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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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!
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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