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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
More Research, Please!
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
In the last month, I've attended two conferences that were of special interest to me: One was specifically for massage therapists (the AMTA New England Regional Conference in Boxborough, Mass.); the other for physicians and clinicians desiring information on the world of integrative medicine (the First Annual Integrative Medicine Conference & Natural Healthcare Expo in Miami, Fla.).The primary purposes of these two conferences were similar, even though they were designed for different audiences. Both allowed attendees to meet continuing education requirements, and both offered attendees opportunities to network among themselves, and with suppliers of goods and services supportive of their respective fields.
The Integrative Medicine Conference provided health care practitioners with practical information about the integration of conventional and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Americans spend in excess of $10 billion annually on herbal and dietary supplements, frequently without the guidance of a health care professional or awareness of the potential for interactions with conventional therapies. This conference provided information on how and when to use the best of conventional and natural interventions, how to use therapies synergistically, and how to recognize and avoid interactions for common diseases. It further provided information on the safety and quality of herbs and botanicals.
For those who don't regularly take advantage of the many massage and/or health related conferences around the country, most conferences include a health expo or exhibit hall that gives attendees access to new developments in the field, and opportunities to purchase items necessary or beneficial to their practices. If "follow the money" is an indicator of where trends in health care are taking us, CAM is following the path of conventional Western medicine and relying on pills to solve health deficiencies. The integrative medicine conference had almost no presence of manual therapies in its health expo. A booth taken by a massage school was the only indication I saw that manual therapies might be thought of to benefit clinicians, and one of only a handful not staffed by purveyors of some type of nutriceutical.
We all know that the public use of massage therapy is one of the highest percentages of CAM therapies. My recent observation from this conference, however, did not bear out that conventional health care practitioners, even those supportive of CAM therapies, find it necessary to learn about or recommend our services. If we were to target an area for us to educate others, it appears that those physicians open to integrative medicine should be high on our list. Judging from the number of attendees interested in participating in CAM dialogues, this is likely to be an ever-increasing source of referrals if we can make the efficacy of massage known to them.
Let's all support more massage research - it's what physicians use to make referrals. It's important for the success of us all to continue to publish findings that will surely show massage therapists as ready and able to be part of a professional care-giving team.
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:
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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