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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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
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.
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?
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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.
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.
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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.
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.
August, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 08
Are You Just Doing Massage? Combine Services for Value-Added Options
By Ann Brown, LMT
Are you just doing massage? I have worked in the resort spa industry since 1994, and the resort-type of "spa-ing" is really all that I know. Sure, I understand the gamut of the spas in the industry – med-spas, day spas, chiropractic, small massage business and more – but my focus is on marketing to a resort/leisure/vacationing client.These clients come to resort spas wanting and needing an escape, a true getaway from their everyday lives and stresses. They seek out resort spas, utilizing their vacations as their excuses and their annual rituals to pamper themselves. Looking at our clientele and how they add on spa services at resort spas, I have to wonder, why don't more small massage businesses add more treatments to the menu that give monthly clients the same feeling as being on vacation?
Our spa-goers today want to feel better. They want to let go, relax and walk away restored. Massage is at the heart of what we do in the resort spa business – still our number one treatment. So, while resort spas capitalize on the same treatment you do every day, I think that today's small massage businesses can also capitalize on what the resort spas do.
The same clientele we see on vacation are the ones that will book monthly for massage treatments closer to home. I know that many of you readers of Massage Today operate small businesses, and many of you work independently trying to secure and fill your books with people in your town/community. Even though I do think the economy is starting to come back, it is still tough to grow your business at the rate we were all growing in 2006. The challenge is to change with the times, to reinvent ourselves and to not look back at historical data, including financials, booking pace, new clients and how quickly existing clients rebook. It's time to come up with some new ways and fresh ideas that allow our guests and clients a respite and a bit of a vacation while they are on the table.
While massage is still the most frequently booked spa treatment, our body treatments are not nearly as readily booked as back in 2006. We decided some time ago to become a bit more creative with how we package items together and call them "specials." One of things we look for in a profitable "special" is how to add something to our existing most popular treatment – massage – in a way that our guests will want to get more out of the treatment through the special offer, while minimizing any increase in our delivery costs.
While adding on special mud masks or salt exfoliations are good treatments, they require the use of wet rooms and incur product costs. In contrast, one of the simplest ways to enhance a massage is to add a dry exfoliation. The body benefits are still great for the client and the cost to provide the extra service is minimal to our resort spa – and completely within the realm of possibility for a small massage business to offer.
I have always been a big proponent of body brushing and it was a long time staple on our resort spa menu. As more and more spas have adopted the practice, we've sought a way to perform the exfoliation in better, different ways to bring a "wow" factor to the guest and deliver incredible body benefits. One of our "specials" at the resort spa that has really taken off is a physical exfoliation using a new exfoliation mitt and then a massage. We package them together for an 80-minute service.
I love this mitt because we do not need any products with it and it offers a different, more modern way to treat the guest. A derivative of the aerospace industry, the honeycomb mitt has "memory," the ability to repeatedly return to its original shape. Naturally, anti-fungal and antibacterial, it dries quickly and is great for re-use in the treatment room because it can be properly sanitized/disinfected.
Any time you consider adding on to the massage, consider what takeaways you can give your client. What about the treatment you are offering can they take home with them to continue the health and wellness benefits on their own? While you talk about at-home practices with your client, make sure to equip them with the right tools. When offering exfoliation – either with a body brush or the mitt – you have the opportunity to make an easy retail sale, one that gives your client a great at-home tool at an easy, low, price point.
We offer the mitt for sale directly to the guest for them to use at home and educate our guests on how to use it, but our professional staff will always perform a more satisfying exfoliation in the treatment room than the guest can do at home. The professional treatment is more thorough and feels so good. The exfoliation really excites the nervous system through the vibrant friction of the mitt on the skin. There is a point where you can just see the client become totally relaxed, so ready for the massage to follow. After the exfoliation, we use a seaweed oil that is so good for the skin, and as a spa therapist, it is rewarding to see the guest's skin look vibrant, youthful and highly moisturized.
Guests love this treatment and it costs me no more in professional treatment costs because we do all the work with the mitt that can be disinfected at the end of the treatment and used again. Topped off with a great retail sale for the mitt, and it is a win-win for us and a great treatment for the guest. We even offer 20 percent off if the guest buys the mitt that same day of their massage treatment combo. So far, we have almost 80 percent closure on the sale of the mitt at the end of the treatment, a terrific return on investment for the spa and it gives our therapists some retail money in their check, too.
You can add on some money to your massage and bundle an exfoliation – dry body brushing or with a specialized mitt – as your summer special, or you can give the exfoliation as a complimentary item for booking a massage on a day of the week you need to boost your appointment volume. There are many ways you can make a new or existing client feel valued and the need to do so is a given today: our guests and clients must feel there is value in what they are paying for! You could even give them the mitt or body brush after the service and put into the cost of the treatment the wholesale cost of the mitt. In doing so, you would be out nothing more than a bit more time to do the exfoliation and would they see the value in that? YES!
Maybe you've been in business for a while and maybe you feel that massage is enough. But I think that clients want to try something new from someone they trust and you don't need a wet room or a wet table or even water to offer this extra wellness service. Why don't you try it next month and offer it one day a week (again, when you need extra services) and tell me know it goes? You can email me at with any questions or comments. I am eager to hear from you!
Ann Brown, a licensed massage therapist, is a member of the International Spa Association's board of directors and serves as spa director at Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo. She also provides management consulting services through Spa Insight Consulting.
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