resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.