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It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
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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