resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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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