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Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
January, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 01
What You Should Know Before Entering the Spa Market
By Stephanie Beck
In my seven years in the spa market, some of you might remember meeting me over the phone, in person at a tradeshow, or attending one of my classes. Others of you are asking, "Who is this person?" I might not have had the pleasure of meeting or speaking personally with you yet, but I look forward to the opportunity.
Whether you are looking to open a new day spa or be a spa director, I would like to share what I hope you will consider valuable information from myself and from some top industry professionals.We will start with the basics, and expand to include the benefits of offering spa treatments, how to retail, how to select the right spa products, selecting the right vendor, how to create menus the list goes on and on. I hope you enjoy this series and consider it helpful to your endeavors.
OK, so you want to open a day spa. What type of day spa do you want to open? What kinds of treatments do you want to offer? How do you decide which treatments work best for your environment? For some of you, these questions can be answered easily; for those still contemplating the answers, let's look at a plan.
Most of the day spas create a theme for the spa. Design a theme or layout that inspires you. Perhaps you have a deep desire to help others achieve the perfect body. There are a variety of themes, like "Spiritual," "Health and Wellness," "Cultural," or one conducive to your environment. The important thing to remember is that this spa is a part of you your aspirations and your dreams so it needs to be something you feel passionate about.
What do I mean by "conducive to my environment?" For example, if you are planning on opening a day spa in Lemon Grove, Calif., you might want to play off the citrus theme and have several treatments designed with lemon or other citrus essential oils and extracts. You might decide to serve freshly squeezed juices before each treatment, and keep your colors very bright and cheerful.
However, just living in a particular area doesn't mean you have to adhere to that environment. If you have a desire for sports massage and deep tissue work, you might want to open a day spa next to a sports complex or fitness center. You might want to have nutritional supplements and sports drinks in your retail area, and keep your reception areas very contemporary and your colors simple; lots of white, with accents of bright, bold colors. Perhaps your uniforms are more casual; for example, you could use polo shirts with logos instead of lab coats.
I have talked quite a bit about the environment, colors, uniforms and some of the menu. But there is a lot of work involved in creating themes. What if you aren't in a position to open your own spa? You might have other possibilities, like being hired as a spa manager for a new and upcoming spa with a particular theme. This was the case for Lynn Bisoce, the business manager for Spa Balinesia, one of the hottest new day-spa chains in the Los Angeles area. Lynn's background was sports massage and sports therapy before being hired in her new position last year. I was able to interview Lynn and ask her for her advice to other massage therapist that want to break into the day spa market.
"In my opinion, every massage therapist new to the spa environment should know the vision and intention of all services offered," Lynn said. "Study the menu of services and research products utilized. Take courses in aromatherapy and hydrotherapy. Learn as much as possible, not only for yourself, but for the guest who deserves the utmost quality in care."
"My advice to massage therapists, in general, would be to obtain your national certification for massage and bodywork and become a member of a professional organization such as the American Massage Therapy Association. Continue your education in, for example, aromatherapy, Reiki, body treatments, nutrition, and herbology. You will become highly marketable and in high demand," Lynn added.
Don't be discouraged if you find yourself having to make adjustments to your menu, design or theme as you progress with the design concept. According to Lynn, "We made a number of changes as we progressed. The main changes began with our menu."
Once you have selected a theme and created a rough draft of your menu, one of the most important things you can think about is equipment. Generally, equipment has the longest lead time when ordering. It also can be one of the more expensive investments for your day spa, and like the professionals you select, it can make a lasting impression on your clientele base. So, what kind of equipment are you looking for?
It can be overwhelming to the mind and pocketbook to start looking at equipment. In general, it helps if you are prepared when you start looking. Know what type of budget you have to work with, and think long-term when considering equipment. What is going to produce the quickest return on your investment? For example, you can put portable massage tables in your new five-room day spa. They will be less expensive now, but are they able to produce the most return? You might decide, based on your selection of services, that you need multifunction tables that can be adjusted to meet the needs and services of your clients quickly and easily. The more often you are able to use the equipment, the quicker it's going to pay for itself!
Another good thing to keep in mind is that you generally will get a better deal if you can purchase all of your products, including crèmes, lotions, muds, equipment, stools, bolsters, uniforms, disposables, herbs, skin care items, etc., from the same "one-stop shopping" source. You undoubtedly will be laden with countless decisions, and the last thing you need to concern yourself with is calling five to 10 different distributors to check to make sure the lotions are shipping.
All of these items can be handled by a professional spa distributor. You will be busy with personnel hiring, training, spa menu development, marketing, insurance, business licensees, and all the rest of the daily duties to make this day spa run efficiently and effectively. So, make things easier on yourself, and get as much as you can from one place. Make sure they have staff that are easy to reach, reliable, knowledgeable and friendly. Trust me; it's much better to make one phone call and get all of the answers than flipping through your Rolodex or invoices to find who you purchased what from! In the long run, you will make life easier for yourself or your product manager, and you will get the best pricing and service by developing a lasting relationship with your professional spa distributor.
I have seen a few day spa owners try to cut corners by purchasing large buckets of a product and re-bottling it into smaller containers to sell in their retail area. While this might seem like a harmless and less expensive way than purchasing the retail sizes to sell, you must be aware of the potential risk. Product liability can be very costly. All manufactures provide product liability that extends through their distributors as long as the product has not been tampered with, adulterated or misused in any way. If you purchase a gallon of lotion, fill several small containers with the lotion and re-sell it to your clients, you have broken the responsibility to the manufacturer. They are no longer responsible for the product because they were not the ones that sold your client the product. Since they did not fill the bottle, they are released from any responsibility. Please keep in mind: The manufacturers are in the business of making product in sterile, clean environments and should have met all the FDA regulations to be qualified to sell the products. The other question to ask yourself is, do you or your staff want to spend time servicing the clients or filling small containers for retail?
Working for a manufacturer for more than six years and now for a distributor, I have learned we all have a role and a purpose. Manufacturers are great at making products, packaging products, and providing them to the appropriate channels to get the products to the end user. Distributors are the best at maintaining a large variety of products and delivering them with friendly, reliable and timely service to the end users. They are an extension of the manufactures, and are able to meet your needs on multiple levels that a manufacturer is unable to. You, as a day spa owner or spa manager, are the best at meeting the needs of the customer and using the proper goods and services to enhance a customer's well-being. As always, it's best to check with your local or state licensing and regulatory offices to find out what licenses are required for each service your practitioners offer, and to adhere to those regulations.
Next month, we will discuss the benefits of offering spa treatments. If you have questions or comments pertaining to any of the items mentioned in this article, please contact me at .
Click here for more information about Stephanie Beck.
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