resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
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.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.