resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
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.
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.
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.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
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.
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.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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?
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
April, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 04
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
Hello readers, and thank you for your wonderful responses to the first article of my Dealing with Pathologies column in the January 2001 edition of Massage Today!
Several people wrote in with interesting questions that they wanted to bring to public discussion.Some of these were fairly simple, like, "Is shingles contagious?" (Not if you've ever had chicken pox, but shingles can be extraordinarily painful, so take care!), and "What are the rules for working with high blood pressure?" (If it is manageable with diet and exercise, go to town; if it requires medication, use more caution with circulatory massage).
One of the most complex questions was raised by a massage therapist from the South, who wrote that she had worked for a short time in a salon. Her employer made all her appointments and controlled all the initial contact with her clients. The owner of the salon, not understanding the profound impact massage can have on health and disease, expected her to work with clients with a variety of conditions that could contraindicate Swedish massage: advanced atherosclerosis patients, clients with unexplained dizziness, and clients with unregulated diabetes. When the therapist repeatedly voiced her concerns, her employer didn't seem to grasp the seriousness of the problem. The working relationship was short-lived, and the therapist found another situation in which she could have more control over her choices.
How could this problem have been avoided? I see a need for three related areas of education:
1) Therapist-Employer Education
Any therapist who works as an employee has an obligation to meet the commitments outlined in that relationship, but those commitments need to be clearly stated from the beginning. This is obviously true for financial matters, but it also applies to how the therapist manages clients. In other words, massage therapists need to make clear that they may refuse to do circulatory massage with any client if they feel it is not in the client's best interest - regardless of whether the client or employer agrees. (And of course, therapists should also be able to refuse to give service to any client who abuses the client-therapist relationship; this is a safety issue.)
Many employers of massage therapists, especially those working in the "relaxation" aspect of the profession rather than in "clinical" settings, don't know the risks that circulatory massage may have. It is the therapist's job to educate these employers for the benefit of all their clients. For this purpose, it might be useful to make up a brief list outlining cautions and concerns for Swedish massage; circulatory and sensory disorders, contagious diseases, certain medications, and undiagnosed problems are all cause for concern. Of course, any such list needs a disclaimer explaining that decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis.
Other client management issues include being able to interview clients before they come for a first appointment; being able to take a thorough health history; and being able, when necessary, to consult with other members of a client's health care team.
The better we become at educating massage therapy employers about the risks and benefits of massage, the safer the profession will be for therapists and clients.2) Therapist-Client Education
Another front-line education target is our clientele. Swedish massage is our industry standard. It is what most people expect when they pay money to receive massage. The vast majority of massage therapists use Swedish massage with most or all of their clients. However, we all know that whole worlds of bodywork have been developed that lack the circulatory impact Swedish massage has. When we, the therapists, are better able to educate our clientele about alternatives to Swedish massage that can yield outstanding benefits with minimal risks, we will have more options when people come to us with conditions that contraindicate Swedish massage.
I have found that when I discuss bodywork choices with clients, in terms of their own health and safety, they are usually open-minded about receiving work outside of their expectations. Not all clients will enjoy non-circulatory bodywork, however. Some may leave to find therapists who will do Swedish massage, regardless of their medical conditions. But every therapist needs to define boundaries for keeping clients safe. Beyond legalities and the threat of litigation, we need to keep the health and well being of our clientele first and foremost in our judgment.
3) Therapist Education
Finally, we ourselves have an obligation to be continually learning and adding to our skills. An old saying goes, "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." If all you know is Swedish massage, every client looks like a good candidate for circulatory work! But if we have, in addition to our Swedish hammer, a craniosacral screwdriver, reflexology pliers, a Bowen technique drill... you get the picture. The more tools we have in our tool belt, the more versatile we can be. This benefits not only ourselves, keeping lively and interested in our work as we incorporate new skills, but also our clients, who will have therapists with skills that apply even when medical situations preclude circulatory massage.
This whole issue of making decisions about bodywork when our clients are not completely healthy, brings up a few more questions I'd like to put to you:
How do you talk to your clients about their health? When you see or notice something that requires attention from a medical professional, what do you say or do? Have you ever had to send a client away because his or her medical situation was too precarious? How did you convey your concerns? Did you feel you did a good job?
Send me your feedback, along with any other questions about massage and pathology, and I'll discuss it in a future article in Massage Today! Until then, good health and happiness.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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