3 posts tagged integrative
As an Oriental medicine student, you have a variety of career opportunities you can choose to pursue after graduation. As you begin to think about which path you’re going to take, let’s look at a few of the options. Of course, there are the popular venues: private practice, hospital setting, community-style…spa? Ok, you’re probably confused by that last one and you’re thinking: I can’t practice medicine at a spa! Au contraire, you can, and as a bonus, you’ll be introducing people to Oriental medicine who have never experienced its benefits. Sound like a rewarding opportunity?
If you’re not convinced yet, check this out:
It should come as no surprise, that even during the current recession, one market has continued to thrive: the spa market. It makes sense when you think about it; when people are stressed about life, where do they go? To the spa of course! Spas are known for their tranquil abilities to transport a stressed-out person to an island of relaxation, pampering, and overall wellbeing.
If you don’t believe us, the numbers speak for themselves: In 2011 alone, there were 156 million spa visits in the U.S., an increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2010, which was a 4.7 percent increase compared to 2009, according to the International Spa Association. It’s clear that Americans are not cutting down on their spa days.
In evaluating this data, how exactly does Oriental medicine (OM) fit itself into the rising demand for the Western “spa” atmosphere? The answer is simple: Transformation. This does not mean altering the medicine itself in any way, but rather, evolving the presentation of the medicine to fit the spa mold. Eventually, as a direct result of this small change, the spa itself will become transformed as well.
So, what does this transformation look like? Pacific College Alumna Jenelle Kim, LAc, MSTOM, shared her spa transformation experience with us.
Kim is co-founder and formulator of Jadience Herbal Formulas and the Jade Spa Collection. The evolution of her skin and body care products has been a journey. Kim described the transformation that the products had to undergo, before entering the Western spa world, as “forming a bridge” between East and West.
Forming a bridge isn’t something that comes naturally. The ability to integrate herbal formulas into a Western spa setting involves a different way of thinking for most practitioners of Oriental medicine.
As Kim explained: “In the beginning, if we were to try to bring these formulas to the Ritz Carlton, and here they are: yellow, sticky, smells like herbs, well of course, we think ‘this is amazing,’ but it’s hard to try to convince people of this.”
It was Kim’s desire to “break down the doors of the retail and spa industries,” she said, but it wasn’t going to happen by forcing the Jadience products onto the shelves in their natural state. The revamped Jadience line is now promoted in high-end spas including resorts like Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons.