resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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 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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
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.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
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