resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 03
By Steve Capellini, LMT
Author's Note: The Spa Letters column features news, personality profiles, trends, and plenty of professional possibilities for LMTs in the spa industry. The style is epistolary, meaning the articles are letters to a fictional massage therapist friend of the author.
I'm quite impressed with the incredible enthusiasm you've shown for your work in the spa industry.At this rate, you might become spa director yourself in the near future! You should be proud of the "Supervisor of Spa Treatments" position you've been offered, whether you accept it or not.
That's right, I said whether you accept it or not. You should definitely sit down and think long and hard about the decision, although right now it would seem silly to turn down something so obviously good for your career - including an increase in pay and prestige. But before jumping for that big spa brass ring, consider what I call the "3 Rs" that come into play when moving into management.
First of all, when you make the switch to being a manager/supervisor, other people are going to look at you differently. When you are somebody's "boss," he or she may have the tendency to categorize or even demonize you. This single quick decision will make you the "enemy."
I'm not exaggerating. This happened to me, and it's happened to many others I know in the spa industry -- therapists who started working in the spa out of a sincere desire to do good work and treat other people in a caring manner. As soon as they moved into a managerial position and felt the sting of separation from their colleagues, many of them retreated immediately into their former roles as therapists (with the added stigma of "demotion" attached to the position), while others quit the industry altogether.
I don't mean to alarm you, but if you choose to take the position, you have to be prepared to see therapists from the opposite side of the desk. What you see may not be too appealing.
Consider the new responsibilities you're likely to have, including, among other things:
Being in charge of payroll means you'll be in charge of your staff's wallets, bank accounts and paychecks. People will see you as the gatekeeper to their prosperity, or their lack of it. You'll be amazed how quickly a massage therapist will transfer his or her feelings of lack and poverty onto you if the paychecks are not what is expected. You will have to be there to distribute these paychecks, and you'd better not be late or in any way impede the flow of funds, because you will hear about it immediately. Once you have a system worked out, payroll can become routine. Just be aware that others will see you not so much as a friend anymore, but more as a parental figure, if you're the one handing them their money at the end of every pay period.
The flip side of payroll is scheduling. By deciding who gets which shifts, you ultimately will be in control of who gets the biggest paychecks. This is often tied in with some kind of seniority system, as I mentioned a few letters ago. Some managers have a hands-off attitude about scheduling, leaving the details up to requests from the staff and the day-by-day exigencies of the spa, but I think it's better to be proactive on this issue. Of course, scheduling massage staff will include scheduling yourself, since you'll still be a working therapist, and even though you think that will mean you can choose when you work and get the choicest times and dates off for vacations and so on, you'll find that in reality, supervisors work a lot more than the line staff, because a lot more is expected of them. Upper management knows that you're someone who wants to move up, and they'll take advantage of that ambition.
If you decide to be a manager of people, you'll also definitely find yourself managing disputes. With massage therapists, that can be tricky. Everything from security issues to sexual harassment charges will come under your jurisdiction, so be prepared!
As a supervisor, you'll be expected to be on top of the latest issues as far as training is concerned. This usually isn't that much of a problem, because vendors come in to do most of the training, as you've already learned. But it's important for you to stay current and informed and able to offer assistance and even extra solo trainings for those on-the-spot situations where an outside trainer is not available.
Perhaps the most important role you'll play as a supervisor is as liaison between staff and upper management. The other therapists will rely upon you to get their concerns headed, and the owners/management will depend upon you to get their views heard (and their rules obeyed!).
Now consider the reasons you're thinking of saying "yes" in the first place. As a supervisor, you will be in position for serious consideration when other job opportunities evolve within the company, or maybe even in other spas. You'll have to keep your eyes open for such opportunities. Also, you'll be making a steadier paycheck, not one based on the fluctuating flow of clientele at the spa. Also with the greater responsibility, you'll get the opportunity eventually to grow into a more mature you. In the meantime, you'll have to settle down to the job at hand, which will be substantial, as I just pointed out.
Ultimately, your rewards may be greater, in terms of career trajectory, but they will also be different from what you originally entered the field to gain. You've only been a therapist for a couple of years, and now you may be heading off into this uncharted territory. I've seen it happen over and over in the spa industry. It can be a tricky path.
Whatever your ultimate decision is, I'll be here for you to help in whatever ways I can. In fact, I'm kind of excited to find out what that decision will be! Let me know as soon as you've made your choice.
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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