resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
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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