resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
July, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 07
Massage at the WORLD SERIES
Massage Therapist for the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox
By John G. Louis, CMT
When I started working with professional athletes in 1980, I knew of only a handful of other massage therapists in the entire country who were working full-time for professional sports teams.I quickly came to the revelation that massage therapy for professional athletes was only going to grow, and that one day most, if not all, professional athletes would receive regular therapeutic massage. I didn't realize it at the time, but 25 years later, I would be working with the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox major league baseball team.
I started my sports massage career with professional soccer. Most of the players were from South America and Europe. Massage therapy was commonplace for them. They all used it in their homelands, which provided an opportunity for me. I started working with players from the Chicago Horizons soccer team; the team's training camp was in my hometown of Palatine, Ill. Word got back to the coach, Luis Dabo, that I was working with the players. Luis was a former player who was adamant about his players receiving massage therapy. He came to see me and offered me a job that included traveling with the team. I was single at the time and really excited about traveling and working with world-class athletes. That initial experience started a nine-year tenure of working with the Horizons and three other teams. I also consulted with the PGA Tour and Men's Grand Prix Tennis.
In 1989, I made the choice to get off the road for a while. I felt my next best step was to open a massage therapy clinic. That same year I founded the Massage Therapy Center of Winnetka, Inc., in Winnetka, Ill. There are nine certified and licensed massage therapists on staff. We have earned an excellent reputation for providing therapeutic work for our clients.
Fast forward to the spring of 2002. I received a call from my friend, Herm Schneider. Herm has been the head athletic trainer for the Chicago White Sox since 1981. I got to know him when I was working full-time with sports massage. In addition to be being widely considered the best trainer in baseball, Herm is a true visionary. When very few athletic trainers in this country knew of the significant benefits massage therapy had for athletes, he knew. He would have me come in periodically and work on the White Sox players in the mid-eighties. Eventually, Herm asked me to start working with the team on a regular basis. This arrangement did not include travel, which was best for me because of my businesses and young family. For the last four years, I served as the team massage therapist working with the players before all home night games.
It was exciting to see some of players really embrace massage therapy. Home run slugger, Frank Thomas (now with the Oakland Athletics), was among them. For the first time in his career, Frank began receiving massage before most home games. He regularly reported good things on how the massage treatments were helping him. He talked a lot about his flexibility and, curiously; he would regularly say he could see the ball better when hitting. I believe this benefit was largely derived from endorphin release. My work with him did include focused work on the sub occipitals and the entire head. My treatments have an emphasis on trigger point work. I like trigger point work because I find you can quickly perform valuable therapy without causing a lot of micro trauma. I use a lot of deep stripping and cross fiber work as well, but I plan carefully when using these techniques with athletes. With the help of massage therapy, Frank put up some of the best numbers of his career. His homerun production increased by 26 percent during the years I worked with him.
The best pitcher in baseball during the second half of the 2005 season and through the World Series was Jose Contreras, a Cuban national who began his American career in 2003 with the New York Yankees. The White Sox acquired him in a trade in 2004. I began working with him 2 to 3 days prior to his scheduled rotation starts. These treatments were generally about an hour and emphasized working on his pitching shoulder and arm. On occasion, when there was time and need, I would give him longer treatments. I have found that longer treatments (2 to 3 hours) can be incredibly valuable, bringing real therapeutic change. Jose was interviewed in a Chicago Tribune article during the World Series where he was kind enough to credit me for helping him to remain free of injury and for playing a role in his amazing season.
One of the true highlights of the World Series season for me came during the week of the American League Championship series with the Boston Red Sox. Our pitcher, Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, who had been struggling with shoulder injuries all year, asked me to work with him that week. He was moved from a starting role to a middle reliever because of his injuries. When I began working with him, I knew I was going to need a lot of time to make a real therapeutic change. His whole shoulder was uncomfortable for him and he had a lot of spasms. I spent nearly three hours with him to try and get that tissue to respond. At the end of the treatment, I was confident he was going to benefit tremendously.
Just a few days later in Boston, El Duque was called into the game in the 6th inning. He inherited a bases-loaded situation with no outs. I knew my treatment was going to be put to the test. El Duque went on to pitch the 6th, 7th and 8th innings - three up and three down! It was one of the most exciting playoff pitching efforts I have ever seen. I can say with confidence that he wouldn't have been able to perform at the level he did without receiving the massage therapy. The White Sox went on to win the game and the series with the Red Sox defeating the defending World Champions in three straight games.
I will always have fond memories of my experiences last year. It might never happen again for me, but that would be alright. Just knowing that my work made a difference in the outcome is very satisfying to me. After 26 years of clinical experience with professional athletes, I've concluded that receiving regular therapeutic massage is absolutely necessary for professional athletes to help optimize performance, prevent injury, reduce competition anxiety and achieve career longevity. Sports successes often boil down to millimeters and microseconds. Sports massage gives the athlete an edge they would not otherwise have. The use of therapeutic massage has increased tremendously in these years, but there still is much room for growth.
Click here for previous articles by John G. Louis, CMT.
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