resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
September, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 09
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.
So, the roller coaster ride isn't over yet, just because your new day spa is open, right? In fact, a new ride has just begun.The ups and downs of the long planning stages are over, and you find yourself behind the wheel of a new enterprise with all the unforeseeable problems and challenges that are sure to arise. You're encountering one of those problems right now, in the very first month of operation. Though it's not a pretty one, it's all too typical.
After months of training and coaching, trusting and coddling, and friendship and teamwork, your lead esthetician, Marie, has shown her gratitude by not showing up for work one morning - quitting without giving notice. Isn't it amazing what goes through the minds of some people? What could she have been thinking to justify such an unfair move? Now, she's taking her newfound knowledge with her to a spa that is going to open across town in a few months - a new business, no doubt, inspired by the splash your Spa House made. The competition is going to be fierce, especially with the "insider's" knowledge that Marie will take to the other spa.
"Life is not fair!" You think, and perhaps you're right. But, as we say in the spa industry, Lou, it's no use crying over spilled milk and honey- exfoliating paste. There are a few proactive steps you can take at this interesting juncture.
Job Security - In Reverse
Usually when people talk about job security they mean the employee, not the employer. As a spa owner and employer, you are looking for the same kind of security from your employees as they're looking for from you. How can you trust them when you give them your best and they still abandon ship - like Marie? How can you know they'll be there for you in your time of need? Is there really any such thing as job security in the spa industry?
Spa employees know that their security is somewhat tenuous at times. There are a couple of spas that are unionized but, by and large, the majority is not, and employees have little recourse in instances of dismissal. Perhaps that is part of the reason why so many of them are ready to leave even a good job at the first sign of something better on the horizon. How can you get employees to be loyal?
There are some techniques that work well for some spa owners, such as offering money for continuing education, contingent upon the employee staying in the position for a certain amount of time; increasing pay scales over time often work; and giving people responsibility and a clear path toward career advancement helps, too. However (and this may be just my own overly nihilistic opinion), in the end, employees are out for themselves; they will do what they will do. It is better to go into your role as boss realizing this. It may be a mistake to put too much stock in your friendship with your employees. Doing so will often lead to disaster (emotional, as well as business-wise).
This is not to say you shouldn't be friendly with your staff - that is desirable. Remember though, that part of the relationship, no matter how friendly it gets, is also based on economics. Employees need you for the money you give them. You need them for the money they bring through the clientele. Friendships that exist within that dynamic are sometimes fragile things. That said, now what do you do? You're short an esthetician. In fact, you're short your only esthetician. You've spent months training her and thousands of dollars on the products she was going to use. Ahhhggg!
Of course, you've got to begin the search for a new esthetician. You might offer some of those incentives I mentioned earlier to your new recruit. Tell her you're going to increase her pay over time, and offer money for continuing education after a year of service. Tell her she'll make a higher commission rate as a "senior employee." And treat her like a professional first, a friend second.
In the meantime, before you find this person, you can take some immediate steps that will help you fill the gaps in your appointment book and make sure that you'll never ever again have to explain your complete lack of facial services to clients.
Face Treatment Options
You have a secret weapon on your staff when it comes to facial services. I'm talking about your massage therapists. You haven't been thinking about them offering esthetic-type treatments, but as I told you before, there is no reason to confine their scope-of-practice to the body alone. The face, in fact, is a part of the body, right? There are many face-specific services that massage therapists can perform to the satisfaction of your guests, the great support to your bottom line, and all without greatly angering the folks at the cosmetology board.
For example, I teach an Ayurvedic face massage treatment to students in my spa workshops, and they love it. The treatment consists of an application of herbs that are left to dry and then exfoliated off with the fingers. A hot towel is applied, and then herbal floral water followed by a pressure-point massage with essential oils from India. The treatment is finished up with a short massage using an emollient cream. It takes just half an hour, and it does not include extractions, diagnoses, or any of the specialties of our esthetician colleagues; however, clients report a healthy glow to their skin afterwards, induced, no doubt, by the balancing herbs and oils, plus increased circulation from the massage.
Clients also report feeling relaxed and cared for in that particular way that facials can make you feel. An esthetic treatment is different than a massage treatment. They both have their advantages, and these hybrid "face massage" treatments sometimes offer the best of both worlds. The Ayurvedic treatment can be emulated with a wide range of other products and techniques. Some of the more popular these days are Balinese, Indonesian and Thai. Getting your entire massage staff trained on these modalities is a great way to offer guests something different and assure that you won't be left without a facial service to offer if something like this ever happens again.
Of course, it's always a good idea to be aware of the laws in your state regarding face treatments. You definitely do not want to break any of them; in a few states, it is actually quite difficult to do even simple treatments, like the one I described above, if there is any chance it might impinge on cosmetologists' practice. Just be careful and do the right thing. I'm sure once your business starts to really rock, you'll have more than one esthetician on staff, and perhaps this problem will never arise again, but it's always good to be prepared, right? And don't forget about the new retail possibilities you'll be creating by adding these spa face massage treatments to your menu!
Well, Lou, I hope your second month in business is a little less traumatic than your first, and that you and your partner, Barbara, get the operation running smoothly after these initial hiccups. Always know that in the spa business there are usually more surprises than certainties. This makes for some great rewards, as well as challenges. I know you're up to them all!
Talk to you soon,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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