resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
July, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 07
PMS: Please Make It Stop
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
The first time I menstruated my mother slapped me across the face.
"Whadya do that for?!" I demanded, rubbing my sore cheek.
"So the blood should never leave your face."
This and numerous other old wives' tales have plagued women throughout our unique reproductive lives.PMS, premenstrual syndrome, is another set of symptoms that had to struggle to gain respect and acceptance in the medical community. First described as a set of symptoms in 1931 by an American neurologist, women who exhibited irritability, headaches, bloating, tension etc., a week or two before their periods were considered mad or hysterical. At the very least, the syndrome was "all in our heads."
Then in 1953, Dr. Katharina Dalton, a very brave English doctor, and her colleague Dr. Raymond Greene coined the term PMS in a paper they published. She recognized that during her own (four) pregnancies her premenstrual-related headaches disappeared. She knew that high levels of progesterone during pregnancy contributed to her calmness and freedom from these crippling migraines. In her practice she had great success in treating women who displayed migraines, asthma, irritability and epilepsy with progesterone. She (rightfully) concluded that hormonal imbalances - and not madness - prior to menstruation were responsible for the wide variety of symptoms so many women suffered.
PMS is a disorder brought on by hormonal shifting that triggers mild to severe disruptive symptoms in almost 40 million (40 percent to 80 percent of menstruating) women. Almost 5 million require medication for intense mood and behavioral changes. Over 150 symptoms have been ascribed to PMS, with the most common being headaches and fatigue. The symptoms are often physical as well as emotional. Physical symptoms might include headache, migraine, fluid retention, fatigue, constipation, joint pain, backache, abdominal cramping, breast swelling and soreness, food cravings, heart palpitations and weight gain. Emotional changes may include uncontrollable crying spells, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, tension, clumsiness, failure to concentrate and diminished libido.
Hormonal influences have not been examined until recently. Right after menstruation, estrogen levels start to rise and peak around mid-cycle, or ovulation. If a woman does not become pregnant, levels rapidly drop off only to slowly rise again just before her period. Estrogen holds fluid and with an increased level of estrogen, women tend to bloat. (I had one client who needed two sizes of clothes - one set for after her period and one set just before because she gained as much as 15 pounds of fluid.) Estrogen has a central neurological effect and can cause increased brain activity, including seizures. This hormone can also create a cycle of salt retention and drop in blood sugar. PMS and migraine sufferers benefit from a diet that restricts salt and sugar, and includes a mild diuretic to reduce the excess swelling.
As if PMS wasn't bad enough on its own, a more severe, disabling form of PMS is PMDD - premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Here, the emotional symptoms are depression, anxiety, tension, persistent anger and rage, and irritability. With PMDD, these symptoms often lead to intense problems with relationships and social functioning. Physically, PMDD is accompanied by headaches, joint and muscle pain, bloating and breast sensitivity. According to the American Psychiatric Association, PMDD is diagnosed if at least five of the usual symptoms are present two weeks before menstruation and are extinguished after the period starts. Antidepressants are used to treat PMDD.
What else can we do for our clients to minimize PMS? A general massage will alleviate joint and muscle pain, treat headaches and migraines, reduce swelling (using lymphatic drainage), and elevate her spirits. Other suggestions include
PMS goes away with the onset of menopause. Oh great, something to look forward to...
Editor's note: Elaine Stillerman recently signed on with Mosby Publishing to write Prenatal Massage: A Textbook of Pregnancy, Labor and Postpartum Bodywork. Elaine is also the developer of MotherMassage®: Massage During Pregnancy, a professional certification workshop, and author of MotherMassage: A Handbook For Relieving the Discomforts of Pregnancy and The Encylopedia of Bodywork. Congratulations, Elaine!
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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