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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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
December, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 12
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.
So, you've experienced the benefits of herbal wraps firsthand now, by going through your own personal mini-detox program right there at the spa. Great idea! I think more spa therapists should put their own bodies on the line. It shows your spa guests that you really believe in what you're doing, and it can inspire them to experience it for themselves.
I remember once at a spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, I received a clay detox treatment from a gentleman in his 70s who exuded vibrant health. He told me he constantly took advantage of the spa's employee discount program to receive treatments, and that when he was off work, he spent a lot of time meditating and playing on the golf course. He was the most relaxed, content and inspired spa worker I've ever met, at an age when most people yearn for retirement. In fact, he said he could have retired, but the atmosphere in the spa was so alluring that he chose to keep working.
A Book's Worth of Information
Of course, herbal wraps are not the only treatments that can offer profound benefits, and you've got your work cut out for you in the months ahead as you learn the ins and outs of such esoteric matters as thalassotherapy; Ayurvedic body wraps; mango body scrubs; and more. Remember, though, this is the type of job that most people dream about having. Like you said, it's not too hard to feel grateful each day when your life revolves around making people, including yourself, feel better and achieve heightened levels of wellness.
It would take me an entire book to write about the benefits of all the services offered at your spa. In fact, I did write a book about it, didn't I? That's the subject of The Royal Treatment. I know someday you'll get around to reading it, if you can just tear yourself away from those mysteries for a few hours. There are a number of good books on the subject, actually, all of which can help both professionals like you and the general public understand the plethora of treatments available. Check out Julie Register's list of such books on the about.com spa site, http://spas.about.com/cs/spabookstore1.
Keep the Heat On
Some of my favorite spa therapies include paraffin baths (great for therapists' hands between treatments, too), fango mud wraps, stone therapy and hydrotherapy.
Do you notice one thing in common with all of my favorites, including the herbal wrap I wrote about in my last letter? That's right, they're all heat treatments. For me, nothing beats heat when it comes to spa therapy. I've been known to drive thousands of miles to reach remote hot springs in the wilderness, just to experience heat direct from nature. You take something unremarkable, like a river rock, then heat it up, and it becomes a therapeutic tool of remarkable power.
I'm sure you have your own preferred spa treatment protocols. The challenge is to identify them, elaborate upon them, then offer the fruits of your enthusiasm to the guests who come to you for treatments.
I have an idea that I'd like to recommend to you: First, make sure you get permission from your spa director; second, start to take advantage of where you are and, over the coming weeks, make your own list of the top five spa treatments your spa offers, and then personally experience every one of them, getting fellow employees to join you in the process if you can. Finally, create your own personal resource, be it a one-page handout; a mini-brochure; a page on the World Wide Web; or something that you can personally offer the guests you come in contact with - something that shows them how much your care about their well-being, and how you believe in the spa's offerings for your own personal wellness. If you don't want to write this information down, that's OK. At least you'll have it in your mind (and in the cells of your body), so that when guests ask, you'll be fully prepared to answer them.
Enthusiasm + Caution = A Safe, Successful Spa
There's one caveat here: as you recommend your favorite services to the guests, remember that what you consider nirvana might be a nightmare for someone else. Even though I love the herbal wrap, for example, I know there are people out there who would pay good money not to get wrapped in steaming hot sheets. You've got to keep contraindications, both physical and psychological, in mind as you create and grow your personal resource guide for spa therapies. There is, in fact, some rather mysterious equipment used in some quirky spa treatments today that even you or I might think twice about experiencing. You've told me you have some of this equipment at your own facility, such as the puzzling fire-hydrant type spigot in one of your wet rooms.
So, the next time I have time to write, I'll tell you about some of the treatments that aren't seen much anymore, even though spas often still have the equipment, usually a leftover from earlier spa incarnations.
Until then, take care,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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