resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
July, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 07
Spa Issues and a Request
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nev., April 30-May 3, 2005, where I was invited to attend as a continuing education presenter. It was truly an amazing event, very well run and heavily attended.I got to immerse myself in the spa industry and talk to spa owners and operators, as well as spa massage therapists. There are some interesting issues bubbling in the spa industry regarding massage. The two I found most fascinating were injuries and product sales.
All health care professions have their "walking wounded" who are practicing through their injuries and "dis"-health. It is amazing to me how few health care practitioners actually practice what they preach. The spa industry is no different. The majority of the therapists I met at the show were suffering from massage related injuries and not getting proper care for themselves.
Of course, this is a problem in our entire profession because body mechanics are seldom taught and rarely learned when they are taught. The volume of work done at spas increases the incidence of injury when therapists do not receive adequate training in working postures and self-care. This will undoubtedly begin to cost spas a lot of workers' compensation dollars.
Maybe this issue will eventually force schools to teach body mechanics and self-care in a more than passing manner. If I had a spa, I would only hire therapists from schools that adequately trained students in these subjects. Isn't it time schools started conditioning their students to be able to physically do the jobs expected of them? Time will tell.
The second issue is product sales. Spas have products for sale for their customers and they want their staff, including massage therapists, to promote and sell those products. Usually the therapists receive a commission from the sales they make. Spa operators are rather perplexed because massage therapists are resistant to this concept.
For some reason, massage therapists are being taught that it is unethical to sell products or additional services to clients. This amuses me. I do not see why selling something is unethical. I do not know of a health care profession that does not sell products to their patients. MDs sell drugs, appliances, casts, braces, splints, TENS units and all sorts of stuff by the boatload. DCs sell supplements, pillows, braces, supports and lots of other useful items. I cannot think of a health care profession that does not sell "stuff." Yet, somehow, in the massage profession, selling something is this huge ethical issue. Would somebody please tell me what is wrong with selling something?
This pious, unjustifiable, false morality should be laughable, but, sadly, some take it quite seriously. It has always amazed me how indignant some massage therapists get when something is offered for sale at a massage school or continuing education event. Where is this coming from? If you don't want it, don't buy it. It is not unethical or immoral to offer something for sale. Is this some envy of success issue or poverty consciousness, or maybe some of both? What is wrong with offering (selling) a useful product that can be beneficial to a client or student?
Most likely comparable products cannot be found elsewhere, as schools, practitioners and spas tend to sell professional grade products that are not available in the public marketplace. Even if the product is available at a local health food store for instance, why not provide the convenience of availability and expert advice for use to the client? There is nothing wrong with selling stuff! A lot of struggling massage therapists could increase their incomes significantly if they added products sales to their practice. This should be taught, not discouraged.
No, I do not think a massage should be an hour-long sales pitch; however, it is very rare I have a patient who, during the course of the massage, does not tell me about some problem or another. I assume they are looking for suggestions and help or they would not bring it up. If a product I have is appropriate, I mention it (without missing a stroke), then let it go and bring it back up at the end of the appointment during checkout time. My patients are grateful for the high-quality, professional products I have available for them, not offended.
There have been some reports of spa operators imposing sales quotas. I understand that to tell a massage therapist they have to sell a minimum volume of product could be unreasonable, especially if the products are shampoos and creme rinses; however, if such quotas are made clear during the hiring process, and the therapists knows and understands the quotas prior to accepting the position, I do not see a problem. It is unreasonable and unfair if the quota comes down on their head as a surprise after they have begun working somewhere. So, if you are going to work for a spa or salon, be sure you know all the conditions of employment and have them in writing before accepting the position.
Help! Following the lead of my editor, Cliff Korn, I want to ask for your help with my column. If you have a hot therapy tip or a favorite therapy technique you think is worthy of sharing with your colleagues, send it in to me. I will share it in the "Try This" section of my column. Of course, I will give you credit for it, unless you want to remain anonymous. No more than 150 words and only one tip per person. Send to . We can help each other help more people. Thanks!
Try this: Having problems with neck complaints involving the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM)? Sometimes the SCM just won't respond to massage and relax like it's "supposed to." Move inferior and work the rectus abdominis, especially its upper attachments at the ribcage and sternum. Then work the sternum and the inter-costal spaces on each side of it. (Be sure to advise your female patients of what you are going to do and get their consent, as this can be a boundary issue.) Now return to the SCM, it will often respond positively. There is a fascial connection from the SCM to the pubic bone.
Have a great, safe 4th of July!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.