resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
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.
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.
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 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."
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.
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.
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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