resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
June, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 06
Sports Massage at its Finest
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
In terms of onsite media coverage, the Boston Marathon ranks behind only the Super Bowl as the largest single-day sporting event in the world. Approximately 500,000 spectators annually line the 26.2-mile course, making the Boston Marathon New England's most widely viewed sporting event.Organized by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) and with John Hancock Financial Services as its principal sponsor, 2005 marked the 109th running of the world's oldest annually contested marathon.
This year there were special remembrances and honors for Johnny Kelley, the heart and soul of the Boston Marathon. A starter on race day 61 times, Kelley completed an almost unimaginable 58 Boston Marathons. He was a two-time winner of Boston in 1935 and 1945; finished second, a record seven times; and recorded 18 finishes in the top 10. He completed his last Boston Marathon in 1992 at the age of 84! Remaining "Young at Heart" (the name of a sculpture dedicated in his honor) until his last days, Kelley passed away, Oct. 6, 2004, at the age of 97.
Massage therapy has long been associated with the Boston Marathon* and is offered to the athletes on a limited, first-come first-served basis. Treatments last from five to 15 minutes and focus on the specific need at that time. Pre-event massage is offered in the Athletes' Village on the morning of the race; post-event massage is offered at the John Hancock Building at the corner of Berkeley and Stuart Streets near the family meeting area. Expected wait time for a massage varies depending on the number of volunteer therapists available. In addition to the pre-/post-event massage arranged by the BAA, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and others, John Hancock also provides massage therapy as part of its elite athlete services. Massage Today referred to this in the April 2004 issue* but this was the first time that I have had a personal experience with the elite athlete side.
I regularly see athletes in my practice and have had many runners, and pro- and semi-pro ball and hockey players as clients. It didn't prepare me for the sheer joy of spending almost a week working on nothing but elite athletes! John Hancock's team of invited athletes is designed to include the best marathon runners in the world, and this year's team of 20 men and 12 women was no exception.
Hailing from Australia, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russia and the United States, I found one great similarity in the running elite - they all felt like filet mignon under my hands. The incredible muscle tone and conditioned bodies coupled with the intensity of their desire to excel made the work doubly enjoyable.
As enjoyable as it was to work with this level of athlete, it was perhaps even more rewarding to work in the company of one of the most experienced sports massage teams imaginable. Led by a man in practice for 19 years who has been involved with the team for all of that time, our select group of five therapists had superb hands-on mentoring.
Comprised of two men and three women, my 12-plus years of practice put me near the bottom of the experience chart! Two of the women on the team had more than 15 years of experience each, and the third, while shorter on years of experience, had been instrumental in organizing the massage therapy teams at the Athens Olympics and had led many of the activities associated with that colossal athletic spectacle. I have never before had the privilege of associating with such a group of dedicated, focused and capable massage professionals.
We worked with the elite runners from the time they arrived in Boston, assisting them acclimate to the time zone and long travel. We then continued working with them right through race day. Since the 32 elite athletes were all contenders to win, the goal of seeing that everybody we touched was capable of absolute peak performance on race day was paramount, and the entire process very professionally stimulating. Since it has always been one of New England's premier sporting events, I have watched the Boston Marathon many times. The experience took on a whole new meaning to me, though, after having worked on so many of the top finishers. It's a feeling of excitement, pride and gratitude that is hard to explain but easy to feel.
As we changed to a post-event triage area after the finish, dealing with muscle cramping and the inevitable tightness and soreness that running 26.2 miles full-tilt will bring, I was once again astounded at the abilities of these athletes. In relatively short order they were cooled down, dry and in full recuperation. That evening at a party held in their honor they were even up and dancing!
I hope you have an opportunity to participate in something that affects you as positively as my experience with the 2005 Boston Marathon affected me. Sports massage is a wonderful thing; the experience prepares you well for almost anything that makes its way to your treatment room. I am pleased that I studied sports massage early in my practice, participated with local sports massage teams, and tested onto a national sports massage team. I was able to show credentials and experience allowing me to participate with this select group of professionals whose function was to make one of the world's foremost athletic events just a tiny bit better. It's rewarding to know that we did just that.
Paraphrasing a summary from the BAA's Web site, the Boston Marathon is fabled, hallowed, venerable, and all of those adjectives that speak of an historical and special event. Each passing year is another chapter in that long and illustrious history. Because of the athletes who used massage to ease their discomforts and tune their bodies to peak performance, this year's race will be remembered by this massage therapist as one of the really special ones, even though they all are.
Thanks for listening!
*See Massage Today articles "Bringing Massage to the Boston Marathon," June 2001. www.massagetoday.com/archives/2001/06/02.html and "How Far Does Your Touch Reach?" April 2004. www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/04/04.html.
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters related to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue or online. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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