resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
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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