resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
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:
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.