resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
May, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 05
The Spirit of Massage
By Retta Flagg
Editor's note: Retta Flagg has 16 years' experience in the massage field and 25 years' experience in metaphysical studies. She maintains a private practice in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, and offers continuing education courses in neuromuscular and muscle energy technique, palpation skills, and self-empowerment technique.
I was talking to a colleague one day, and he mentioned that he liked Thai massage best because it was the most spiritual technique he'd learned.I stood there and thought, "But they are all spiritual." For me, touch is a sacred act. My massage work is not just a job; it is part of my spiritual service in the world. I consider everything I do part of my spiritual service, but I have found that the act of giving a massage touches me and feeds me on so many levels.
How has massage touched me so deeply? First, I have come to recognize the depth and uniqueness of each person on my table. Every one of my clients is an extraordinary person. Have I been lucky in the kind of client that I attract? Perhaps, but it is more that I have come to appreciate each client's unique expression of their humanity and the challenges that that expression entails. Second, I am honored to be able to contribute to another person's well being in some small, and sometimes, large way. Third, "being with" another human being and learning to listen to and honor his or her experience has taught me how to "be with," listen to, and honor myself in my own journey.
Another aspect that I consider important in the spiritual realm of my massage work is holding a sacred, healing space in my working environment. Sacredness originates from within and grows from our connection to divine or higher energy. Holding that space for my office helps me to ground my connection in my everyday experience. It is my belief that by holding a sacred space, the quality of my massage work is enhanced by the energy of my connection.
There is a lot of research being done on the power of prayer and faith in a healing situation. Guess what? The power of prayer and faith is measurable in a research environment. Regardless of any validation by any authority other than my own heart, my spiritual connection sustains me in my work and daily life. Do I need research to validate the effect of my faith on my work? Not at all, but I think it is time that as a profession, we step out into the arena of research as a means to validate our spiritual experience in our work.
One of the main challenges in doing research on "spirituality" in relation to any field is in defining spirit. On the one hand, each person's spiritual journey is a unique and personal experience. On the other hand, many religious teachings limit a spiritual connection to one, and only one, valid means of expression. In defining spirit, the one group tends to feel threatened that its personal connection will be limited by another group's definition of its experience. The other group feels threatened that its one and only one means of expression will not be the definition of spirit. Personally, I not feel that spirit can be defined. It can, however, be described. Its effects can be measured. That description and measurement can be broad enough in scope to hold space for every person's belief system and experience. In the last 15 years, our profession has matured and moved into mainstream health care and health prevention. We have held out to the public the physiological benefits of massage, our comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and our high ethical and educational standards. As my colleagues speak about the changes in the massage field, they always remark that it is the spiritual side of massage that keeps them vested in their work. However, they feel that if they talk about it, they will lose their credibility in mainstream health care. I think it is time that we honored the spiritual foundation of our work as a credible aspect of what we do as massage therapists.
The sacredness of touch needs to be addressed in the massage school environment alongside anatomy and physiology. Perhaps spirit cannot be defined, but it can be taught, and it can be taught in such a way that it does not violate the boundaries of one's religious beliefs. Teaching how to hold sacred space and honor a client's experience can be done without having to connect it to a specific dogma. As a profession, we need to clarify and describe our spiritual experience even as we had to clarify and describe what we palpate with our hands.
I recognize that the medical profession is much more comfortable with a distancing word like "holistic" to include spiritual connotations in their work. I ask you, "What makes it holistic?" Body, mind, and spirit. Spirit is the fifth element that acts as the glue of the universe. I think it's time that we name it and claim it for what it is. Touch the body, and touch the soul.
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