resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
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.