resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
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.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
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.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
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.
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.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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?
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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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