resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
August, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 08
Challenges in the Treatment Room Can Bring Self Awareness
By Ann Brown, LMT
When I put on my writing hat for Massage Today, I usually feel I should speak about the spa industry, spa management, climbing up the corporate ladder or trying to bridge the gap between massage and spa (a relationship that is good, but could always be better).But beyond any executive or management level tasks that are on my mind, I still find myself back at the massage table and it is in this grounding that I find myself challenged. In my day-to-day role as spa director, I do at times step up to our spa's needs and provide hands-on therapy myself to our clients, standing at that massage table, in the same place as you. It is in that place that I sometimes find myself confronted with challenges I wasn't expecting.
I am very engaged in my work in the spa industry as it relates to massage, and I know you are, too. As engaging as the work is, I get stuck with my own responses with clients. Whether it is appointments cancelled minutes before the massage starts, clients in bad moods, clients that just aren't getting better or when I might, per chance, not be in the best of moods. We don't work in a vacuum and we are affected by the distances between ourselves, our clients and what we would like to have happen.
Recently, I found myself taken by an email I received from Wayne Dyer's organization about his daughter Serena's book, Don't Die with Your Music Still in You. The book's message hit a chord (no pun intended) with me and what I realize are my challenges with massage clients.
In her book, Serena says, "I'm always interested when I see acquaintances posting positive quotes and inspirational messages on Facebook and Twitter, yet I know that they're incredibly judgmental in their day-to-day lives. I hear them talk poorly about their friends and see them treat some people better than others. It's as if they don't believe the waitress is of the same caliber as the priest or lawyer, and therefore she does not deserve the same kind treatment."
To be honest, when I read that, I had to question myself. Do I do that on some level? While I strive to treat everyone with kindness, how much do I subconsciously judge others? Do I judge my clients when they don't meet my expectations or cause me a bit of challenge?
I filter everything that happens in my daily life, minute-to-minute. Part of this filter allows me to scan my environment and/or person and put them in a category. I think I've done this since I was a young child and I am sure it first came about to provide safety for me. I would scan people to check facial expressions and make sure they were friendly and not going to harm me. We all have basic survival mechanisms we use to protect ourselves from harm and maybe it is a primal part of our brain that helped the cavemen and cave ladies watch for danger including cliffs, animals, predators, storms, etc.
Even Serena admits that she has been guilty of these same judgmental behaviors. "We're all evolving. But I am becoming ever more aware of the judgment that creeps into my life. I observe it, even embrace it, and then let it go. I'm trying to live more positively, knowing that who I used to be, or what I used to do, does not shape who I am or what I do today."
As I have grown up, my adult filter has a tendency to judge and make assessments before I really know a person's whole story. Whether welcoming regular massage clients or first timers, we typically tend to assume things that we really don't know for hard facts. Do some of these sentences ever apply to you and your thoughts? "This client doesn't want to get better and will not do the work." "This client really doesn't have the financial resources to see me regularly." "This client is needy and stuck and I cannot really help."
I trust that all massage therapists want to help clients with wellness/prevention and rehabilitation and relaxation. I know this intention to help get them better can sometimes cause frustration when the desired results are not achieved. A positive attitude can do all kinds of things to help achieve results and that positivity must start with me and I must share it with my client.
Serena Dyer's words have helped me just try and embrace the good and keep things positive. "We can talk about positivity until the cows come home. But if we have constant thoughts of negativity, we will only find more negativity showing up in our lives. In order to see things change, we have to change the way we think about things. As the Abraham-Hicks teachings say, stop telling it like it is and start telling it like you want it to be. Life isn't happening to you, it is responding to you."
Once I get negative about another person, I have infected myself. That is not what I want for myself and that is not what I want for you. Wayne Dyer puts it best, "An eye for an eye keeps the whole world blind. Don't forget that."
Standing at the massage table, I look back over my career and I think about Serena's words. I see how the spa is not a job, but part of who I am, and I am grateful. I am grateful for the zigs and zags that I didn't plan on in my life, but that sparked my interest in the spa industry and kept me here. I have learned so much and know that it would take many lifetimes to even scrape the surface of all the spa history and understand the theories and fundamentals that originated thousands of years ago.
We are in a profession that dips deep into the past and connects deep with clients – and often times helps us connect deep within ourselves. As Serena puts forth in the title of her book, don't die with your music still in you. We all have music within ourselves, and we all work to find the rhythms and learn our life lessons that let our music loose. Cultivating a spirit of openness with our clients and forgiveness for ourselves when we falter helps let our music sing.
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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