resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
September, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 09
A New Beginning: Massage Therapy Students Tell Their Stories
By Editorial Staff
As children, the month of September marked "back to school," an event that called for new clothes, new shoes, new school supplies, and the opportunity to make a fresh start.
In honor of "back to school" month and new beginnings, Massage Today is pleased to present two inspiring stories written by recent massage therapy students, both of whom embarked on careers in massage after many years in other professions.
My Perspective on the Massage Profession
I have been interested in massage for a number of years, often giving friends and family shoulder massages as "gifts of love." For most of my life, I have worked in a factory assembling cleaners. Then finally, after 32 years of service at the Hoover Company, I took an early retirement to pursue the ideal job. Now, at the age of 55, I can wake up and go to work to get paid to do something I love to do.
My first experience with a professional massage was at a 10K race in Cleveland about six years ago. The "short but sweet" post-race massage was heavenly, but simply a glimpse of what awaited me. After several more post-race experiences over the next year, I decided to pursue a massage therapist for a full-body one-hour massage. It was so relaxing and rejuvenating; I was hooked. After receiving such a wonderful treatment, I called upon my memory to share my newfound discovery of massage with "the world." Although the world felt my early attempts were delightful, I knew that there was so much more I could offer.
As time went on, my massage experience grew, and I met more massage therapists. Their positive feedback and encouragement fueled my desire to leave my job of three decades and start afresh. I took a leap of faith and "retired." It's funny actually; most of my friends saw my move to leave factory employment as a move to full retirement, complete with an easy chair, Florida vacations every winter, a beer in my left hand and a remote control in my right. I, on the other hand, will work forever, if the good Lord is willing. This is not retirement - this is a new direction.
So, I entered into a profession where I, a male, find myself in the minority; ironic in a world where, as a male, I am usually in the majority. Most therapists are female and most clients are female. Massage therapy for a male is a challenging career and an insecure undertaking in some respects, but I was never intimidated by a challenge before, so why start now? The key word to being successful as a massage therapist is "trust." You must earn your client's trust. If your clients feel comfortable and safe with you, you are destined to be a marketing success; however, that is only half the battle.
Studying for a massage therapy career is like entering into pre-med. In reality, most of the students who sit around me in my anatomy classes are nursing students. My school provides us with complete education; I believe we are the best educated and prepared students of massage in Ohio. Our lab studies include hands-on work with human cadavers, and the level of technological training is top-notch. The studies are not easy, but they are definitely fun and exciting.
I feel I have learned more in the last four months than in four years of college in my younger years. Are the studies more challenging? Is it that I am a more mature student? Could it be that I've entered the field my heart truly embraces and now I am inspired to succeed? What an adventure! The beauty is, there is so much knowledge to file into our brains; it is knowledge with practical applications demonstrated to us to use in the real world.
When, as new students, we filed into massage therapy classes on our first day, we were strangers. As we learned about each other, explored massage techniques together, and learned to open ourselves and trust each other, we bonded into a family. It was a form of intimacy. Not sexual intimacy, of course, but a form of spiritual and emotional intimacy. We have learned to "connect" as a family. Families care about each other. They pull together and lift each other up; there is love even when individuals do not always like one another. Classmates in the school of massage therapy fit that form. It is a special group. We share a dream, an art and a passion for this special service, and it bonds us in a mystical way. Just as we bond as students of massage, I think therapist and client develop a similar bond as well.
My goals for my future as a therapist are to do more for my clients than just perform relaxation massages. These are marvelous moments, but I want to seek a higher plane. In addition to relaxation, I hope to research the many modalities of massage and focus on several as healing treatments.
For one, I am studying neonatal, pregnancy and post-pregnancy massage techniques. I also want to learn and develop alternative treatments in massage for patients with Wegener's Granulomatosis (WG) [a rare, but potentially fatal disease characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels.] My oldest son nearly died of WG four years ago, and I have been active in fundraising efforts for a cure ever since. New research is developing indicating that soft tissue manipulation can help treat WG, and I want to be there.
Lastly, as a runner and fitness fanatic over the years, I want to develop my skills in both neuromuscular and sports massage. I find all of this room for growth extremely exciting. Massage may not be new to the world, but the modern world is just beginning to open its eyes to the blessings it can offer to the healing process. I am so glad to be a part of it.
In Touch With Me
Prior to entering massage school, Donna Pratola was a medical transcriber, secretary, homemaker and laboratory assistant. She is a recent graduate of Dawn Training Centre in Wilmington, Del.
For as long as I can remember, touch has been a positive force in my life. Being a member of a large Italian family, touching was another way of communicating with one another. Additionally, all of my adult life, I have been intrigued by the human body and its many functions. I would rather read about symptoms, disease processes and treatment than anything else. Thus, I have always tried to learn more about the body and have chosen careers in the medical field, including being a certified laboratory assistant and a medical transcriptionist.
Then, I happened to go to a massage school for a job interview. I was given a tour of the facility and when I saw one of the massage rooms, I couldn't think of anything else. In a short time, my thoughts turned to ideas and my ideas into a plan. Before long, I applied to be a student in the school's 600-hour massage therapy program. I began my training in September 2003.
One of my instructors introduced us to the world of massage - she taught us to touch. Not just touch, but touch with intention. Before long, each stroke had a purpose. Each time we practiced, our touch improved. Each time a stroke was added, the sequence got more detailed. In the process, we began to understand where stress and strain occurs and how the stroke can provide comfort and relaxation, flush out toxins, and increase circulation.
And so it is, that I am on my way to being a massage therapist. I know that being the recipient of massage is a wonderful experience. What I didn't know was how incredible it is to give massage. I suddenly understand what an artist must feel when creating his or her work, what a singer must feel when performing to an audience, or how a surgeon feels to successfully perform an operation.
For me, the end result has been to find a place inside of me that has gone "untouched" all this time - I just celebrated my 51st birthday. I would like to work with people in hospice care and also operate a small practice of my own to create a stress-free, relaxed, safe and healthful environment for my clients. But what is best of all, is that I am in touch with the inner most part of me.
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.