resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
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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