resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
March, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 03
Putting the Pieces Together
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Parenthood has pulled me into some unexpected byways of learning. One such journey came in reading about those who design imaginative constructions for LEGO®, the maker of the ubiquitous small, brightly-colored plastic bricks that fit together - the same sharp-edged bricks that I've stepped on too many times while walking barefoot through my house. While LEGO® makes many specialized pieces, those who design and make creations for LEGO® itself first have to demonstrate high proficiency with the simple basic brick. From the basic bricks spring forth the larger modules that eventually combine into thematic displays. In learning to skillfully practice the art and profession of massage, we can take lessons from LEGO® - the basic bricks are the starting points, to which we must add a larger context that guides us in joining the individual bricks into something greater.2
In teaching sports and deep-tissue massage classes, my basic bricks include evaluative skills, specific manipulation techniques, biomechanics, and knowledge of how to access and facilitate specific soft-tissue structures. Surrounding the individual kinesthetic skills and concepts is an ongoing context of client connection and communication motivated ultimately by the intent to create lasting benefit for our clients. It is this context of creating benefit that guides us consciously and unconsciously and allows each new session to evolve into something that is fresh and unique. As with the LEGO® bricks, there are countless "right" ways to create a massage from our store or conceptual and kinesthetic knowledge.
Like a good horticulturist, part of teaching the craft of massage comes in grafting the new learning onto a student's rootstock of experience, so that it will bear fruit rather than wither unused and unusable. I often start this process with exercises designed to build our kinesthetic vocabularies, initially backing off from the pressures of "doing massage" into the practice of coordination, movement and connection found in variations of tai ji push hands. This kinesthetic practice teaches us to match the movement and to become aware of the pressure and contact that we exert vis-a-vis our partner. We can maintain the contact on the physical level or loosen it into contact via a viscous visualized "energy taffy" - still maintaining the moment-by-moment connection of intent and awareness - in touch yet not physically touching. A primary effect of this practice is that we rapidly move from being a room of strangers to being a class of individuals who have moved together and laughed together into feelings of cohesion and commonality. We are practicing the nonverbal skills of perception that will allow our clients to teach us touch-by-touch what works for them.
This movement practice allows us to examine and relearn our own body usage. The exercises slow us down to practice the flow of one position into another, so that we can become aware of our proprioception of bearing our own weight and how that realization shifts as we move forward and back or side-to-side. We become aware of those places in which our movements are smooth and continuous and learn new neuromuscular patterns for those places that we previously sped or jerked through.
The movements integrate us, moving not just in our hands and wrists, but in our arms and shoulders; and not just in our arms and shoulders, but through our torsos and legs into our feet. Through our feet, we create contact with the floor. When we align our pelvis with the direction of performing our massage strokes and roll tissues using our entire body rather than just the intrinsic muscles of our hands, the strength and smoothness of our moves are palpable to our clients. Our work becomes a tai ji dance, rather than an injury inviting strain of our own muscles and tissues.
With our skills of movement and nonverbal contact accomplished, we are freer to sense and attend to our clients' needs, letting each session develop from their expressions and our own perceptions. We can glean background from our clients in words either written or verbal or by the visual means of having a client color in problem areas on a body image diagram. 3 Visually, we can look for areas of asymmetry and dislocation in the alignment of the different sections of a client's body. 1, 4 Via palpation and range-of-motion checks, we can seek areas of muscle hypertonicity and abnormal tissue texture. I've found Philip Greenman's mnemonic of ART to be useful - Asymmetry of related parts, Range of motion of joints, and abnormalities of tissue Texture. 4 Depending of the focus of a massage, we sometimes observe these implicitly within the context of an opening stretch or compressive effleurage, and sometimes explicitly in seeking the causes of pain or limitation. Our therapy also can be done implicitly by focusing on a tissue lesion within the flow of a general massage, or explicitly as part of a planned facilitation with considerable client interaction and participation. There are indeed nearly an infinite number of ways to put the pieces together to further our goal of creating long-term client benefit.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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.