resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.