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Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
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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