resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
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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