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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.
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.
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.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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.
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.
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.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
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.
Well, the opening of your new day spa is just two months out now, and you're going crazy trying to get everything together.Don't worry; that crazed feeling you have is natural. It wouldn't be a true spa opening if you didn't feel like you were juggling at least a hundred balls in the air at once.
I must admit - you really "take the bull by the horns" when you need to get things accomplished. The job descriptions you've created for The Spa House are exactly what you needed to keep things on track as the business gets up and running. Without a clear understanding of what's expected, employees have a tendency to make their own rules, regardless of your best, albeit unstated, intentions.
Job descriptions are usually most effective in spas when they are included in a manual that you hand out to each employee. That means each employee benefits from reading the job description of every other employee, as well as his or her own. It is most important for you to include a job description for yourself and your partner/co-owner Barbara, as well as the people who will work for you. That way, you'll be perfectly clear about your role regarding authority, boundaries, and responsibilities.
There are just a couple little things I would change with the job description you created for Jeanie, your lead therapist.
When writing job descriptions, it's important to remember that employees will often take them literally. So, it's important to include a level of detail that cannot be argued with or interpreted in different ways. For example, in Jeanie's description you say: "The lead therapist shall be responsible for the conduct, demeanor and appearance of the other therapists and estheticians." This can be taken several ways. Does that mean Jeanie can then reprimand the other therapists on these issues? Does she have the authority to send them home if one of the guidelines is broken? Does she have to come to you or Barbara first before making any disciplinary decisions? Is there some kind of logbook into which she can record infractions?
Each job description needs to list specific actions that employees can perform to satisfy their duties. For that, you will need to spend a little more time fleshing out the details. Then, when you have finished, you can insert all of the descriptions into the manual, which will include a list of general guidelines that all employees can refer to.
One other item in the job description that I thought could use some clarification was this: "The lead therapist shall be available to fill in for other therapists if they are sick or otherwise unable to perform their normal functions." First of all, this seems a little onerous to me, as it should really be your own responsibility, ultimately, to make sure the customers are happy and that somebody is available to perform their treatments. Passing this off to your lead therapist gives her a little too much power. This might make her resentful of the imposition on her time, and that resentment might lead to an abuse of the power you've given her.
I would suggest you strike this part of the description entirely and instead say: "The lead therapist shall be responsible for creating and monitoring the weekly work schedule for the massage therapists or estheticians, according to the guidelines written in this manual. He or she will report illnesses, requests for time off scheduling conflicts and potential uncovered shifts to the owner/director in a written report on the first day of the pay period every two weeks."
I think you get the idea. So, it's back to the drawing board on those. Sorry to load you with more work! But guess what? There is yet another form you'll need before opening The Spa House. It's called the "client intake" form.
It's very important that you safeguard yourself against potential lawsuits. Regardless of how professional your staff is and how closely you monitor every aspect of your spa's operations, problems can still occur. Remember when you were working in the medical day spa and that client complained that she'd been injured by one of the mechanical massage techniques you performed? It turned out to not be your fault, but it sure felt good to have that liability insurance provided by the professional massage association you're a member of, didn't it?
To that end, it's important to include in your guidelines that each and every one of your therapists and estheticians carries his or her own liability insurance, usually via an association. And it's a must for all clients to fill out an intake form before anyone on your staff touches them. The intake form should give you an idea of each client's general health and any specific problems that you may have to look out for when your therapists and estheticians apply products and procedures to them. Thus, it must be customized to complement your particular offerings.
For example, I've been working with Biotone lately, and have developed an intake form that addresses the specific concerns related to treatments performed with their line of spa products. (View this form at www.royaltreatment.com/Intake_Form.htm.)
In other news, I was happy to hear that the hotel down the street has approached you asking to form a strategic alliance. It has customers in need of a spa; you have a spa (or will have in two months) in need of customers. It seems like a marriage made in Heaven. But how will it work?
I recently counseled another friend opening a spa, on the same issue, and I recommended that she get a written agreement from the hotel stating exactly how they would promote her spa. (Will they have brochures or table tents in the rooms, for instance?) In return, she agreed to offer each guest coming from the hotel a 10-percent discount. The guest receives the benefit, and you receive the business. It's "win-win-win." This, I believe, is a more effective strategy than charging full price and then giving the hotel a percentage of your income.
Keep on charging forward, Lou. You'll have your spa up and running sooner than you think!
Until next time,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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