Monthly Archives: October 2011

Pain Management for Your Pocketbook

Let’s do some numbers – and I’ll tell you now they’re not pretty. The average bodywork session in the Northwest is about $75, from which we need to pay expenses and only after that try to get ahead. For a self-employed bodyworker, overhead includes rent, utilities and Internet, laundry service, insurance, lotion, tools, magazines, and tea, after which you finally get paid. Let’s look at an example of $800/month overhead for a one-room treatment space. Estimating revenue of $75 and taxes of approximately $6.75 per session (based on a 9 percent rate), where x = the number of sessions needed to cover overhead, ($75)x – ($6.75)x – $800 = breakeven. This comes out to slightly less than 12 sessions. For employers, whose overhead also includes wages to therapists, the breakeven is much higher—about 24 sessions. 24 sessions! This simple example accounts for just the basics; other expenses and higher taxes would increase these numbers.

As Daniel Pink explains in his national bestseller, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, “Too many organizations – not just companies, but governments and nonprofits as well … continue to pursue practices such as short-term incentive plans and pay-for-performance schemes in the face of mounting evidence that such measures usually don’t work and often do harm.”[i] Applying Pink’s theory to our industry reveals what I think is an important yet shrugged-off topic within the industry: demotivating remuneration plans.

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The wonder of the hashtag – #mccsm

It’s been a whirlwind day at the Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency. We did a fly-by of major social media tools and then dove in to get beyond the nuts and bolts and understand how it can really serve us and our personal or business goals.

While the overview of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Internal Social Networking sites (like Yammer and Jive) was interesting what really piqued my interest was the ubiquitous use of hashtags to tie it all together and keep the conversation salient.

You can use a hashtag in your posts, particularly in Twitter, for a couple of reasons. By using the same hashtag today, the participants (or anyone) can go to Twitter and find all of the notes and comments attendees shared via Twitter  – to the tune of 10K+ – with #mccsm. (It might take you as long to review the notes as it did for us to take the summit and residency. What a gift – you practically get to attend the class for free). The course participants didn’t accidentally or magically settle on using #mccsm as the hashtag – we were instructed to do so.  Since there are no hashtag police or “issuers” it’s the job of the sponsor (or whoever is posting) to choose a tag that is both unique and, if you ever want it to be found or used again, relevant to the topic. They asked us to use #mccsm which stands for Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.

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Food and health (care)

In keeping with the theme of my blog (health care) + reflecting on Blog Action Day 2011‘s theme of food, I’m interested in food as relates to the health and health care. I don’t know anyone who has a fond memory of hospital food and it has as much to do with culture as with the meal itself. Systems like PlaneTree that support food, family, the arts and a holistic culture within hospitals are becoming more prevalent because the data is starting to show people heal more quickly and effectively in such environments. Regarding food, the PlaneTree model states,

“Planetree recognizes that eating is not only essential to physical health, but is also a source of pleasure, comfort, and fellowship. A Planetree dining program enhances the social aspects of meals while serving delicious fresh food that is attractively presented in a pleasant environment. A full-service dining program offers changing, nutritionally-balanced menus with choices of entrees and side dishes, including heart-healthy choices, that are responsive to individual preferences. Mealtimes are flexible and healthy snacks are available at all times. The dining program includes special events, holiday meals, parties, and picnics for residents and staff.”

Cities like Detroit with the Detroit Works Project quote the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recognizing that food and food security can,

•Reduce health disparities* and the likelihood of health conditions related to poor diet (obesity, diabetes) – *Health Disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease and disability, or in lack of opportunities to achieve optimal health. Disparities can be defined in terms of geographic location, gender, race, education, income, or age. )
•Increase social stability through improved health, community pride

Bringing the community back to food whether in our back yards or the hospital is central to building a vibrant community. Can you cook from scratch tonight or spend time appreciating your food? As a doctor in my life told me a few years ago, “Kate, you need to have a relationship with your food.” To reduce my carbon footprint and cultivate that relationship I eat almost vegetarian and nearly always from scratch. It’s a project! And it feeds me in more ways than one.