Acupuncture and Massage in Chiropractic—Is It Right for Your Practice?
Alternative Therapies
Written by Dr. Michael Failla, D.C.   
Monday, 25 April 2011 18:41 Read : 2261 times

C
hiropractors are used to thinking outside the box when it comes to treating patients. Where a general practitioner might prescribe an anti-inflammatory, aaccupuncture 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.

One of the rising trends among higher-end chiropractic practices is the incorporation of acupuncture and massage with traditional chiropractic treatment.

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 as 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.

One of the greatest benefits of offering holistic services such as acupuncture and massage is the almost immediate results that patients get.

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.

The Takeaway:

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 and your bottom line, deciding whether or not to incorporate such therapies into your normal treatment plans certainly merits some serious consideration.

Dr. Michael Failla, D.C. -

Dr. Michael Failla is the CEO and Co-owner of Integrated Practice Solutions, the makers of ChiroTouch. Dr. Failla graduated from Life University College of Chiropractic in Atlanta, GA, and went on to run a highly successful chiropractic office in Seattle, WA, for 25 years. He sold his practice in 2007 and continues to promote health and wellness by helping chiropractors run streamlined and successful practices with more time for their patients and less time with their paperwork. Go to www.chirotouch.com for more information.
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