resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
May, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 05
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
It spring again, at last! Daylight savings time is upon us. Flowers are blooming and legislatures are in session. Exciting times. There is so much news about so much sickness and the lack of insurance.I am amused that there is so little news about how insignificant the flu epidemic was this year, without enough vaccine. We should hope for another contamination "crisis" in the vaccine industry next year.
Preventive maintenance is recommended for your car, but not for you. Just live life until your health fails and then see your friendly neighborhood allopath (medical doctor). Vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended for animals but not for you. All humans need to do is eat a balanced diet of chemical encrusted, GMO foods.
The wellness model seems to be fading. As our profession frantically scrambles for acceptance by insurance companies and allopathic physicians, the focus seems to be turning more to crisis management. Accidents happen and soft-tissue injuries generally are best addressed by massage and stretching; however, the focus should be on getting people well and then keeping them there. We should be about health, not catastrophes. Of course we should handle injuries when they occur, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. How much pain and injury could be eliminated if people were educated about posture, movement and proper soft-tissue care? The wellness, holistic care paradigm needs to be taught in all massage schools and promoted to the public. We, and our alternative health colleagues, have a better mousetrap, and the public is beating a path to our door. Already, more people pay out-of-pocket to see alternative providers than to see allopaths. If we could promote personal health savings accounts, the number would increase in our favor.
Where are our beloved associations on this? Talk about creating opportunities for their members! Why are we squandering our resources trying to prove that what we do works in order to gain the acceptance of the allopaths who accidentally kill between 200 and 2,000 people a day? (Estimates vary but are still ahead of any other cause of death, including wars.) The allopaths say we are unproven and quacks. Let's see, maybe 50 people have died from a chiropractic manipulation in the last 50 years, a few dozen from supplements, and none I am aware of as the result of massage.
Allopaths kill more people in a day - at the low estimate - than all alternative providers have in over 50 years. Who are the quacks? Who's dangerous? The only thing I can see that's proven about what the allopaths do is that it's damn dangerous. We should be educating the public to this incompetence and promoting our alternative. Who should have to prove what is safe and effective? Allopaths should have to prove medicine is safe and that it is not the biggest killer on the planet or be relegated to second-tier providers. Look at the number of causalities. Where is the outrage? Wouldn't the public be much better off with alternative providers as the gatekeepers, except at the emergency room?
There is such an opportunity for massage and other alternative professions to upset the allopathic applecart, once and for all. Other alternative professions such as acupuncture and chiropractic are positioning themselves for this step. They are fighting for larger scopes of practice and higher standards of education. The massage profession is fighting among itself as to whether 300-500 hours is too much because not everyone can afford to go to a longer program, and schools couldn't make as much money if programs were longer and besides it's "just a massage."
The massage profession needs to step up to the plate and take advantage of the opportunity at bat before we are relegated to slave labor under the thumb of other alternative providers, or worse, the allopaths. How about we begin to call for a nationwide boycott of health insurance programs, by everyone - patients and providers? If no one had insurance, health care would quickly become affordable. We would be a bargain. If no providers accepted insurance, the public would stop buying it. Where would they go - to the most cost-effective providers.
That's us, and other alternative providers. Radical? You bet! But it's spring, time for rebirth, new ideas, new beginnings, hope and idealism.
What's wrong with proposing any idea that might end the reign of death and disease resulting from allopathic medicine's control of health care? What's wrong with wanting to promote health, wellness and awareness, not to mention increased opportunities for massage therapists? It's spring again, at last! Exciting times!
Try This: Remember when treating elbow and wrist conditions, such as medial and lateral epicondylitis (Golfer's and Tennis elbow) and carpal tunnel syndrome, the muscles involved run from the elbow to the fingers. If you do not get the resolution of the complaint when you only treat at the point of the discomfort, the lateral epicondyle, for example, treat the entire length of the muscle, from elbow to hand with both massage and stretching. Compression with engagement has been found to be very effective.
After warming up the tissues with myofascial and massage techniques, engage (compress) a spot on the problematic muscle with your thumb or finger and as you hold, have the patient flex and extend their wrist. After two or three cycles of flexion/extension, begin moving your thumb or finger in a circular motion (circular deep friction) as they continue to move through two or three more cycles. Release and move about an inch and repeat. Continue until you have treated the entire muscle or the entire forearm. I have found I get slightly better results when working from distal to proximal. It will take some time, but it will bring dramatic results. More next time (July).
Correction: In my March column, while discussing our scope of practice I wrote, "Due to poorly written laws, in some states, CranialSacral Therapy cannot be practiced by massage therapists." I was referring specifically to Mississippi; I have recently been advised by the Upledger Institute that this dark moment of our history has ended: "As of Dec. 17, 2004, The Upledger Institute was approved as a Continuing Education Provider by The Mississippi State Board of Massage Therapy to teach CranioSacral Therapy to massage therapists in Mississippi." At this time there are no states preventing the practice of CranialSacral Therapy by massage therapists. I am most happy to stand corrected. Congratulations and thanks to The Upledger Institute for fighting for our scope of practice.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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