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Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
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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