resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
May, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 05
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.
Wow, so you're finding out firsthand how quickly you can get pulled into the world of a busy spa. The daily operations have already become a big part of your life, and the people you work with are now some of the main characters in your own personal drama. Drama is the perfect word, isn't it? You're not the only person to find yourself suddenly awash with strong emotions and conflicting feelings in your first month of employment at a spa. This probably happens for new employees (and owners) in many lines of work, but in several ways, spas are supercharged environments in which our natural feelings are magnified. The reasons for this are many. So don't worry: you're not "losing it," as you said in your last letter. You're just experiencing a normal adjustment phase. I'll try to answer that question you asked about your "moral dilemma" later in the letter, but first I'll describe why spas might seem like such intense places to work.
The Fuel of Human Contact
One of the reasons spas can be so singularly cathartic is that they put people together under fairly tense circumstances. Think about it for a minute: Where else do you find a place that combines the scheduling nightmare of a small airline; the temperamental personalities of a few dozen therapist/artists; the aesthetic concerns of a five star hotel; and the hygienic exigencies of a medical clinic?
No wonder everyone is running around like crazy all day, while at the same time trying to provide a calm and soothing environment. You're right in comparing the spa to a theater production, Lou. There's a definite divide between "backstage" and "onstage."
In my opinion (perhaps because I'm a massage therapist like you!), it's the prevalence of touch in spas that adds an extra edge of intensity. Spas are vessels that contain chambers of touch, where the real magic of the enterprise takes place. The front desk, retail space, wet areas, locker rooms, and gym are important too, but it's in the treatment rooms that the core business of a spa happens. The interface within that chamber between you and the guests is, symbolically, the interface between the inner and outer world, everything that is the spa and everything that is not the spa. Your hands, and each spa guest's skin, are the positive and negative poles of the engine that runs the entire enterprise.
Few other businesses run so intensively on the fuel of human contact. Spas offer us the opportunity to grow more conscious through the experience of this contact and its attendant emotions. Take your present "moral dilemma" for instance. Perhaps that isn't precisely the right term for it. In my opinion, this isn't a case so much of "right" or "wrong" but rather an opportunity for you to explore your own character.
The situation you're facing occurs every day in spas. You give a client some excellent bodywork, and she asks you afterward if she can have your card so you can give her a massage outside the spa. That way, she gets a massage where she wants and when she wants, and you get to keep all the money instead of splitting it with the spa. A win/win situation, except perhaps from the spa owner's perspective. And there's the dilemma you feel. You know what the rules are at your spa - they are clearly stated in the employee manual. And you know that certain other therapists break these rules; they've told you so themselves. Thus arise all the conflicting feelings - loyalty to the spa; the desire to be "one of the gang" on the massage team; the desire for more money; the desire to please the client; the desire to be a good person; and the desire not to get caught.
Here's what I think you should do. It's very simple. Follow the rules stated by the spa that has employed you, not because it is wrong to massage that client at her home, but because by doing so, you would create a division within your own consciousness. You would need to rationalize what you are doing, which would weaken you as a person. If the spa's policy on this matter were different, that would be another story, but the owners have made their feelings clear. If you act behind the spa's back, you will cause yourself a little psychic damage, even if no one ever finds out. By your action, you will effectively say to yourself, "I cannot be completely trusted," and this will take a long time to repair.
The only way you can make one of this spa's customers your own private customer is to ask the spa owner or director if it's OK. If the thought of doing that makes you uneasy, you've solved your own dilemma. Follow your heart, Lou. It's the fastest way to the long-term success you seek, regardless of whether or not you make a few extra dollars next week from a new private client.
Talk to you later,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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