Category Archives: Postmodernism

Apothecanna: Cannibis infused Spa products

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Where there’s smoke there is fire and the cannabis cloud over Colorado appears to be lingering like smog on a otherwise clear day. Cannabis proponent Apothecanna has positioned itself beyond the pale, as an adjunct measure in pain management and only time will tell if they can remain straight enough to keep their wellness branding intact.

I wrote this piece originally in June of 2015 and removed it from this blog over a reservation about logical reasoning summed up simply by “begging the question.” But let’s talk products for now.

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Apothecanna does offer a variety of scents that leave the 1960’s behind.

The statement on their website detailing the benefits of their “natural” products Topical Cannabis, Hemp Lotion, & THC Spray (located under the tab “learn” and “apothecanna massage”) is simple and basic:

Revitalizing botanicals like arnica and capsaicin combine with topical marijuana to provide natural herbal pain relief .

The Marketing is both Spartan and clever.

“Here at Apothecanna, we’re committed to providing innovative topical pain relievers that combine topical cannabis with other healing and soothing botanicals for a more natural option for topical pain relief. Unlike conventional topical pain relief cream products, our cannabis calming cream offer pain relief without unpleasant “medicine” scents, instead incorporating sense-soothing botanicals like lavender, chamomile, and frankincense. These botanicals make using our topical marijuana products more enjoyable, contributing to a sense of well being that can aid the healing process. In addition to our full line of cannabis cream and THC spray products for pain relief, which are available at over 200 Colorado medical marijuana centers, we also offer several invigorating, calming, and pain relieving cream products made with hemp and arnica cream, as well as other botanicals to soothe your skin as well as your senses.”

Rejuvenate your skin and senses with topical cannabis cream and botanical skin therapies from Apothecanna.

Under the “About” tab are three discreet paragraphs that provide a brief nod to both legality and their position on the role of natural philosophy in society at large.

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By reordering the brands statements, it may be a bit more obvious to educated consumers and those who question the politics involved, how the advent of Apothecanna will impact the Spa and Wellness Industry. And in particular, the Professional Massage Community which may utilize such products IN TANDEM with mainstream pain management professionals.

Let’s break it down like any syllogism, but let’s do it backwards and examine the logic of the marketing.

“Our mission at Apothecanna is to spread the wisdom of traditional plant medicine. We believe in the fundamental right of access to the healing powers of nature and promote sustainable interaction with the world around us.”

Preceeding this ‘tidbit’ is the following ‘tidbit.”

“We do not use artificial ingredients, fillers, parabens and only test on humans. We believe that natural treatments are the best treatments, and strive to create products with uncompromised purity, quality, and functionality.”

And the page begins with this introduction:

“Apothecanna is a natural apothecary featuring cannabis extract as the primary active ingredient due to its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Our formulations combine cannabis with other organic and wild crafted essential oils to create highly functional topical treatments for pain and stress relief, while delivering a host of skin nurturing benefits.”

Viewed and analyzed from last statement to first, Apothecanna’s marketing strategy seems to be suffering from marijuana induced paranoia if not ordinary anxiety. Remember this assessment proceeds in reverse order from their official website circa 2015!

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The first (last) CLAIM Apothecanna puts forward, is that their products have scientifically proven value. (This is TRUE of Cannabis- as science has admitted.)

The second or (middle) premise Apothecanna offers is that their products are 100% “Natural” and that they TEST only on humans.

In the third (first) STATEMENT that in traditional logic would be called a premise, Apothecanna DOES INDEED draw a CONCLUSION predicated on the two preceding premises! Want some pseudoscience wellness professionals or just a side of religion to go with your own and your clients health investments?

Consumers are informed of Apothecannas “rights” and significantly there is an appeal to nature for sovereign status as if this is an innate right, protected by the United States constitution and by the State of Colorado. Don’t choke on Abraham Lincoln’s comment that The Bill of rights “Is a REBUKE” or the fact that it’s not A LAW in or of itself. 4th amendment is mere Axiology? Taste? Genre? 

