resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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