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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
April, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 04
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.
You have, without a doubt, one of the most attractive little day spa operations in the United States.I've seen hundreds of them over the years, and what you've created leaves me awestruck! It was so great to see you last month to help train your new staff, and check out the great work you've been pouring into this project.
Walking into the Spa House is like walking into a really comfortable and beautifully appointed home! The screened-in front porch is filled with sunlight, plants, a tinkling fountain, and the artwork of children from the community. It was a great idea to ask them to draw pictures of water - the origin of spa - in all of its manifestations: rivers, pools, the ocean, and even in their own backyards. The result is a blue splash of riotous color that will leave your customers in a calm and uplifted state of mind before they even enter the front door. And how much did this cost? Nada. You even got a local shop to donate the frames in exchange for displaying their name to your customers.
I don't mean to sound commercial about something that was obviously done from the heart, Lou, but think about the marketing coup you've pulled off here. Before you even open your doors for business, you've created a built-in clientele: the parents of those little artists and all of their friends. This was a stroke of genius from your partner, Barbara.
And speaking of Barbara, you didn't tell me she was such a knockout, Lou: gorgeous, sincere, smart, quirky - the woman has it all. Certainly a wise choice in business partners, and, I see now, a wise choice in life partners. You have to be careful, though, when cultivating a personal relationship like this, since you work so closely together and you both have invested money in the spa. But, as they'd say in France, "C'est l'amour." And there's nothing you can do about that.
After passing through the front porch and entering the door, I found myself in a homey sanctuary, with a welcoming wood reception counter, and a large waiting area that is like someone's living room. I was glad to see you'd taken my suggestion to offer foot treatments in this area, enticing other clients to do the same while creating a soothing atmosphere at the same time.
The treatment rooms are gorgeous, too - simple yet elegant, each one with its own music and lighting controls. It was fun and comfortable to train your staff in these rooms, and I'm sure they're going to enjoy working there on a daily basis, too; however, there are a few staff "issues" I noticed cropping up even at this early stage, and I wanted to pass along a little advice regarding your employees - things I've run into over the years that you might want to keep an eye on.
Don't get me wrong. It has been a pleasure working with such a dedicated and enthusiastic staff. In fact, I'd go beyond the word "enthusiastic" - they are downright excited! It's a great opportunity for them to be part of a unique experience in the community. I wouldn't mind working there myself someday. Keep me in mind! However, the startup phase of a spa - or any business - is often the "honeymoon" stage, when excitement is greatest and the rigors (and, at times, boredom) of daily operation have not yet set in. Regardless of your staff's enthusiasm now, you will assuredly run into some problems down the road; it's best to know about them up front.
One thing I noticed in your newly appointed lead therapist, Jeanie, is what I call the "overachiever syndrome." Jeanie is well qualified for the job: She's smart, bright, attentive, customer-oriented, and she seems to want to give of herself for the betterment of the team. What could be wrong, you ask? Well, I noticed some traits in Jeanie that I've seen in other lead therapists who "crashed and burned" early in their spa careers. One was a male who was arrested and charged with assault on a female customer; another was a fellow who rearranged the whole massage department to his liking (without permission); he was ousted three days later. These are people, who, like Jeanie, are self-sufficient and highly skilled, but don't take orders well, and at any given moment they could create unrest among fellow employees or guests.
I am not suggesting that you fire Jeanie, but I do suggest taking her aside and laying down the law. You, for better or worse, are the boss. Remember when you worked at the resort spa and I told you there were going to be some unsavory aspects of being a supervisor? I called it "the boss trap." You are caught in it more deeply now because you are not only the boss, but also the owner. It is crucial, in my opinion, to let Jeanie know that you are watching over her closely, and that her power is limited to her job description.
That's right, Lou. It's time to get serious about job descriptions. I know this is yet another task that seems less than glamorous, but it is going to help a lot, believe me. It will improve your chances for having a happy staff if Jeanie knows exactly what is expected of her, and what lies inside and outside the boundaries of her authority. This, in turn, will lead to a proper understanding by the other therapists, the receptionist, the estheticians, and you regarding who is responsible for what. There will come a time in the not-too-distant future when you are so busy with the daily rush of activities that these written job descriptions will be a lifesaver. They can, of course, be modified, discarded, or changed, but it is important that everyone agrees upon a working framework - especially as your grand opening approaches.
So, that is your homework: job descriptions for everyone! Add it to the endless list of things to accomplish as you move toward your dream of opening and operating a successful Spa House.
Talk to you soon,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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