resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
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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