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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
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.
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