resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
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.
February, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 02
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, the medical spa is open, and you're interfacing with doctors and nurses and physical therapists. You're looking at forms, charts and files. You're wearing blue surgical scrubs to work, and feeling a little different about your massage career than you did a few months ago at the luxury spa. It's not exactly the way you thought it would be, is it? I understand you're feeling a little let down now, after all the anticipation of getting the medical spa up and running. Reality is seldom as romantic as imagined.
Your two main complaints about your new position are ones I had myself, when I first worked with plastic surgeons who were converting their offices to mini-spas. Complaint number one -you feel there's too much emphasis on the external beauty aspect of the services rendered at the spa, rather than true health and well being; complaint number two - you didn't fully realize you'd have to wait until the insurance reimbursements came through to receive the commissions on the services you give.
I'll talk a little about these issues, and see if there's a way I can help put you more at ease when it comes to working in the medical spa environment. You don't want to bail already; after all, it's only been a month, and you're not even sure the spa will be a success or not. I think you should give it more time and see what happens, especially considering you've just relocated to a new city.
More Than Skin Deep
I can see why you might feel the spa is focusing too much on the aesthetic aspects of health (tummy tucks, liposuctions and face lifts), rather than the holistic/preventive aspects that inspired you to join the field in the first place. You're at a medical spa, where you thought you'd have the chance to interface with people on a more in-depth level, and you've ended up dealing with more superficial issues than you did at the luxury spa. There, you were free to deal with clients as you saw fit, but now things are more regimented. How can you apply your deeply therapeutic skills to someone interested primarily in reducing hip measurement?
I think we're at an early phase of the entire medical/spa integration, and we have a long way to go to reach the lofty plateau you thought you were going to step into right away. Indeed, a handful of spas offer guests serious medical screening and comprehensive lifestyle assessments, such as those at La Quinta Spa, the Chopra Center for Well Being at La Costa, and the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa's Destinations Health programs. I believe this is the wave of the future, even though it's taking a while for the general public to catch on and fully embrace the new paradigm.
What we have to deal with right now, however, is that a majority of the public regard spas as places where they can go to look and feel their best. These are the famous "Baby Boomers" who want it all, and want it now; the me, me, me, me, me generation. I know this doesn't sit well with your natural therapist's instincts of wanting to help people on a meaningful level, but I don't think you should write off the medical spa just yet.
The way I feel about this issue can be summed up in the words of Jen Kerr, who once said "I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?"
In other words, it's OK for people to be focusing on their beauty, Lou, and you can help them get the most out of their experience, rather than fighting against what you called the "superficial culture" of the spa.
I know it must be tough, waiting months for a good chunk of your money to come through, but hey, you knew buying into the medical model was going to have some drawbacks. The insurance labyrinth is one of them. I agree it's not an ideal situation, and as an employee, you shouldn't have to wait to receive compensation, just because the business hasn't received payment for the services you've rendered. But remember, you are not just an employee; you're a partner, with stock options, and you're partaking of both the upside and the downside of the business's cash flow.
Consider yourself lucky that a large percentage of the medical spa's business is "out of pocket" because these are for the most part elective cosmetic procedures not covered by insurance. Can you imagine what it would be like if 80 percent of your paycheck was withheld, rather than 20 percent?
Give It Some Time
Lou, it concerns me a little that you're already thinking about leaving the medical spa. You should at least give it a couple more months. Sometimes those of us in the spa industry for a long time refer to the high-turnover rate in soap-opera terms - "As The Spa World Turns." People are constantly hopping from one property to another, sometimes to the detriment of the spa guests' experiences.
I'd like to see you hang in there for a while and see where this medical spa paradigm will take you. Who knows? There may be some unknown reason you are where you are right now. Perhaps it's not the stock options, or even the chance to work in a medical setting, that has brought you to where you are, but something else entirely - something hidden, something about to be. Just wait and see.
Until next time,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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