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MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
October, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 10
The Ninth Element: Social Contribution
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 10th article in a 12-part series and focuses on the ninth of the 10 elements: Social Contribution.
Social Contribution concerns how we exchange and value goods and services, in our economy and in our profession. For me, social contribution, quite simply, explores the dynamic of giving and receiving in our lives. It explores the purpose and intention behind our work; how we and others value it. The two excerpts above from Robert Rabbin's Invisible Leadership describe the paradox of the American Dream.
Originally, we created this element to embrace the need for integrated and "generalist" management skills among spa employees. However, as discussions evolved, we discovered that the essence of "social contribution" was exchange and communication. Spas were and still are highly compartmentalized. Often the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Integrating leisure, fitness, massage, aesthetics and retail can be difficult, as there is no common language that speaks to these issues and how they relate to each other. Hence, it is difficult to provide or even explain the "essence of the spa experience" to the consumer.
I must confess that this element is more complex than it may seem at first. On the one hand, business survives on the measurement and management of money and profit. On the other hand, the spa industry is service-oriented and needs to meet the new elusive demands of the discerning consumer, who is craving personal fulfillment and social connection. To complicate matters, we are playing the new business limbo, "how fast can you go," which seems to be changing by the minute. "Show me the money" is now a common theme at every level of business, from corporate CEO to massage therapist. Certainly, the days of bartering goods and services, when people were more connected to nature and a simpler lifestyle, are long gone.
Like you, I try to balance my idealistic self with the rigors of everyday business. It is obvious that money will probably continue to be the common medium of exchange. But our financial world has gone virtual; money is not a physical exchange anymore. The gold standard is out; greenbacks are out. Debit and credit cards are in. Perhaps this transient way of exchanging money through computer clouds is somehow a reflection of our changing consciousness. Is this a metaphor for why people are craving physical touch? The exchange of energy and heart is hard to value in dollars. Can we put a value on the exchange of "chi"?
Just as receiving completes the circle of giving, the 10 elements of the spa experience form an interdependent circle. The 10 elements help to create a career path that supports lifestyle choices and a mechanism for increasing monetary compensation as skills and scope of practice increase. The circle format for a career path also works for the next century professional, just as in nature, the circle reflects a pattern of dynamic living. If you think about it, the sun, the moon, and the horizon all are circular. There are very few, if any, truly straight lines in nature.
Take for example the career path for a massage therapist. Is there one? How does a spa owner or consumer determine who is a master therapist, and who is right out of school? Similar to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we must recognize it is difficult to contemplate ideals, values, missions and visions if we do not have adequate food or shelter and struggle to pay the bills. We also must be compensated fairly in the scope of, and in relation to, the business environment. Compensation plans must be commensurate with other team members, and they should be long term in focus. That is why determining fair compensation for the massage therapist is such a vital topic in the industry. After all, massage is the most popular spa service in the industry right now.
There are a myriad of compensation plans in the spa industry now: salary, hourly, commission, sub-contractor, etc. For the most part, spa owners recognize the intangible gifts massage therapists bring to the spa experience. They are interested in finding a fair and rewarding plan for everyone. But remember, the spa director or owner must answer to investors and others. A recent article by Brian Coughlan in Massage Therapy Journal summarizes some of the latest hiring trends for massage therapists working in spas. I believe the most significant is the shift from being an independent, self-employed therapist to an employee with perks and a salary.
For the most part, at least historically, most spa professionals believe that the spa industry is a cultural renewal industry, one poised to create new lifestyle values that synergize with global preservation. Anita Roddick, founder of The BodyShop and author of Business as Unusual says, "The business of business is not just about money, it is about responsibility. It is about public good, not private greed." Do you agree? I do, but let's be practical. If the workers with vision are not compensated fairly, will their voices be heard? Are they powerful enough to make change happen? I don't think so. Growing older and perhaps a bit wiser, with the help of my visionary friends and mentors, I know there is cause for concern. More than ever, they are saying with remorse, "Robin it is about money, it is all about money."
In the very beginning, we started out giving free massages. It was understood that we needed to educate people about the power of touch. While becoming more mainstream, has the massage industry gone extreme? I'd like to see the industry bounce back to a position of balance: giving touch back to the elderly, children, disabled and others in need. I believe this is happening somewhat, we just need to see more of it. I believe the healthier you get, the better you can give back to others. The best massage therapists are the ones who have learned to give and receive. We have to explore what this means on a deeper level. Anita Roddick brings this point home again and again in Business as Unusual. She envisions a future in which business leaders come to see their industries as incubators of the human spirit, rather than factories for the production of more material goods and services. If companies truly have a global or community vision, they will find themselves far ahead of their competitors in the long run.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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