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The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
October, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 10
Searching for Medical Massage
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
I suppose I share a personality trait with a notable orange cat that once graced my life. Upon hearing a fence-top "discussion" among others of his kind, he would head toward the fray, rather than away from it.Only this trait can explain my entering into the current fray on the definition of medical massage.
If we are to call an area of massage "medical," then it seems it should have connection to those who practice medicine and the treatments they provide. To be both relevant and comprehensive, medical massage should both fall within medical interest in massage and be broad enough to span the scope of such interest. Because medicine directs its efforts toward the treatment of dysfunction, medical massage also would be expected to produce measurable outcomes within the context of such treatment. Where integrated with medical efforts aimed at preventative intervention, preventative use of massage also would be medical massage. Outcomes might be directly observable based on patient reports, or on third-party diagnostics such as laboratory blood analysis.
These thoughts gave me a sufficient focus to search the PubMed database (January 1997 through August 2005) for indexed articles with massage in the title and without the terms cardiac or carotid as a keyword; using the latter terms often retrieved massage in a medical context outside of our interest.4 Prior to 1997, the number of articles with online abstracts dropped off sharply, motivating the limit on how far back to search. What I retrieved for my efforts was 463 articles, from which I was able to visually select 172 as addressing the use of massage in the context of specific medical treatment. Of the initial 463, I first eliminated those not identifiable as relevant to massage as we mean the term. I next excluded articles simply introducing massage to another professional audience or describing the setup of a massage or CAM program. I also eliminated papers on sports recovery facilitation apart from injury treatment.
For each of the remaining articles, I attempted to identify the patient population that was targeted and the goals of the treatment. In Table 1, I've presented a summary of the populations served and in Table 2, the goals of the treatments provided. For several of the articles, either the population, treatment or both fell into multiple categories, such as children who are burn patients being treated for pain and discomfort as well as stress, anxiety and depression. Thus, my totals for treatment populations and treatment goals are both greater than 172.
While this survey of PubMed articles is far from being a complete and rigorous characterization, it clearly indicates the medical application of massage extends over a range of treatment needs and uses techniques from simple touch to highly clinical. The goals involve changes that are physical, neurochemical, emotional and behavioral. For me, a picture emerges from which I draw several conclusions.
First, the con-siderations of whether massage is medical and whether it is clinical-orthopedic are separate. Medically oriented massage draws on a diversity of skills and techniques. Similarly, orthopedic techniques can be used in a medical context or in, for example, the context of sports facilitation and maintenance. That a technique is not tissue-specific does not imply the absence of assessable outcomes. The only conclusion we can draw as to technique is that the practitioner should be working within his or her training.
A second conclusion is that those practicing medical massage will need to communicate and integrate within the medical environment, including having knowledge of terminology, privacy requirements, record-keeping and facility protocols. Dunn and Williams note, for example, changed expectations for physical privacy, uninterrupted time and presence of monitoring equipment and wires while working in hospitals compared to individual practice.2 This area of communication and protocols for medical integrations defines the single core area of training and knowledge pervasive to the medical use of massage.
Finally, a practitioner working in a medical context will need to know the needs of the specific population served on physical, emotional and social fronts. Renee Gecsedi points out, for example, the need for specific knowledge in working with cancer patients.3 "LMT's need information about a patient's cancer diagnosis, comorbidities, type of treatment and response to treatment to safely provide massage therapy. Nurses play an important role in conveying this information and [other] information LMT's [require] about any special considerations, such as the presence of neutropenia or thrombocytopenia. Safe and effective massage therapy to patients with cancer only is achieved when the patient, healthcare providers and LMT collaborate effectively."
Applications in gynecology and urology, while outside the current scope of practice in many states, were within the discussion of practice submitted for consideration to the British Columbia Health Professions Council in a relatively recent comprehensive review of health professions. In its reply, the HPC noted that norms on and availability of training are, as yet, inadequately developed.1 Lacking clearly identified areas of application and norms for the corresponding knowledge and skill requirements, likely are the greatest deficit we encounter toward medically-orient massage. We still need to work with other health care provides to create norms and guidelines for most applications.
To the extent medical massage is definable separately from massage in general, it is defined by its integration into a medical context and by its focus on treatment outcomes. We have a great diversity of opportunities for practice, and equally great opportunities to benefit our fellow inhabitants on this blue-green planet by realizing the full potential of massaging "medically."
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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