietary planning to keep their blood sugar levels as steady as possible.

∙          Individually Designed Exercise Programs

If your patient experiences exercise intolerance or blood pressure problems resulting  from autonomic neuropathy, develop an exercise regimen for them that will allow them to take things slowly but still work some physical activity into their daily routine.  Treating neuropathy patients requires specialized training in the design and monitoring of  exercise programs.  The NeuropathyDR® clinicians are specially trained in designing  exercise programs to meet the needs of the neuropathy patient.

Early intervention with a physician well versed in treating diabetes, hypoglycemia and autonomic neuropathy, like a NeuropathyDR® clinician, is still the best course of action. While you can’t reverse your patient’s condition if they have already developed neuropathy, you can help them achieve a better quality of life and lessen the chance of severe and possibly fatal complications.

When you’re trained and ready to work with them, let them know you’re there.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

 

 

 

 


[1] http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/neuropathies

[2] http://diabetes.webmd.com/complementary-and-alternative-diabetes-treatments

Good Foot Care – Keeping Your Diabetic Neuropathy Patients Healthy

Help Diabetics with Better Care

 

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing illnesses in America.

That means that if you don’t currently have patients with diabetes (unlikely, but possible), you will soon.

And that means you’re going to be treating patients with diabetic neuropathy, particularly in their feet.  According to the American Diabetes Association, one in five diabetes patients end up in the hospital with foot problems.  All too often those foot problems lead to amputation or raging systemic infections.

The best way to prevent these problems in your diabetic neuropathy patients is by educating them on how important it is to take care of their feet and to intervene as early as possible when they do develop problems.  Determine the extent of your diabetic neuropathy patient’s problems and then educate them on proper foot and diabetes care.

Step One  – The Thorough Foot Examination[1]

If you have patients with diabetic neuropathy, even if they don’t present with foot issues, you need to be proactive as their physician and ensure that you see them at least once a year for a complete foot examination.

When you’re examining their feet, make sure you:

•         Examine each foot between the toes and from toe to heel.  Make extensive notes in the chart of any problems by drawing or labeling the finding on the foot diagram.   If your patient has skin that is thin, fragile, shiny and hairless, they could have problems with their circulation and that means possible nerve damage.

•         Ask the patient if they’ve noticed any change in how their feet sweat.  If their feet don’t sweat as they normally would they can develop dry, cracked skin and those cracks can become infected.

•         If your patient is wearing nail polish, take it off.  Check for ingrown toenails, deformed nails or any type of nail fungus.

•         Make notes on the diagram and in the chart of any areas on the feet that are noticeably dry, red or warm to the touch.

Step Two  – Patient Education

In order to prevent serious problems, your diabetic neuropathy patients need to know how to care for their feet and what to watch for so they can come in to see you before they reach a point  of no return.

They need to:

•         Check their feet every day.  Look at their bare feet to make sure they don’t have any sores, blisters, or swelling.  If they can’t see the bottoms of their feet, they should use a mirror or ask someone else to check them.

•         Wash their feet every day and dry them completely to eliminate the possibility of fungus growth.

•         Use a good lotion on their feet to keep skin smooth and prevent dry, cracked skin.  Don’t use lotion between the toes – it will keep the skin there too moist and that breeds bacteria.

•         Trim their toenails but not too short.  Cut them straight across and file the edges with a nail file to prevent ingrown toenails.

•         Always wear shoes and socks – even inside the house.  If they have neuropathy, it’s just too easy to step on something and injure their feet without even feeling it.

•         Wear comfortable shoes, preferable shoes designed for people with diabetic neuropathy in their feet.  Check their shoes before they put them on and make sure the lining is intact and smooth and that nothing is in their shoes.  Talk to them about Medicare assistance with purchasing special shoes.

•         Never put their feet in hot water.  Always check the temperature of their bath water with the elbow before stepping into it.

•         Never use hot water bottles or heating pads on their feet.  Neuropathy makes it harder to sense extreme temperatures and they can burn their feet without even knowing it.

•         When sitting down, they should prop their feet up to keep the blood circulating.  Move the toes and ankles to keep the blood pumping.

•         Never cross their legs when sitting.

