resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
January, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 01
Welcome to the Great Spa Conversation
By Robin Zill, LMT
As we begin The Great Spa Conversation, I'd like to introduce you to the 10 Elements of the Spa Experience. This is an evolving paradigm, developed to give some structure to the philosophy of spa and to facilitate communication among industry professionals.Given the social and spiritual climate since September 11, 2001, it is all the more poignant that we find new ways to connect using new tools. We hope that this column will be a place where we can explore our roots and traditions, and brainstorm new ways to connect with clients and better serve the world in which we live.
Part I: The Genesis of the 10 Elements
The history of the 10 Elements helps to tell the story of the contemporary spa movement. The 10-elements construct has two broad goals. The first was to help define the elusive and ever changing nature of the spa experience. The second was to create a foundation, a common language and career path for the emerging spa professional.
Embarking on this task was difficult, as you can imagine. More often than not, it seemed impossible to wrap our arms around this quickly evolving, growing and diverse industry. However, the ISPA Education Committee members believed we had the opportunity to help give definition to this 21st century profession. The diversity and experience of the committee allowed us to examine the evolution and growth of related professional organizations such as fitness, massage/bodywork, and aesthetics, and to compare that growth to the spa industry. We wanted the spa industry to embrace the new need of professionals to have their lifework and career path be more integrated with their personal life. We also wanted a career path that acknowledged the rich life experience people bring to their work, as this was so critical in creating a memorable spa experience, which in turn creates client retention.
Key words and ideas that framed the dialogue and inspired the 10-Element Circle:
Part II: Understanding the 10-Element Circle
My belief is that spas have the potential to be the sacred spaces for understanding and nurturing the contemporary human spirit. What creates excellence in "the spa experience" is difficult to capture and articulate. There are many levels to the dialogue and they are interrelated in nature. On the surface, a spa treatment is about feeling good. But to achieve a memorable experience and not just a great massage, facial or wrap, we need to encourage each client's connection to a deeper sense of self. What we really want to do is create a space for self-discovery and growth. The 10-element circle can give form and structure to this search, both for the professional and the consumer. After all, the healing dynamic of giving and receiving is at the heart of this exchange.
First, take a moment to understand the circle pattern. You will notice that there are eight pieces of the pie, but 10 elements. The center and the circumference of the circle make up the final two elements: Integration (element five) and Time, Space, Rhythms (element 10). Elements one, two, three, four, six, seven, eight and nine sequentially fill in the pie. Within the circle, all 10 elements are related and interact dynamically with one another. Each is dependent upon the other.
Part III: The 10 Elements
Key words: The transforming power of water.
Water is the heart of the spa experience. Fundamentally transforming, it is used for cleansing, purifying and basic survival. Both the external use of water through compresses, showers, bathing, and swimming, and the internal uses of water through drinking and other internal cleansing procedures, are included.
Key words: Nature as nourishment.
How do we feed ourselves to maximize our experience of life? Yes, a healthy, well-balanced diet is necessary, but how we combine it with our nutritional supplements, medicine if we are ill, and the nine other elements give us the tools to expand our experience of optimal health.
Key words: Our body as a vessel for growth.
The third element envelops movement of all forms: aerobic and cardiovascular exercise, yoga, walking meditation and dance. Movement is within the spa space, or transition from one treatment to another consideration.
Key words: Experience of other. The fourth element involves embracing touch through massage and bodywork modalities to connect with the client on a deep level and enhance vitality and growth from within. As professionals in our industry you know this just hints at the depth of what we do and why we do it. Touch is not only one of the most profitable services in the spa, it is at the heart of helping people move to new and deeper levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Visit the Great Spa Conversation at www.spaelegance.com/gsc.asp or the International Spa Association (ISPA) at www.experienceispa.com and see the recent profile we developed regarding what qualities are most valuable for a massage therapist working in the spa environment. See if you agree. We want to hear from you.
Key words: Experience of self.
Located in the center of the circle, this element is the "ousia" or essence of the 10 elements. Ousia (oo SEE ahh; Greek in origin) is a concept that describes when mind, body, spirit all merge into one to make a memorable and meaningful experience. The definition of ousia is: essence; being; that which makes us who we are (but not a material substance) as well as our search for something greater than ourselves.
Key words: Earth as healer.
The appreciation of beauty, both inside and out is paramount to element six. Practically, it means feeling beautiful and embraces our current concepts of beauty, which include the outward manifestations of fashion, skin, hair, nails etc. Understanding this and enhancing this service in the context of total health bridges the chasm between feeling and looking beautiful.
Key words: Earth as home.
Environment is our place on the planet. Are we in the city, the coast or the desert? The treatments we choose are related to the season, the time, the weather. How we change and react to and with our environment as well as our commitment to be stewards of the earth are all contained in this element.
Key words: Sense of place in community.
Broad, yet basic in scope, the eighth element embraces the science, politics, belief systems and cultural appreciation of the arts in healing.
Key words: Integration of daily work as purpose.
What is our life's work? What is our heart's passion? There are at least two ways we are rewarded or satisfied by our work. One is monetary; the other is giving of oneself. This element explores the exchange or energy (including commerce) between service provider, client, spa and community.
Key words: Vehicle for transcending self.
The 10th element encircling all the others is actually metaphorical in nature as is the fifth element in the middle. It holds all the others, as a vessel from which the other domains interrelate and reflex into each other. This element embraces the seasons and rhythms of the human experience, incorporating the life cycle; biorhythms; chronobiology; the therapist's role as timekeeper; and more.
PART IV: A Call to Participate in the Great Spa Conversation
In summary, the Great Spa Conversation is about evaluating, expressing, and embracing our values; it is about our shared purpose. It is up to us to address and define professional competency, standards of practice and levels of excellence.
After all, spa is a peoples' movement. It is up to us to come together: to heal, to encourage, to challenge, to dialogue, and to question. It is great to connect with my roots in the massage and touch industry. I look forward to writing this series of articles featuring the 10 elements, but look forward to your feedback even more.
I can't believe how far we have come as an industry in the last 20 years. Have we made mistakes? Yes. Are we wiser? Sure. Can we do better? Absolutely. It is time for our collective professional voice to have more political and social influence. In the words of Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Imagine what we can do as an integrated industry. Please join me on line at The Great Spa Conversation. Your voice makes a difference.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, 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.