resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01
By Steve Capellini, LMT
Author's note: The Spa Letters column features news, personality profiles, trends, and plenty of professional possibilities for LMTs in the spa industry. The style is epistolary, meaning the articles are letters to a fictional massage therapist friend.
Thanks for writing.I'm glad to hear you're interested in exploring spas and perhaps even joining me one day in some professional capacity in this industry. As you know, spas are sprouting up all over the place, and the opportunities are boundless. We need lots of good therapists with diverse skills to fill a growing number of positions, both hands-on and supervisory. I've known several massage therapists who have successfully navigated the spa waters, ending up as spa directors, owners or educators themselves.
First, though, before you get all excited about your wildly successful new career, I want to fill you in about what spas used to be like not too long ago when I first started in the industry, and so I'll tell you a little story...
It was a day like any other day at the Safety Harbor Spa in Clearwater, Florida. Bob, the supervisor of the men's spa, rang an old ship's bell attached to one wall in the locker room - GONG - and soon a ragtag line of two dozen elderly gentlemen in worn terrycloth robes began shuffling down a long corridor on their way to the massage room. I could hear the sound of cheap paper slippers sliding on tile; grunts and groans as the men disrobed and climbed aboard massage tables arranged in rows in one large room; and the "squirt-squirt" of mineral oil slipping out of plastic bottles. Ribald jokes tossed across the room during the 25-minute full-body massage sessions. Then robes again; paper slippers; GONG; and the whole thing was repeated 12-14 times a day.
Yes, Lou, many spas were in this sorry condition when I started as a therapist myself in 1984.
At that time, no one had heard of a day spa. There were barely 30 destination spas in the country, and they were often called "fat farms."
Now, at the beginning of 2001, this industry has changed so dramatically that it bears practically no resemblance to those not-too-distant days. Over 300 resort and destination spas dot the landscape, and day spas number in the thousands. Did you know that spa visits account for more vacation dollars spent than ski trips in the U.S.? It's true - I heard it as part of the Price Waterhouse industry analysis at the recent International Spa Association (ISPA) conference in Vegas. Remind me to tell you more about ISPA in another letter.
There are a ton of letters I want to write to you about the spa industry and how you might get involved. I'm sure you have lots of questions: How much can you expect to be paid as a therapist in a spa? How can you increase your chances of getting hired? Will you receive continuing education as part of your employment? Should you consider opening your own small spa on a tight budget? What kind of equipment should you buy? Should you hire a consultant? What kind of profits can you expect? What are the definitions of the various types of spas? How can you travel the world some day working in exotic foreign spas or on cruise ship spas? Where can you find a medically oriented spa that hires skilled therapists? Are there any standards for training or education within the industry?
In future letters, I'll be delving into these and many other topics.
To start off, let me briefly fill you in on a few of the trends you might be interested in that are shaping the spa industry: medical spas, spa branding, and becoming a spa entrepreneur.
The Slow-But-Steady Merging of Medicine and Spas
Not too long ago, many massage therapists working in spas found themselves the victims of snide remarks about the low quality of bodywork done in those establishments. The words "pampering" and "fluff" were thrown about with gusto. There are still some remnants of this attitude left in the massage community today. Even though such disparaging remarks aren't used so often anymore, other words, like the word "spa" itself, take their place, as in "Oh, he just does spa massage," with an ugly emphasis on the word "spa."
Believe me, this is changing rapidly. There is a new respect for therapists who work in spas now, in large part due to the merging of the spa world with the world of medicine. Did you know that hundreds of doctors are opening their own medical spas, and thousands more will in the near future? I've been working at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida this past year because they are building a spa into their well-recognized medical program.
Everybody is getting on the spa bandwagon, and as more physicians join the party, it will continue to add legitimacy to the work we therapists do in conjunction with them there.
The Branding of Spas
Pretty soon spas are going to be as common as restaurants. You can already see it happening, as the larger established spas like Canyon Ranch and The Golden Door begin to expand beyond their original facilities into hotels, resorts and satellite spas in all sorts of locations. The growth we've seen will look infinitesimal compared to what's going to happen. It's a great time to get involved with the industry right now.
Even though spas are becoming big business, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of room for the motivated and inspired entrepreneur to use some creative visualization and hard work to construct the spa of his or her dreams. I can guarantee you that's exactly what's happening all over the country right now. I go all over the place teaching workshops for LMTs who dream of opening their own smaller spas, and I've been constantly encouraged to see them succeeding. Whether it's a one-room operation or a more challenging project with a dozen rooms and as many employees, I see massage therapists taking the reigns and making their spa dreams into "nitty-gritty" business reality. Healing spas are something they can believe in and put all of their effort into. It's not easy to make it happen, but the rewards can be profound, and there is a large network of support out there for people trying to make it happen.
That's what I'd like to give you in every letter I send support; direction; new contacts; new ideas; and new ways to dream. Keep letting me know how you're doing!
Until then, take care,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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