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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
December, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 12
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.
So, you're going to work in a medical spa. Congratulations.
You could probably tell from my last letter that I felt this was the right direction for you to take. Medical spas are the wave of the future. In fact, I think that over the next two decades, the distinction between spas and medical facilities will continue to blur, until eventually, we will barely be able to remember the days when we thought of them as such separate facilities.
Consider this: major medical establishments such as John's Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic are aggressively pursuing the development of wellness facilities and spas. They have "seen the light" and have already contacted professionals in the industry to help formulate their plans. These new facilities will feature the latest technology and some of the best physicians, but they will also offer people the comfort and hands-on care found in spas. Practitioners will spend more time, on average, with each person, who may well be called a "guest," as in the spa model, rather than a "patient," as in the medical model. Traditional doctors and experts in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) will work side-by-side to develop detailed life plans for their guests, attempting not only to stave off disease once it arises, but to create optimal health throughout each individual's lifespan.
Many new facilities will focus on longevity. I personally know of several well-funded startups focusing on this aspect of the medical spa, with treatments and programs tailored to those who wish to maintain youthful looks and health for as long as possible. This paradigm is nothing new - the Pritikin Longevity Center started back in the 70s, and it's interesting to note that Pritikin has just recently amended its name to "Longevity Center & Spa."
So, longevity centers are moving toward spas, and spas are moving toward longevity centers, and the whole medical industrial complex is moving somewhere right into the middle of it all. Knowing this, how can you fit in?
The Holy Grail
First of all, it's important to understand something that is going on in the spa world right now that will impact your chances at success within it. Currently, there is a great quest going on, and there are a number of players seeking the elusive "holy grail" of the spa world. What is this holy grail? Nobody knows for sure exactly what it will look like, but everyone knows it will include a chain of spas or spa-like facilities that capture the public's imagination (and dollars) in a big way. It will be the key brand in a future dominated by wellness-oriented spa facilities. From what you've told me, the owners of this medical spa that is hiring you believes they have a chance to become this key brand. Believe me, there are dozens of others who believe the same thing.
To succeed in this early phase of the new medical spa world, there are several things you can do to make yourself more attractive to those people seeking this "holy grail." By understanding their mindset, you can help them on their quest. This will benefit you on your own personal quest for success and fulfillment. It's important, though, not to get too caught up in the fervor of this quest. People hot on the trail of the holy grail often get blinded by their own ambition. Successful navigation of this next tricky part of your career path requires two apparently opposing qualities: a cool, calm rational perspective and also a truckload of enthusiasm.
Keep Your Cool
I understand you're excited, but in this situation, your excitement may not serve you. Let me explain.
If you hop on board the dreamboat created by the owners of this new medical spa, you're going to be in for a rough ride at first, because their concept is not proven yet, and the clientele is still being created. So, rather than jump feet first, keep a cool head, and ask yourself some practical questions:
There are other questions, of course, but I think you get the idea. You're someone who always strives to do the best possible job, Lou, and I know you're going all out in this new position, but I'm worried that you're going to overextend yourself. Remember, you've got to take care of yourself to be able to help others!
Medical Spa Rah-Rah
All of these warnings notwithstanding, let's not forget that you're also embarking on an extremely fun, challenging and exciting mission. At this early stage in the development of the medical spa category, the fledgling field needs all the enthusiastic boosting it can get, especially from those of us who find ourselves working in the trenches, trying to make a consciousness shift in the minds of millions of people.
So... get fired up! You're going where few spa therapists have gone before. You'll be working with people who have serious medical conditions, people who've recently undergone surgery (cosmetic and otherwise). You'll be standing side-by-side with doctors who'll expect you to know what they're talking about when they reference medical codes and other arcane information. The people on your treatment table are going to expect more than just relaxation. They're going to expect results.
It's up to you to become an ambassador for this new field. By getting more serious about your skills, developing them further, and soaking up all the knowledge you're going to be surrounded with, you will soon add immeasurably to your value as a therapist, as an employee, and as a contributing member of society. It's a worthy path you're on.
The next time I have a chance to write, I'll fill you in on some of the details regarding the hands-on skills you'll likely need to develop in your new position. I have a few other friends who work in the medical spa field, and I'm sure their experience will be of help to you.
Until then, take care,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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