resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
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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