resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
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!
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.
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.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
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.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
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.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
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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