resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
January, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 01
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 in your new city, already hard at work at the medical spa. You probably didn't anticipate that, rather than getting your hands on patients and interfacing with doctors right away, you'd end up doing construction first! I should have warned you about some of the pitfalls of the startup phase in the spa business. Everyone's running around like crazy (even the MDs), and now you're forced to jump into the fray to prove you're a part of the team. That's OK. It's been my experience that when you're part of a startup team, you feel more invested in the project once it's underway. The people you're painting walls and hauling furniture with are going to become your close friends - and remember, they're also your partners. It's great that you were able to work out a profit-sharing deal with the new medical spa, and that stock options are part of your new reality. It must be rough being in a new city, though, with new friends to make, on top of the stress of starting a new job. These first few weeks, as the doors are opened and the customers start to arrive, are going to be exciting, but trying.
Thanks for sharing the vision of the new medical spa's founders. I can tell they have big ideas and want to roll out a large number of facilities rather quickly. However, it's important now to concentrate on first things first, so I'll offer my two cents' worth on what's most relevant in a medical spa environment, and what you can do personally to work toward the success of the entire enterprise.
Your new bosses, the doctor/owners of the spa, talk a lot about branding in their materials. That's all well and good, but there's more to a spa than the brand under which it operates. For instance, consider the strategy of a spa branding company called Stonewater, which held a press luncheon at the International Spa Association (ISPA) conference in October. They're in the process of buying up successful day spas and placing them under the umbrella of the Stonewater brand, but they're leaving the original names, décor, philosophy, and most of the employee team intact. The lesson? Leave a good thing alone, and add just enough recognizable branding to make the place palatable to a wide range of people. For example, what was formerly the Kiva spa in Chicago is now Kiva, A Stonewater Spa.
The folks at Stonewater are pretty smart. They realize that what works in the spa industry is the personal touch. That's why they leave these spas alone and let them continue to operate as they were, to the extent that's possible. If you and the new team you're working with in the medical spa create a successful operation, it too will be built one client at a time, over time, much like in the spas Stonewater is taking under its umbrella. By the time you've created that level of trust, you'll have something so personal and unique, it will be almost impossible to brand it in the way your doctor/owners are talking about. It would be like trying to brand your dog. Sure, chocolate labs are a breed that can be reproduced, but your chocolate lab is irreproducible, completely unique, and what you care about most is that exclusivity and uniqueness. No other dog can be your dog, and over time, you've built up a bank of memories and meaning with him.
Believe it or not, I think this scenario applies to spas, too. While you're creating something one-of-a-kind, the owners are thinking about reproducing it in cities all across the nation. Please know that this will be difficult, if not impossible It's great that you have stock options, but don't start counting your money just yet. This will definitely be a challenge.
Do Your Best, One Day at a Time
I don't mean to discourage you with this type of talk. What I'd really like to do is make things more realistic for you. After all, the primary reason you took this job (not to mention the primary reason you became an LMT in the first place) was to help others and dedicate yourself to useful, meaningful service. All this talk about your potential rewards in the future may have obscured the essential present, and your deeper goals, at least temporarily.
So, let's see, what advice can I give you? I think I would just say, "Do your best, one day at a time." Forget about the stock options. Forget about branding. Forget even about the giddy excitement you've been sharing with your partners over the past few weeks. All that is coming to an end in the next few days, and you're going to open those doors and be faced with people, real people, one at a time in your treatment room. What you do then matters more to the ultimate success of the medical spa, and your career, than anything else. It will be a defining moment.
A Defining Moment
So, what are you going to do in that treatment room that is different than what you did in the treatment rooms at the resort spa you just left? What's going to differentiate "Lou the Spa Therapist" from "Lou the Medical Spa Therapist"?
Of course, you'll still be the same Lou giving substantially the same treatment, but one thing will be different: your intention. You'll be working on clients who have individual problems to address, and reasons for being there beyond relaxation and stress relief. In your new role, your intention will have to be aligned with your partners - the doctors and other health providers who are working as a team to meet the goals of these clients.
Now is the time to bring your advanced skills into practice. Medical spa clients will not expect the same thing from a massage as they do at a resort. They will trust you to provide effective treatment. To accomplish this, follow three simple rules that some friends of mine in the medical spa field have followed successfully.
As always, I'm excited to find out what's going to happen next as your massage career unfolds, and look forward to hearing about the opening of the medical spa. Good luck!
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.