Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Education for Spa Directors & Professionals - Too Expensive, Not Accessible & Poorly Focused

Have you been searching for a career in the spa industry, but found that the educational opportunities in this fast-growing business are limited at best? With an industry that is showing annual revenues of nearly $10 billion in the United States alone, you'd think that there'd be spa management programs available just about everywhere. While there certainly are a lot of programs out there, finding ones that offer quality, affordable, and accessible spa management training are far and few between.
Today, there are nearly 14,000 spas operating in U.S., including day spas, resort spas, hotel spas, medical spas, club spas, mineral spring spas, and destination spas. These spas vary in size from small in-town day spa locations to the large, sprawling destination spas that exist in beautiful locales like the deserts of Arizona or the mountains of California. Surprisingly, there are only 124,000 full-time and 101,000 part-time spa employees working at all of these spas. This means there's an average of 9 full-time employees and just 7 part-time employees for each individual spa. While this might seem just about right for a small day spa location, when you think about the dozens or hundreds of employees that it takes to run a large destination or resort spa, you soon realize that there's a huge shortage of qualified spa professionals available to run these growing spa locations!
What does this mean for the millions of people who go to the spa to escape the everyday stresses of work, family, and the pressures of living in this fast-paced, modern world? It means that there just aren't enough spa professionals working in the spa industry to provide the kinds of services that their clients expect. Let's face it, spa treatments aren't cheap, but clients are willing to pay higher fees as long as they're getting the highest levels of service that they expect from a high-end spa. With so many quality spas available in just about every part of the world, clients demand quality because they know that if they don't get it at one spa they can certainly get it at another. In an industry that thrives on satisfying their customers on a physical, mental, and emotional level, it's essential that every spa has plenty of qualified and friendly staff members, therapists, and managers on hand to meet the needs of each and every spa client that walks through the door.
The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for well-trained and well-educated spa professionals in the fun and exciting world of spa management. The bad news is that it's difficult to find quality professional training for a career in the spa industry. There are plenty of Hotel and Restaurant Management programs available that have now added "Spa Management" to the end of their program titles, but many of them don't really focus on the unique details that make owning or running a spa different from a hotel or restaurant. These programs have sort of squeezed in "spa management" as and addendum to their regular curriculum, but the overall focus is still heavy on general management skills rather than specifically on spa management skills. There are also loads of spa management seminars given around the country that are great to attend for additional training once you're already working as a spa professional, but these seminars will not prepare you for a career in the spa industry if you don't already know the ins and outs of running a spa. It simply comes down to the fact that the spa management training that is out there today is too limiting to properly prepare you for a successful career in the spa industry.
Another thing to keep in mind when looking for a spa management training program is the price. Because quality spa training programs are so limited, many charge exorbitant rates for their training courses. While this may turn out to be money well spent, you have to be careful that you're going to get what you paid for and will be able to earn that money spent on spa management training into a lucrative spa management career. You also need to consider how accessible these spa management training courses are to your physical location as well as to your time availability. While it would be great if schools paid you to take their courses, this just isn't the case in most instances and many of us still have to go to our current jobs while we're training for that new career, whether it be in the spa industry or not.
All of these factors need to be considered when looking for a quality spa management training program that will actually prepare you for a great new career in the spa management industry. The jobs are out there and every day more and more spas are opening up their doors for the first time at an industry rate of approximately 6 new spas every single day. With each new spa there are new spa management positions available and one of those positions could become yours! Just make sure you choose the right spa management training program that will provide you with a quality education that's affordable and easy for you to fit into your already busy schedule. Of course, once you're in the spa industry, you'll be able to take advantage of those relaxing and refreshing spa treatments too. Now that's a career worth training for!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Helping our Children's Education

Listen to them and pay attention to their problems.
Children need to know that you, as a parent are concerned about their problems and are always ready to listen to them. If kids don’t know their concerns and feelings have value, they will be less likely to share them with their parents.
Read with them.If children see their parents taking an active interest in reading with them, they are much more likely to continue reading on their own. It is one of the best things a parent can do to help younger children build a solid base for the rest of their school years.
Tell family stories.Not only are family stories a great way to expose your child to public speaking, but they create a sense of connection and family that ads stability to a young persons view of life. Your children are much more likely to retain a story that involves a family member and then be able to re-tell the tale to others.
Limit their television watching.Television is considered by some to be a major obstacle to education for children today. As elaborated on at [] , Kids spend more time watching television than any other single activity other than sleeping and school. Limiting the time spent watching television important, but controlling the content is equally important. It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their children’s brains are not fed with junk. There are some quality children’s television shows that are educational and fun for the kids too.
Have books and other reading materials in the house.This is a no brainer. There is really no reason not to have books around the house for children. Children’s books are readily available and are not expensive. You can pick up second hand books at garage sales and flea markets and popular online auction sites for very little money.
Look up words in the dictionary with them.Challenge your kids to listen for words they are not familiar with and look it up. Try a new word every day. This is a good exercise for adults too!
Encourage them to use an encyclopedia.If you don’t have access to an encyclopedia, use the internet. There is vast wealth of knowledge on the internet, just waiting to be explored. is a great free resource to start with.
Share favorite poems and songs with them.After you have shared your songs, ask them to share theirs. There are a ton of song lyrics available online. Look some of you kids favorites up, print them off and get them to practice reading them back to before singing them.
Take them to the library--get them their own library cards.The first time my kids went to a library, the absolutely loved it. With all the information available at home these days I tend to forget how cool libraries were when I was a kid. Kids still love to see all the books, and when they get their own library cards and understand how the library works, it teaches them responsibility.
Take them to museums and historical sites, when possible.Take the time to do this one, especially the museums. It is an experience they won’t forget. It opens up children’s minds and really gets them excited about learning. It’s really fun for parents too!
Discuss the daily news with them.The news is not always good, so focus your conversations towards interesting topics and skip over the stuff that they are to young to concern themselves with. Local newspapers are usually a good source for community events and milder topics.
Go exploring with them and learn about plants, animals, andlocal geography.Take along a plant guidebook and search for the different species of flowers or have the children write down the names of the animals they see. The key is to keep them involved and interested. Bring along a camera and when you get back, print off the pictures and have the kids make a scrapbook of the things they saw that day.
Find a quiet place for them to study.Its very important to establish a place where you child can study without being distracted by the television or younger siblings.
Review their homework.Always have your children show you what they did at school and check their homework with them. It shows them that you think it is important and then they will think is important. It will also keep you up to date with the progress they are making.
Meet with their teachers.Remember, your children are probably spending more time with their teacher than anyone else, aside from yourself. Teachers can give invaluable insight into the kind of person your child is becoming. Parents have a hard time being objective about their own kids, it is only natural. That’s why it is so important that you know the person that is guiding your children’s education.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wikis Enhancing Education at All Levels

