resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
November, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 11
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.
Building a spa is like remodeling a house.There's a snowball effect and before you know it, you're making purchases you never dreamed would be necessary when you started. This is true even if you've put together a solid business plan with budget projections, cost analyses, timelines and "plethora proforma." In every case, reality steps in rudely and changes things. In your case, there were a number of factors you didn't count on: While changing some of the exterior siding, you found a horde of carpenter ants, which necessitated some rebuilding; the ancient plumbing needed upgrading; and choosing the best fabrics and carpeting shot the budget up another few thousand dollars. You needed some help managing this expensive, unwieldy project, so you hired a spa consultant - another expense in and of itself!
Don't worry; this consultant will save you money in the long run. You've negotiated a good fee structure with a $2,500 monthly retainer guaranteed for six months - enough to inspire your consultant to work on the project 50 hours a month and bring the expertise of her colleagues to the table. Considering the scope of your project, I think you've made the right decision.
It's time for you and your consultant to roll up your sleeves and get to work. But what first? You're in the middle of this huge project, and she came on board just last week. How can she catch up to you? First, understand that she's done all this before. She's run into the same roadblocks, solved the same problems, and dealt with similar personality conflicts. Your job is to get out of the way and let her help you. I like some of the design suggestions she's offered; and now is the time, while you're still under construction, to implement these ideas.
Idea Number One: Slightly expand the waiting room and use a large ceramic bowl for spa foot treatments there. This might never have occurred to you because it is such an offbeat idea, but I've seen it work well in other spas. Think of it this way: How much will your customers pay for waiting? That's right - zero dollars; nada; nothing. Does that have to be the case? No! While sitting in a cozy room surrounded by other robe-clad "ladies-in-waiting," your customers can be treated to a fantastic foot treatment that will not only up the square footage of your revenue-generating space (RGS), but also entice other clients to follow suit and do the same thing next time they are waiting.
Using an ornate ceramic basin, one of your therapists can soak the client's feet in aromatic water sprinkled with rose petals; apply a warm-towel-wrap, reflexology and a peppermint sea salt scrub; then trim the nails. The application of polish is optional, but only if it is a noncaustic, odorless product. This treatment not only soothes and relaxes the guest before their spa service, it acts as a live billboard for your therapists' skills. It is a way to spread goodwill and create a holistic caring environment.
Idea Number Two: Create a "river wall." I saw this concept at the Nemacolin Woodlands Spa in Pennsylvania by renowned spa designer, Clodagh (www.clodagh.com). Your consultant has suggested turning the wall between your waiting room and your treatment rooms into a "waterfall" by inserting natural rock outcroppings and a small trough along the wall/floor joint. This doesn't need to be hugely expensive; with a small, inexpensive pump and a little creativity, you'll achieve something important: bringing the outdoors in and giving your clients a little touch of nature. At the Nemacolin Woodlands Spa, this feature extended into the hallways, turning them into "stream banks" in a forest. You can create this effect on a smaller scale by imbedding smooth river rocks along the floor near the wall and letting the water lap up naturally onto a lipless edge. I've also seen this done well at the Avalon Hotel & Spa in Portland, Ore.
Idea Number Three: Use multipurpose tables for your treatment rooms to do facials. You knew about multi-use tables already, didn't you? But you didn't think about using them in your two facial rooms. It makes sense, doesn't it? Why not have two more rooms you can use to do massage, wraps or scrubs in when they are not in use by your estheticians? Golden Ratio makes some good multi-use tables that I've used before; check them out.
Your consultant's ideas about hiring spa staff are good, too. As someone who has helped assemble teams of spa professionals before, you can rely on her to give an informed opinion about potential candidates. It helps that she does not live in your community, too - she doesn't have to worry about stepping on any toes or creating political enemies and can voice her opinion without qualms.
Let your consultant conduct the initial screening of job applicants. You should step in during the next level of interviews, concentrating on the higher hiring values of camaraderie, rapport, "energy" and so on. After that, schedule yourself to receive a test massage or facial from each of the most promising recruits. Maybe I'll talk more about receiving test massages in my next letter - believe it or not, there's an art and a skill to it.
Don't focus all of your attention on hiring the "hands-on" staff. Though you are a therapist and your inclinations may lead you to focus exclusively on the massage department, remember that other staff will make a profound impact on your guests' experience. Your receptionist, for example, will most likely speak to every guest who comes through the door. Doesn't it make sense to proceed slowly and wisely when it comes to choosing this key figure in your operation? Almost anyone can answer a phone and write an appointment in a book. A good number of people may be quick at entering information into a computer. But how many of them will have your customers' best interests at heart?
While it's important to find qualified people, I think you'll do better across the board - from janitors to front-desk staff to therapists - if you look at the person first and the skill set last. Skills can be taught. The intrinsic person remains, and no amount of training, scolding or rewarding is going to change the underlying character much at all. Ask yourself one question: Would you want this prospective receptionist working in your own home? Now it's time to start assembling a great team!
Until next time,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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