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A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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.
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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
October, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 10
A Career Move to a Resort Spa: Is It Right for You?
By Ann Brown, LMT
Wondering if working in a resort spa is right for you? I've been in this industry for nearly 20 years, but I have to admit – it was more of a career path that opened up for me, instead of one that I purposefully set out to make my life-long mission. It was definitely one I never expected to love so much.
I fell into the resort spa industry. I say "fell" because, when I started, I was looking for a job with flexible hours and good pay while I was finishing my MBA. My previous work had all been in sales, driven and dollar-focused. I went to nail technician school as a means to support my way to my MBA, not looking for a career in the resort spa industry. I didn't really know all the benefits of working for a large corporation, but once I started working within one of the largest resort spas in the U.S., I started to see so many other perks besides good wages and flexible hours. I had, at my fingertips, very low employee hotel rates at the other hotels within the corporate group, great pay with taxes taken out, medical benefits, complimentary lunch and uniform cleaning, and the ability to trade freely with the other licensed staff for massages, facials and all sorts of modalities I had never tried before, such as watsu, Thai, MLD, reflexology, craniosacral, acupressure and more.
I also had the opportunity to add to my spa education at a discounted rate, sometimes even earning free CEU's from training for new menu items. Training for treatments such as stone massage and classes on the principles of hydrotherapy were the perks that really opened my eyes to the BIG world of spa. When I started at my first resort spa, I have to admit my nail technician job was primarily about meeting my needs – some decent money and very flexible hours. I had my basic license, but it became quickly apparent to me that the more education I had, the more money I was going to make.
The resort spa I was working for had a couple of pedicures that included reflexology on the spa menu, but I wasn't eligible to perform them. You had to have at least 16 CEU hours in reflexology and some case studies before being opened on the schedule for these pedicures. When the resort spa offered a free 16-hour CEU class on reflexology, I decided to do it, mostly because it meant a significant pay raise per hour for me to be able to do these specialized pedicures over the basic ones.
You may have heard the saying, "When you are ready to learn, the teacher will appear." I learned so much in those two days of reflexology training – that is exactly what happened to me. I was in awe of what I learned and the potential it held. At the time, I had some minor health issues and was at a loss as to a course for my future wellness. Through this class, I immediately felt the benefits that spa therapy had upon my own health. The reflexology class set me on a path that has daily reminded me of why I am in the spa industry.
It also put my big toe in the pool of entertaining the idea of entering massage school, which was very intimidating to me. I had never been much of a touchy feely type and hadn't given much massage of any type to anyone before entering school, but the more spa therapy I learned, the more I wanted to learn. I have to admit – I was so intimidated about massage school that I pursued esthetician training first. Please don't judge me, but I was equally intrigued with skincare and really learned so much from some Eastern European estheticians I worked with, I thought I better get that license under my belt next, so fast forward four months and I finally took the plunge with massage school. I was living in Florida at the time and went to a 500-hour evening program. I was receiving treatments for my health concerns within the spa, trading with massage therapists and receiving lots of MLD, reflexology and seaweed treatments and hydrotherapy using water temperatures to aid in the exchange of fluids and to help me reduce water retention issues, and it was all working. I honestly had a hard time believing that all this natural stuff was working and making my body more alkaline, but it was undeniable how it improved my overall health. As I look back even today, it was an "ah-ha" moment in my life.
That's my story, but you may still be thinking – is the resort spa industry for you?
First, I know it can be intimidating, but you will have to push through those fears. Working with 50 to 150 staff members, some with oodles of certifications and years of experience, can be quite overwhelming. What I found is so many of them are willing to share their experience, technique and offer great advice. I am so eternally grateful for all the spiritual souls I have met in the spa/massage industry. Second, the pay and hours are really pretty good. You have no overhead, and since uniforms, supplies, business cards, linens, massage oil, equipment and clients are provided – Why not?
Many resort spas are breathtaking and so ample in room size, offering luxurious locker rooms, ergonomic hydraulic tables and more. There is so much for you to enjoy. I do understand that some massage therapists are hesitant to leave their own practice because they like the relationship they have when they see the same client weekly or monthly to better his or her health. Sometimes, in a resort setting, this is almost impossible. But I do think you have the ability to set the bar really high for resort spa clients with your massage techniques and abilities. You can set the guest's expectations and put them on a course of action for better health, for sure. All clients are looking for prevention/wellness tips and who better than to do that than a licensed massage therapist who is getting a better understanding of the client's structure/muscle/fascia during a massage, not to mind the emotional aspects the body holds.
So many people enter the massage world with their first massage on vacation, whether a resort or cruise, and why not impress them with their first experience? You have the potential to make them aware of how important massage is for their health.
Lastly, I think the career implications and business aspect of making a move to a resort spa is huge. You can potentially learn from other smart business people, not only in the massage industry, but also food and beverage or resort group sales or marketing gurus. You can learn how they operate and this can benefit you in numerous ways via networking, growing your own future business and giving a broader scope of your potential. If you are worried about the interview at a five-star property, my advice is to own it. If it seems like a good fit to you, it probably feels the same to them. Good luck – and let your journey begin.
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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