resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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.
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
The First of the 10 Elements: Water
By Robin Zill, LMT
The 10 Elements of the Spa Experience are designed to teach the consumer and professional about the integrated nature of the spa experience. This is the second article in a 12-part series and focuses on the first of the 10 elements: Water.(Editor's note: The graphic of the 10-Element Circle appears on line at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/01/16.html.)
Water is transformational by its very nature. The study of water in its many forms has stimulated some of the greatest thinkers and visionaries throughout time. An excellent metaphor for life and vitality, water is central to the human experience. The study of water and its many roles could actually be considered a bridge between science and art. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, water is one part oxygen, two parts hydrogen, and the rest is magic.
In the spa environment, hydrotherapy and balneotherapy are the most common terms used to describe the use of water. Hydrotherapy is usually defined as "the use of water in any of its three forms, solid, liquid or gas, used internally or externally for the prevention and treatment of disease or trauma, or used to enhance optimal wellness through daily health programs." Balneotherapy is the art and science of bathing for therapeutic and relaxation purposes. This includes partial and full bathing practices. Crenology, not as common in the U.S., is considered the therapeutic use of waters from mineral springs for therapeutic and relaxation purposes. The chemical composition of the water is significant, as is temperature and location.
The Transforming Power of Water
Why is water so magical? Fundamentally transforming, it is used for cleansing, purifying and basic survival. Both the external use of water through compresses, showers, wraps, bathing, and swimming, and the internal uses of water through drinking and other internal cleansing procedures, are critical to the spa experience. Water therapies are homeostatic in nature - they depend upon the body's ability to maintain balance or stability in a changing environment. This process is thermaldynamic in nature: by varying the temperature, the mechanical distribution and/or the chemical composition of water, many different treatments and effects can be achieved.
Temperature variation is the most common tool used in hydrotherapy treatments, because the temperature of the water will determine the extent of the stimulation on the skin. The skin is the portal of entry for hydrotherapy treatments. It connects our outer environment to our inner environment. The nervous system responds to this thermal change, and the stimulus is transferred to the organs via nerves, lymph and blood vessels. As one of the primary functions of skin is to maintain the body's temperature at a comfortable and consistent level, it is critical to maintaining homeostasis or balance within the body. This function primarily uses the circulation of the blood and lymph system. By increasing or decreasing circulation, hydrotherapy can help to affect the body's organs, and therefore assist in natural detoxification, cleansing or elimination processes.
Water is an excellent conductor, which allows it to transfer heat effectively and quickly. Water also possesses the ability to absorb and distribute large quantities of heat.
Water, a universal solvent, can readily dissolve many other substances to form therapeutic solutions: electrolytes, sugars, salts, osmotic baths, etc.
Because the density of water is similar to that of the human body, it produces a buoyant effect upon immersion equal to the weight of the water displaced. This is particularly useful for paralyzed muscles unable to move heavy limbs. Because of the unique qualities of water, hydrotherapy can be truly therapeutic and useful in treating many diseases. The new research on hyperthermia and cancer is just one exciting example. That is why, depending on the treatment, therapists should be well-trained and have a working knowledge of the body, especially the circulatory system. Contraindication for hydrotherapy treatments are similar to those for other heat treatments: pregnancy; heart diseases; acute or inflamed conditions; high blood pressure; varicose veins; other circulatory problems; rashes; and extreme obesity. Also, treatments should not be performed if the client has just consumed alcohol or a heavy meal.
Water, a precious resource, is inexpensive in essence and available as a healing tool in many forms. In the spa setting, how and how much water is used is usually determined by the treatment protocols and equipment selection. This can range from hot towel cabis, hydrocollators, and moist heat packs to Vichy and Swiss showers, scotch hoses and hydrotherapy tubs. Generally, the basic tools the water therapist works with are water temperature; the body area immersed or exposed to water; the duration of the bath, shower or treatment; the mechanical features such as underwater massage wands or shower sprays; and chemical factors such as botanical extracts, salts, seaweeds, and other natural agents.
The environment is also an important variable of the treatment. Often this is determined ahead of time; the therapist may only be able to control temperature and ambience, but beauty and art go hand in hand with bathing. New trends that embrace the importance of environment include Watsu and water dancing pools, floating pools and the innovative liquid sound pool in Germany that combines the floating experience with light and sound.
Exploring the dimensions of water in its many forms is a great way to begin understanding the integrated nature of the spa experience. Please visit the Great Spa Conversation (www.spaelegance.com or visit the ISPA Web site at www.experienceispa.com) to share your insights and connections to water. The spa movement is a cultural expression of the people's new perception of optimal health. Your voice is important.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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