resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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 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.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
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.
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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
April, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 04
Six Months of Healing and Heroism
Submitted By Claire Posada, LMT - New York, New York
Editor's Note: On March 11, 2002, America and the world marked the six-month anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks that took so many innocent lives in New York City, Virginia and Pennsylvania.Massage Today presented several perspectives on the disaster relief efforts in the November and December 2001 issues, and requested that readers "share their stories."
In the past several months, countless stories have poured in - far too many to publish and still have editorial space for the "other" happenings in the massage profession. However, we'd like to mark the anniversary of that tragic day by sharing one story in particular; we feel it captures not only the courage and selflessness demonstrated by so many during this crisis, but the essence of massage therapy and the massage therapy profession.
One tragic element of the collapse of the Twin Towers was the scarcity of injured people. Often in disasters the wounded outnumber the dead, but this was not the case on September 11, as many who rushed to donate blood found out when they were turned away. Many hospital beds lay empty, and volunteers were also turned away since there wasn't enough to do. However, with rescue teams, police, firefighters and army personnel working around the clock, both at "ground zero" and all around the city, the volunteer massage therapists who arrived to help were able to offer much-needed relief and were soon recognized as vital to these efforts.
We have continued supporting the recovery workers and have also expanded to aid support staff and family members. What a rewarding journey it has been to witness skepticism and machismo transform into respect and appreciation for the tangible benefits of massage therapy. And what an intense learning experience it has been to adapt to these conditions and needs.
My first experience volunteering was on Friday night, Sept. 14. The massage school in NYC, the Swedish Massage Institute, was organizing and dispatching volunteer massage therapists to relief stations and hospitals that night. We all brought what we had: massage chairs, tables, foam pads, or just our hands. I was sent to Chelsea Piers, a coordination center and rest stop for the general public and police and emergency staff, located a few miles from ground zero. There were plenty of supplies, like food, water and clothing, and services such as grief counseling, a place to file missing person reports, and help with temporary housing for displaced residents and out-of-town rescue workers. Many of these volunteers had been working virtually nonstop for four days. My first introduction to the atmosphere of the place was the ladies room, where I encountered a policewoman who was in tears because of all the heartbreaking stories she had been hearing.
The coordinator of our massage group told us that the main organizers viewed our work as peripheral, and encouraged us to mingle with the relief staff and suggest that they try a massage if it seemed appropriate. Most of these folks had never had a massage, and we heard a number of reasons for declining: "I'm okay, I don't need it," "So-and-so needs it more than I do," and "My superior forbids it" (from the police). We also sensed some unspoken reasons, such as, "How can I indulge in such a luxury when thousands are dead?"
I had many questions of my own during this time: How could I determine if a massage would be beneficial or harmful in any given case? Would I be dissolving someone's protective defenses by touching them? Could post-traumatic stress disorder be prevented at this stage? How could I keep from absorbing more trauma myself? It soon became apparent that a relaxing, nurturing massage was not necessarily the best medicine at this point; many were not ready to get back in touch with their bodies and feelings yet. It seemed more appropriate to concentrate on the energizing aspects of massage, such as the increased circulation and range of motion that would enable these men and women to get back to their jobs, which is what they most desperately wanted to do. The first ones willing to try massage were traffic cops who had been standing for hours on end, detectives, EMT workers who had been sitting in their ambulances for days with little to do, and other volunteers such as mental health counselors and chaplains.
I worked on a firefighter from Massachusetts who had hurt his back when some debris shifted under him. I was able to help loosen his tight back muscles, but not his zombie gaze. It is so painful to see another human being in that condition, and it is a supreme challenge to administer care when you feel the shock, grief and horror yourself. However, as the night wore on, we saw more and more faces transform into smiles of relief and amazement at the wonderful results of even a 15- or 20-minute treatment. A naval patrolman I worked with had neck pain from the rocking of the boat and constantly jerking his head up to stay awake. An ambulance driver had headaches from the diesel fumes of his idling engine. I checked in with one cop wearing a vest under his shirt, and he said he could feel my elbows (yes, some of the police sneaked in anyway!). Later it dawned on me that the power of massage is pretty incredible if it can penetrate a protective vest! Eventually the main organizer told us that although the whole operation was going to be downsized, the massage therapists were now considered a vital part of the services that would remain.
Although it took me a couple of days to recover physically and mentally from that first night, I volunteered again, traveling to the family assistance center, the medical examiner's office, a firehouse, and the navy ship U.S.N.S. Comfort, which was a hospital ship turned into a "motel" for rescue workers. The ship's operating room had been transformed into a massage station since it wasn't needed for surgery. We used the gurneys instead of massage tables, and some therapists brought massage chairs as well.
At a relief center at ground zero, I had to pass through a police barricade and, upon showing my ID and explaining that I was a massage therapist I was surprised and delighted by the National Guardsman who broke into a huge smile and waved me through, saying, "Massage? Great! So glad you're here!" I worked on firefighters with sore necks from their helmets; cops with aching lower backs from the weight of their holsters; military personnel who had been standing on guard for 14 hours at a time; out-of-state morticians who were also doing interminably long shifts; Red Cross volunteers with knots in their necks from carrying heavy boxes of donated goods; stressed-out family members; and a woman who still had pain in her hips and legs from running away from the burning buildings. The positive response was tremendously encouraging. I heard comments like, "I feel like a new man," "I could go another 100,000 miles" and " Wow, that was better than... anything!"
One friend e-mailed me to say she overheard a cop on the street say that he never believed in massage before, but that the one he had just received had converted him. A soldier with the Air Force asked me how to go about finding a massage therapist in the town near his base. And after the first three weeks, the firemen at one house invited massage therapists who had worked on any of the firefighters to come for dinner one Sunday night. They cooked us a fabulous meal. One of them told me that although the gifts of money and food they had received were important, it was the massage therapy that was indispensable because of the stress relief and comfort it provided.
It has been such a privilege to be able to be of some help during this crisis, and exciting to see the increased appreciation and respect the massage therapy profession has earned. Not only did the cops and everyone else come to think differently about us, but we were educated about them as well. I talked to a vegetarian fire captain who knows hand reading, and an Army reservist who asked if it had been difficult for me to give up my dancing career, since he felt that people in the arts work so very hard at their professions. A female detective from a downtown homicide unit and I confessed to each other that we got hooked on TV's "NYPD Blue" because we both adore Jimmy Smits!
This is one of the wonderful human sides that came out of this crisis: the recognition that we really are all one, and how much more alike we are than different. Massage therapists all across the country have an opportunity to help re-establish the calm and trust we all need to move forward with our lives.
Massage Today would like to thank Claire and all the contributors for their courage and their words; we offer our apologies that their stories (and many others) cannot be printed in their entirety.
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