resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.