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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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!
July, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 07
The Sixth Element: Aesthetics
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 seventh article in a 12-part series and focuses on the sixth of the 10 elements: Aesthetics.
The sixth element, aesthetics, relates to our concept of beauty and how botanical and natural agents relate to the biochemical components of the body. Beauty is the essence behind the sixth element of the spa experience. What is more important than feeling beautiful and enjoying beauty in your surroundings? After all, your environment and the people close to you reflect who you are.
I'm writing this article late on Memorial Day. I just left the hospital with the news that my mother will need hospice care this week. This may not seem "spa significant," and yet it is what the spa industry embraces: optimal health and enhanced quality of life, wherever you may be on the human health continuum.
During a health crisis of my own, when I wasn't feeling particularly perky, I walked into my house and looked at my favorite tree. I felt nothing for its beauty. I told myself, "Remember how you are observing the world today... you are not seeing or feeling beautiful. This is what you see when you are sick, fatigued, or depressed." I am reminded that helping people feel beautiful is helping people see beauty ? not just in the mirror, but also in the world around them - and deep within. So what does this search for inner and outer beauty mean for the massage therapist? It means embracing beauty by using the skin as a metaphor and tool for enhancing well-being. When you pay attention to aesthetics in the spa experience, you can initiate the hidden journey of transformation, by which inner beauty is reflected in the outer glow of our external persona. We can help change how our clients see and feel things.
As I look back at my introduction to the spa experience, some of my most important mentors came from the skin care and beauty industry: Erica Miller; Mikki Guntta; Lydia Sarfati; Barbara Solomon; Kirsten Florian; Pratima Rachir; and many others. Anyone who studies the skin knows of the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm of our living universe embodied in our largest organ. The emphasis on healthy skin is a contemporary cultural movement. Our epidermis is the major organ of the body, connecting our internal biology to the external environment. It is also a reflection of our lifestyle and well-being. Although the primary focus for a massage therapist is the relaxation of muscles, you have to touch the skin to get to the muscle.
According to Melanie Schmidt, ISPA board member and vice president of spa development and education at Decléor, massage therapists today are not even minimally trained in basic skin care. Whether or not massage therapists choose to train in aesthetics, they need to appreciate the importance of the products they use on the skin. From massage oils, creams and essential oils, to the latest wrinkle or reducing agent, it is important to remember that for every action on the skin, there is a reaction. For example, it is important to understand that the only proven ingredient to absorb into the skin is an essential oil, because it is a gas molecule. Essential oils are attracted to natural lipids in the skin, which are attracted to the sebaceous glands. These ingredients communicate to active cells in the body and the body sends messages back to the skin. Balancing the body is a goal, because there is so much communication between skin cells. If a body environment is polluted, cells are not very responsive. Put the skin cells in a spa environment, and they can detox, cleanse and regenerate. Imagine how much more effective such an enhanced massage treatment can be.
Because of its influence on our inner beauty, our outer beauty, and our connection to the environment, the skin serves as a good case study of what the 10 elements of the spa experience encourage in terms of a next-century professional. Current statistics suggest that the average person makes eight career changes in a lifetime. Imagine if this switching had focus with inner reward and financial gain. That is why crosstraining in aesthetics, massage and cosmetology is excellent for the spa therapist. It is the perfect example of how one can maximize client retention by providing more services to your current client base, while at the same time providing a marketing edge over the competition. Whether you are applying for a prestigious job at a recognized spa or in business for yourself, massaging the skin with an intention of beauty behind your stroke will give both you and your clients an evolved treatment.
Just as in massage, guidelines vary greatly in the aesthetic training continuum, from a few hundred hours in some states to the high standards of CIDESCO (Comité International d'Esthétique et de Cosmétologie), which requires students to undergo 1,200 hours of training in practical and theoretical work in a registered CIDESCO school. State guidelines also vary greatly in professional scope. In this quickly expanding market, this poses a problem, since skin care and beauty technology are taking the market by storm. This is what I suggest.
So in the end, what does it mean to be beautiful? I asked my children this question and it stopped them cold. For my 14-year-old daughter Aubrey, it was a Duke basketball player. For my son Hart it was a "special smile that makes me smile back." True beauty is contagious.
What do you think? Join the Great Spa Conversation at www.spaelegance.com. Your voice is important.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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