Don’t just tell them what they need to do and take it for granted that they understand what you’re telling them.  Ask your patient to demonstrate the steps to proper foot care so you know they know what you’re saying and that they are physically capable of doing what you’re telling them to do.

Offer your diabetic neuropathy patients an ongoing monitoring and follow up program.  Keep in touch and watch for any of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in the feet.   Diabetic neuropathy impairs the ability to feel pain in the extremities and they may not notice the problem until it’s too late for successful treatment.  It never hurts to have a fresh pair of eyes (yours) keeping watch over them.

When you’re trained and ready to treat them, let us help you reach them.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

 

Doing Everything You Can For Your Cancer Patients

Cancer brings many challenges into the lives of your patients…

Treatment options…

Disruption of normal activities…

Fear, anxiety and depression…

When treating your cancer and post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients, it’s easy to become focused on just the disease itself and the symptoms.  But don’t overlook their emotional and psychological issues.  These can be as debilitating as the disease itself and seriously affect treatment outcomes if not addressed.

Depression caused by chronic pain and frustration can derail an otherwise successful course of treatment.

When treating your cancer patients, strive to become a one stop shop for addressing not only their post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy and other physical side effects from treatment, but also a great resource for supportive services and information that can provide a tremendous benefit to your cancer patients.

Help them address some of the serious obstacles to successful treatment that most health care professionals don’t think about.

Patient Information Resources[1]

Make your office the one place your cancer patients know they can go to for current patient information and education about cancer treatment options, specific types of cancer, long and short term side effects of their chosen course of treatment.  When preparing your patient information materials, include education on cancer diagnosis, treatment, clinical trials, treatment side effects from chemotherapy or radiation and questions they should ask their doctors.  Provide them with a list of local resources that are available to assist them with the challenges they face as a cancer patient.

Support for Lifestyle Changes

A cancer diagnosis can mean serious lifestyle changes for your cancer patients.  Smokers will probably have to quit smoking; athletes will have to curtail some of their physical activity; patients who live alone may have to stay with family members while undergoing treatment.  All of these changes can lead to serious emotional issues.  Provide counseling to your cancer and post chemotherapy neuropathy patients on dealing with these lifestyle changes proactively.  Provide tips on what they should expect and the best ways to handle these short term challenges.

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Money

For cancer patients with no insurance or even less than adequate insurance, a cancer diagnosis can be especially devastating.  They may forego necessary prescriptions or even skip appointments. When trying to pay for their cancer treatment, they may find it difficult to even pay for the most basic necessities of life.  Become familiar with programs in your area that can assist your cancer patients with paying for medications, providing home health assistance, or even services that can help them with transportation to and from their health care providers.

Any assistance will help.  Fighting cancer is hard enough without the added worry of financial issues.  Just knowing that there are resources available to help might ward off the serious depression that can make recovery that much more difficult.

Keeping Track of Medical Information[2]

When a patient is undergoing chemotherapy, radiation or other treatment for cancer, they have mountains of information to keep track of.  They need to monitor when to take their medication, how to take it, keep up with medical appointments, monitor their symptoms, and make note of any and all side effects their experience.  They need to keep a written record of everything.  Provide them with a record book or specific forms to make it easier for them to write everything down and keep it in one place.  It will not only make it easier for your cancer patient to manage their medical information, it will make it much easier for you just having all their notes together in one place.

By providing all these additional support services to your cancer and post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients, your practice will become their go to health care provider for information and support.  Two things that they desperately need and will greatly appreciate.

When you are ready to provide these services, let them know you’re there to help them.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.


[1] http://www.cancer.net/patient/Publications+and+Resources

[2] http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Disease/PsychosocialCancer/

The Whole Package – Nutrition Planning for Your Post-Chemotherapy Patients

Treating patients in the recovery stage of cancer, the post-chemotherapy patient, can be incredibly rewarding.

They’ve already been through the fire.

Now they’re looking for your help in dealing with issues of recovery – coming to terms with the side effects from

∙           Chemotherapy

∙           Radiation

∙           Experimental treatments including possible hormone therapy

Chances are your post-chemotherapy patients are suffering from

∙           Loss of appetite

∙           Nausea and other digestive issues

∙           Post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy

∙           Dry mouth

Or some combination of these post-chemotherapy symptoms.

