resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.