resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
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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