resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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?
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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.
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.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
April, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 04
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 of the author.
Congratulations! You're now officially a part of the spa industry.I understand your excitement and also your trepidation, and I'm not surprised that you have a lot of burning questions to ask. For a moment, though, allow yourself to bask in the accomplishment you've just achieved. It's not always easy to snag a position as a therapist in the fast-growing spa sector.
Let's address your question about pay first. It was probably a good idea not to put too much emphasis on the pay scale when you first applied at the spa, because that can turn interviewers off and make it seem like your self-interest outweighs your desire to do a good job. But now that you've got the job, you have to start thinking about your budget, and of course it's only natural that you want to nail down some realistic numbers.
It's a general assumption (stated or unstated) that the pay scale in spas is not worthy of the talent and training most therapists have achieved. Some people in the massage profession feel that the pay in spas can drag down the overall prestige of massage therapists and make it seem that they're not worth as much as they should be.
In my personal opinion, this assumption is incorrect for two reasons. In the first place, spas have a very large overhead that is not taken into consideration by many people. The cost of running a spa is extremely high, with its management staff salaries, facilities cost, heavy laundry expense, equipment cost, product cost, and other drains on the bottom line. It's often hard for a spa to make a profit. If the spa were to give the therapists 80-90% of the price of a treatment, which therapists sometimes act like they're entitled to, the spa would soon go broke and everyone would be out of a job.
Second, the pay scale in spas over the past few years has been going up quite significantly. Factor in the pluses for the therapist, such as built-in clientele, no marketing costs, no facility cost, with products, oils, laundry, equipment all supplied, and, oftentimes, paid training and benefits. You can see that an hourly wage about half of what you'd expect doing a private outcall massage is not unreasonable.
This wage scale is typical of what you can expect at many spas today. Take the spa where you've just landed a job, for example. Your pay scale of $30 per hour is right about in line with this principle, because I know you've been asking $60 per hour from your private clients since you graduated from massage school last year.
And remember, you live in California, in an area with a pretty high cost of living. Extrapolating this to a less expensive part of the country, a new therapist could conceivably be getting $45-$50 per hour from private clients. Therefore, a $22-$25 per hour pay scale in a local spa would be reasonable.
You point out correctly that you might be losing some precious hours, though, because the spa will not be paying you for hours in which you're not massaging. But keep in mind that they will definitely be trying to book you as many hours during your shift as possible. Why? Because the more you're booked, the more money the spa makes!
There are some spas that pay a certain number of therapists a lower hourly wage when they're not giving a treatment, thus making sure there is always someone available for last-minute bookings. Seeing as you're new to this spa, you can't expect to be put on the schedule all the time right away. That's a seniority issue, which I'll deal with in a future letter. When you achieve this level, the spa will have to provide benefits to you, which can run up to 20% of additional cost to the spa on top of your pay. You're going to have to prove yourself first.
The Best Attitude
I wouldn't worry about this too much, Lou. The spa where you've found a job has a great reputation, and as you know, they're booked for much of the year. So keeping yourself busy shouldn't be too much of a problem. I think my best advice to you at this point is the following:
Treat the space you've found as your very own business.
That's right. Try to avoid the typical mistake: looking at the spa as an us vs. them environment, in which the ownership and management are out to get you and your fellow therapists. Avoid excess gossip, chatter, and complaints about your bosses, because that only separates you from a perceived higher level, actually diminishing your power.
Treat each guest as your own private guest in your own private business. Make sure that everything possible is done to make her experience positive. Treat the whole spa like your spa, keeping it neat and orderly. Whenever you have an opportunity, make things easier for your boss and anyone else in management.
This attitude is sometimes known as being a "team player," but that's a term I'm not too fond of, because it gives the impression that you have to wait to take orders from a coach, instead of proactively taking control of your own situation and being your own boss. Even better than being part of the team, is acting as if you were part of the ownership of the team. If you truly believe this is true, and act accordingly, you'll be amazed at how quickly things will change for you in the spa world, and for the better.
Talk to you again soon,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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.