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Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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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