Oh my! Isn’t this Gnosticism Mitt Romney’s and John McCain’s territory? Colorado did have a FEMALE TEA PARTY INCUMBENT BATTLE DIDN’T THEY…

Since when does any government, at the national or state level have an ability to regulate “unalienable” rights? Gnosticism, gender and Lawd at all the LEGAL PROSTITUTION NEXT DOOR IN NEVADA…Neither LEGAL governing body DOES have that right pro Mblex crusaders. American laws deal with ‘inalienable rights.’ LOOK AT THAT “science based” MARKETING NOW.

The “premise” that any class system is subject to the economic system, which is presumably subject to the political system, which in turn is subject to the legal system, which then, and only then, is subject to a religious system…with an ethical framework, such as one that acknowledges and ensures ‘rights‘ which entail free will, are now on display.

Given that in 99% if not most instances, the defacto and default premise that an esthetics license is required, in addition to a Bachelor’s degree to work for a Professional Spa Product Line and that LMT’s with a Bachelor’s degree are overlooked if they have no outside B2B sales experience ought to give the Spa and Esthetics industry something to mull over when considering the SUBSTANCE of education.

Consider for instance this “new” education offering that is scarcely 20 years old: Disability Studies. It would seem “science” v. “management” rather than “pain” is the canker sore in the post-modern lotus?

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I will leave it to the “moral educators” with political axes to grind about bell jars, States right’s, healthcare and massage monopolies on entry level right to practice (that the FSMTB fails to call collusion but most certainly calls patriotism,) to pander to their fellow citizens about universal relativism and plan for the future conspiracy theories this trend will no doubt spawn.

Until Next Time Campers!

Absolute Values Part Three: Language and Professionalism in Context

*This is the third installment of a four-part series on Professional Development for Spa Therapists. The series utilizes the terms Masseur, Masseuse and Massage Therapist as a Touchstone.

What does the structure of language have to do with Professional Development for Spa Therapists/Technicians?

What is the difference between an adjective, a metaphor and a simile? Are they synonyms for one another and if they are not, what makes them distinct and discreetly different? Why does it matter what anyone calls themselves as long as they give a ‘good’ massage?

adjective noun

An adjective is a word that describes a noun and can include the words Masseur and Masseuse.

  • The red car.
  • I am tired of dating him.
  • He is too idealistic.
  • He is a self motivated professional.
  • The name of the book is Stone Soup.

metaphor-diagram

 

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase compares two very different objects, concepts, ideas, or feelings to provide a clearer description.

  • He is the black sheep of our family.
  • You ain’t nothing but a hound dog. – Elvis Presley
  • A blanket of snow fell today.
  • I have a half-baked idea in mind.
  • “Why I am a little black rain cloud of course!” – Winnie the Pooh

Giraffe Similie

Metaphors are different from similes. A simile is a figure of speech involving the comparison of two different things and 9 times out of 10 will incorporate the words “like” or “as.” Because simile’s AND metaphors serve the purpose of enhancing a description they are both considered literary devices. More precisely, the true distinction between a metaphor and a simile is that a simile makes an explicit comparison, while a metaphor makes an implicit one.

BUT WAIT!!! What does this have to do with Professional development?

PLENTY! And here is WHY: As you may have already noticed, the definitions above OVERLAP. What one person will call an adjective may be further categorized as a metaphor or in some instances as a simile depending on the usage. These definitions underscore both the creativity and subjectivity involved in personal self-expression.

Massage Therapist: Tenor or Vehicle?

I’m not talking about music or cars! So what do Professionals mean when asking the question above?  Metaphors can be described by several means and methods. Tenor and Vehicle are terms that were coined by I.A. Richards in the early 20th century.

  • The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the terms this way: “tenor and vehicle, the components of a metaphor, with the tenor referring to the concept, object, or person meant, and the vehicle being the image that carries the weight of the comparison.” This is not the only way to define the terms.

Here is a broader definition.

An academic source from Carson Newman College’s English Department affords tenor and vehicle more liberal definitions: “In common usage, tenor refers to the course of thought, meaning or emotion in anything written or spoken.”  

