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Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01
Exploring Orthopedic Assessment
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Welcome to Massage Today! In upcoming issues, I will have the opportunity to share some of the wonderful things I have learned about orthopedic assessment with you. Massage practitioners are increasingly called upon to treat various pain and injury conditions, and in many instances act as a primary provider.This is a great benefit and a tremendous responsibility. Assessment is a valuable part of practice, especially for anyone seeing clients with pain or injury conditions.
In the late '80s, I began to see the crucial importance of orthopedic assessment skills for massage therapists. Since that time, I have attempted to share all I have learned with as many practitioners as possible. This publication will be another great avenue that will allow you to help many more people reduce the pain and discomfort in their lives.
There is often significant misunderstanding about the definition and role of assessment. Many people confuse the concepts of assessment and diagnosis, and for that reason they shy away from learning about them. Assessment skills are a systematic method for gathering information to make informed decisions about treatments. Since assessment is really information gathering, you can't really do any kind of massage without doing some level of assessment. When your hands feel a tight area in your client's muscle tissue, you naturally focus your attention on reducing the tension in that area. You have performed assessment through palpation and then chosen a particular course of action as a result of your assessment of the client's tissue state.
Diagnosis, on the other hand, is the assigning of a name or a label to a certain group of signs or symptoms. To arrive at a diagnosis, the practitioner (usually a physician) will perform some type of assessment, and based on the findings, will assign a name or a label to the problem. When you assign a name or label to the problem and state to the person they have "x" condition, you have given them a diagnosis. Gathering information about someone's condition to determine if you should proceed with massage, is assessment, not diagnosis.
Assessment skills have become increasingly important for massage therapists. Numerous studies have indicated that people are increasingly using alternative medical approaches such as massage therapy to treat all kinds of problems. In many instances, these people are coming to massage therapists before seeing some other primary care provider, such as their physician. They may present a certain group of signs or symptoms and ask a massage therapist to help them, because they have heard massage therapy can be helpful for people with similar ailments. While this is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the healing power of massage, there is tremendous responsibility that comes along with that opportunity.
We must be able to determine if that person's condition is something that we should work on. If it is, we must determine what type of soft tissue work will be most effective. In many instances, one type of massage may be beneficial, while another type may be harmful. It is not really accurate to make blanket statements such as "massage is good for this problem, but not for that one." It may depend on what type of massage is used.
In this column we will focus on assessment of orthopedic problems those that decrease or limit a person's ability to move their body properly. There are a variety of orthopedic assessment systems. Despite their differences, they all share several common components: a detailed client medical history, visual examination, palpation, and some form of movement evaluation, which may include any number of special testing procedures.
While learning new massage treatment methods has certainly improved my skills, nothing has made as much impact on my ability to treat pain and injury problems as studying orthopedic assessment. It is my hope to share some of the wonderful things I have learned, so that you may improve the quality and success of your practice.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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