resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
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.
September, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 09
Metabolic Syndrome: A New Way of Thinking About Long-Term Risk
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
The votes are in, and metabolic syndrome is the choice this month. This condition is not really a specific illness. Instead, it is a collection of features that, individually, are not great, but not particularly alarming.Together in various combinations, however, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are almost a certainty. Since cardiovascular disease and its corollaries (heart attack, stroke, heart failure, aneurysm, etc.) are responsible for nearly 40 percent of deaths in the United States, it behooves massage therapists and other bodyworkers to be familiar with this health-risk profile.
What makes metabolic syndrome especially interesting, in my opinion, is that it is a proactive approach to dealing with disease risks. Identifying when a person has some of the components of metabolic syndrome gives a person the chance to undo those processes before they progress to a more advanced and serious disease state. This idea of identifying and treating an illness before it creates significant problems is unusual in our allopathic medical community; however, this shift indicates good changes in the future.
Demographics: Statistics for the incidence of metabolic syndrome vary. Some researchers suggest it affects some 16 million Americans (about .06 percent), the majority of which are unaware of its existence. The Cleveland Clinic Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism indicates that the incidence is 22 percent, or about 47 million people. The National Cholesterol Education Program suggests that up to 44 percent of all people over 50-years-old meet the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome. These inconsistencies may have to do with the age of the target group studied, differing diagnostic criteria, geographical region and other variables.
Metabolic Syndrome Features: Most of the features of metabolic syndrome are silent and go undetected without the appropriate blood work.
Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when at least three of these five features are present. Therefore, while a person may have a large waist, if the other components are absent, the risk of cardiovascular disease is low. Other features sometimes seen with metabolic syndrome include a high risk of blood clotting, and polycystic ovary disease in women.
Treatment: The first, best option for a person with metabolic syndrome is to exercise and lose weight. Reducing body weight by 5 to 7 percent (this is only 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person) significantly reduces the risk of complications due to insulin resistance; exercise improves insulin action and decreases blood glucose. Limiting alcohol use and quitting smoking are other important steps. If these lifestyle changes are insufficient to control this disorder, medications that improve insulin uptake and/or stimulate more insulin production may be prescribed, along with agents that work to lower blood pressure and/or cholesterol.
The role of the massage therapist who works with clients that are not perfectly healthy is to maximize the benefits of bodywork, while minimizing risks. This may mean changing tactics or adapting techniques to accommodate for the fragility of a client with a compromised circulatory system.
One way to make this determination is to get an idea of the client's activities of daily living (ADL). Does the client exercise regularly? Is it safe for the client to elevate his or her heart rate? Does the client huff and puff while climbing the stairs to the massage clinic? Has a doctor suggested avoiding aerobic exercise? This data informs the decisions about what kinds of bodywork are most appropriate. Techniques that focus on fluid movement may be less tolerated by a client whose circulatory system is challenged, but energetic or reflexive techniques that don't focus on fluid flow may be safe and welcome.
Metabolic syndrome patients who exercise rigorously and successfully control blood glucose, hypertension, and other features, are likely to be fine candidates for more vigorous circulatory-based techniques like Swedish or sports massage.
For next time: I have recently received a surprising number of letters requesting an article on contagious skin diseases like warts and herpes. Because I usually teach this material whenever I go on the road, I'd gotten it into my head that most therapists were pretty much at home with these topics. Clearly, I am mistaken! Unless I hear otherwise, I plan to focus my next column on herpes simplex. Do you have any stories you'd like to share? Let me know, so we can all benefit from your experience.
Until then, many thanks and many blessings.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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