resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
April, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 04
We Get Letters & E-Mail
By Editorial Staff
Editor's note: The following two letters are in response to Ralph Stephens' December 2002 column, "No Better Time Than Now." The second letter is accompanied by a reply from Mr.Stephens.
Responding to the Call for Activism
It is not often that I comment on articles written in publications. However, as a massage therapist in Texas who is not a prostitute, I was compelled to write after Ralph Stephens' column. Ordinarily, I would have dismissed his statements as erroneous and ignorant, and felt assured that only a few people in Texas would read them. However, since your paper boasts of more than 1 million Internet hits, his published comments raise deep, genuine concern here in Texas.
I accept Mr. Stephens' challenge for each individual massage therapist to become active and "do his or her part" to correct this misconception about Texas. In particular, I ask that Mr. Stephens show documentation to support his statement that "As the emergence period ends, the co-opting period is beginning. It is going quite well in Texas. Prostitution has just about reclaimed the term 'massage' there. Many of what are called 'massage schools' in Texas crank out prostitutes faster than therapists," or retract the statement with an appropriate apology. I also ask that the above quotation (or the entire article) be deleted from your Web site.
By the way, I agree with Mr. Stephens' assessment that massage therapists must defend and protect our scope of practice through individual legislative activism. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns; I look forward to Mr. Stephens' reply (either his research or his apology).
Orbie Ratliff, RMT
"It is now time to do the right thing"
This e-mail is regarding Mr. Stephens' comments about Texas massage schools producing prostitutes. I am no longer comfortable leaving Massage Today in the reception area where I work. Mr. Stephens' comments were not supported by facts and could easily cost us accounts to provide massage services. The way I see it, Mr. Stephens has two choices. He can name names and make a report to the Texas Department of Health; if it fails to do its job by taking action against such therapists, you can complain. The system in place is complaint-driven, at least to some degree. Mr. Stephens has an ethical obligation to file a report. If not, he is "aiding and abetting." On the other hand, if Mr. Stephens is unable to provide specifics to back up his comments, they are nothing more than hearsay. In my opinion, his only other choice in this case is to make an unqualified apology; specifically acknowledge the information is hearsay; and resign his position. His irresponsible comments jeopardized a profession we have spent years building. Our most difficult struggle with our clients is in helping them get past the notion that massage is about sex. Presently, myself and others are researching legal options regarding some sort of libel lawsuit. I suspect our options will be limited, but we believe that as long as Mr. Stephens' comments stand, our practice is threatened. It is now time to do the right thing.
Lori Dupree, RMT
Getting the Toxins Out of Massage
Many thanks to Keith Eric Grant for his article, "Flushing Out Myths" (MT, Dec. 2002). For 10 years, I have heard from clients that they are "full of toxins"; most of them have this impression because they heard it from massage therapists, or from others who heard it from massage therapists. I think it is a disservice to encourage people to think they need massage because they are "toxic," and that massage therapy helps correct this problem. People who already may be anxious or uncertain about their health status do not benefit from the erroneous, alarming image that they are being poisoned by metabolic sludge. I also think some massage therapists may avoid taking responsibility for using inappropriate depth of pressure on sensitive clients by explaining that postmassage discomfort is merely from "getting the toxins out."
I'd like to see more honest and responsible discussion of the role of massage in cellular metabolism. I think we should share accurate information with our clients on the known, positive effects of massage, and we should not be afraid to say, "We don't know yet" in response to some questions. We will all benefit if we eliminate misleading, toxic claims from our interactions with the people we serve.
Margaret Caro, LMT
Editor's note: James (Doc) Clay's January 2003 column, "The Clinical Track: Introduction, With a Response to AMMA," inspired considerable letters to the editor, one of which is printed below. Massage Today regrets that it cannot publish all of the letters we received. The complete text of Mr. Clay's article appears online at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/01/12.html.
