resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01
What's on Your Table?
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
I have the single best job in the world for me, anyway. It is my pleasure and privilege to teach students of massage therapy about the role of bodywork in the context of pathology. I get to research and talk about diseases for several hours every week.This gives me the opportunity to renew my awe of the human body on a regular basis. I am honored to live in a state of constant appreciation for the elegance of our design and the strength of our recuperative powers.
As increasing numbers of people seek out massage as a way to take control of their health, it has become more important for massage therapists to be conversant with a wide variety of disorders. While it is tempting to "rubber stamp" some situations as indicated or contraindicated for massage, we all know that this is an impossible task.
The very word "massage" means different things to different people, and each modality carries its own set of rules and guidelines for working in the context of disease. The disease process may manifest completely differently from one person to another. Add other variables like basic resiliency, a history of receiving massage, diet, sleeping habits, medications, ad infinitum, and it becomes clear that making decisions about the appropriateness of massage must happen on a day-by-day, case-by-case basis.
My job as a teacher is to give students the tools to make informed judgments about the relative risks and benefits of their work, so that they can make the best possible choices for their clients. Sometimes that choice will be to alter their goals for the day; sometimes it will be to reschedule the appointment for another time. Sometimes it may even be to call a cab to get to a hospital. Certainly we hope that these are uncommon situations, but as massage moves further into the mainstream, our chance of being asked to work with clients who have precarious health situations increases every day.
The uncomfortable truth is, there are few hard-and-fast rules about massage in the context of disease, and most of those rules can be carefully broken, under the right circumstances. As a person who tries to stay current on the role of bodywork in the disease process, I am eager to find out what other therapists are doing with their clients who may be in ill health. My guess is that the majority of practicing therapists who went to school more than a few years ago received little or no training on the subject of pathology. We were told, "when in doubt, check with the doctor" an admirable, but rarely practical recourse. My experience with teaching this material to current students and therapists in pursuit of CEUs is that not many of us feel confident that our skills and knowledge are up to speed on this topic.
I hope with this column to open a line of communication between massage therapists. Let us share our concerns about working with clients who have complicated health pictures. I invite therapists to send me information about their experiences with clients whose health has made working with them a special challenge. My vision is for this to be a place where we can all share, in a setting that is respectful of each other and of our clients, our questions and concerns about massage: "Should I have worked with that client? Could I catch whatever this person has? Is there a better way to help someone with this condition? What could happen if I work with someone who has this disorder?" This respectful setting is an important issue. Few things elicit strong emotional responses from massage therapists like someone making pronouncements about health. Although this is a subject we all take seriously, I ask us all to be open-minded and open-hearted in our discourse. Let us aim for an attitude of positive support for each other in our chosen profession, not of judgment that "my modality is better than yours."
So here is how it will work: You, send me brief, true case histories of clients whose health picture caused you some concern. (It will be my job to protect the confidentiality of the massage therapists who contact me, and the confidentiality of their clients.) Let me know what you did that you think worked, or didn't work, or that you'd like to try if you get another chance. I will take the incoming stories and sort through them to come to a conclusion about what people want to read. Then, in a subsequent issue of Massage Today, I will discuss the disorder in question, in terms of how it affects the body, and the relative risks and benefits of bodywork in various forms. I will incorporate your information and try to draw some conclusions about how best to accommodate similar clients. I will also try to include resources where interested readers can go for more information.
Here's a news flash: I am not infallible, and there is a stunning lack of information about how massage affects most conditions. I make decisions, and I teach my students to make decisions, based on the knowledge of how a condition affects normal body processes, and how various types of bodywork can influence that progression. Sooner or later (probably sooner) I will write something that some of you will disagree with. I invite you to share your concerns with me, as long as it is done in a spirit of open-mindedness and open-heartedness that allows for mutual respect and benefit.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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