Chiropractic and Massage/Acupuncture: Combining Practices
December 21, 2017 by ChiroTouch Article EHR, Patient Care, Business Management

Chiropractors are use 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 or treatment is what sets the chiropractic discipline apart.

However, some chiropractors are resistant to the idea of using other therapies like massage or acupuncture to treat their patients.  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.  Adding massage therapy or acupuncture offerings to a chiropractic practice may be attractive to patients and can increase patient retention, ultimately improving your bottom line.

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.  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.

Both massage and acupuncture are beneficial for combating 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 usually temporary.  It can, however, 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.

Massage and acupuncture are stimulating.  Both stimulate blood flow when done properly.  It 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.

Benefits of Adding Acupuncture and Massage Therapy

There are numerous benefits to incorporating massage and acupuncture in your chiropractic practice.  Adding both can 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 service offering and profits.  Both of these therapies are becoming ever more popular for alternative treatments.

Providing these treatments demonstrates to potential clients that your practice is on the cutting-edge of the profession.  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.  Providing patients with multiple services 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 patients get.  Massage and acupuncture are innately relaxing and soothing and can make the patient feel better immediately.  It 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 the traditional chiropractic take effect. This means that they are more likely to see real benefits in relatively short amount of time.  You are virtually guaranteed more repeat visits and your patients are more likely to refer other clients to you.

How You Can Do It

How do you add acupuncture to your chiropractic practice? What does adding massage therapy to a chiropractic practice entail?  There are several ways to do this.  First, you can get the training yourself.  There are numerous physiotherapy colleges that offer basic training in both acupuncture and massage, allowing you to get certified to perform basic therapies fairly quickly.

If you are uncomfortable performing the procedures yourself, you can also choose to work with practitioners in your community.  Many massage therapists and acupuncturists do on-location calls.  It’s often 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 choose to hire a massage therapist or acupuncturist outright.  This can be the best way to go if you plan on using their services extensively.  With all the new HIPAA privacy regulations, it may actually be easier to hire your therapist on a part-time basis than it is to go through all the certifications necessary for them to be able to use your EHR system or have access to your patient records.  Ultimately it depends on exactly how much you want to incorporate their services into your practice.  If you decide to fully embrace massage therapy in your practice, consider adding massage therapy software to your database for a smooth transition.

The Takeaway

Massage therapy and acupuncture are two very hot topics in terms of alternative healthcare.  Many top chiropractic practices are getting in on the market.  Since they are definite physical benefits to such treatments and offering such treatments can benefit your practice, deciding whether to incorporate such therapies into your normal care plans certainly merits some serious thought.

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