resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
By Steve Capellini, LMT
Last month I finished my letter with a few words about your "soul's calling." This might have sounded strange. What does your soul have to do with your work at the spa? Isn't it exclusively the customers whose souls have to be coddled at the spa? After all, they're the ones who are paying.Employees' souls, with all their clamoring needs, are often thought to be better left at home, or at least checked at the door when you come to work.
Personally, I think the opposite is the case, especially in spas. In spas, if the massage therapist's soul is not tranquil and wholly into the moment, the person on the table will feel it. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the overall spa operation for your soul to be well taken care of.
Spa Souls Past and Present
Historically, massage therapists employed in spas have not been on the top of the list as far as soul care goes. For example, when the Romans constructed prototypical spas many centuries ago, they created environments of beauty, pleasure, health, and great artistry, in an attempt to care for the souls of all those who entered. But, unfortunately, most of the massage therapists who attended the spa patrons in those days were slaves, and their souls were generally neglected.
Fortunately, our modern egalitarian society affords the spa therapist's soul the same consideration as the spa patron's soul. The only difference is that whereas spa patrons are there to relax and nourish their soul, you're there to work.
The question is: how can you turn your work at the spa into a soul-nurturing activity?
Many people in many different lines of work ask themselves that same question every day. Those of us in the spa industry are no different. Lou, even though you and I both became therapists and got jobs in holistic environments precisely because we wanted to avoid the trap of corporate America, that is exactly where we ended up. Instead of shunning this reality, it's better, in my opinion, to embrace it.
Preservation of the Soul
In the course of the past year, while engaged in a spa development project of my own, I stumbled across a book that has proven vastly valuable to me, and I think it will be for you, too. In fact, I'm going to send you a copy as a gift. The book is called The Heart Aroused: Poetry and Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, by the poet David Whyte.
Spas are corporations, just like banks and insurance companies. The same dynamics are at work, the same personalities, the same politics. The words of David Whyte helped me understand what I have to do to keep my own soul alive and well in the corporate workplace of the spa.When I felt a little lost in the workaday maze, not sure where I was headed, I heeded his words:
In other words, Lou, just keep following your instincts. Your soul led you into the spa in the first place because it is your soul that is taking you where you need to be in life. Things are happening for you now - relationships are being formed, experiences created and shared, skills gained - all because you happened to step into this world. You are being tugged by your invisible self toward a future that you cannot fully envision. The important thing is, you know you're on the right path. We sensitive therapist types are constantly seeking our way into the heart of life, listening closely to what is being "told" to us through the subtle clues of our lives on a day-to-day basis.
Following Your Own Path
It's critically important to do the absolutely best work you can and create the absolutely best relationships you can with all people you come in contact with while working at the spa. This is precisely what I did in one of my earliest spa jobs, and it has led to all the other opportunities that have followed.
People will notice if you are following your passion, because it is a rare thing. And following your passion means investing yourself fully into the whole of the life experience you have while pursuing that passion. In other words, a truly passionate spa therapist is as enthused about helping the janitor keep the place sparkling as relieving a guest's sciatica.
Watch yourself closely from the inside. Where is your life taking you? Now that it has taken you here, to this place at this time, if you commit yourself fully and passionately to the experience, it will accelerate you ever more quickly along the trajectory of your career. And don't worry if the path seems uncertain much of the time. That's normal. Just make sure it's your own wisdom you're following, not something imposed upon you from the outside.
As David Whyte said,
What You Can Offer
And, finally, I'd like to leave you with my favorite quote of all from Preservation of the Soul. I had it hanging, in bold letters, on my office wall over the past year. Interestingly, none of the owners or other managers of the spa ever mentioned it.
There will come a time when you are absolutely fed up with your work at the spa. This point would arrive if you were working in an office or in a bakery too, but sometimes front-line spa people are hit harder because they are expected to be not only friendly, but calm, attentive, and focused while all along working intimately with a wide range of personalities.
When you do find yourself fed up, the normal response is to remove yourself spiritually from the situation, to take your soul out of the workplace and just go through the motions. When you reach this point, remember David Whyte's words:
My advice to you as you continue to face the challenges that are guaranteed to come up, is to cultivate your own true heart, your own true vision of the path you are following, your own true soul, and then to invest that soul into the reality of your life as it is unfolding right now, which will often include the mundane operations of the spa. If you invest that part of you that is beyond what you're doing into what you're doing, the results will be surprising.
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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