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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 10
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.
Sorry I haven't written for a while.I've been busy teaching workshops lately, and then I was on vacation. I'm glad to hear that your training in the new spa techniques last month went smoothly, and even happier to hear you decided to bite the bullet and delve into "fluff & buff" modalities, regardless of your initial reluctance.
I told you that you'd be impressed with the level of professionalism in the training. There's a growing network of dedicated people out there who insist on serious skill enhancement in the spa setting. The funny thing is, I actually know the woman who did your training! We met a few years ago when she and her husband were just getting back from stints as spa directors in Bali. As you now know, the product line they were training you on was born from their experiences there.
You didn't realize you were going to receive such in-depth information, did you? It's good that you're following up by studying the literature on your own and practicing with your colleagues. Too many therapists take a single training then head straight out to perform their new skills on the public. Have you checked on the internet for more information too?
Even though your experience was a positive one, you should still be aware that there are some people out there who are primarily interested in selling products to spas. They provide education merely as a hook to produce more sales. The situation is such that vendors are probably the main source of instruction for the majority of spa modalities, and very few non-product-related entities have taken the time to focus on spa education. But that's changing rapidly. There's a woman in West Palm Beach, for example, Anne Bramham, who has opened a training spa. She offers intensive programs for directors and therapists who want to understand the philosophy and physiology behind the treatments. I know that other similar centers are about to open across the country.
Serious spa training is an idea whose time has come in this country, though it's been going on for a long time in Europe. Remember I told you about a spa training trip to Czechoslovakia I wanted to take? Maybe you can come with me! It's run by a professor from San Antonio who knows more about hydrotherapy than almost anybody else in the world. He also leads trips to the incredible Liquid-Sound experience at a spa in Bad Sulza, Germany.
I teach a few workshops each year to therapists, estheticians, and others who want to learn about spa modalities without being told one particular brand of products is better than any other. I think it's better that way. Don't get me wrong; I definitely understand the need of product vendors to make money. Yet not all vendors have gone beyond that basic need and taken education in the spa industry to higher standards. There are some, though, that have centers around the world giving detail-oriented trainings that go way beyond just explaining how to use their products.
It's a fine line we're walking in the spa industry between education and promotion. You and I didn't enter this field to get bombarded by advertisements, and we certainly don't want our clients to feel that way. However, we do need to familiarize ourselves with certain products if we are to be effective at what we do.
Power to the (Spa) People
So, what do spa products and treatments really do? They feel good, of course, and that's probably why people think they're purchasing them. But you and I have to remember the treatments are powerful, as I mentioned to you in my last letter. We have to take that power seriously, even though there's a strong tendency to discount the treatments as merely "fluffy."
There are several treatments that I personally feel to be quite powerful. They include the herbal wrap (my favorite); seaweed wraps; sea salt scrubs; aromatherapy applications; and hydrotherapy. I'll explain each of these from my point of view in a future letter, but for now I'd just like to give you some common-sense guidelines for whenever you're faced with the choice of "to train or not to train on a new treatment or product."
Ask the trainer or company these questions before signing up for your next training:
For me, the most powerful spa therapies contain an element of heat. Anything that heats me up really does the trick for my particular physiology, but I know that's not the case for everyone. Most people don't take into account the intimate and personal nature of spa treatments - powerful, natural ingredients soaking directly into your pores while you lie there pondering your life - and as a result, there is seldom enough customization going on in spa treatment rooms. It's often a one-wrap-fits-all mentality out there, but that is changing. Look for tailor-made spa treatments to gain in popularity over the coming decade.
Trainer, Train Thyself
Sorry I don't have time to get into any specifics about the treatments right now, Lou. Like I said... next time. Anyway, I'll leave you with one last word. I know you were impressed with the trainer, and fascinated by the ritualistic approached she shared about the treatments from Bali, to the point where you were ready to hop the next plane to the South Pacific. You even mentioned wanting to become a trainer yourself. My only suggestion here is, whoa, slow down! There is a danger in the spa world of wanting to move too fast, simply because there are so many directions to move in when you start looking around. Trips to Bali and well-paid training missions all over the country might sound glamorous to you now, but remember that if you don't put in the legwork first, pay your dues and learn the ropes in their natural progression, you'll end up with a fancy job title and no substance to back it up. Even more likely, you'll end up seeking the perfect career and being turned away due to lack of experience. Take it one step at a time.
Talk to you later,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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