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The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
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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