resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
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.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
June, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 06
The Fifth Element: Integration
By Robin Zill, LMT
Author's note: 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 fifth of the 10 elements: Integration.
It is no secret that the underlying saga of the modern American is often one of time-impoverished disconnection.The search for greater understanding of optimal health has taken our culture by storm. We know we have sacrificed our need for an integrated world view for one that emphasizes measurements, quantities, efficiency and money. We are finding out that such a view doesn't always work for us, or for future generations. The fifth element of the spa experience, integration, speaks directly to these issues. We define integration as the personal and social relationship between mind, body, spirit and environment. Located in the center of the circle, the search for personal integration is at the heart of the spa experience.
So, how does the global spa movement address the need for integration? After all, it encourages the need for evolution in industries such as medicine, beauty, resort & hospitality, massage, nutrition, and fitness, to name a few. But even the word integration has lost some of its original intent for the industry. "Mind, body, spirit" often means nothing more to the consumer today than a wellness clinic that has a doctor, massage therapist, nutritionist, and acupuncturist (or a host of other services) renting space under the same roof and sharing a receptionist. The client pays for each of the services separately, and there is no cost-effective way to use the knowledge of this eclectic team in a comprehensive and holistic manner that really meets the needs of the individual in a profitable business forum. We are evolving however, and the desire for the "spa experience" is increasing exponentially in almost every market segment. In order to create the next-century profession, we need to create a synergy between all the various market strands. We need a common language.
The Ousia* (oo SEE ahh) concept, built upon the 10 elements, has begun to define for me the importance of sharing our individual journeys with the goal of creating a new common language. We need to rediscover our roots and update our thoughts, theories, and values. The ousia philosophy consists of four steps designed to facilitate an integrated spa experience: insight, cleanse, nourish, and transform. The steps are based on the Asclepian healing journey of the ancient Greeks.
Asclepius was the god of healing. Those who sought healing began with a simple step: the decision to seek a healthier life. An individual had to walk to the temple on his or her own. During the journey, the seeker saw others returning from the temple. Already the healing journey had begun, because the seeker realized she was not alone. At the temple, she experienced the Greek comedies and tragedies. The arts reflected back the joys and pains of the human experience. (Every healthy culture throughout history embraced the necessity of the arts and beauty in the healing process.) This part of the healing process corresponds to step one: insight.
The next step in the journey is cleanse: the process of purification through water. The ancient baths and bathing rituals of this time attest to the importance of this. Asclepian guests enjoyed a wide range of bathing experiences that prepared them for the therapeutic and transforming experiences to come.
The third step in the ousia journey is nourish: to feed the body, mind, and soul what it uniquely needs. Whether it be food, exercise, massage, medicine, or counseling, experienced staff members find appropriate ways to customize the treatment for the individual.
In the Asclepian journey, the next part of the path was the most important to achieving personal integration. This was the experience of rest and dreaming, letting the unconscious speak. In ancient Greece, the seeker traveled down an elaborate maze-like corridor, eventually ending up in a dream chamber. Again it was up to the individual to ask for greater guidance through dreaming. If lucky, the seeker received a meaningful dream and in a sense were transformed. In order to complete the journey, the seeker needed to leave something of him or herself behind; a sacrifice for the next traveler on the healing path.
In The Web of Life, Fritjof Capra says it this way: "When we see a network of relationships among leaves, twigs, branches, and a trunk, we call it a tree. When we draw a picture of a tree most of us will not draw the roots. Yet the roots of a tree are often as expansive as the parts we see."
Integration demands that we not ignore the "roots" or the "leaves." When all the elements of a spa experience are achieved, they add up to an elusive wholeness. That wholeness brings balance to the cultural pendulum and leads to more integrated lives, rich in connectedness.
Remember, spa is a people's movement. Your voice is important. You can e-mail me at .
* Ousia (oo SEE ahh) : essence, nature; that which makes a thing what it is; a person or object seen from within, yet not a material substance. Applied to our search for fulfillment, ousia denotes divine essence.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.