resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
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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