One of the most important pieces of the post-chemotherapy recovery puzzle is nutritional support.

If you’re not already offering diet and nutrition counseling to your post-chemotherapy patients, it’s time to start. More and more research is confirming that proper nutrition is key in successful recovery from chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, as well as recovering from the cancer itself.

The body requires essential materials, vitamins and nutrients, to heal.  Without them, no medical treatment has any hope of succeeding.

Helping your post-chemotherapy patients with planning their diet and making food appealing again will work wonders for the success rate of your treatment in this patient population.

Here are some things to think about when designing a cancer recovery nutrition program:

Basic Cancer Nutrition Tips[1]

The post-chemotherapy patient’s body (or even the patient preparing to start chemotherapy) needs increased support for the immune system.  The best option for doing that is a diet rich in whole foods that are easy on the digestive system.  Make sure your patients’ cancer recovery diet includes foods that are high in anti-oxidants and protein.  Your post-chemotherapy patient diet plan should include foods rich in vitamins, especially vitamins C, D and E and nutrients like soy isoflavones, amino acids, folic acid, l-glutamine, calcium and carotenoids.  Encourage your patients to drink as much water as possible and don’t worry about keeping their calorie count low.  This is the time to take in all the calories they need, as long as the calories come from beneficial foods.

Chemotherapy and radiation may affect your post-chemotherapy patients’ ability to digest foods so encourage them to invest in a good food processor and/or juicer.  Both of these tools will allow them to prepare foods that are easy to ingest and digest while still getting the nutrition they need.

Foods To Rebuild The Post-Chemotherapy Patient’s Body

It’s easy to say “eat foods that are high in vitamins” but your post-chemotherapy patients may not know exactly which foods they need.  Here are some suggestions for foods to aid in cancer recovery and fighting chemotherapy symptoms[2]:

Vitamin C

∙           Red cabbage

∙           Kiwi fruit

∙           Oranges

∙           Red and Green Bell Peppers

∙           Potatoes

Vitamin D

∙           Salmon and tuna

Vitamin E

∙           Nuts, including almonds and peanuts

∙           Avocados

∙           Broccoli

Carotenoids

∙           Apricots

∙           Carrots

∙           Greens, especially collard greens and spinach

∙           Sweet potatoes

Soy Isoflavones

∙           Soybeans

∙           Tofu

∙           Soy milk – this could also be helpful if you need to go lactose-free

Folic Acid

∙           Asparagus

∙           Dried beans

∙           Beets

∙           Brussels sprouts

∙           Garbanzo beans

∙           Lentils

∙           Turkey

These are just a few examples.  If you’re unsure about other nutrition recommendations, talk to us.  We can help assist you in devising diet plans that will help rebuild their immune systems.

Use Herbs and Spices to Give Your Food More Flavor

Herbs and spices are a natural way to flavor food without adding man-made chemicals.  And many herbs have natural medicinal properties of their own.  Suggest these herbs and spices to help your post-chemotherapy patients make their food taste better.  If it tastes better, they’ll eat more:

∙           Cinnamon

∙           Basil

∙           Coriander

∙           Cumin

∙           Ginger (natural anti-inflammatory properties, too)

∙           Garlic

∙           Mint (great for fighting nausea as well)

∙           Fennel

∙           Turmeric

We hope this gives you some insight into diet planning and nutrition counseling for your post chemotherapy patients. Offering these services to your cancer patient population can be the missing piece in the puzzle of successfully treating the patients in this growing specialty and help you build a successful medical practice as well.  The combination of your medical expertise and proper nutrition support and counseling is a win/win for doctor and patient.

When you are ready, let them know you’re there to help them.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.


[1] www.cancer.org/Treatment/SurvivorshipDuringandAfterTreatment

[2] www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-survivor

The Post-Chemotherapy Cancer Patient – A Growing Chiropractic Patient Population

A cancer diagnosis is terrifying.

The questions, the fear and the concept of facing their own mortality are enough to paralyze even the strongest individual.

In the not so distant past, the standard was surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation or some combination of the three and that was it.

Then the patient played the waiting game to see what, if anything, worked.

What people didn’t realize was that the end of a course of chemotherapy was not the end of the healing process.  They would be dealing with the lasting effects of chemotherapy long after their hair returned and the nausea ended.

