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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
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.
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.
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?."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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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