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Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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