“A modern theory would object, first, that in many of the most important uses of metaphor, the co-presence of the vehicle and the tenor results in a meaning (to be clearly distinguished from the tenor) which is not attainable without their interaction. That the vehicle is not normally a mere embellishment of a tenor which is otherwise unchanged by it but that vehicle and tenor in co-operation give a meaning of more varied powers that can be ascribed to either. And a modern theory would go on to point out that with different metaphors the relative importance of the contributions of vehicle and tenor to this resultant meaning varies immensely. At one extreme the vehicle may become almost a mere decoration or coloring of the tenor, at the other extreme, the tenor may become almost a mere excuse for the introduction of the vehicle, and so no longer be ‘the principal subject.’ And the degree to which the tenor is imagined ‘to be that very thing which it only resembles’ also varies immensely.” (I.A. Richards, The Philosophy of Rhetoric. Oxford Univ. Press, 1936)

Philosophically speaking, the witty amongst us will have already noted that Richards describes a “modern theory” and thereby indicates that he has a basis for making a distinction between tenor and vehicle that avoids the solipsism he is describing!

Richard’s may have had an agenda of sorts or not. Regardless of his own views of what constituted “modernism” or even his private politics, by categorizing “modern” rhetoric as having “relative” meaning Richards accomplished or obscured two important historical developments of his era. Richards wrote the passage above in 1936, prior to Hitler, Hiroshima and the Holocaust. As previously noted in this series, logical positivism was reaching it’s zenith in Europe in the 1940’s as the discovery of the atom bomb illustrated. The taxonomy Richards created and “embellished” beyond rhetoric and into literature as a whole stream of thought, rather than the nuts and bolts of language structure allows us to note that the solipsism he describes is a feature of both logical positivism AND relativism which facilitates the unspoken “POST MODERN” label predicated on Richard’s own definitions which imply reflexivity.  This occurred at least 40 years prior to the supposed advent of the term in the 1970’s according to art historians.

The relationship between logical positivism and language as we have noted in prior installments of this series was carried forward by Ludwig Wittgenstein and his contributions to logic and language. Popper and Kuhn built on this existing legacy and made contributions to the philosophy of science that form the basis of many massage education curriculums today.

Professional Foundations and the Individual: Why and Where does gender matter in professional communication?

Let’s revisit the second post in this series to provide a starting point and context from which to answer the question above.

“Logical Positivism was supposedly abandoned because it was revealed that empirical PHILOSOPHICAL claims which were presumed to undergird scientific endeavors cannot be VERIFIED to be UNIVERSALLY true and that this revelation placed limits on how much we can know. This “revelation” (a form of knowledge itself) filtered into common parlance (language) in phrases such as “the linguistic turn” cited above. It is also another way to describe phrases such as “asymmetrical information” which are frequently floated to describe a variety of imbalances in power implied by terms such as “Balkanization” and resulting abuses.”

Awareness of how the growth of modern views on language and linguistics fits into the history of science can shed more light on WHY the professional massage, spa, wellness and allied CAM community has agreed by general consensus to uphold the term “massage therapist” as the most appropriate term for professional use by bodyworkers.

“Masseur” and “masseuse” are descriptive stand alone words. With such gendered terminology as a starting point, who is the observer and who is the subject?

Massage Therapist is not a metaphor any more than Masseur or Masseuse: therefore it is illogical to ask what is the tenor and what or whom is the vehicle in this word phrase.

One of the facts of professional practice for LMT’s in the 21st century is that the massage profession will never be able to replace the scientifically mainstream profession of physical therapy. Due to this impasse, the massage profession is viewed by some within the industry as ‘struggling’ against everything from health care politics and monied vested interests, to conspiracy theories of every stripe and even with private matters for individuals such as religion, faith and sexuality.

Choosing the term “Massage Therapist” is in many respects a discretionary decision. Many LMT’s make this choice because it is what they were taught. Other’s make this distinction predicated on axiology and value judgments. Yet others if asked will say that they find the decision to utilize the professional designation “Massage Therapist” because they are supporting the growth of the profession and of the wellness industry as a whole.

Regardless of the reasons one has for choosing to ‘follow the crowd’ there are still more reasons than we have yet discussed for chosing to adhere to the term “Massage Therapist” as a professional designation.

We will touch on some of those reasons in the final installment in this series. Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcing Fruits, Nuts and Flakes: Massage and Bodywork Edition

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Announcing Fruits, Nuts and Flakes: Massage and Bodywork Edition!!

I am fundraising to print, produce and ship a card set for Massage educators, massage aficionados and their nemesis!!

