resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 01
Prenatal Massage During the First Trimester
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
Among some of the myths and old wives' tales surrounding prenatal massage is the misguided belief that massage should be avoided during the first trimester. It's fair to say that under the skilled hands of a certified prenatal practitioner, massage during the first trimester is not only safe, but can be especially supportive during the transitional first months.
One of the reasons many practitioners and spas refuse to massage first-trimester clients is the fear of causing a miscarriage.Miscarriage is defined as a spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, which generally means before 20 weeks gestation. (An early spontaneous abortion occurs within the first 12 weeks; a late spontaneous abortion happens within weeks 12-20.) Almost 90 percent of miscarriages occur within the first eight weeks, so the reasoning concludes that if you avoid the massage, you will avoid the miscarriage. Unfortunately, this logic is not based on science, but rather on litigious concerns.
Miscarriages occur very frequently, perhaps in as often as half of confirmed pregnancies, and most miscarriages can't be avoided. They rarely are caused by anything expectant women do or don't do. In nearly half of all known losses, the embryo was chromosomally abnormal and not viable or able to sustain life. Other possible risk factors include genital and reproductive structural abnormalities (retroversion of the uterus, bicornuate uterus, fibroid tumors, etc.), infections (chlamydia, rubella, listeria, ureaplasma, mycoplasma), maternal disease (diabetes, renal disease, thyroid conditions, nutritional deficiencies), ectopic pregnancies, hormonal imbalances, immunological rejection, maternal age (the older the gravida, the greater the risk of miscarriage), and environmental factors such as first- or second-hand smoke, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to organic solvents, and excessive radiation. Massage is not a contributing factor in any of these physical or environmental circumstances, and is not causative in a miscarriage.
In early pregnancy, symptoms of a miscarriage include bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and lower back, thigh or pelvic pain. In late pregnancy, a miscarriage is accompanied by heavy bleeding, including the passage of blood clots and intense uterine contractions. If a client presents any of these symptoms, massage obviously is contraindicated.
The other explanation practitioners use to avoid first-trimester massage is the issue of morning sickness. Nearly 85 percent to 90 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness and nausea in early pregnancy; for 10 percent of them, the problem persists beyond the first trimester. While it's clearly accepted that massage for anyone nauseous or vomiting is contraindicated, you can make appointments to massage your pregnant clients when they are not experiencing symptoms. These treatments effectively can reduce the severity of symptoms.
There are other suggestions you can make to your pregnant clients to reduce morning sickness. They should eat small but frequent meals throughout the day. Eating a protein-rich meal or snack before bed will reduce morning nausea. Protein takes a long time to digest, and they won't wake up with an empty, gnawing feeling in their stomachs. Cut up a fresh lemon into wedges and put the wedges in a plastic bag. They can inhale the lemon as needed. One drop of peppermint oil in honey water every hour helps some women. Other women find ginger tea, ginger ale and ginger candies very soothing. Drinking red raspberry-leaf tea or sucking on the pit of an umeboshi plum (found in health food stores or Oriental groceries) can settle the stomach. Stimulation of acupuncture point Pericardium 6 by wearing motion sickness "sea bands" or with digital stimulation is extremely effective in eradicating or minimizing nausea. This point is located on each forearm, 1 1/2 inches below the wrist, in the middle of the inner forearm.
Press for a count of 6-10 and repeat a total of 6-10 times.
Another concern regarding first-trimester massage includes avoidance of abdominal massage due to the fear of dislodging the placenta. This is another unfounded fear. It's strongly advised to ask the client's permission before massaging her abdomen at any stage of the pregnancy, and the abdominal massage always should be done with an open palm, light pressure and gentle effleurage following a clockwise direction, but the placenta is attached firmly to the uterus and appropriate massage will not damage or dislodge this strong attachment.
Properly trained prenatal massage practitioners can safely and effectively address first-trimester concerns. For those of you who work in establishments where first-trimester massage is avoided, liability is a major contributing factor to this decision. Since this business policy has been set by the management, you have to adhere to what management decrees. In private practice, however, you can base your decision on science and appropriate training, not fear or misconceptions.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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