Dynamic Health Therapy, owned and operated by Sean-Michael Latimour, a registered massage therapist, and his wife Adrianne, has become a focal point of health and wellness in Keswick, Ont. What’s more, the couple has figured out how to scale up and create a highly lucrative business model.
By Don Quinn Dillon
Sean offers massage therapy, osteopathy, acupuncture and a host of modalities. Emerging from a background in competitive sports, Sean provides care at many sporting events, including the Canadian Olympic Swim Trials, Toronto Triathlon Festival, and various events local to Keswick.
“Sean has always believed in volunteering his time to both high profile and local community events. No matter how busy he gets, he continues to put himself out there,” his wife Adrianne says.
Adrianne is the clinic director and co-owner. She brings a strong business and marketing background from corporate health care, and maintains a hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming practice. Adrianne left a corporate career to join Sean in this venture in November 2015.
“Sean’s integrative approach strongly contributes to the value of the business as a whole. As an RMT, you typically become the business, thereby leaving no resale value. You can’t sell an individual. As a sole practitioner, you are at the mercy of the hours you can work, and the number of people you can treat. Creating an integrative model, the practice no longer revolves around you…the practice becomes the product. By using this model you are able to work less, make more money, and spend more time with family.”
Sean provides care to over 300 patients per month, incorporating a large number of methods and modalities. He often uses an assistant to provide microcurrent point stimulation (MPS), shockwave therapy, ultrasound and other modalities. Sean uses anatomical models, charts and tablets with on-screen anatomy programs to educate the patient on cause, effect and remedy of the problem they’re experiencing.
I shadowed a session where two assistants provided modalities while Sean simultaneously applied manual techniques. It was like an ER intervention with the three practitioners moving purposely to intervene on the patient’s chronic shoulder pain. The patient – a woman in her late 40s wishing to return to kick-boxing activities – arose and admitted symptoms were much improved.
Each patient receives a written patient action plan, outlining causative trauma and current symptoms, treatment goals, the methods and modalities to be applied, the recommended treatment plan and re-assessment date. This provides the patient with a tangible blueprint to address their specific problem, which they can share with family or other treating practitioners. More formal than the conventional “we’ll re-assess in four visits” approach, the action plan assures the patient and commits them to desired outcomes.
Dynamic Health Therapy contracts two physiotherapists, a chiropractor and three massage therapists. The clinic employs two physical therapy/occupational therapy assistants, two receptionists, and Adrianne as clinic director and hypnotherapy practitioner. The space is warm and comfortable, with high ceilings, wall art, a small rehabilitation area with equipment, staff room and laundry facilities.
Adrianne admits the greatest challenge is hiring and retaining good people. She is selective in adding a new person to the team, and is quick to fire if a prospect isn’t working out well. “It’s key to recruit excellent candidates, but also learning how to keep them passionate and engaged. We provide training, hold team meetings, surprise our staff with free lunches, remember and celebrate every birthday, milestone event, personal and professional accomplishments. We are creating a culture,” she says.
Practitioners are paid well, and the orientation and training in clinic processes and systems are extensive. Practitioners receive compensation for professional development and are encouraged to continue learning new skills. Practice statistics are kept through software called One Minute Practice that reports among other data, the number of patients treated, treatment plan presented, and patient compliance to the plan. Adrianne and Sean track the data thoroughly, looking for gaps in practitioner performance and opportunities for further training.
Sean has received coaching directly from Paul Wright, CEO of One Minute Practice. Wright’s salient message, “Know your numbers. You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are.”
Remarkably, Sean and Adrianne have pulled all this together in just over a year. Sean had been renting space in other clinics far from his hometown, paying large commissions because of his industrious work ethic and high volume of care provided. Sean has raised his fees three times in six months because of demand. This encourages his patients to see other practitioners in his clinic, freeing Sean to treat more difficult cases. This model incorporating premium pricing, integrated team care, and multiple modalities and methods provides a high yield for the business. Sean and Adrianne’s take-home is five to six times the average income reported in the most recent RMTAO earnings survey.
Adrianne stresses the importance of feeling cared for. She has personally witnessed where conventional health-care practices fall far short, and shared a difficult story about her own parent’s medical care in the past year. Adrianne frequently tells Dynamic’s patients “you’re never alone in your recovery journey…we are with you every step of the way.” She says many people, despite the cost, attend several sessions a week. They have confidence in the practitioners, and they get the results they’re looking for.
Donald Quinn Dillon, RMT, is a practitioner, speaker and mentor. Find him at dondillon-rmt.com.