resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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