resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 11
Medical Massage and More, Part I
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I believe medical massage is an advanced discipline of massage therapy. In reality, medical massage is more of an orientation than a particular set of techniques. It is not general relaxation massage; it is anatomically precise and patient specific.The medical massage therapist combines education, training, experience, dedication, humility and intuition to create an integrative manual-therapy approach to reducing the patient's soft-tissue related complaint(s).
Initially, I resisted the term "medical massage;" however, I realized that as massage therapists we do treat medical conditions when they are soft-tissue related. Of course, we cannot say we do - we have to play little word games, more in some states than others - but the truth is we do treat medically related conditions like "frozen shoulder" and "medial epicondylitis." So, why not call it what it is: medical massage? If we stay within the scope of soft-tissue manipulation and joint mobilization there is no reason not to call it medical massage. It seems to be accepted without protest from the allopaths. Hopefully, using the term is the first step toward openly and honestly describing what we do when we move from a relaxation paradigm to a therapeutic, corrective and restorative paradigm.
Actually, the term "therapeutic" massage says it all, but it is an old term that no one attaches any significance to these days. And the public does not understand terms that have been coined to describe massage if the word "massage" is not included (terms like somatic re-education, bodywork, structured touch, neuromuscular therapy, myo-skeletal-kinestic-neuro-biological-rearrangement, blah, blah, blah). But it is clear to the public that medical massage will address their pain or problem. It doesn't sound relaxing, and it doesn't sound like adult entertainment. It is a term that allows us to better reach the public and our allopathic colleagues. Isn't that the idea - to help more people? If this is the term that facilitates the needed communication to bring us together with the public and the health care community, then it is the term to use.
Some authors who have recently written about medical massage believe a physician's diagnosis is a requirement to perform medical massage. I strongly disagree. Do you realize where this will lead us? Do you want to be a slave in a physical therapy department for $10 an hour and maybe benefits? Not me!
Massage therapists are currently first-door providers. This means that the public can come directly to us for help first, and we can do whatever we know within certain limits to help them. This is the same privilege and patient-provider relationship that physicians have. We do not need a physician's permission to help someone. Most PTs, OTs, ATCs, nurses, etc., do not have first-door access to patients. They only see a patient after a physician says they can, and then they can only do what the physician says they can do - their hands are tied. They cannot use all of their skills and resources to help the patient. They cannot treat the whole person; they can only treat a knee or an elbow for a set period of time, and in a certain number of visits.
We do not need gatekeepers (physicians) to control the flow of people to our practices. First-door providership gives us an incredible opportunity to help people. We need to defend this privilege above all else. Never surrender it! If we do, patients will only be allowed to get massage if it is prescribed, which will prevent many of the people we now help from having access to our services.
This is not to say that we should not work with physicians, or that patients should not get a diagnosis and/or a referral and bring it to us. The more information we have, the better we can help; however, we should work with doctors as colleagues, as fellow first-door providers, not as subservient slaves. First-door providership is an incredible opportunity, but it is an equally incredible responsibility. We need higher quality entry-level education, including more assessment skills and standard terminology for strokes and techniques so we can communicate better among ourselves and with other disciplines. We need to take advantage of this privilege to help more people. You do not need a physician's diagnosis or referral to perform medical massage, but if the patient has it, so much the better. More on this in my next column.
Got Impressive Credentials?
I get some great mail in response to this column. Here's some recent feedback that I hope will inspire you to personal excellence:
Amen. Become the best you can be. Learn to help people get out of pain, and you will always be busy.
If the presidential elections are not over by the time you read this, hopefully they will be shortly. It's been a long and entertaining campaign. Whichever way it turns out, we will go to work on Wednesday morning. Let go of it. We survived the last four years and the eight before that. Our politicians are merely a reflection of our society.
What's really important is the difference each of us makes in the lives of those we directly interact with. Each one of us has control of what we do. So get good and do good. As massage therapists, we have a unique opportunity to change the awareness and lives of everyone we touch. May our efforts bring about a healthier and more peaceful world.
Happy "Holidaze!" My best wishes for success, health, happiness and prosperity to you all. Thanks for your continued support. May you sell lots of gift certificates and have a joyous holiday season. See you next year!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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