resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Correcting Dysfunctional Movement Patterns – Is Local Treatment Enough?
It is widely believed that mechanical, non-traumatic back pain is largely related to dysfunctional or compensatory movement patterns the body has adopted over time.
Treating Our Veterans with PTSD
As July 4th, Memorial Day and Veterans Day continue to pass year in and year out, we honor our veterans from past wars with parades, BBQs and a day off from work, but our veterans live daily with the spiritual scars of war.
Eight Ways to Help Manage Your Content
You have just completed your last session for the day, checked your voice mail and emailed a new patient about their appointment, but something it gnawing at you, something you just can't quite put your finger it on.
Ancient Chinese Medicine Meets Modern Anatomy Dissection
Have you ever thought it would be beneficial to explore under the skin and examine qi deficiencies in every system of the body? Would you like to see traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis patterns as they relate to western biomedical symptoms and conditions?
MUIH Launches Doctoral Degree Programs
Maryland University of Integrative Health recently announce it will now offer doctoral degrees.
Hon Lee: Scholar, Warrior, Spy, Teacher and Healer
It was fun. Growing up in New York's Chinatown was like living in a Chinese village that had been transplanted to a five square block area in southern Manhattan. The thing I liked most about the city, and still do, is it's rich cultural diversity.
Giving Chiropractic Some Much-Needed PR
Public relations has not always been the chiropractic profession's strong suit, a shortcoming that has subjected the profession to countless attacks on its legitimacy and seemingly perpetual confusion among the public and the health care world as to the skills and services doctors of chiropractic provide.
The Art of Observation
How many of us spend time just watching our clients walk, climb in and out of cars, rise from a chair or navigate a flight of stairs? Spontaneity is the key. Along with a subtle ability to observe without the client knowing or being made to feel like a lab rat.
The Bottom Line ... From a Surgeon Who Knows
Regardless of individual relationships between providers, there continues to be a type of Hatfield-McCoy feud between the philosophies of medicine and chiropractic, particularly when it comes to musculoskeletal ailments.
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!
The Power of Vitamin K
You may have heard rumblings in recent years that vitamin K helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and is administered intravenously by some integrative medical doctors who combine it with high-dose vitamin C in cancer treatment.
News in Brief
Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Enrolls Second Group Member; Focus on Chiropractic Education at WFC-ACC Conference in Miami; Are You Ready for Another "Have-a-Heart" Campaign?
Drug War Rages in Wisconsin
Based on its actions over the past 15 years (review the sidebar in the app version of this article), controversy and the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association seem to go hand in hand.
Body and Skin Rejuvenation Through Inner Balance, Equals Outer Beauty
First of all, I will draw a line in the sand. You know how there is often a big divide between the methods of Western medicine and holistic or energy medicine?
Cultivating Our National Strength
The time has come to seriously look at the state of this profession and its influence in the U.S. Where are we? What has happened? Where do we go from here?
What TCM Never Had to Deal With
You probably started getting a sense of it when you were in school. The professors would talk about diabetes as "wasting-and-thirsting disease" and you had a thought that you didn't know anyone who was wasting away in any way, shape or form.
Behavior as Symptoms of Energetic Imbalance
Karen and Josh said they wanted me to help them fix their marriage. That is why they were sitting on the couch in front of me, complaining about each other. She was too domineering, he said, overly controlling and bossy.
Yo San University Celebrates, Supports Community Clinic
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine recently celebrated 25 years of teaching excellence and serving its community by awarding actor Pierce Brosnan the Robert Graham Visionary Award and raising money for its popular community clinic.
"Turn, Turn, Turn"
Many people are credited with saying, "If you remember the '60s, you really weren't there." Given the fact I didn't become a teenager until 1970, I actually do remember the '60s (or at least part of it). And as a child of the '60s, I was, of course, influenced by the music.
The McGill Approach to the Lower Back (Part 1)
Stuart McGill, PhD, brings a unique combination of tools to the table. He is a scientist who also functions as a clinician. He describes himself as a medical consultant who is referred challenging patients. He is both evidence based and practical.
Alcohol Consumption Strongly Linked to Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Alcohol intake is one of the primary risk factors for many human cancers, and is strongly associated with cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, and notably, the colon and rectum.
April, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 04
A Comparison of the Somatosensory Effects of Therapeutic vs. Medical Massage, Part II
By Gregory T. Lawton, DN, DC
Editor's note: Part I of this article appeared in the March 2001 issue of Massage Today.
