resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
September, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 09
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.
The Spa House is on its way to being open! I'm excited for you, as your amazing dream becomes a reality.Now that you've chosen a grand-opening date and your goal is in sight, what will you focus on first: hiring your staff? Testing the skills of new therapists and estheticians? Setting up a retail sales system? Getting a top-notch receptionist? Choosing a spa consultant to help you? What pieces of equipment should you purchase? Which product lines should you feature? The list goes on and on....
Let's start at the beginning. In my last letter, I asked you to come up a "unique selling proposition." You did, and it's a good one, too! The unique selling proposition (USP) is a way for you to encapsulate exactly what you offer so people you meet can get a feeling for your business. It is usually couched in terms of problem/solution or need/fulfillment. Yours is a beauty:
I like those strong verbs: "crave" and "specialize." I like the way you've focused on the community, making The Spa House part of the fabric of daily life for the people in your town. That's a smart move. I predict you'll have some success with this USP if you use it to your advantage. Make a point of repeating it a dozen times a day. When you meet people, let them know what you do. You've got to start switching from Lou the therapist and Lou the employee, to Lou the spa owner!
So, what are you going to tackle today, spa owner? Maybe you can use the USP to lead you in the right direction. You want a spa that feels luxurious, but doesn't have a huge overhead, which means you don't want to invest in expensive, high-tech equipment right off the bat. What, then, are your alternatives?
You want to give your guests the royal treatment when they arrive at The Spa House, but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be expecting top-of-the-line FF&E (furniture, fixtures, equipment). I've seen many spas create a luxurious environment with a blend of "eclectic" decorations and equipment. The pieces of hydrotherapy equipment you mentioned wanting - the Vichy shower; the Swiss shower; the multi-jet hydrotherapy tubs; and the Scotch hose, for example - are a few items that can wait until you have a track record of ongoing success. I know they're beautiful, especially in those spa magazine ads, and you'd love to offer your guests a treatment in one of those hydrotherapy havens - but do you really need them at this stage?
You learned how to operate this equipment while working at the resort spa, and you know it's not that difficult; you also learned that spa guests can have a bad experience on good equipment in the same way that they can have a sublime experience with no equipment at all. One of the best experiences I ever had in a spa was being massaged with aromatic oils, then wrapped in a cotton sheet for half an hour - it doesn't take much.
You and your partner Barbara have a tidy sum of money to invest, but since you're not independently wealthy, you're keeping a keen eye on the bottom line. In this situation, I recommend you strike a mid-tone in your decor, equipment and furnishings. There are a couple shortcuts you can take, and other areas where you should definitely not cut corners.
Wet Room Basics
Because you are building a substantial spa, not just adding a few spa services to a regular massage room, you'll want to invest in one (and only one) wet room. A wet room is a room with plumbing in it, often with a drain in the floor. A shower may or may not be included. The "dry room," on the other hand, is a massage room with no plumbing, save for, perhaps, a sink. It can have a carpeted floor or tile, but it is not designed for hydrotherapy treatments.
I've seen several new spa owners over-invest in wet room equipment, erroneously thinking that these more "exotic" fixtures are crucial to a classy spa and would attract more clients. One salon-owner insisted on outfitting three full wet rooms in a four-room spa! Needless to say, the rooms were underutilized and dismantled within a short period of time to make way for more popular (and thus, profitable) treatments. In another letter I'll explain how you can use a "dry room" to offer your guests almost all the same treatments you can in a wet room. For now, I suggest one full wet room for The Spa House. Now, what will that room include?
A Wet Table
Your new wet room should definitely include a "wet table." As you know, a wet table is not a table on which someone has spilled water. It's a specially constructed treatment surface that traps water and products used in spa services and funnels them down through a drain either into the floor or sometimes a receptacle below the table. You've no doubt seen plenty of them advertised in the spa equipment catalogues you've been perusing recently. Since you are going to have a wet room, it's a good idea to get a wet table.
In my opinion, wet tables are great for use in exfoliation treatments. They make these treatments easy for you and more luxurious for your guest. Nothing beats the experience of fully reclining while having top-of-the-line spa products sluiced from your newly cleansed skin with warm water. However, when used for wraps, such as mud, clay, fango and seaweed, a wet table may hinder rather than aid the process. I've laid on many a wet table after a seaweed or mud treatment and been hosed down by the therapist, only to wish I could crawl off into a shower instead.
Don't forget, you can make your wet treatment room into a multi purpose space in which you can schedule wraps, scrubs, and even massages. Don't do yourself the disservice of over specializing treatment space. The more types of treatments you can perform in each room, the greater your potential income. Most wet tables these days come with a cushioned top upon which clients can lay comfortably throughout an entire wrap or other service.
My advice for your wet room: a nice wet table for exfoliations with a handheld showerhead, and a shower stall in the corner for washing off wraps. This double duty shower setup may be a little more expensive, but the investment is not that high compared to what many new spa owners get themselves into.
Consult With the Spa Doctor
See how tricky this spa setup process can be? This is why so many people in your situation enlist the services of an experienced consultant at this stage. Among other things, a good consultant will be able to look over your space and let you know what's most important to purchase within your budget, before opening. The spa consultant issue is something I'd like to address at greater length, so that will have to wait until next time.
Until then, get going on the hunt for that perfect wet table!
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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