resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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.
June, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 06
Directions in Massage Therapy
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Our profession is changing daily. In the past 10 years, it has entered the light of day and joined the mainstream. Massage therapists are now high on the list of caregivers in many circles of the country: wealthy and poor; white and blue collar; young and old; male and female.The change to which I am referring, however, is not a change in acceptance, but a change in precision and refinement.
Specifically, I have seen a transformation from gross motor techniques to more subtle, specific techniques. This was made even more evident to me while attending the recent "Beyond the Dura" Research Conference (see front-page article). CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and other light-touch therapies are proving their efficacy in research studies and are being utilized by an increasing number of therapists. I find it interesting that more than half of the students taking CST are massage therapists. This statistic amazed me, in part because CST is one of a handful of techniques that have a purpose beyond the realm of "relaxation": it treats conditions.
Those familiar with CST know the premise of the technique: It only takes five grams of force (the weight of a nickel) to effect significant change. The research conference included presentations of clinical data collected in the treatment of widespread issues, ranging from pediatric feeding dysfunction, breastfeeding problems and pelvic floor rehabilitation, to preparing Egyptian conjoined twins for separation surgery. The fact that this technique-which developed out of osteopathy-is taught to massage therapists on equal footing with physicians, PTs, OTs and other allied health professionals says a lot about our capabilities. The large numbers of MTs utilizing techniques such as CST may be one reason I see an industry trend toward more gentle touch.
I used to believe gentle touch could not be anything more than "soothing": useful for comfort and to ease emotional discomfort, but of little value to alleviate chronic physical dysfunction and discomfort. My mind was opened to another perspective when I experienced effective sessions that integrated energy techniques and light touch.
I recently had the privilege of participating in a fresh-tissue CranioSacral Dissection workshop, in which I got to palpate the falx cerebri (cranial membrane) and monitor changes as the instructor applied light manual pressure to the sacrum. I also was honored to participate in a study that measured the manual force required to palpate change. Almost all of the study participants could palpate change in tension of the falx cerebri with measured forces between three and 35 grams. This is good enough for me to believe that light touch can certainly be effective.
Massage therapists also regularly integrate reiki, aspects of polarity therapy and other energetic techniques into their practices, lightening the overall average force used in sessions. In my own practice, I find integration is important because I need to get the attention of some of my clients before progress can begin. The comfort and security of certain deep-pressure techniques and confident touch moves my clients to a relaxed, trusting place where the more subtle techniques can be effective. The client who has learned to accept the more aggressive techniques in our toolboxes is, in my opinion, capable of experiencing a variety of light-touch procedures. My Rolfing friends inform me that they, too, are lightening the forces they use and are losing their reputation as providers of "therapeutic discomfort."
Now, please don't think I'm saying only light-touch techniques are indicated for professional massage therapists! I'm not saying that at all. I am a firm believer in the efficacy of techniques, such as trigger point, cross-fiber friction, assisted stretching, etc., though they are not always comfortable to the client. I also am an advocate of the more subtle directions I have discussed in this article.
Ten years ago, I saw (and experienced) a lot of poking, prodding and elbow use. I now see skilled palpation and use of forearms to obtain a more comfortable myofascial modification. I think it's a trend. I hope so!
Thanks for listening!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today.
Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to the address listed below:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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