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Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
April, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 04
The Third Element of the Great Spa Conversation: Movement
By Robin Zill, LMT
ISPA (the International Spa Association) recognized the importance of exercise and fitness from the beginning: it was originally named the International Spa and Fitness Association.In fact, many of the harbinger consultants and creators of the spa industry have a strong fitness background. This third element is defined as vitality and energy through movement, exercise, stretching and fitness. It includes movement of all forms: aerobic and cardiovascular exercise; dance; yoga; walking meditation; and client movement within the spa space.
The health and fitness boom of the '90s dominated the lifestyles of many in the U.S. and abroad. The desire to live a happier and healthier life wove itself into the American dream. The rise in the popularity of aerobics and other relatively high-impact exercise programs mirrored this passion. Many destination spas adapted their philosophies in kind, changing from spas with an emphasis on weight management to lifestyle spas with a strong emphasis on fitness. It became obvious that the problem with overweight America was not just a matter of counting calories. The real culprit was stress. This became the motivating drive and market niche that would give the spa industry its explosive growth.
Deby Harper of Fitness Company, a pioneer in the fitness movement, articulates this concept well. She says it is not necessarily how much we eat or even exercise that allows us to keep our desired body weight. After all, why do some of us retain weight while others stay slim, regardless of our diet or exercise? According to Harper, our brain prescribes a powerful chemical called cortisol when stressed. In response to cortisol, the body takes action:
These responses to stress are rooted deep in our genes, according to Dr. Robert Eliot, co-founder of the Institute of Stress Medicine in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Our bodies are designed to react to stress as a survival strategy. Our daily stress triggers are sometimes rooted in emotional and mental challenges - conflicts that can be abstract. Paying the bills, professional competition, relationship issues, and raising children all add to our stress. Although it may seem like a good idea to wrestle your boss down to the ground if you disagree with him/her, it is no longer socially acceptable. Exercise is a better outlet for this physical expression. Not only does it give us a release, it gives us the added benefits of increased endorphins, a natural mood elevator.
Many of us in the massage industry (at least the "older/wiser" generation) would not be considered fanatics about our weight and looks. But as we age, the desire to age gracefully with less pain becomes more and more appealing. We recognize the need to stay healthy, fit, and productive as well as be role models for our clients. A 2001 ISPA study by Cox Consulting points out that 88% of spa goers get a massage, and 56% participate in some type of fitness or sports activity.
From bungi jumping to wall climbing, water yoga, kickboxing, hiking and even tap dancing, spas are leading the way in bringing exercise and movement to their customers. Spas are on the cutting edge of new trends for exercise and movement. ISPA embraced this new trend by identifying a new type of spa membership: the club spa. A club spa is defined as a company that operates a facility whose primary purpose is fitness, but that offers a variety of professionally administered spa services on a day-use basis. This category is rising quickly: according to the ISPA Spa Industry Study (August 2000), there are 423 club spas in the United States. Together, club spas average 12.1 million visits per year, which places club spas between day spas and resort/hotel spas in ranking of total visitors.
The club spa has some unique characteristics. Like the day spa, clients come in on a regular basis and are community-based. Multi-use rooms that provide a variety of massage, spa body and facial services have proven to be very effective and profitable. With a built-in consumer base to draw from, spa services can be test marketed and catered directly to the needs of the membership. ISPA Executive Director Lynne McNees comments:
Usually, salon services are not a requirement, but can be found in the larger club spa. Just as the day spa industry boomed, I believe we can expect the same to happen for the club spa.
Our market is changing at a fast pace. New terminology and new concepts are needed to meet the needs of our market and new integrated health paradigm. Futurists now project that 50% of the population will be over the age of 50 by the year 2005. Debra Smith, from Smith Club and Spa Specialists, predicts that more than ever, fitness and new movement therapies that emphasize balance and integration will be woven into the spa experience. People do not want to risk injury; they want to build stability and strength. Consequently, the next wave of fitness activities will feature systems like Pilates, yoga and tai chi, which are considered core therapies. These programs emphasize the mind, body, spirit and emotional needs of the client.
The new PFS (Personal Fitness Assessment) is just such a tool. New behavioral research indicates that the most effective exercisers are those who understand themselves, both their strengths and weaknesses, so they can develop strategies to meet the demands of their fitness program. If you have a hard time getting motivated to exercise or determining what exercise program is right for you (or a client), you may want to try the new PFS personality assessment program. It is designed to give you insight into what motivates, frustrates, and helps you get the most out of a workout. Another professional consideration for today's massage therapist would be to consider becoming a yoga or Pilates instructor. It would be an excellent synthesis of two languages that help to re-educate and re-align the body though a mind-body-spirit connection -- helping make you that much more employable.
The last important quality about movement in the context of the third domain is the actual process of how a client moves from one space to another in your spa. The layout of the spa should be simple and easy to navigate. From reception, to locker room, to waiting areas, to the actual treatment room(s), gentle and easy client movement is critical to a good spa experience. It is all about flow. The third element dovetails here with environment, climate and touch. People get nervous and stressed if they do not know where to go. If possible, it is still best to escort a client to the next treatment.
Good signage, repeated directions, and clear instructions regarding how clients get on and off the table, especially on wet tables where the client is more vulnerable, are all essential to creating a great spa experience. From the minute they walk through the door, you are taking your clients on a journey. Make each step count and be memorable. Please feel free to contact me! Your voice is important.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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