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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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
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.
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.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
March, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 03
The Second Element: Nourishment
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 second of the 10 elements: Nourishment.
The 10-Element Circle is available for viewing on line at http://www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/01/16.html.It is no secret that optimal nutrition enhances health and vitality. But what is good nutrition, especially in today's fast-paced and chaotic society? Is good nutrition simple and pure, high-tech and advanced, or a little of both? The process of discovering what diet or nutrition program is right for you raises numerous questions, and for good reason.
It appears that Americans choose fast foods over everything else. In his book Fast Food Nation, author Eric Schlosser makes the case that what we eat has changed more in the last 40 years than in the previous 40,000 years. Americans spent $110 billion on fast food in 2000, up from six billion in 1970. We spent more in 2000 on fast food than we did on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. If we are what we eat, we have a lot to reflect upon and change.
Perhaps this is why the spa industry has also experienced tremendous growth. The spa experience can be an invaluable tool in expanding awareness and health through food and nourishment. This second element of the spa experience, nourishment, offers the spa-goer and the spa professional a framework to integrate nutritional choices into today's lifestyle. It includes foods, herbals, supplements and medicine; everything we consciously put into our bodies.
Natural food, water treatments, and exercise have always been at the center of the spa experience. According to spa historian Dr. Jonathan De Vierville, a new interest in nutrition, water and exercise emerged in the 1920s, in part to help war veterans recover from the rigors of World War I. Escaping from Romania just before Hitler's takeover, the Szekely family became pioneers of the spa industry in this tumultuous time. They started one of the first spa health retreats in America.
"Our principal asset was a simple faith in the values of living in harmony with nature," says Deborah Szekely. Opened in 1940, the Essene School of Life, now Rancho La Puerta in Escondido, California, is one of the most famous destination spas in the world. Originally committed to a vegetarian philosophy and a grape juice diet, the Szekelys believed that healthy food came from healthy soil. Although the price tag has changed since then, from $17.50 a week and "bring your own tent" to a few thousand dollars weekly and required reservations months ahead, the Szekelys' philosophy has remained intact. They still seek to provide a healthy retreat with a focus on integrated living, including an emersion experience with natural and organic foods.
This time period also saw the beginnings of the American Medical Society (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This represented a big social change, affecting citizens on a personal level. Although it may have escaped the average citizen's conscious attention, the individual no longer controlled what went on the table. As the 20th century advanced, technology and regulations advanced at an exponential speed, and the general population embraced and admired these advancements in the name of progress.
Sound familiar? Gradually, natural and pure foods (and simple health remedies) were devalued. This unconscious cultural withdrawal from nature had many serious consequences, which we will discuss in future articles, but certainly people became more and more removed from the food they ate. From the beginning, the spa industry responded to these issues. Healthy and natural food, spa cuisine, was central to the spa experience. What is spa cuisine? Cathy Cluff, director of the Oaks at Ojai and daughter of spa and fitness pioneer Sheila Cluff, laughed when I asked her to define spa cuisine. She said that asking that question is like asking someone to define "the spa experience." When pressed for spa cuisine guidelines, Cathy suggested the following:
Cathy says the latest trend in spa cuisine is to create a menu and dining experience for the guest vs. letting them choose from a set menu. This way, the spa guest can receive the best of what the chef has to offer: food of the season; regional specialties; secret recipes; and a simple education of what and why you are eating this delicious entree. In fact, says Cathy, education of the client is one of the best forms of creating client retention, and should be woven throughout the whole spa programming.
For health-conscious massage therapists and bodyworkers, I definitely recommend visiting a spa that specializes in spa cuisine. Not only will you have a great time and a healthy retreat, you will also absorb knowledge that you can then share with your clients. Unfortunately, some destination spas can be pricey, so if you are on a tight budget this year, check out the recipe of the month on the International Spa Association website (www. experienceispa.com). Local day spas also have healthy, trend-setting options. Also, remember to remind your clients that after the rigors of massage, water treatments or exercise, it is advisable to eat simple, easily digestible foods.
We have a lot of work to do to when it comes to healthy eating, but we are on our way. Mary Tabacchi, a nutritionist from Cornell University and a spa spokesperson says that in the last 10 years or so, we have gone from the Pepsi Generation to the Fitness Generation. Nutrition, fitness and health are beginning to dominate our lifestyle. Mel Zuckerman, of Canyon Ranch, sums up this evolutionary yearning for better health when he says, "How we deliver our message may change, but how we truly get there does not. We tell our customers that wellness can be achieved by making emotional connection to health by finding balance of mind, body and spirit."
What do you think? Your voice is important. Join me at The Great Spa Conversation, hosted by www.spaelegance.com.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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