resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
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!
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
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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