resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
July, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 07
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I recently spoke to a group of graduating massage therapy students as a guest lecturer at a career development course. The school recently started its massage certificate program, so the class was small - only seven students.I asked what brought them into the field, and what they thought they would be doing after being a year in practice. All planned on being successful - most planned on starting full-time, right out of the box! None had any offers of employment, even though they were graduating in four weeks.
Their dreams didn't surprise me; my surprise came at the responses of four of the seven who shared that they had never experienced a massage before starting school! It would have been five out of eight, but one student dropped the program when she realized she couldn't stand touching others, and liked being touched even less. What would possess someone to apply to school, write a large check for tuition and give up time to study, without determining if the experience holds personal efficacy?
Massage therapy brings me many surprises. Perhaps the one that strikes me most is how few massage therapists avail themselves of regular massage! Massage therapists expect self-care from their patients and clients, but hesitate to apply their own suggestions to themselves! Self-care has emerged as a hot topic for today's caregivers striving to balance the responsibilities of profession and family.
Unfortunately, self-care generally is not supported by our culture; some people equate self-care with abandoning responsibilities or self-centeredness. Therapists often receive rave reviews for taking better care of others than they do themselves. As a result, many are suffering near epidemic levels of physical, emotional and spiritual fatigue. Taking time for yourself allows you to be a better spouse, parent, friend and therapist. Self-care is empowering. You take charge of your life when you implement any healthy practice into your routine. You are the expert on your needs - if you don't acknowledge their importance, who will?
Our client base will not benefit if we don't take time for ourselves. When we are emotionally depleted, those in our care see our weariness and frustration. While we do our best to respond to their needs, we can make them feel guilty for needing us. We serve as role models for our clients. When we take care of ourselves, we exemplify positive self-esteem and healthy behaviors. Getting regular massage shows that we know how to care for ourselves!
Here's a sobering thought: One in eight women has a chance of getting breast cancer at some point in her life; each year, 40,000 women die from breast cancer. Between 80 percent and 85 percent of all massage therapists are women. The savvy female massage therapist will use the skilled palpation of her massage therapist to assist her in breast health. It makes sense that a massage therapist trained in the nuances of soft tissue will do a better job of regular examination than the physician you see once a year! Insist on the care you need!
Dr. Saralyn Mark, senior medical advisor on women's health with the Department of Health and Human Services and NASA, stresses the importance of knowing your family history. There is a difference between getting breast cancer before menopause and after menopause. You should be more concerned if you have family members who have been diagnosed with breast cancer before menopause, as there could be a genetic factor involved that will require additional caution:
When overbooked, overworked and faced with clients presenting with various needs and/or maladies, we go out of our way to provide the best possible care - a normal reaction by most caregivers. However, this also is a time when special attention should be paid to you, the caregiver. In fact, your health is the best guarantee you can give your clients: the guarantee that you will be able to provide them with good care.
Self-care may seem like a luxury, but it's not. One of the principles of self-care demands that you deliberately choose to care for yourself. We should do at least as much for ourselves as we do for our clients. Do you tell your clients to get regular massage? Do you tell them what the benefits are? I tell mine that massage relieves stress; maintains flexibility; keeps them physically and emotionally alert; helps them stay in touch with and listen to their bodies; provides an opportunity for professional evaluation and care of emerging strain patterns; and helps them maintain a healthier lifestyle. If that is true for my clients, it is certainly true for me!
I hope those students I spoke with find massage therapy meets their expectations. I hope they develop practices as robust as they can handle, and that they take good enough care of themselves so that can happen.
I try to find my way to a massage table at least once per week. I see and feel the benefits. I also feel no hypocrisy in suggesting that my clients come more often to feel better, because I'm asking no more of them than I am asking of myself.
Be the best massage therapist you can be. Use superb body mechanics; take regular vacations; eat well; exercise and stretch regularly; and learn new things ... but most importantly, go get a massage!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue. 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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