I would like to be able to print at least 2,000 decks or more. Please share any and all feedback and thank you. I will be adding an option to purchase 1 set immediately.

The Vampire Facial: An assault on science or simple Race Baiting?

Back in 2013, Kim Kardashian tried the newest trend in esthetics, or so it may have seemed. The Vampire Facial.

The Spa world responded discreetly and quickly renamed the procedure “microneedling.”

Count on MTV to showcase this attempt at cultural stereotyping and shoddy science. 19 year old teen bathes in pigs blood to retain her ‘youth’ reads a recent headline. Hollywood is a simmering pot of “Postmodernism” after all, and no doubt, this impressionable youths decision will be laid at the door of either Kim Kardashian and Bar Rafeli, or (shudder) the spa industry.

For an angle on racism by design or by ‘coincidence’ take note: Ms. Kardashian and Ms. Rafeli both have semitic ancestry to varying degrees. Of course, with so much anti-intellectualism and ‘tea partying’ nationwide, “The Vampires” found their miracle cure trademarked via a Doctor from:

May I get a drumroll……….Alabama.

Oh My.

If there isn’t one excuse to use science as a substitute for religious identity by design or happenstance, as showcased by Kardashian and Rafeli as ‘consumers’, then it’s science as a substitute for various forms of ontological identity and from there its a substitute for sexual orientation.

My advice for Spa and Wellness Professionals is to avoid this service, period. The science may very well be sketchy. While pricking the skin does produce collagen, so does tribal scarring. What would the long term effects of this kind of treatment be when these two results are compared side by side?

Think Twice Ladies and Gentlemen. And for English students, teachers and Da Vinci Code fans: Race baiting is Race baiting. No matter what anyone calls it, regardless of how it’s passed off from science into literature, geography or in a substitution between Aesthetics and Esthetics. If it’s not one bait and switch about Natural Philosophy, it’s another.

Consumer Beware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absolute Values: Professionalism and Manifestations of Individualism

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This is the first post of a four part series on professional development. The series will utilize the terms Massage Therapist, Masseur and Masseuse as a touchstone.

Massage Therapy is a growing field of professional endeavor. As the last fifteen years have demonstrated, the creation of civic, secular infrastructure to consolidate and incorporate the profession, as a professional body has been implemented.

As the process of civic, social and economic integration and incorporation has progressed for the massage profession, questions about manifestations of individualism and professionalism arise and are discussed more openly than ever before.

One of the most commonly occurring examples of individual expression among both clients and less often among LMT’s is linguistic. It is often floated in the form of a question: Massage Therapist, Masseur or Masseuse? Underlying this question is the concept of Wholeness. If wholeness is a product that professional massage facilitates it is worthwhile to note that culture, where the right to our own and our client’s privacy finds it’s reason for being,  and civilization, which is presumed to facilitate and protect this freedom, and our professional means of making a living are distinct from one another; i.e., culture is a human endeavor and civilization is a non-living by product of the former. Part of professionalism for LMT’s necessitates that as a profession we acknowledge this from time to time. Not only for ourselves as a body of professionals, or privately with our friends and family but also for the benefit of the public good.

The term “Massage Therapist” is the linguistic term with AAA credit ranking in professional LMT circles for a reason. This is a term that denotes a respect and acknowledgement of both diversity and the right to privacy that the ‘young’ amongst us, regardless of age are afforded by their elders as a protection while they undergo professional embryonic development. This deployment of terminology by general consensus is not intended to be a weapon of fascism to stunt growth or stifle creativity or silence self expression.

Within academia, the “organic” model of cultural axiology has been challenged by political scientists, sociologists, historians and economists as essentialist since at least the 1970’s. In a bait and switch that even Freud and Sophocles might recognize, some decades prior to the emergence of the term essentialism, the term “post modern” was coined and since then has been used to describe and isolate everything from art, “anti-intellectualism,” religious movements new and old, violence and terrorism for many of the same reasons. This led to a decline in philosophical focus on aesthetics and since the advent of axiology’s emergence in the late 1800’s, it has been routinely relegated to the three ring circus of identity politics at one end and derided as having contributed to eugenics movements at the other. Less frequently published  in the professional massage community and far more popular are commentaries that frame manifestations of individualism in professional or civic contexts as a dialectic of “free will” vs. “determinism” of various sorts. Unfortunately, the absence of sustained dialogue in the massage profession about philosophy and role of dialectic in general in education and professional development has only served to reinforce the critical views cited above. Criticism of the individual begins with the collective. But as individualism sees only a part of the being, collectivism understands or sees the being as a part. This is syncretism on one hand and solipsism on the other. The latter is a logic based criticism and the former is both an aesthetic insight and a religious objection.  What then of wholeness and holism? What is the ground of being beneath our profession? That many of these views have been noted by scholars post September 11th 2001 as not only reactionary and derivative of conspiracy thinking but also as regressive is a matter of public record.