And one of those lasting effects is post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy.

Fortunately for the chiropractic community, cancer patients are quickly learning that chiropractic, nutrition and often the correct forms of nerve stimulation when combined in the hands of a skilled chiropractor can help alleviate the symptoms of their post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy.

The post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patient is becoming an enlightened consumer of complementary therapies that go beyond traditional medications and standard medical treatments.

A new-enlightened approach to treating their peripheral neuropathy symptoms gives the chiropractic community an ever-expanding patient population to serve.  Treating these patients who have already walked through an experience most people live in fear of can be incredibly rewarding.

To get them in your office though, you need to show them exactly how your chiropractic and specialty care can improve their quality of life.  It’s not just about marketing the traditional chiropractic care that people associate with whiplash or sports injuries.  It’s about educating the potential post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patient on a three-pronged approach to their medical issues:

First, Chiropractic- It’s Not Just About Adjustments

Chances are that your potential post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients have never been treated by a chiropractor.  They may think they know what a chiropractor does but they may not understand everything that chiropractic can do for managing their condition.

Traditionally, chiropractors have been associated with treatment of injuries and illnesses affecting the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.  In educating the post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patient, recognize that they can be dealing with gait problems, muscular weakness or even issues caused by radiation.  The stress of dealing with any of these conditions cannot always be addressed by standard chiropractic techniques. 1

Chiropractic by itself cannot prevent or cure cancer, but it can help the post-chemotherapy neuropathy patient deal with the symptoms and pain associated both with their cancer and their course of treatment.  Often, by carefully mobilizing the spine and related tissues, we stimulate a healthier nervous system and that’s a basic building block for regaining their pre-cancer health and alleviating their nerve pain.

Nutrition

Chemotherapy and other cancer medications can wreck a patient’s digestive system.  In the process of killing cancer cells, it can also damage healthy cells and that’s what brings on the side effects of chemotherapy.  This can affect not only affect their ability to eat but also prevent the body from getting the nutrients it needs.

Talk to your post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients about their nutrition issues.  They can be dealing with any number of symptoms ranging from nausea and loss of appetite to dry mouth and changes in their sense of taste and smell.  Offering nutrition information and dietary planning services is another way to serve this patient population.  Good nutrition will boost the immune system and let it do its job in fighting off illnesses brought on by chemotherapy.

Potential post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients may not realize that this is an area of their recovery you may help with. So, if you are trained in this specialty, make sure you include nutrition information in your patient education materials.  Post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients need to make sure they’re getting nutrients to prevent or reverse nutritional deficiencies, lessen the side effects of treatment and improve their quality of life.  Without appropriate, simultaneous nutrition, other treatment protocols have no chance of success.

Appropriate Nerve Stimulation

Once a course of treatment has been designed and a nutrition plan established, the final piece in the overall treatment of the post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patient treatment plan is nerve stimulation.

There are some nerve stimulation techniques to help peripheral neuropathy patients.
But some are potentially harmful. Misapplication is dangerous. Learn the correct ways, and then educate your potential post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients on the options available to them.

Some patients may have adopted an attitude of “I went through chemotherapy and my cancer is gone.  I shouldn’t complain about nerve pain.  I should just be thankful to be alive”.

What they need to know is that they don’t always have to just live with sleeplessness, pain, and balance and walking issues secondary to their treatment. Your chiropractic practice, when specially trained and equipped can offer them hope for a more normal life without debilitating pain.  Yes, they survived cancer but they can beat their post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy, too. 2

Precise combinations of chiropractic, nutrition and often nerve stimulation are showing great promise in helping post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients return to a pain free life, without the debilitating effects of neuropathy.

Serving this courageous patient population can be incredibly rewarding. But it is a subspecialty that takes some study and time to learn.

When you are ready, let them know you’re there to help them.

1.http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20040224/cancer-patients-try-alternative-medicine

2.http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/treating-nerve-pain-caused-cancer-hiv

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

It Has To Be You

How many times have you seen an ad in a magazine…

Or A TV commercial…

Or any other marketing message and thought “Hmmm…that just doesn’t sound right to me”?

The minute your “Bogus Meter” goes on high alert, the company vying for your dollars has zero chance of ever getting you to buy their product.

The same goes for the patients and, even more so, the prospective patients in your chiropractic or physical therapy practice.

Chiropractic or physical therapy patients may already have a hypersensitive Bogus Meter because they’ve tried so many other treatments for their chronic pain and had no success.  They’re still suffering.

With prospective patients, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on advertising or how polished your marketing is, if it doesn’t ring true, they won’t come to you for help.

In short, it has to be you and it has to be true.

Your marketing message has to be authentic and it has to be honest if you want to build a successful chiropractic or physical therapy practice.

As with any other business, two of the ground rules of successful marketing are to make sure your  message is 1) simple and 2) honest.

Here are a couple of tips to help you reach the patients you want for your chiropractic or physical therapy practice:

1.         Keep It Simple, Sir

This is the K.I.S.S. marketing concept and it has worked for decades because:

·           Simple messages are easier to remember and recall

·           Simple messages are easier to repeat so your patients are more likely to pass them

on to other potential patients

·           Simple messages are easier to understand and they stick with your prospective  patients

If your prospective patients can remember, repeat and understand your message, it’s going to be more effective.  Don’t confuse your patients with a long, complicated idea.

Just keep it simple and speak their language.

When you’re writing your marketing message to your patients, never put more than one  idea in a paragraph.  One idea, supported by facts, per paragraph.  Period.  It doesn’t get  much simpler than that.

2.        The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

It’s so easy for your patients to go online and fact check everything you tell them.  If  you’re not being totally honest about treatments, prospective outcomes, etc., they’ll find it out and in pretty short order.

The minute your chiropractic or physical therapy patients feel you’ve been less than honest with them, you’re done.  You won’t see them in your office again.  And when they  go, they’ll take all their future referrals and testimonials for your chiropractic or  physical therapy practice with them.

Just remember that tag line – The Truth and Nothing But the Truth.  Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.

And another word to the wise – don’t use someone else’s voice in your marketing materials. It’s YOUR chiropractic practice or YOUR physical therapy practice.  The minute your prospective patient reads your marketing materials, they form an impression in their mind of who you are.  Make sure it’s an authentic picture.

Don’t repurpose someone else’s advertising materials.  You may like their concept and you may want to use it to build your own successful chiropractic or physical therapy practice, but make sure you’re using your own voice.  Modify what worked for someone else to accurately represent you.

Keep it simple and keep it true and you’ll be well on your way to living and practicing by design…

And even more importantly, by YOUR design.

For more tips on building your perfect chiropractic or physical therapy practice, download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Private Practice – Part 3

Today, we’re adding to our list of New Year’s resolutions that will help you make this the best year your practice has ever seen.  Here are two more things you can do to build your success:

1. Promote your practice often and well

When you’re busy just being a private practice healthcare professional, it’s easy to forget that you have to promote your practice, too.  If you want to grow, you have to bring in new patients.  Sit down now and create a marketing plan for the New Year and then schedule it into your calendar so you follow through on it.

2. Learn to Delegate

Resolve to let go of a little control.  Trust your staff or outside experts to do what you’re paying them to do.  You don’t have to do it all.  Delegation is the key to keeping your work life and your personal life in at least some sort of balance.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Private Practice – Part 2

In preparation for the start of 2011, we’re sharing ideas for New Year’s resolutions to make your private practice the most successful it’s ever been.  Here are another couple of ideas to build your practice in the new year:

1. Be Accountable to Yourself

Hold yourself accountable because no one else will.  But treat yourself fairly.  Don’t dwell on some simple little thing that didn’t get done or exaggerate it’s importance.  You’ll destroy any progress you’ve made if you get bogged down.  Learn from the experience and move on.  Enlist other professionals in a “watch dog” group to keep each other on track.

2. Invest in the Communities That Support you

Get out and get involved in your community.  So many times, it’s not what you know but who you know that can be a great building block for your private practice.  People like to refer others to people they know and feel comfortable with.  What better way for your community to feel comfortable with you than to help improve the community for everyone?

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Private Health Care Practice – Part 1

Every year we make New Year’s resolutions to improve our lives…

We vow to lose weight…

Promise to take up a new hobby…

Plan to spend more time with loved ones…

But how many of us make resolutions to do something proactive to build our private chiropractic, physical therapy or NeuropathyDR™ practice?

