resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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.
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.)
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
September, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 09
Massage Therapists: Don't Underestimate Your Role in Health Care
By Linda Riach
Massage therapy is great stuff in all its forms. It offers relaxation in an overstressed world, sanctuary in an hour, mind-body connections for desk jockeys, performance enhancement for athletes, and, most importantly, healing for many who have looked high and low in vain for alternatives.There's virtually something for everyone. Massage is potent and transformational.
I am no different than 77 million baby boomers out there; I share the same tension headaches, weekend-warrior injuries and the need to vent my stress. But that isn't the most important part for me. I am also one of the many who deal with chronic pain. I have a deformity of my mandible that causes my jaw to dislocate and causes spasms in my head and neck. Suffice it to say that I've tried everything from acupuncture and Chinese medicine to Celebrex and Vioxx - each to varying degrees of ineffectiveness. Steroid injections can offer immediate relief, but studies show that continued usage can cause even more damage.
For years I struggled with chronic pain; even though I am a believer in, and advocate for, the power of bodywork and massage therapy, it took my own experience with traditional medicine and medical options to motivate me to take a stand for massage therapy as a profession and as a means to positively affect quality of life. For me, the only thing that has made any type of true impact is consistent massage therapy. Literally, a session with my practitioner every two weeks, with a combination of Zero Balancing, Myofascial Release and craniosacral work, is the difference between chronic pain and normal functionality.
My professional experiences with physical therapists, athletic trainers and pain-medicine physicians, as well as the astronomical growth in those industries, confirm my personal beliefs: The population is aging, pain-management practices are soaring, yet the tools for pain management are limited. This provides an unprecedented opportunity for the massage profession to take an active role as health care providers when both patients and doctors are looking for effective sources of relief. I believe that the time has come that patients are open and doctors are increasingly willing to look at what massage therapists have known all along.
With the increasing awareness of the limitations and side effects of pharmaceuticals and surgical intervention, it's not only timely but it's a responsibility of the massage profession to take its rightful place in health care. I believe it is important for the massage industry to reach out in this direction, to help develop new professional outlets for graduates and to increase the scope of professional choices open to them. Helping to expand massage therapy as a part of traditional treatment options will directly increase the quality of life for the millions who need it.
Credibility for massage therapy within medical spheres is growing with the development of industry experts who are willing to act as spokespeople and ambassadors for massage therapy to the medical community, helping to initiate and promote successful alliances and productive conversation. Those doctors, who are already open to such integrated approaches, are looking to build relationships with massage therapists who can communicate with them and whose knowledge and professionalism can serve the patients in their care.
Our professional groups, associations and organizations can, if we support them, work to develop educational programs for doctors and patients to learn about the massage and bodywork modalities that meet their needs, marketing efforts to expand the contact pool, and alliances with other health care providers to build strong working relationships. Leading researchers and educators have been developing meaningful scientific studies that back up our day-to-day experiences with massage therapy and a stock of anecdotal evidence to help cultivate the interest of the doctors and patients. We, as professionals, need to publish our findings, and we need to keep investing in research to develop the promise of our future.
Practitioners can and should have the confidence to reach out to doctors and forge those relationships. Through advanced studies built on reliable research, massage therapists can have the language to discuss what their heads and hands already know, in the language that more mainstream health care providers use.
What will massage therapy look like in the future? How will it incorporate the diversity of what it is now and what it will become in order to meet these new opportunities? There are massage schools that have built alliances with medical schools, supporting this new world of complementary medicine. They and others who follow will develop new programs for learning together. Will we have advanced degrees in massage therapy? I hope so. I also hope we will hold on to and spread the integrated body approach that makes a massage session great.
I'm not advocating a revolution and I am not every patient, but I know my experience is one of many. What I am advocating is that we help lead and mindfully participate in an evolution that is already going on around us. I am asking everyone who shares a similar vision to rise to the opportunity and take advantage of the promise - for the sake of the profession and for the sake of all those who could benefit.
Click here for previous articles by Linda Riach.
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