Richard Hofstadter in his classic work, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (Hofstadter 1952) cites an example of anti-intellectualism when describing the “post-Sputnik furor over American education.” He draws an example from California that had been ‘experimenting’ with curriculum. The new curriculum was criticized for “academic pettiness and snobbery.” The rebuttal of the reformers went on to state: “other goals of education such as preparation for citizenship, occupational competence, successful family life, self-realization in ethical, moral aesthetic and spiritual dimensions and the enjoyment of physical health.” Those who criticized this novel approach paused to note that one of the most complimented features of American education of the past was: “the attempt to avoid a highly rigid system of education. To do so does not mean that academic competence is not regarded as highly important to any society but it does recognize that historically, education systems which stress absorption of accumulated knowledge for it’s own sake have tended to produce decadence. Those who would “fix” the curriculum and freeze educational purpose misunderstand the unique function of education – in American democracy.”

While it is often disquieting for many LMT’s when encountering the terms “Masseur or Masseuse”, it is worthwhile to note that these terms denote one of three things about the LMT when choosing a professional designation.

  • biological sex
  • gender identity

Or in the case of clients

  • gender preference

The English language does not play dice with gender beyond the limit of semiotics. English does not string along gender and definite articles denoting gender as do other languages. For this reason, English in some circles of thought (both domestic and foreign) is presumed rightly or wrongly, to force gender assignment onto the senses by facilitating direct observation and experience. So to speak, facts are facts are they not?

Without delving into how language and semiotics are celebrated and criticized often for the same reasons as those cited above, manifestations of individualism in a professional context still retain and are often coupled with culture based ethical value assignments made by individuals. When the LMT choir sings or repeatedly chants the mantra “Massage Therapist” note the historical age in which we find ourselves. Note the models of culture criticized above and pause to note that a vocation is not a profession regardless of what Wikipedia says or whom they quote.

  • A vocation is a calling.
  • A profession is a structured venue intended to facilitate the process of making a living within the parameters of ethics and axiology.

Professional massage therapy is truly in its infancy. It is less than 150 years old. We have yet to come “a long way baby.”

Of Logical Fallacies, Paradigm Shifts and Process Philosophy

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  • Step One “We admitted we were powerless over the New Age—that our Higher Selves had turned us into flakes.”
  • Step Two “Came to believe that a powerful bull*** detector could restore us to sanity.”
  • Step Three “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our lower selves and a good psychiatrist.”
  • Step Four “Made a searching and fearless disposal of our crystals, tarot decks, incense, angel cards, rising signs, wands, spells, medicine wheels, pendulums and lottery tickets.”
  • Step Five “Admitted to God, our Guru and our seminar leader the exact nature of our delusion.”
  • Step Six “Were entirely ready to take back our mind, body and spirit.”
  • Step Seven “Humbly asked our Higher Power to @#!$ off.”
  • Step Eight “Made a list of all the New Age assholes we’d been nice to and vowed to treat them all like shit.”
  • Step Nine “Insulted the New Age wherever possible, especially when to do so made us look bad.”
  • Step Ten “Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly relished in it.”
  • Step Eleven “Sought through television and newspapers to improve our conscious contact with humanity, concentrating only on our ability to understand what the hell was really happening in the world.”
  • Step Twelve “Having avoided a paradigm shift as the result of these steps, we vowed to carry the NAA message to New Agers everywhere and to practice being ordinary in all our affairs.”

What is a Paradigm Shift?

What is a Logical Fallacy?

What is Process Philosophy?

And for those of you with a less exalted view of religion and spirituality…..

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