resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
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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