resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
The Art of Palpation
By Michael McGillicuddy, LMT, NCTMB
I remember learning 20 years ago in massage school that therapists could specialize in working with athletes. Since I lived in Florida and spent most of my high school years playing whatever sport was in season, becoming a sports massage therapist was a no-brainer for me.
Additionally, I learned that working with people who were active was a lot of fun.It is a lot easier to discover where the body is most likely to develop aches and pains when you work with active people; however, you soon learn that applying Swedish massage strokes in the order you learned in school is not usually satisfying to most athletes. The great thing about being a massage therapist is that you get immediate "feedback" from your hands as to what tissue feels like; based on this feedback, you move from one massage stroke to another to get the greatest effect.
Years ago, I took a sports massage workshop with Jack Meagher. He had written a book, Sports Massage, in which he described the common sports massage techniques and the texture of healthy and injured muscle tissue. I read the book before attending the workshop, but it did not make much sense to me. Being in the workshop and watching Jack work made all the difference in the world. He would actually take your hand and position it so you could feel the texture of the tissue he was describing. All of the sudden, the light turned on for me! Sometimes I think one of the things missing in our profession is a universal vocabulary that describes the texture of tissue. We should be able to describe what healthy and unhealthy tissue feels like.
I usually describe healthy tissue as feeling smooth and consistent. Jack described unhealthy muscle tissue as muscle that felt like it had a piano string running through it. Sometimes, just a few strands of muscle fiber will remain in spasm giving the muscle a "piano-string" feeling. At other times, the whole muscle will become hypertonic and feel thick or ropelike. Some muscle tissues become inflamed, which causes them to feel spongy. Each of these muscle problems would require the application of a different sports massage technique to resolve the problem. The ability to palpate the texture of tissue is a skill a sports massage therapist must develop in order to achieve excellent results.
So, how do you get to the point where you can "feel" the texture of tissue? Having a highly skilled massage therapist as a teacher sure helps. Developing a skill usually takes a lot of practice, and it usually requires working on numerous people for experience in comparative assessment. Working slowly with your eyes closed while applying a specific technique on a specific muscle, also helps a therapist focus on what the tissue feels like. And asking for feedback from the athlete can help the therapist zero in on the specific texture of tissue. After practicing techniques this way for a while, I believe a sports massage therapist begins to "see" with the fingers.
A sports massage therapist that has developed very sensitive palpation literacy is often asked, "How do your hands know exactly where to go?" Most athletes sense this skill very quickly in a therapist, and this tells them that the therapist knows exactly what he or she is doing. Surely palpation literacy is not the only skill required for a sport massage therapist to provide effective treatment, but it is one I think should be high on the priority list. I hope this information has been helpful, and that you enjoy being a part of the massage therapy profession.
Click here for previous articles by Michael McGillicuddy, LMT, NCTMB.
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