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News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
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.
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.
April, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 04
What You Need to Know to Select the Right Spa Products for Your Customers
By Stephanie Beck
In past issues, we've covered the basics, selected and written our vision and our intention for the business. Now, what about products? You must consider all the options: wet room or dry room, ingredients, price, and where to begin.
Remember to keep in focus with your intention and vision of the business.If your intention is to cater to mostly male clientele, then consider those products that support that intention. Use unscented items or lighter scents, because chances are they will not want something that smells "pretty." Let's face it, how many men would get excited about a "Rose Blossom Body Wrap?" I am only speaking in general terms, of course, and in my book, there is nothing wrong with a man wanting a rose blossom body wrap. I am just not sure how many times that service would be requested by men if it appeared on your menu. So yes, consider your intention when selecting the proper products. Not only do you have to match your intention, but also your budget, layout, ingredients, scents, etc.
Wet Room or Dry Room?
I've mentioned this before, and I'll say it again: Thanks to our brilliant manufacturers, you have the capability to offer spa services in dry room facilities, and as the old saying goes, "Everyone is doing it!" Whether you select Lotus Touch, Soothing Touch, Amber, Bon Vital, Biotone, Pharmaskincare, or one of the many others, you have scrubs, muds, paraffin, mud paraffin, and polishes that easily can be removed with warm towels, massaged into the skin or peeled off the body. Spa services done in dry room facilities - you've got to love it.
For centuries, the word "spa" has been synonymous with water or baths, usually with mineral or therapeutic values. If your intention is to maintain this concept, then make sure your products can be used in a Vichy shower or hydrotherapy tub. The beauty of today's muds and scrubs is that they are flexible and can be used in either a wet room or dry room, because flexibility is a good thing!
As some of the products listed above (like paraffin) imply, they cannot be used with water. You will need to purchase smaller pieces of equipment like a paraffin heater and rolling cart to put it on so you can have access as you apply the paraffin with a brush or drape sheet around the body. Also keep in mind that if you don't plan on offering shower facilities or wet rooms, you will need to make sure your spa rep equips you with all the tools you will need to perform the treatments. We will talk more about creating relationships and how important it is to be more than "a number" with your supplier in the future. It never hurts to ask your spa rep what accessories you will need, although your spa rep should recommend what items you need to perform the treatments.
Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about ingredients. Does this match my client's needs? Does it match my spa theme? What are the contraindications? What are the benefits? The main problem when discussing a particular ingredient is the fact that most of the "talk" hasn't been scientifically studied or proven. Unless the manufacturer has paid for the independent study or conducted countless tests, they can only make general statements regarding the ingredients in their products. For instance, we all know the benefits vitamin E has when taken internally, but how many of us know of a study in which it's applied to the skin? I'm not looking to pick on anyone in particular. Just be aware of the limitations the manufacturers have, and make sure you match up the general ingredients with your vision and intention.
This also leads to our next topic: contraindications. Because so many ingredients have not been clinically tested, again, all manufacturers are left with making general statements. For instance, it's not recommended that you use seaweed-based products on a client who has a thyroid condition. Because we know that seaweed contains certain amounts of iodine and that iodine is controlled by the thyroid, and because we also know a certain amount of product is absorbed into the skin, it doesn't take a genius to figure out why it's important to ask the questions. Other clients have a very adverse reaction to nut oils. Therefore, you would want to make sure your spa products do not contain such ingredients, or at the very least, you'd want to have an alternative product available to meet those clients' needs.
Cost per treatment, hidden costs, and complete lines - these are to be considered when deciding on products. It's important that you understand the value of cost per treatment, because it won't matter if one gallon of salt glow is $10 less than the other brand if you have to use three times as much in each treatment. Also, there are some hidden costs if you have to use more water or three extra towels to remove a particular mud. You may have saved the money on the front end (because it was cheaper by the gallon), but you are paying for it on the back end (because your water or linen bill has just increased). Some people think that paraffin wraps are less expensive than mud wraps, but by the time you've added the accessory items, your expenses are about the same. Stay within your budget, and ask your spa rep what you'll need ahead of time so you can create the proper budget.
Complete lines are very important. By "complete lines," I mean having the proper retail or sell-through items. I will go out on a limb here and talk briefly about a subject that makes most people cringe: "retail sales." Before you start telling yourself, "I am NOT a salesperson," consider this: The average amount of retail sales in the spa industry is about 28 percent, and the spa market is about a $12 billion market. That's a lot of extra money, wouldn't you say? Also, people are going to purchase products following a treatment, whether they purchase from you (the practitioner or day spa owner) or go to their local department store to try and duplicate the same feel of their skin. Why any practitioner would want their hard work to continue to line the pockets of the local department store owner is beyond me! Besides, you chose the professional product for a reason: you believe in it. Otherwise, you would be using the cheap mineral-based products from the department store, too! Some practitioners believe the client can't afford the professional product, even though the client has never said they couldn't or wouldn't afford it. Given the opportunity, the customer will purchase, provided you have selected the proper product that meets their needs. Why do hair salons carry high-end shampoos that aren't sold in retail stores? It's the same concept: you go to a professional who carries higher quality products. Not providing them actually lowers your overall value.
Offering product selection makes customers happier and makes your business increase. This holds true whether you are a day spa owner or an individual therapist. Just be careful not to over invest against your budget. At Scrip, we offer several lines that you can retail in your space without all the heavy minimums, so be sure you know the return policies, guarantees, retail support, price structures, etc. when selecting the brand that fits your needs. Again, your spa rep should be able to guide you to the proper product line that meets your needs, which in turn, should meet the needs of your customers.
I have enjoyed e-mails with several of you over the past two months; it's good to know so many of Massage Today's readers are opening new spas or looking to expand their services and are enjoying my articles. Thank you for all the wonderful feedback! I would encourage everyone to keep me posted on your success. If others have any questions, please feel free to contact me at . Keep striving to make your dreams a reality!
Click here for more information about Stephanie Beck.
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