resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
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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