resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
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 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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
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.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
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.
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
The First of the 10 Elements: Water
By Robin Zill, LMT
The 10 Elements of the Spa Experience are designed to teach the consumer and professional about the integrated nature of the spa experience. This is the second article in a 12-part series and focuses on the first of the 10 elements: Water.(Editor's note: The graphic of the 10-Element Circle appears on line at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/01/16.html.)
Water is transformational by its very nature. The study of water in its many forms has stimulated some of the greatest thinkers and visionaries throughout time. An excellent metaphor for life and vitality, water is central to the human experience. The study of water and its many roles could actually be considered a bridge between science and art. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, water is one part oxygen, two parts hydrogen, and the rest is magic.
In the spa environment, hydrotherapy and balneotherapy are the most common terms used to describe the use of water. Hydrotherapy is usually defined as "the use of water in any of its three forms, solid, liquid or gas, used internally or externally for the prevention and treatment of disease or trauma, or used to enhance optimal wellness through daily health programs." Balneotherapy is the art and science of bathing for therapeutic and relaxation purposes. This includes partial and full bathing practices. Crenology, not as common in the U.S., is considered the therapeutic use of waters from mineral springs for therapeutic and relaxation purposes. The chemical composition of the water is significant, as is temperature and location.
The Transforming Power of Water
Why is water so magical? Fundamentally transforming, it is used for cleansing, purifying and basic survival. Both the external use of water through compresses, showers, wraps, bathing, and swimming, and the internal uses of water through drinking and other internal cleansing procedures, are critical to the spa experience. Water therapies are homeostatic in nature - they depend upon the body's ability to maintain balance or stability in a changing environment. This process is thermaldynamic in nature: by varying the temperature, the mechanical distribution and/or the chemical composition of water, many different treatments and effects can be achieved.
Temperature variation is the most common tool used in hydrotherapy treatments, because the temperature of the water will determine the extent of the stimulation on the skin. The skin is the portal of entry for hydrotherapy treatments. It connects our outer environment to our inner environment. The nervous system responds to this thermal change, and the stimulus is transferred to the organs via nerves, lymph and blood vessels. As one of the primary functions of skin is to maintain the body's temperature at a comfortable and consistent level, it is critical to maintaining homeostasis or balance within the body. This function primarily uses the circulation of the blood and lymph system. By increasing or decreasing circulation, hydrotherapy can help to affect the body's organs, and therefore assist in natural detoxification, cleansing or elimination processes.
Water is an excellent conductor, which allows it to transfer heat effectively and quickly. Water also possesses the ability to absorb and distribute large quantities of heat.
Water, a universal solvent, can readily dissolve many other substances to form therapeutic solutions: electrolytes, sugars, salts, osmotic baths, etc.
Because the density of water is similar to that of the human body, it produces a buoyant effect upon immersion equal to the weight of the water displaced. This is particularly useful for paralyzed muscles unable to move heavy limbs. Because of the unique qualities of water, hydrotherapy can be truly therapeutic and useful in treating many diseases. The new research on hyperthermia and cancer is just one exciting example. That is why, depending on the treatment, therapists should be well-trained and have a working knowledge of the body, especially the circulatory system. Contraindication for hydrotherapy treatments are similar to those for other heat treatments: pregnancy; heart diseases; acute or inflamed conditions; high blood pressure; varicose veins; other circulatory problems; rashes; and extreme obesity. Also, treatments should not be performed if the client has just consumed alcohol or a heavy meal.
Water, a precious resource, is inexpensive in essence and available as a healing tool in many forms. In the spa setting, how and how much water is used is usually determined by the treatment protocols and equipment selection. This can range from hot towel cabis, hydrocollators, and moist heat packs to Vichy and Swiss showers, scotch hoses and hydrotherapy tubs. Generally, the basic tools the water therapist works with are water temperature; the body area immersed or exposed to water; the duration of the bath, shower or treatment; the mechanical features such as underwater massage wands or shower sprays; and chemical factors such as botanical extracts, salts, seaweeds, and other natural agents.
The environment is also an important variable of the treatment. Often this is determined ahead of time; the therapist may only be able to control temperature and ambience, but beauty and art go hand in hand with bathing. New trends that embrace the importance of environment include Watsu and water dancing pools, floating pools and the innovative liquid sound pool in Germany that combines the floating experience with light and sound.
Exploring the dimensions of water in its many forms is a great way to begin understanding the integrated nature of the spa experience. Please visit the Great Spa Conversation (www.spaelegance.com or visit the ISPA Web site at www.experienceispa.com) to share your insights and connections to water. The spa movement is a cultural expression of the people's new perception of optimal health. Your voice is important.
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.