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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
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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