resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
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.
July, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 07
Spa Issues and a Request
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nev., April 30-May 3, 2005, where I was invited to attend as a continuing education presenter. It was truly an amazing event, very well run and heavily attended.I got to immerse myself in the spa industry and talk to spa owners and operators, as well as spa massage therapists. There are some interesting issues bubbling in the spa industry regarding massage. The two I found most fascinating were injuries and product sales.
All health care professions have their "walking wounded" who are practicing through their injuries and "dis"-health. It is amazing to me how few health care practitioners actually practice what they preach. The spa industry is no different. The majority of the therapists I met at the show were suffering from massage related injuries and not getting proper care for themselves.
Of course, this is a problem in our entire profession because body mechanics are seldom taught and rarely learned when they are taught. The volume of work done at spas increases the incidence of injury when therapists do not receive adequate training in working postures and self-care. This will undoubtedly begin to cost spas a lot of workers' compensation dollars.
Maybe this issue will eventually force schools to teach body mechanics and self-care in a more than passing manner. If I had a spa, I would only hire therapists from schools that adequately trained students in these subjects. Isn't it time schools started conditioning their students to be able to physically do the jobs expected of them? Time will tell.
The second issue is product sales. Spas have products for sale for their customers and they want their staff, including massage therapists, to promote and sell those products. Usually the therapists receive a commission from the sales they make. Spa operators are rather perplexed because massage therapists are resistant to this concept.
For some reason, massage therapists are being taught that it is unethical to sell products or additional services to clients. This amuses me. I do not see why selling something is unethical. I do not know of a health care profession that does not sell products to their patients. MDs sell drugs, appliances, casts, braces, splints, TENS units and all sorts of stuff by the boatload. DCs sell supplements, pillows, braces, supports and lots of other useful items. I cannot think of a health care profession that does not sell "stuff." Yet, somehow, in the massage profession, selling something is this huge ethical issue. Would somebody please tell me what is wrong with selling something?
This pious, unjustifiable, false morality should be laughable, but, sadly, some take it quite seriously. It has always amazed me how indignant some massage therapists get when something is offered for sale at a massage school or continuing education event. Where is this coming from? If you don't want it, don't buy it. It is not unethical or immoral to offer something for sale. Is this some envy of success issue or poverty consciousness, or maybe some of both? What is wrong with offering (selling) a useful product that can be beneficial to a client or student?
Most likely comparable products cannot be found elsewhere, as schools, practitioners and spas tend to sell professional grade products that are not available in the public marketplace. Even if the product is available at a local health food store for instance, why not provide the convenience of availability and expert advice for use to the client? There is nothing wrong with selling stuff! A lot of struggling massage therapists could increase their incomes significantly if they added products sales to their practice. This should be taught, not discouraged.
No, I do not think a massage should be an hour-long sales pitch; however, it is very rare I have a patient who, during the course of the massage, does not tell me about some problem or another. I assume they are looking for suggestions and help or they would not bring it up. If a product I have is appropriate, I mention it (without missing a stroke), then let it go and bring it back up at the end of the appointment during checkout time. My patients are grateful for the high-quality, professional products I have available for them, not offended.
There have been some reports of spa operators imposing sales quotas. I understand that to tell a massage therapist they have to sell a minimum volume of product could be unreasonable, especially if the products are shampoos and creme rinses; however, if such quotas are made clear during the hiring process, and the therapists knows and understands the quotas prior to accepting the position, I do not see a problem. It is unreasonable and unfair if the quota comes down on their head as a surprise after they have begun working somewhere. So, if you are going to work for a spa or salon, be sure you know all the conditions of employment and have them in writing before accepting the position.
Help! Following the lead of my editor, Cliff Korn, I want to ask for your help with my column. If you have a hot therapy tip or a favorite therapy technique you think is worthy of sharing with your colleagues, send it in to me. I will share it in the "Try This" section of my column. Of course, I will give you credit for it, unless you want to remain anonymous. No more than 150 words and only one tip per person. Send to . We can help each other help more people. Thanks!
Try this: Having problems with neck complaints involving the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM)? Sometimes the SCM just won't respond to massage and relax like it's "supposed to." Move inferior and work the rectus abdominis, especially its upper attachments at the ribcage and sternum. Then work the sternum and the inter-costal spaces on each side of it. (Be sure to advise your female patients of what you are going to do and get their consent, as this can be a boundary issue.) Now return to the SCM, it will often respond positively. There is a fascial connection from the SCM to the pubic bone.
Have a great, safe 4th of July!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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