resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
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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