"Medical massage truly is holistic medicine"
I am a graduate and a student of the Blue Heron Academy of Healing Arts and Sciences [Grand Rapids, Mich.]. In addition, I maintain a private practice in the Blue Heron Clinic and have been a member of the American Medical/Manual Massage Association (AMMA) for three years. I am a medical massage therapist, but more accurately, a manual therapist. In the article, Mr. Clay states, "We do not treat conditions according to medical diagnostic criteria, but according to clinical massage therapy assessment criteria"... and then says how he would treat it. As a Blue Heron graduate and a medical massage therapist, I treat according to medical diagnostic criteria, not the way either an medical doctor or you would treat. That being said, I'm sure there are plenty of similarities too. Tendonitis (can also be spelled correctly as tendinitis) also is called "medial epicondylitis" or "golfer's elbow." It results from injury to the common flexor tendon. A simple test for this condition is active wrist flexion against resistance. I palpate the affected area; fold the tissue; perform deep tissue to periosteum massage (not painful, because the tissue is folded and because I use a soft-hand technique); note adhesions and fibrosis; do joint physics;bony lever at the joint junctions; etc. If you could watch me, or any of my peers, do this, I suggest you would be witnessing something you have never seen anyone do, anywhere. We use a dry-hand technique and achieve unique results. Some of these techniques are original, courtesy of Dr. Gregory Lawton, DC, DN; some are 100-year-old naprapathic techniques. It's medical massage/manual therapy - what soft tissue work was meant to be before the advent of "swedish massage." It's our heritage as massage therapists.
Mr. Clay also says problems with the wrist and hand are traceable to the forearm, elbow, shoulder or chest. The first thing I do when a patient tells me he or she has wrist and hand pain is inquire about any recent or old neck injuries. If not localized fibrosis (wrist, hand, forearm, or just above the elbow), this type of pain is usually indicative of brachial plexus nerve impingement. The brachial plexus is a plexus of five nerves that grow out of the spinal cord at C5-T1and innervate the neck, shoulder, arm and hand. Pain is on the ulnar or radial side of the limb helps differentiate which of the five nerves is involved. My point here is that medical massage therapists who graduate from Blue Heron know neurology: We know where the nerves track, and what soft tissues the nerves innervate. If there is a problem with that soft tissue, we go to the nerve root at the joint and work there. We work at the nerve root. If I find adhesions in the neck related to a patient's pain, that's the area I'm going to focus on. Do you see my point? This is all medically based. You pointed out the incorrect spelling of "biceps," but more important than that, do you know that is does little good to do considerable soft tissue work on any biceps muscle belly? If a patient has pain in a biceps muscle, you would best spend your time and your patient's money by working at the joint at which the biceps attach/insert.
One hundred years ago, MDs touched their patients, and did so based on scientific findings. They were physicians, and they did soft tissue work - imagine that. In fact, some of them wrote a book called, Medical Massage. Dr. Lawton didn't just dream this stuff up; we have the book to prove it. This is what medicine used to be.
Mr. Clay also states, "I can't help feeling that the use of the word "medical" in designating our profession betrays a desire to enhance our prestige ..." As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing prestigious about being an MD these days. Certainly they want to practice medicine well, but their training has steered them far afield. If you have consulted with or been referred patients by an MD, you know it's not a real pleasant experience, but nevertheless a necessary one. I'm ashamed and embarassed by the MDs and DCs who refer patients to me. What passes for a physician is in shambles, and so are patients' bodies. The MD sends me the people he's poisoned, cut and burned, and the DC sends me the patients he's used his newfangled hammer on. They wonder if there is anything I can do for them; yes there is, thanks to my training. encourages us to get out into "the field" and deal with these real clinical issues based on our holistic training. You can call it "clinical" or "medical," but I prefer the latter term because that's what it is: medicine.
The allopaths took the word medical from us. Holistic treatment was considered medical before most of us were born. All soft tissue workers who want to practice noninvasive, holistic medicine by touching people based on the modern discoveries of science and anatomy are denied this privilege by the modern allopaths and some chiropractors.
Mr Clay says, "We would do well to maintain our independence from more traditional disciplines." Allopathic medicine is more accurately called modern medicine. What we do, as soft tissue workers and as massage therapists, is traditional medicine. We are holistic. Medical massage is science-based, holistic ... and it works. It's the way medicine used to be, and the way it will be in the future, including new techniques based on new research. What goes around, comes around.
Mr Clay says, "Massage is not inherently holistic." If it's not, then what is it? In my opinion, medical massage truly is holistic medicine. The AMMA is not frozen, petrified, closed-minded or institutionalized. We simply approach soft tissue work/massage based on the most up-to-date knowledge of anatomy, physiology, etc., the way the serious medical practitioners of old practiced.
This discussion is worth having. I enjoyed Mr. Clay's article. Thank you for providing a venue to voice our opinions.
Lisa Townsend, PMT (Professional Manual Therapist)
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