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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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