resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
February, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 02
What Does a Spa Director Look for in Professional Massage Therapists?
By Jeannie Jarnot
"What does a spa director look for in professional massage therapists?" This is a question I get frequently from therapists seeking careers in a spa environment. With the growth of our industry, there are so many types of spas, massages, and establishments and therapists that it can be hard to know what we look for in a massage therapist, especially if you are new to the field.I would like to share what I look for when I interview a massage therapist to be a part of my team.
In every spa I have ever worked in, our most popular treatment has always been a full body massage. Whether we call it Swedish, therapeutic or full body massage, this service has always been at the top of the list. Let's face it: We can offer the most amazing aromatherapy treatment, decadent body wrap or healing energy treatment, but there's just nothing quite like a good massage. And our clients are getting more and more educated about massage. They often ask us over the phone during the reservation process where the therapist studied, how long he/she has practiced or what styles he/she practices. This is a relatively new line of questioning, so it has become increasingly important for me to have a consistent level of bodyworkers on my team that have qualities in common.
First, I expect a massage therapist to have a resume, even if they do not have work experience as a massage therapist. I want to see that the candidate can organize him/herself on paper and create a professional impression. Next, I look to see what type of education the therapist has. What types of schools and modalities has the therapist chosen? An education in massage therapy is often an eclectic collection of classes, workshops and training sessions.
My preference is for a therapist to have a basic massage education from an accredited massage school, and then maybe added classes or workshops that the therapist found interesting. I look to see if the therapist has learned a balance of Eastern and Western modalities, as I feel it is important to understand both approaches to bodywork. Then, of course, I look to see what kind of work experience the therapist has. Oftentimes, it is helpful for a therapist to have experience in a professional spa environment prior to coming to work for me, but I have had many successful therapists who have come to me without any spa experience and sometimes without any work experience at all.
Next, I schedule a sit down interview with the therapist. During the interview, I notice if the candidate is punctual and dressed professionally. I don't think I have ever met a therapist who wore a suit to an interview, but I check to see if their clothing and shoes are clean, whether he is clean shaven or her hair is neat and professional, which is not to be confused with conservative.
In the spoken interview I like to hear about how and why the therapist decided to pursue a career in massage therapy. I love stories about what inspired them to help people. I also ask about how they made their decision to educate themselves and to give me a description of their style of bodywork. That is often hard for the therapist, but it is important to me. I want to understand the therapist's philosophy of bodywork in his/her own words. Because there are so many therapists out there, I tend to seek people who are passionate about helping people through massage.
During the spoken interview, I ask myself if I would want to experience their work. Do I feel comfortable enough with them to get on the table and receive a massage? This might not seem like it is relevant, but I always ask therapists how they take care of themselves in order to maintain their ability to do massage. My best therapists have been those who can answer this easily, as it is their priority. Lastly, I try to sense if the massage therapist is fulfilled by massage. Is the therapist excited about his/her career; does the therapist think it is fun? By the middle of the spoken interview, I can usually tell if the therapist is someone I want to continue interviewing.
If we proceed to the practical interview, I always schedule it on another day. I want to confirm that this candidate can arrive to an interview creating a professional impression. I usually tell them that I would like to experience a full body massage comprised of their best work. I tell them they can use whatever techniques they choose and that they must conduct themselves as if I am a first-time client in a spa.
During the practical interview I expect the therapist to conduct a verbal intake, gathering information about my body, my experiences with massage and my preferences. I listen to their directions to see if they clearly direct me on how to position myself on the table and any other instructions, such as removing my jewelry, etc. I find that this is where a lot of therapists don't perform during the interview. They assume that because I am a spa director, I know what to do, or they're nervous or they don't know how essential this part of the massage experience really is. A therapist in a spa environment usually has between two and four minutes to make his/her first-time client feel comfortable. I definitely look to see if the therapist is confident during this part of the massage.
During the hands-on massage, I notice how the therapist introduces him/herself and gets in tune with the client, either through breath, energy or body reading. No one way is best; I just notice if it happens or not. Once the massage has begun, I look for the variety of strokes and stretches the therapist uses. I notice if there is variety or if the massage is one-dimensional.
Variety is preferred. I try to notice body mechanics, which is hard to do while on the table, but I have become pretty good at being able to feel if the therapist is properly using body weight, protecting his/her thumbs and using good posture (This is what I had the most trouble with when I was in massage school.) The therapist may not have ideal body mechanics but that there is due attention to them is what is important. A therapist who takes care of him/herself will be better at taking care of others.
Then, I observe the flow of the massage. Is the massage making sense? Is the therapist responding to what I communicated during the verbal intake? Does the therapist make sure that I am comfortable through careful draping and verbal check-ins? Finally, how is the massage session closed? Does it leave me with a sense of completion and relaxation?
Usually, but not always, therapists are nervous during their massage interview. I always take that into account. I have had my most confident and accomplished therapists tell me later that they were terrified during our interview, which always amazes me because they would have no reason to be nervous about their excellent work.
No matter how the interview turns out, it is a gift to receive a massage from someone whose intention is to help others. I always tell the therapist exactly what I thought the strong points of the massage were and then explain where he/she needs to grow. Once that is done, I let the therapist know that I will contact him/her the following day. I want time to reflect on the massage and feel the benefits of the bodywork. I want this therapist to be someone who will benefit by working with me, who will be challenged and who will challenge me. If all the pieces fit, then there is the potential for a long and prosperous career in the spa for everyone.
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