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Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
October, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 10
A Professional Guide to Handling Change
By Terry Russell
Change. That inevitable situation that we all are faced with that makes us leave the secure area we are comfortable with and make potentially difficult choices. Whether it is personal or professional, we all strive for what is best in our world.For many, the fear of change prevents them from venturing away from their comfort zone so they choose to stay with the tried and true. A nice way of staying put.
Over the past few years, great strides have been made in the lubricant industry. Have you tried any of the new products from the professional manufacturers in our industry? There are lubricants that are olive oil based, creams that are truly all purpose, sheet friendly oils and lotions from sustainable plants, just to name a few.
Choosing the Right Product
When choosing a professional grade product, the guess work has been removed which should help alleviate any fear. For many, we start out using whatever oil, lotion and cream our school used. Before we realize it, we are five years into our career, still using the same lubricant. Think about how your clientele has changed over the past five years. How has your basic technique changed? Any new modalities added to your toolbox? When was the last time you used a new product?
I constantly hear from loyal customers that, "I love XYZ product and have been using it for six years," or "I only use XYZ brand." While brand and product loyalty is important, it is equally important to stay current with trends. Just like technology, our industry is consistently evolving into greater, more advanced products and techniques. Take oil as an example. Massage oil used to be so greasy and many times only considered when the client was hairy or extremely dry. Today's market offers many light, water soluble oils that are not only easy on the sheets, but also don't leave the client feeling like they have been marinating for the past hour. Many now are all natural and without the synthetic preservatives and still allow a long shelf life. There are a few that actually have an indefinite shelf life: (hint) fractionated coconut oil!
Lotions have evolved into a rich, vast category. No longer just a moisturizing tool, some lotions are versatile enough to handle your most complex days – going from Swedish to deep tissue without missing a beat. One of the best changes with newer lotions is the slower absorption rate allowing this to be the perfect choice in a varied technique session. The fact that most lotions completely absorb into the skin is sure to please even the most finicky client. Today's lotions often leave the client's skin feeling so fresh and vibrant that it makes a great retail product allowing for extra income to the therapist. Always keep an extra eight ounce bottle handy for when the client asks, "Where can I get that lotion you used on me?"
Creams by far the trickiest to find the proper match. I highly suggest trying two or three small sizes of various creams that interest you. Try them on several different clients and several different methods before making up your mind. Cream is no longer just for deep work. Some creams turn into lotion when heated to the body's temperature. Some are infused with moisturizers and some are safe for the face as well as the body.
Gels are a great compromise when you are unsure whether you need an oil or a lotion. Combining both oil and lotion, manufacturers have given us the luxury of having the slip of oil while absorbing like a lotion. The brand's performance can vary as greatly as creams so I suggest trying one or two to see if they work in your practice.
While samples are a nice idea theoretically – practically, this idea falls short. Not only is it costly for the manufacturer (who could be spending that money on research and development for new products), it is unjust to the therapist interested in trying a new product. A ketchup packet size of oil, lotion or cream cannot show the true quality and benefits of working with that product – it is just to give the therapist an idea of the performance. The best way to really put a product to the test is to buy a small size (some creams come in as little as 4 ounces). This way the therapist can try the product with different modalities because no one wants to buy a different lubricant for each different modality they perform. Also, it is a chance to put the product to the test with several different clients. No two client's skin condition and absorption rate is the same.
Another factor that all major lubricant manufacturers have embraced is going green. Whether going organic or using sustainable products, a therapist does not have to look far to find an organic or natural oil, lotion or cream. From the containers to the product, it is easy to go green in your practice. The majority of the oils, lotion and creams in our industry are American made as well. Your experiment into new products will be helping the U.S. economy by supporting local business. Even in these tough economic times, our lubricant manufacturers have been busy in research and development, bringing the best ideas to market. Ideas that will sustain our market help our industry grow and aid us in providing the best possible care to our clients.
Looking at all the choices that are at your fingertips can be overwhelming. We are fortunate to be in an industry where manufacturers and distributors alike have websites and customer service representatives to answer your questions – from basic to technical, the answer is only a call or click away.
Inventory Your Products
Take a moment. Look on your shelves at your oils, lotions and creams. When was the last time a new brand or new type shared that space? Do you have any consumer-based products occupying that space? Mass merchants and big box retailers are not the places to shop for professional grade products. What you use in your treatments clearly defines you as a professional therapist. Leave the consumer grade products for the consumer. This way, when you do experiment with products, you can rest assured that the professional grade products that you are considering are made with the best ingredients, tested for our industry and will represent you well to your clients. The last thing you want your client to see is a bottle of lotion on your table that they saw on clearance at a retail store earlier in the week.
Still using that same oil, lotion or cream that you were taught with eight years ago? There is a whole new world out there. Venture out. Experiment. That new professional grade oil, lotion or cream you consider today could help redefine you tomorrow. Change. It is an inevitable situation that arises in all our lives. We can choose to be safe, secure and complacent or we can grab the challenge by the horns and make it a positive force.
Your product choice is a direct reflection of who you are. Always use professional grade products. Every so often, change your oil, lotion and cream. Keep your clients guessing what wonderful new product you will be using today. This small change can have a huge impact on how you, your name and your practice are received. Are you trendy, up to date on new products or stuck in a decade past? Isn't it time for a little change?
Terry Russell has been involved in the massage community since 1999. His previous career includes being a full time therapist at Spa Palazzo in the Boca Raton Resort & Club, as well as owning a successful private practice. As the Director of Equipment Development at Universal Companies, his efforts are now focused on bringing the massage and spa industry the best of equipment with a focus on providing outstanding customer service. For more information, visit www.universalcompanies.com.
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