resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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?."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
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.
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 Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
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.
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.
April, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 04
We Are One! Let's Act Like It
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
This January, an incredible event took place in India, halfway around the globe from most of us: the Maha Kumba Mela. It happens only once every 144 years. It is believed that the tone of this event sets the pattern for the next 144 years.Eighty million people came from all over the world to a site where three rivers converge. They came to see and hear the great spiritual leaders and teachers who appear there, offering their teachings to anyone willing to listen and learn; teachers and masters as well known as the Dali Lama, to the unknown sages from the caves of the Himalayas. The most obvious external ritual performed by most attendees was to bathe in the waters of the holy Ganges River at this auspicious site. This bathing represents the washing away of ones sins or karmas. Less noticeable were the fire practices offering nourishment to the forces of nature; group prayers and meditations; chanting; and many other rituals.
The theme was to bring about a healing of the planet through a renewed personal (individual) commitment to spiritual growth, peace and tolerance for the spiritual beliefs of others. Peace is such an overused word that it has almost lost its meaning. Most people believe it is up to politicians to bring us peace. That belief is as faulty as the hope that allopathic medicine will ever bring us health and wellness. Politicians need war just as much as the medical industry needs disease. When there isn't enough, they create more. It is however, the collective consciousness of all humanity combined that allows them to succeed or to fail.
The message of the Maha Kumba Mela is that it is time to uplift the collective consciousness -- to make the efforts of those who profit from war, sickness and pollution fail; to overwhelm them with a new dedication to living the fundamental truths that are common to all the great spiritual teachings. Virtually every spiritual path emphasizes living a balanced life, creating beauty within and without, attending to ones duties, and being disciplined and devoted. To see the Dali Lama sitting with the most powerful Hindu and Vedic leaders, stating that it is time for a new era of understanding and tolerance among all faiths to advance the universal principals of peace and love and to minimize the differences that have caused so much harm and suffering, was truly inspiring. To see them all holding hands, smiling and nodding in agreement, and to hear the thunderous applause from the multitudes assembled, was a confirmation that the promised new age has begun. A message repeated again and again was the importance of living a balanced life. A person balanced in body, breath, mind and soul will be healthy, happy and successful. A person out of balance will be sick, unhappy and less likely to accomplish the purpose of life. Great emphasis was placed on the importance of proper breathing, diet and exercise, along with meditation and contemplation. Taking responsibility for one's actions in all areas of life is essential. We are really all one, and the actions of each of us affect the whole.
It was remarkable to meet so many massage therapists from around the world. There also were many health care practitioners from other disciplines. Even Dr. Andrew Weil, MD was there, immersing himself in the sea of humanity at the Maha Kumba Mela and observing ayurvedic schools and centers in other areas of India. Massage is a very important part of ayurveda.
So what does all this have to do with our massage profession? How can the message and the energy of the Maha Kumba Mela be applied to massage here in the United States?
First and foremost, it is time to for all the different forms of massage to lower their egos, come together and work for the common advancement of the profession. The Knapp Study, done for the national certification exam, proved that every type of massage shares the same entry-level knowledge base. There are only 8-10 techniques organized and used by every touch therapy system. It is difficult for most to notice this, because of the interesting names placed on these basic techniques by each "specialized" group, and the aura created around particular names. The statement, "I don't do massage, I do -- (insert your favorite egoism)" is quite common. However, the person not doing massage looks just like someone who is. If someone presses into the soft tissue of another human being with the thumb, holds for a while and releases, does the body know if the therapist is doing shiatsu, acupressure, trigger-point therapy, sports massage, NMT or any other brand of touch? Perhaps it is just responding to the stimulus applied to it. Remove the placebo effect and the belief that the therapist is going to help you, and you will find it is at least 90% simple stimulus response. Dr. Tiffany Field,PhD, from the University of Miami Touch Research Institute, has stated that in researching virtually every known technique, there is no measurable, reproducible effect unless the pressure receptors in the skin are sufficiently stimulated. Wow, we truly are one.
The whole of all our various specialties is greater that the sum of its parts. Working together and acknowledging our common knowledge base of anatomy, physiology and massage techniques will help us all to better reach and serve the public. It is the public's acceptance and demand for our work that can evolve massage into the premier wellness modality of all health care. For this to happen, we need to present a united message of care and competence that emphasizes a mastery of the common knowledge base we all share, yet allows for the expressions of our various specialties. It is time for a new paradigm that puts wellness and true preventative care at the front of the health delivery system, and relegates crisis intervention medicine (allopathic) to the secondary position where it belongs. May the message of the Maha Kumba Mela pervade our profession and guide us all to greater service to suffering humanity.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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