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Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
September, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 09
By Steve Capellini, LMT
Author's Note: The Spa Letters column features news, personality profiles, trends, and plenty of professional possibilities for LMTs in the spa industry. The style is epistolary, meaning the articles are letters to a fictional massage therapist friend of the author.
Uh-oh. This is one of the hardest decisions you've had to make for a long time. You've only been the supervisor of the spa therapists for a few months, and already you're being asked to fire somebody! The situation came about swiftly, as these things do, and now suddenly the entire staff is looking at you to see what you'll do. It's crisis time.
A Case of Harassment
One of the male therapists under your supervision has been accused of sexual harassment by several female guests. Management, of course, says to get rid of him right away, but you're inclined to investigate further and see if it's not as black and white as they might think. It might be a mistake, you feel, to engage a knee-jerk reaction in such a delicate situation. Tact and discretion are called for, so I totally agree with you. One thing is certain - maintaining the integrity of your spa and your profession is a top priority. Your decisions and actions, in close coordination with those of the owners and the spa director, are critical at this juncture.
There are several steps to take as you proceed gingerly through these dangerous waters.
Get the Whole Picture
In emotionally charged situations like this, hysterics often rule. You're going to be bombarded from all sides by people who believe fiercely in their own version(s) of the story. Don't let one point of view sway you, especially in the beginning. At times it may be a struggle, but, in my view, it's best to remain impartial, perhaps even seeming aloof, as the various parties bring you their points of view. After all, you're being called upon to function somewhat like a judge in this situation.
Supervisor First, Therapist Second
You're also now acting as a supervisor, not a therapist. When you decided to accept this position, you knew there would be times when you would be pitted against your former colleagues. This is one of those situations. The therapists on staff are looking at you with their own agendas. Some hope that you recommend firing the therapist, because they don't want the taint of scandal hanging over their workplace. Some may feel their in competition with this therapist and would like to see him gone. Others hope that you recommend not firing him, because they feel it's too easy for people to wrongly accuse therapists these days, and that our profession should be protected against unfounded attacks.
Know one thing: After you make your decision and pass your recommendations onto the spa director, you are not going to be popular with everyone in both camps. Sides will be chosen. Lines will be drawn. It's part of the price you pay for becoming a decision maker. And now that you're in that situation, how can you be sure you're making the best decision? You can never be 100% sure, but the best thing you can do is follow the precepts of justice and reasonableness as they've been handed down to you. Then act from your heart.
Look at the Law
To form an objective, well-thought-out opinion in this situation, you need to know what is legal and illegal in your state. Believe it or not, rules change from place to place regarding draping and precise conduct, although we all have the same ethical guidelines to follow, as laid down by massage industry associations. Know these guidelines and the law well. In addition, it may help to understand more broad-based statutes regarding sexual misconduct in general.
Recent years have seen a rampant increase in accusations of sexual harassment, some of which have been more founded than others, and many of which cannot conclusively be proven one way or the other. When it's a question of two people in a room alone, it's a matter of one person's word against another's. I've seen large judgments against respectable men in diverse fields, based solely on the word of a young woman who may or may not have had revenge or vindictiveness as a prime motivation.
A Personal Experience
I feel comfortable giving you this advice, Lou, because I dealt with similar situations on two occasions. Once, while supervisor at a large resort spa, I was called into the spa director's office in the middle of a busy afternoon and asked to pull one of the therapists off the floor. He was handcuffed and led away by two officers, and I had to cover for his remaining clients that day myself. A woman who'd been a guest of the spa several weeks earlier had called the authorities and accused this therapist of rape. He left the profession in disgrace.
More recently, I was called to mediate in a case with accusations that were less severe, but nonetheless quite troublesome. A therapist at the spa at which I was consulting had been accused of "potentially inappropriate behavior" by several women over time. I met with him and the general manager of the property once, and it seemed we had the situation under control. There had been some misunderstanding, the therapist pleaded. He would be more careful about draping, decorum, and modesty in the future. He was a highly praised therapist at the spa and we didn't want to lose him. When two more women complained, however, we had no choice. He had to go.
In my opinion, the bottom line in these situations boils down to one essential question: Has a guest complained? If so, something is wrong -- end of story -- regardless of how sincere the therapist may appear while professing innocence.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to be prudish on this issue. I understand that some couples who met first as therapist/client in a massage encounter have ended up getting married. Attractions do happen. We can't turn off our humanity in the massage room. However, whatever attractions may surface need to be taken out of the massage room and into an acceptable arena before they are acted upon.
Spa therapists, especially males, have to be especially careful these days. Guests come to your resort expecting to relax, have a great time, and be given the royal treatment. Perhaps some of them let their guard down a little. It is unfair to take advantage of that relaxed attitude by instigating any unwanted sensual scenario. At the very least, the therapist in question is guilty of insensitivity, and the situation needs to be dealt with in a firm, swift manner.
I look forward to hearing how you've dealt with your particular situation. Until then, take care of yourself.
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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