A number of educational institutions have opted to upgrade out-of-class interaction by leveraging wiki software to create easily accessed and edited wikis for teachers and students to interact. While web 2.0 solutions such as wikis and social media have been shunned by some government agencies and businesses, they have provided an easy option for teachers and professors to establish a web presence and reach students outside of the classroom.
The enterprise wiki is still a prominent way for executives and other managers to interact with their employees, but its optimum use may be in the classroom. For many educators, developing a highly functional website can be difficult since it requires web hosting and knowledge of design. Meanwhile, wikis can be implemented with minimal knowledge of web design and do not require as much maintenance as websites.
The Yale Daily News, the student newspaper at the Ivy League university in New Haven, Connecticut, recently reported the Yale School of Art's primary website is a wiki, which has allowed faculty and administrators to take a more proactive approach when interacting with their students and alumni. Students also have access to the website, which allows them to make announcements more quickly and to a larger audience.
"We wanted the website to be a transparent window onto the art school," Dan Michaelson, a lecturer and alumnus at the university, told the news provider. "There's no reason why the website shouldn't be a space that belongs to the students as much as the building."
Similarly, Bowling Green University in Ohio has a number of wikis currently operating throughout its network, according to BG Views. Among the items available for students and other members of the university are tutorials on various programs at the school, homework assignments, test dates and class and campus discussion forums. Also, some professors have made free textbooks available on wikis, which has helped students save money without falling behind on their schoolwork.
Like many other aspects of IT, such as agile development, wikis have made certain organizations and programs more interactive and accessible for those involved. Implementing them along with other Web 2.0 solutions, such as social media and blogs, is an easy way to ensure that an organizations is taking advantage of all the technology and options available to them.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Physical Therapy Continuing Education: What Can We Do to Decrease the Risk of ACL Injuries?

ACL related Physical Therapy continuing education courses have taught us there are four factors, that can be addressed through exercise, that decrease the risk of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in the female athlete. We recently interviewed an ACL expert to expand on this. Here is what he had to say.
Interviewer: So we now know about ligament dominance, quadriceps dominance, leg dominance and trunk dominance. Is there anything we can do about these things?
ACL Expert: So, we think these four neuromuscular imbalances underlie these four mechanisms that relate to ACL injury risk that we see more often in than males, in females.
So, what I've been talking about so far is really the bad news of this entire situation.
Interviewer: Okay.
ACL Expert: The good news is that - you know people have conjectured for years that this is really related to female anatomy; wider hips or a greater quadriceps angle, and they've thrown out that it's related to hormones, it's related to the estrogen surge in the middle of the menstrual cycle and that's what leads to a weaker ACL and greater injury risk.
There's no doubt that this is a multi-factoral problem, however, our findings related to these neuromuscular imbalances give us all hope because neuromuscular control is one thing we can readily change. Women can adapt to interventions and neuromuscular control training that can make them better, that can reduce not only these neuromuscular imbalances that we've shown in the lab - in the mid-'90s we did a series of studies where we showed we could use neuromuscular control training to alter and reduce some of these neuromuscular imbalances that I talked about, actually all of them, and then we could take those exact same interventions out onto the field and drop relative injury risk by about half.
Interviewer: Wow.
ACL Expert: That's the good news in all this. Yes, these findings that it is primary neuromuscular is really good because that's the one area - we really can't alter anatomy and we don't really want to play around with hormones too much without getting ourselves in a fair amount of trouble. But, neuromuscular control we can alter and we can do that.
The only sort of side effect of neuromuscular training is a more athletic individual. So, the side effects you get out of this training, in attempts to reduce these relative neuromuscular control deficits, is you get not only probably a safer athlete with an effect size of about 50 percent, but in these young women who have low powered engines relative to the size of their machine you increase that power and control and relative muscle recruitment, and you also not only have maybe a 50 percent reduction in risk, you have anywhere between a 10, 20, 100 percent increase in power and neuromuscular control, depending on what you're looking at. That's the good side effect you get out of this training.
It's also very similar to what you do - what we did is we took these exercises from athletic development training, from rehab, and they work well not only to create greater neuromuscular control and potentially lower risk, but also a more balanced, more powerful, more in control athlete.