resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
September, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 09
Breathing Fresh Air
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Breathing fresh air has literal and metaphorical significance. In the beginnings of the industrial revolution, little thought was given to the environment. As a severe result, the particulate air pollution in London from coal burning resulted in "killer fogs" from the 1800s into the 1950s.9 Since then, greater understanding and attention to the system as a whole has freshened the air. This is partly a change from perceiving everything as simple stand-alone machines, to understanding more of the interactions, feedbacks, and true complexity of systems. It is the change of viewpoint from the industrial revolution to the information revolution. The "fresh air" of a wider perspective can contribute significantly to the literal freshness of the air.
The somatic consideration of breathing fresh air returns us to thoughts from last month's column. I brought up the effects of chronic shortening of our anterior line, including compaction of our ribcage and dysfunctional breathing patterns. Philip Greenman notes that alteration in ribcage function can negatively impact respiratory activity, circulatory activity (arterial, venous, and lymphatic), and neural activity.3 During inspiration, as the diaphragm contracts and descends toward the pelvis, the ribs should elevate and expand using secondary muscles of respiration.1,3,6 The reverse occurs during expiration. Lengthening the anterior line restores space for the ribs to function, but does not automatically restore function. Art Riggs comments on working with clients to correct their breathing patterns:7
Sometimes, especially in relation to chronic postural patterns, the motion of one or more ribs can become restricted - fixed in either exhalation or inhalation. Directly working the soft tissues of the thoracic regions around the costotransverse, costovertebral, costochondral, and sternochondral regions is a first step toward restoring movement.5 Additional steps can involve direct work on the deep intrinsic muscles of the spine, gentle movements of the ribcage, and gentle resistance against breathing in the manner of post-isometric relaxation.5,7 Gentle resistance techniques can also be used to help a client become aware of and relearn breathing patterns.7
Breathing fresh air also has the metaphorical meaning of taking a new path in looking for solutions to well-known problems. One such problem comes in seeking ways to reach out and help at-risk and disadvantaged segments of our population to help themselves. I've recently become involved in such a project via the Touch Health Association, the community outreach agency of the McKinnon Institute at which I've long been teaching massage.8
Many young mothers are unaware of their children's needs because they lack maturity and/or education to pick up on their cues. An infant massage training program, now in its own gestation, will teach disadvantaged mothers to touch their children in a healthy/healing way that improves infant development and increases their familiarity and comfort with appropriate touch. It is planned that, as these women complete their training in massage therapy, they will be hired through the non-profit agency to bring massage and appropriate touch back to their own communities. We will make use of the community knowledge the young mothers already have and the trust they can access from being part of the community served. The focus of the project is to create sustainable job options for young mothers as well as increase availability of massage to underserved populations.
Much of the coursework is based on results of developmental research from the Touch Research Institute (TRI). In many cases the trainees will not be persons fluent in academic learning and assessment methods - chalk and talk and standardized tests won't cut it. The project will have to move both to use of active visual media and to an experiential/kinesthetic mode of teaching topics such as anatomy.1,6 Assessment will need to be done directly within the context of practice.
What I'm describing is without a doubt at odds with many existing state practice acts - laws written and passed without a thought of using massage as a tool for community intervention. The pursuit of "credentialism" embodied in such laws can have needless impacts on those already disadvantaged.2
Such laws were written by people and can be changed by other people. Advocate such change to colleagues and legislators when licensing acts are either being initially considered or are up for a review of need and efficacy. Cherish and preserve the flexibility you do have, working with nonprofit resources and government agencies to create touch-based outreach programs. By caring enough to participate, we can create a breath of fresh air in how we reach out as massage therapists to improve community and culture and stem the tides of despair and violence.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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