resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
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.
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.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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 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.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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.
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.
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?
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
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.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
March, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 03
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.
Danger! Red flag! After only a few months in the medical spa business, you're heading to a lawyer's office downtown to give your first deposition.This is definitely not something you envisioned back in those idealistic days when you were attending massage school, is it?
I know you're nervous about all the legal implications, but it's probably best to stay calm. Take this thing one step at a time. It's important for you to know people are on your side; they believe in you. It's great that Barbara, your fellow massage therapist at the medical spa, is on your side. When things get tough, it's easy to see who your real friends are, isn't it?
Of course, I'm on your side too, as always. I trust 100 percent that you had only the best interests of your patient in mind, even though she's now suing you - and the spa! Before you get caught up in the emotions of the situation, remember to focus on the facts first.
Fact: You were giving a cellulite-specific massage to a woman, using a technique known as Endermologie.® This technique employs two mechanical rollers and suction to effect the subcutaneous fat layers. The woman came to the spa for three treatments before she stopped and called her lawyer.
Fact: The woman signed up for this series of treatments of her own free will, and signed a waiver excusing the spa from liability.
Fact: The woman is blaming you and the procedure for creating a ping-pong-ball-sized indentation in the flesh of her right thigh. Yes, the depression is quite noticeable - you could rest a boiled egg there and it would not roll away. In tens of thousands of hours of Endermologie® treatments given worldwide, there has never been another recorded instance of this happening.
Fact: As a member of the American Massage Therapy Association, you have substantial liability insurance coverage. The owners of the medical spa are saying you should bear the burden of this lawsuit yourself, even though they, and the company that manufactures the Endermologie® machine, have more resources than you do.
So, what conclusions can you draw from these facts? First of all, I'd say your new bosses, the ones who promised you the stock options and the partial ownership of this "hot" new medical spa, should perhaps not be counted among your true friends. If they truly believed in you, they would be taking your side in this issue. The fact that they're distancing themselves from you, when you need them most, speaks volumes about their character.
Second, I'd say that regardless of what the woman claims, there's a good chance neither you nor the treatment caused her problem. Look hard, and I feel reasonably sure you'll find another reason. The fact that no other such case has been recorded should give you a clue. The woman feels hurt by this blemish on her body, and she is quite likely lashing out against the only source of the problem on which she can put her finger.
Finally, something definitely is going on here. The deformation of this woman's leg is real, and the situation should be addressed head-on. Even though it makes you nervous, you're doing the right thing by heading in for that deposition. When you talk to the lawyers, just be as upfront and communicative as you can.
What Does Liability Look Like?
I know it must be causing you a good deal of anguish to think that your actions (and perhaps even a lack of skill) caused physical harm to someone else. No matter how strongly I or other people might council you otherwise, there's still a part of your mind that will entertain doubts on the issue. So, let's explore your liability (or lack thereof) for a moment, and try to put your mind at ease.
You were trained by the manufacturers of the Endermologie® equipment on the device's use, and the mechanical massage maneuvers you performed could not possibly lead to the deterioration of this woman's muscle tissue. Still, let's say for argument's sake that a judge were to find you in some way liable. What would that mean? What does liability look like?
In my view, liability looks like the price you have to pay when you put yourself "out there" in an attempt to help people. If you had stayed at your position at the resort spa doing primarily Swedish massage and didn't learn cutting edge mechanical massage techniques like Endermologie,® chances are you wouldn't be in this situation now. However, you'd also be a different person. Sometimes, liability is the price we pay for being who we are. Responsible people are liable.
You should feel some small measure of comfort in the fact that you've had the courage to choose a path that is not always easy. When you put yourself into hands-on contact with the public, you're never sure exactly what's going to happen. It will always be this way.
I think the most valuable lesson you can take away from this experience so far is this - you have a good friend in Barbara. She's standing by you, even when it would be much easier for her to side with the spa owners, or at least to distance herself from you in this matter. Remember, I mentioned in an earlier letter that I thought the real reason you were working at the medical spa wouldn't be revealed until a later date? Well, perhaps this is the real reason: You were meant to strike up a friendship with your fellow massage therapist. You two are already bouncing ideas around about possible other projects on which the two of you can collaborate.
Look for the secret gold in this situation, even when things look so dire right now. Spend more time with Barbara. Write me anytime. Hold your head up high and remember who you are: a therapist with integrity, skill and a sincere desire to do right by every client with whom you come in contact.
Talk to you soon,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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