resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
September, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 09
The Eighth Element: Cultural Expression
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 ninth article in a 12-part series and focuses on the eighth of the 10 elements: Cultural expression.
Cultural expression, the eighth element of the spa experience, embodies much of what often goes unspoken or unacknowledged in our daily lives. Yet like a mirror, it reflects back to us who we are and who we can become on our own life journey. Most simply, cultural expression refers to the science, politics, belief systems and arts of the time and how we perceive them using our minds, emotions, senses and souls. We are not separate from the world we live in, and we constantly re-define ourselves according to norms and constructs within our culture. Cultural expression embraces this process of self-discovery through the following four categories: values and beliefs, science and technology, political climate and the arts.
Values and Beliefs
What are the prevailing religious and belief systems, and how do they relate to the spa experience? Our belief systems help us to form concepts of what is right and wrong and what is attractive and unattractive. Cultural expression is important to the spa experience if only to understand simple things such as how modesty and nudity are addressed in the spa setting. The human body and our sexual/sensual concept of what makes us who we are is one example. Europeans are characteristically much less modest than Americans, and Americans less modest than the Chinese, and so on. Nudity, draping issues, touch and gender issues differ according to age, upbringing, culture, and religious beliefs. Belief systems can make or break a spa experience, whether the client is a novice or a discerning spa consumer.
Treatments with religious or spiritual overtones are also a new issue surfacing in the spa industry. Although there is a general interest in exploring spirituality, and a growing tolerance and acceptance for the beliefs of others, there are still problems. For example, providing spa treatments that lean toward Eastern or esoteric philosophy may not be appealing to a dedicated Christian, and vise-versa.
How do science and technology change our idea of an optimal spa experience? How will the spa experience be affected by the shifting scientific paradigm from mechanical reductionism to the emerging paradigm of wholeness and dynamic interrelationships? What kind of treatments appeal to us: do we want pure, natural and organic treatments, or the latest in scientific discovery to remove wrinkles and retard the aging process?
For example, consider current scientific research, the long and high cost of the FDA approval process for bringing a product to market. What is funded, why is it funded, and who provides the funding? I remember how hard it was for our industry to raise funding for the first scientific research on "massage and touch therapies" at the Touch Research Institute in Miami years ago. It would be interesting to compare research dollars spent on touch and hydrotherapy to those spent on laser resurfacing and botox treatments, for example.
Often we don't stop and think how the political environment and ruling party of the time affect a spa experience or even our daily living. Are we at war? What is the climate for trade, social programs, health benefits and insurance? For example, how will social security and health benefits affect the baby-boomers as they age - will they be able to afford spa treatments? Government organizations and political lobbyists help determine what will be available to us: everything from organic food, to beauty aids, to genetic engineering. We must begin to think ahead and become more conscious of the political climate. Do we want spa to become more medical? Should spa treatments be covered by insurance? Who will qualify for new anti-aging therapies and how will they be paid for?
Also, the political climate of the time affects our global trading opportunities from a business perspective. Costs of goods and unique sourcing directly affect the therapies that we can offer and the profit they deliver.
In the words of Dr. Lawrence Van Der Post: "Nations decay when the arts decay." What the arts really do is connect people to the culture and the stories we are telling. I went to Karlsbad in the Czech Republic with Dr. Jonathan DeVierville a few years ago, a trip I highly recommend. Karlsbad is an architecturally beautiful city built around an array of spas and mineral springs for drinking. It is obvious the city planners knew the importance of art and beauty to health and well-being. I remember hearing music in my room only to find out that it was the orchestra actually practicing in the spa we were staying in. Here people stay for at least two weeks or longer. The concept is basic; integrated medical/wellness care combined with spa treatments in a beautiful culture where people have the time to change from the inside out.
Are we surrounded by beauty in today's contemporary spa experience? Do we support our government and local community to capture the story of our times through the arts? How do we incorporate art and music into the spa experience? Yes, new age music is often a staple to the experience, but are we consciously bringing this to the spa guest with the goal of transformation?
All of these considerations weave together the importance of cultural expression in the spa experience. It is true, we have experienced much criticism in regards to the eighth element: "it is too obtuse, too vague, not related to the rigors of daily spa business..." This element may have seemed out of step with the spa experience before September 11. But after this catastrophe, the complacency of our political, social, and spiritual lives blew up -- literally. For the first time, this cultural dimension of the spa experience became the core of how people organized or reorganized their businesses.
Traveling less and spending time with family at home became more appealing and cash became tighter, so selling strategies needed to change. People were more likely to visit a day spa than a destination resort, showing us the diversity of needs within our profession. We saw the ugliness of war on the homefront, and we experienced the impact it had on our artistic communities. We became intimately aware of how political choices, actions and bureaucracy affect the stock market, home security, international trade and travel. Our first reaction was to cocoon and process, the next to connect. No longer was pampering and pleasure the essence of the spa experience, but rather stress reduction, self-discovery, and reassessing of values.
That is why it is imperative that we look to spa as a cultural movement, not just as an industry. This search for the soul of spa is something we can all share together. Imagine this movement becoming the vessel for cultural renewal, one in which people come together to share at a deeper and more meaningful level. We must recognize that it is our responsibility to listen to these inaudible murmurings of our collective unconscious. They are what call us to simplest purpose of the human experience, the search for who we are and that which connects us to something greater than ourselves.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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