resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
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.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.