Why not start with business resolutions in 2011?

Here are a few tips to help you make the coming the best your practice has ever seen:

1. Plan Ahead

This time of year can be a real zoo on the personal front but take some time to sit down and list some steps you will take this year to build your practice.  Plan to:

–       Start a new blog to communicate with your patients

–       Write a free report to educate your patients on their health care options

–       Package an e-course on the benefits of chiropractic or physical therapy care

–       Film some videos to demonstrate techniques that have brought amazing results to your patients

–       Produce an eBook to educate your patients on how to be an informed consumer when it comes to health care

Once you make a list even more ideas will come to you.

2. Focus Your Action

Once you’ve got your project list in hand, be diligent in disciplining yourself to complete the items on your list.  Don’t be overwhelmed by thinking you may have bitten off more than you can chew. Resolve to accomplish one at a time and you’ll be amazed at how fast they’re all completed.

3. Be Accountable to Yourself

Hold yourself accountable because no one else will.  But treat yourself fairly.  Don’t dwell on some simple little thing that didn’t get done or exaggerate it’s importance.  You’ll destroy any progress you’ve made if you get bogged down.  Learn from the experience and move on.  Enlist other professionals in a “watch dog” group to keep each other on track.

Marketing the Specialty Medical Practice – Part 3

When it comes to marketing your specialty medical practice, it’s easy to overlook a treasure trove of new business that is right before your eyes:

Don’t Forget The Power Of Referrals

Referrals can be an invaluable resource for building your practice.

The art of getting referrals from other professionals takes time to develop but if you learn to foster and develop relationships between your practice and referring practices, you will reap the benefits for years to come.

If you get referrals from another practice or specialty, always make those patients a top priority.  See them when it’s convenient for them and do it as quickly as possible.  If you develop a reputation for giving top notch care to the referrals you receive, your fellow practitioners won’t hesitate to send you more patients.

And always, always thank the referring doctor for every patient they send you.  And don’t forget your referring doctors’ staff members.  They are often overlooked but many of the referrals you receive will really come from a referring practitioner’s front desk staff.  They’re the ones who hand out your card, give people your web address, or even call to setup appointments.

It has taken years for you to become a specialist.  And you expended the time and effort in your particular specialty because you knew there were people out there who needed your help.

They are your target market.

You have a priceless opportunity to help your prospective patients and grow your practice into a thriving concern all at the same time.

Go where your patients are, show up in their web space and social media, at your live events be sure to tell them what’s in it for them, build your enormous referral network and you’ll be well on your way to living and practicing by design.

Harnessing the Power of Private Practice Email – Part 3

The holiday season is a great time to utilize email to stay in touch with your patient list.  Here are a few suggestions:

1. Special Events or Happenings

If you’re going to be speaking at a particular event or you’re being recognized by your peers for a particular achievement, let your patients know about it.  Everyone likes to know that they’ve chosen well in choosing their medical practitioner.  If something exciting is going on with your practice, include your patients on the list of “who needs to know”.

And, if your practice is growing and you’ve added staff or even an additional location, make sure your patients get an email about it.  Your new place may be more convenient for them or, better yet, more convenient for the new patients they refer to you.

2. Confirming Appointments

When your patients call for an appointment, send them an automatic email confirming the appointment.  Then send them another email the week before their appointment and yet another one three days out.  Always include your office phone number so they can call to cancel, reschedule or get directions to your office.

3. And Last, But Not Least, The Holiday Email

The holidays are a perfect time of year to connect with your patients, engage them and let them know that you’re thinking about them.  And, even more importantly, to thank them once again for choosing your practice for their chiropractic, physical therapy or other medical care.

Any of these marketing strategies are cost effective, easy and fluid.  It’s easy to change or adapt an email campaign for specific treatment groups and let them know that they’re getting this email because you’re genuinely interested in their outcome and care.

REMINDER: TODAY is the time to be finalizing how you hit the ground running on January 3rd. This is the best time of year to institute office changes, especially fee structures. And if you love taking care of challenging cases and incredibly grateful patients, consider becoming a NeuropathyDR(TM) Treatment Center.