Want to learn how to build a referral network of healthcare professionals you can not only recommend clients visit, but from which you can also receive new clients?
If we as trainers truly want to help our clients achieve their health and fitness goals, we have to be willing to refer them to other healthcare professionals. We are only one piece of the puzzle. There are a few other types of practitioners that I have in mind who can significantly contribute to your clients’ health and well-being. Chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists are health and wellness professionals that can assist your clients with recovery and injury prevention that falls outside of your training scope. Building a solid list of referrals is a great business strategy and networking tool for sharing patients/clients. If you haven’t already been to the above mentioned professionals, you must first do that before referring clients for such treatments. Knowing firsthand what to expect and how each office operates will ensure your clients trust to whom you’re referring them.
I am fortunate to work for a chiropractor who has massage therapist on staff as well as acupuncture. Having all these services under one roof is very convenient and clients appreciate that. Working for a chiropractor makes it easy for me to refer my clients to our office and vice versa; the doctors refer patients to me for personal training. There are no kick backs other than we trust each other and want the best service and care for each patient/client.
Let’s look at each of the three services I mentioned and why I feel they are important to your clients. If your PT clients don’t complain of pain or say they don’t need one of these services, you as the trainer need to know why preventative maintenance is so important and why your client should get regular check ups. It’s just like going to the dentist or getting a physical: Your clients shouldn’t wait until her or she is in pain, then it may be too late and they and you will miss out on training sessions.
Chiropractic treatment, which most commonly involves spinal manipulation, has had multiple studies show that the care helps to reduce nonsystematic low back pain and is more effective than medication and surgery (in most cases). Chiropractors not only treat back pain, but also other joints as well, such as ankle, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, shoulder–you name it, they can probably provide treatment. Depending on the office you choose to use as a referral, some doctors also treat soft tissue and muscular injuries with instrument-assisted mobilization techniques such as Graston Technique, active release technique (ART), and Kinesiology taping. Getting regular monthly maintenance check ups can significantly improve daily living activities, as well as improve the efficiency of a workout.
Massage therapy involves the manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and wellbeing. When used alongside chiropractic treatment, clients will be able to see and feel results faster than if they just saw one of these professionals and not both. Add in the the next element of acupuncture and the results continue to get better!
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicinal practice can be traced back for centuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through the skin at strategic points on the body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. However, traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (pronounced CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. Most Western practitioners, however, view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers and increases blood flow.
If you have not tried any of these services, I recommend that you do it first before referring your clients. Do your research and find practitioner that you can build a relationship with and a strong referral program. Firsthand knowledge and experience is what clients will trust and believe in. All of us want our patients and clients to feel and move better, but we need each other to achieve that common goal.
Addition information can be found here:
This article is by Jennifer Noll. The author’s opinions are their own and Gear Update does not take responsibility for content statements and opinions. You should seek expert counsel in evaluating opinions, treatments, products and services. For more info see our Editorial Policies.