resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
July, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 07
Expedition Costa Rica 2004
By Madeleine Evans, LMT
February's expedition to Costa Rica went too fast and ended too soon. Seven massage therapists made the trip: Sandi Minck, Elise Linden and expedition leader, Elvis Mairena (NJ); Kathy Carlson (Ore.); Katie Haley and myself (Fla.); and Brian Nutter (Md.).Accompanying us were Brian's lovely wife, Rebekah (our much-needed interpreter) and the couple's beautiful 10-month-old daughter, Helena (our public relations person - nobody could resist her charm).
Elvis, a native of Costa Rica who now resides in New Jersey and works as a sports massage therapist for Rutgers University, got the idea for the Costa Rica project after his mother volunteered in an orphanage for handicapped children. The first successful expedition was in July 2003; a subsequent article published in Massage Today (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/03.html) engendered much interest, prompting Elvis to gather a new team of volunteers for this year's trip.
We first went to Tamarindo, in northwest Costa Rica by the Pacific coast. Some of us stayed at a tourist hotel, while others opted for the more modest cabaneras, which cost about $10 a night. From there, we drove to the Clinic Hogar Maria Immaculada in Puntarenas, and administered massage therapy to the residents and staff for two days.
Most of the clinic residents were at least 70 years of age; some were receiving massage for the first time. They suffered from various illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, polio, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, yet they appeared happy. They had an irresistible mixture of shyness and friendliness toward us. During the massages, there were many contented smiles and lots of laughter by our attempts to communicate in Spanish. We touched these people with our hands; they touched us with their smiles and kind words, and we made friends.
During our late lunch on the second day, I noticed that Elvis was up to something secretive; I noticed a group of 15 children and a few adults sitting outside on benches. Curiosity got the best of me and, armed with my video camera, I inquired about what they were doing. "We don't know," the adults said, and indicated that they had been called by the clinic's administrator to meet there with the children.
As it turned out, Elvis organized a lecture for the children on "good touch," which was a lot of fun. Elvis taught the kids some easy techniques, including how to apply pressure to a friend's hand if that friend had a headache, how to massage each other's shoulders, and other good remedies. At the end, he tested their mental math skills and offered small coins as rewards. The children were full of joyful energy. Most of the kids were predestined to work the land, Elvis said, but he was hoping that they would remember the massage lecture.
Who knows? Perhaps one or more of those children would become massage therapists some day. I was amazed that those adults and their children had waited patiently without knowing what was in store for them. If Costa Ricans were so trustful with us, we could certainly trust them in return, I thought. We left Puntarenas a bit reluctantly.
A couple of days later, we worked at The Inn for Elders, near Quepos, where we gave a lot of seated massages and a few table massages. We received the same warm welcome from the residents, and were again impressed by the cleanliness and bright look of the place. The tiled floors were impeccable and the walls were freshly painted.
We noticed that the residents did not have many personal belongings in the bedrooms and that they were always outside socializing, which, perhaps says something about how "things" become unimportant at the end of one's life, while being around other people remains desirable.
Three of the residents were dying; Sandi worked on a resident dying of cancer: "Once I put my hands on him and started to do the massage, his whole face changed. He got a big grin from ear to ear. At some point we made eye contact and it was an exquisite moment; no words needed," she said.
The last place we visited was the Disabled Children Clinic. Children suffering from cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other disabilities, were brought to us by their parents. Mothers watched attentively while we worked with their children, and later, the parents received massage. The director of the clinic told us how much the mothers appreciated what we had done for them. "Those mothers are so poor and so tired," she said. "Getting a massage is a miracle for them." We were happy to make that miracle come true.
We also got a kick out of playing Santa Claus. In a big sailor bag, I had children's clothes and stuffed animals donated by coworkers back home. The joy the gifts brought to these families made it worth dragging that huge bag through the airport.
Plans are already in progress for next year's expedition. Here are some words of advice to future team members:
My advice is to invest in a small Spanish translator - and have fun speaking with the locals.
In every possible way, the trip was a success. What surprised us the most was how much fun we had with each other. We were a group of strangers brought together by a common interest. We were all ready to be "nice" and "polite" to each other; what we had not expected was to become old friends in a matter of days. According to Sandi, the influence of a special dessert made of watermelon and guaro had a lot to do with our wonderful and sudden friendship.
I believe that when caring people are grouped together to do good things in the world, the Gods are always in their favor. And also, massage therapists tend to be really neat people!
For more info about the next expedition, contact Elvis Mareina at or Brian Nutter at .
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.