Mechanoreceptors and nociceptors are somatic receptors that act as biological sensors in response to physiological stimuli.The nociceptors respond to abnormal stimuli and transmit this information, most often as pain signals to the higher neurological centers. Mechanoreceptors respond to normal stimuli and transmit this information. Each of these two types of biological sensors tends to dampen or inhibit the other.
Nociceptors are found in the skin and throughout the musculoskeletal system. Nociceptors have been found in almost all connective tissue, with the exception of joint cartilage, synovial membranes, and certain parts of the inner vertebral disc. Nociceptive stimulation due to noxious stimuli has dramatic effects on the nervous system, and has been shown to promote segmental responses such as muscle spasm and increased sympathetic activity. Nociceptor stimulation can also stimulate suprasegmental activity that affects the hypothalamus and can cause sweating, nausea, weakness, pallor and dizziness. A commonly recognized problem in chronic pain is the continuing stimulation of nociceptors.
Mechanoreceptors respond to normal tissue environment and report this homeostatic activity to the central nervous system. Mechanoreceptors appear to respond to weak mechanical signals, gentle movement and pressure, and normal range of motion activities of the joints. Mechanoreceptors do not respond to noxious stimuli and are in fact inhibited by nociceptive input.
The two previous paragraphs, regarding nociceptors and mechanoreceptors are vitally important in understanding what constitutes effective medical massage therapy. Rather than basing our understanding and application of massage therapy technique simply on the theories or pet techniques of a few massage therapists, or upon inaccurate models of physiological function, we should seek to understand the scientific literature that reveals the deeper secrets of physiological function as it pertains to connective tissue therapy.
Based on what is scientifically known about mechanoreceptors and nociceptors, we can suggest the following principles as applied to medical massage therapy:
The above eight principles provide the medical massage therapist with both a mandate and an outline for delivering medical massage therapy. In addition, the medical massage therapist can use the scientific evidence from studies on mechanoreceptors and nociceptors to judge and evaluate massage therapy technique. Clearly, the scientific literature supports manual therapy technique that promotes responses in mechanoreceptors and any technique or activity that dampens or inhibits nociceptors. Four aspects of clinically effective treatment can be identified from the eight principles outlined above:
Therapeutic massage techniques (or any system of massage therapy) that stimulates nociceptor activity via painful and improper technique, will retard and delay the healing of injured connective tissues. Specifically, techniques that are improperly applied such as trigger point therapy and periosteal or deep tissue techniques will stimulate nonciceptive input, muscle spasm, pain, sympathetic hyperactivity, and supra-segmental physiological responses.
It should now be clear that the proper application of medical massage technique should include the avoidance of technique that stimulates nociceptive responses in the nervous system. This stimulation has a negative effect on the outcome of the treatment and the patient's healing process. From this viewpoint, pain is not gain. The massage therapist who wishes to apply the principles presented here in the clinical application of massage therapy technique probably needs to make subtle changes in manual technique. These changes include the following:
Medical massage therapy is a scientifically based method of manual therapy. Medical massage seeks a clear understanding of the scientific principles of physiology that affect connective tissue healing and treatment. Many currently utilized therapeutic massage techniques unnecessarily inflict patient pain and exacerbate the patient's condition, due to a faulty and erroneous viewpoint regarding biological sensory input and "proproceptors." This material is offered to all massage therapists, to clarify this issue and to offer more effective treatment methods. The next time you see an article showing (r a massage instructor demonstrating) trigger point therapy with the elbow buried an inch into the levator scapula and trapezius, consider the nociceptive stimulation this technique is provoking and reconsider the value of this type of technique.
Regardless of what we call or label the manual therapy techniques that we apply to clinical cases, we must, as massage professionals, recognize the need to thoroughly investigate current scientific research regarding connective tissue pathophysiology and reconsider our technique and treatment protocol based on this knowledge. For those massage therapists who prefer to practice general relaxation massage in recreational settings, while they may voluntarily choose not to practice medical massage, they must also recognize and understand the higher mechanisms of connective tissue rehabilitation and the ability of the medical massage therapist to treat connective tissue pathology.
The pet techniques of the massage therapist should not determine the patient's treatment. Treatment should be based on the findings, diagnosis, causation and symptoms of the patient's presenting problem or condition.
The allied medical professions and the chiropractic profession can also benefit from a detailed education in medical massage technique and protocol. The application of non-exacerbating technique directed at the primary area of pathology in most musculoskeletal disorders, the joint complex, is of profound value to medical massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and physicians who treat connective tissue disorders. Medical massage therapy may effectively become the pivot point where many of these health care practitioners come together in a common understanding of massage therapy.
References and suggested reading:
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