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Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
May, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 05
The Fourth Element of the Great Spa Conversation: Touch
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 fifth article in a 12-part series and focuses on the fourth of the 10 elements: Touch.
"We were just givin' love, mon..."
During the annual spa getaway and education month at the Swept Away Resort and Spa in Jamaica, I learned a great lesson.During a hands-on wrap session, we American massage therapists took a quick break in the adjoining room while the clients were resting. As we were talking and laughing, one of the therapists noticed that all the Jamaican therapists were still with their clients, sitting on the edge of the table, each with one hand gently touching the client. As we re-entered the classroom, one of the American therapists asked, "What were you doing?" The response: "We were just givin' love, mon."
Touch, the soul of universal language, speaks to each of us no matter our age, race, economic class or culture. That sense of soul is perhaps why touch and massage therapy remain among the most popular treatments in the burgeoning spa industry.
In the context of the 10 Elements of the Spa Experience, we define this fourth element as "connectivity and communication embraced through touch, massage and bodywork." With the incredible expansion in scope and skill of talented therapists and visionaries, touch services have penetrated the spa industry in many ways. Treatments now range from traditional touch specialties to hot rocks, watzu and water dance, to adjunctive medical, beauty and sports training sessions. Spa, like massage, has gone mainstream.
Dovetailing with the growth of the spa industry in corporate America, the touch professions have an opportunity to lead by example when it comes to integrating vocation and lifestyle. Massage therapists have set a standard for 21st century, next-level professionalism. What is that next level? It is when professional goals and job requirements balance and support, and enhance a lifestyle choice. As Steven Capellini, author of Massage Therapy Career Guide and contributing columnist for Massage Today, writes:
I believe the spa industry is the perfect home for pursuing such endeavors. But we are not without problems, and we can't do it alone.
It is no secret that any successful spa operation, no matter the type, is dependent on the skills and competencies of the technical staff. The lack of strong educational programs focusing on spa services has made recruiting and educating qualified personnel one of the biggest challenges facing the industry today. Many spas, especially larger destination, resort and day spas choose to actually train therapists themselves. But what does this mean for national or international standards? How do we provide access to improving the quantity and quality of therapists to meet the increasing demand of this sixteen billion dollar industry?
To address this need, the International Spa Assocation (ISPA) set an immediate goal in 2001 to begin the process of establishing core competencies for the spa industry, based on actual feedback of spa owners, spa directors, spa therapists and consumers. Through roundtable feedback from membership, in-depth discussion from our interdisciplinary committee, interviews with selected spas and therapists recommended for their excellence, and an ISPA membership survey, we were able to begin the process of defining what kind of skills are required to become a successful massage therapist in a spa environment. Although spa environments vary greatly from a large, busy resort spa, to a day spa, salon, club spa or medical spa, certain qualities define excellence. Consider the following foundations of this profile.
Here is a summary of the characteristics considered critical or important to being a successful therapist in the spa environment:
Interaction with Spa and Other Staff
One of the great qualities about the spa industry is its ability to embrace the concept of integration. Aside from the desire for most of us to achieve a greater sense of well being, there is a sincere effort at this point in the spa industry's development to embrace this concept from a business perspective as well. For massage therapists, this means that spa managers and owners usually make genuine efforts to provide an optimal environment for caring touch. After all, if the environment is not beautiful, easy or comfortable to work in, it is not conducive to creating that magic space and feeling that keeps clients coming back. Somehow these intangibles set the tone for the reputation of the spa. Scheduling, compensation, career incentives and many other issues have all become an active part of an enthusiastic spa dialogue between massage therapists and their co-workers. We all must rise to the challenge of creating a soulful workplace.
For me, the spa industry has opened the door to the magic of water, the pleasure of scent and sound, a deeper comfort from touch, and the fineries of taste and the concept of ousia (oo-see-ahh). Ousia is a philosophical system that has helped me understand and integrate the living patterns of nature into my environment and work. The concept of ousia, along with the 10 Elements, helps me explore the multi-dimensional nature of the wellness journey through the senses. There is a word I am exploring that I think you would like, called synethesia. It refers to when all your senses blend together to create one feeling and sense of awe for something greater than yourself. This is what inspires me to connect the foundation I have gathered from massage and bodywork to the multi-faceted nature of the spa experience. I hope you will join me.
Remember, spa is a people's movement. Your voice is important.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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