resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
February, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 02
Incorporating Whole-Body Health Into Your Massage Practice
By Moriah Petrini, LMT
As massage therapists, most of us have encountered a similar challenge when dealing with chronic injuries such as shoulder, neck or spinal pain: You push, pull and even dig into your client, and yet they never truly experience that "whole body" release.If you are like me and really care about your clients, unsatisfactory results are not an option. In fact, after years of giving deep-tissue massage, I started having arthritic symptoms myself. I constantly was stiff and in low-lying pain, which then created a snowball of ailments, including irritability, stress and fatigue. Finally, I decided to investigate a solution. The results might surprise you: Nutrition plays a much bigger roll in our practice than you can imagine.
After investigating tons of pain-relief agents - both pharmaceutical and alternative - I found that most relieved the system temporarily, but never got to the root of the problem. And, as most of you know, many of the pharmaceutical drugs have harmful side effects.
One day a client of mine recommended that I read a popular health book by Jon Barron called Lessons From the Miracle Doctors. It became painfully obvious that the root of the problem is that you can't look for a magic bullet when it comes to pain, but an entire host of health issues, including detoxing, pure water, good fats, exercise, nutrients and much more. The book does mention one critical factor that could drastically help my massage practice: Help clients reduce systemic inflammation.
Systemic inflammation is largely caused by the fact that we cook our food and destroy the food's natural enzymes, which are needed to digest food and allow the nutrients to be absorbed in the body. When this happens, the body has to work overtime to replace these digestive enzymes and the pancreas diverts its focus from making other enzymes for the body, such as ones needed to purify our blood. These are called proteolytic enzymes.
The topic of enzymes should not be taken lightly. Your digestive system, immune system, bloodstream, liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas, as well as your ability to see, think, feel, and breathe, all depend on enzymes. All of the minerals and vitamins you eat and all of the hormones your body produces need enzymes in order to work properly. In fact, enzymes govern every single metabolic function in your body: your stamina, energy level, ability to utilize vitamins and minerals, immune system, and more.
I found that applying all this to my massage practice was essential. First, you need proteolytic enzymes to increase the flow of "good" nutrients into the muscles, reduce scar tissue and help remove lactic acid out of the muscles. Second, inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury; however, most people suffer from excessive inflammation that actually retards the healing process, making our jobs as therapists almost impossible.
How Proteolytic Enzymes Work
To understand how important proteolytic enzymes are to the massage, let me explain how they work. According to research, proteolytic enzymes reduce inflammation by neutralizing the biochemicals of inflammation (bradykinins and pro-inflammatory eicosanoids) to levels at which the synthesis, repair and regeneration of injured tissues can take place.1 Reducing inflammation can have immediate impact on improved heart health, circulation, and to help speed up recovery from sprains, strains, fractures, bruises, contusions, surgery - even arthritis. Trials have shown that supplemental proteolytic enzymes can help reduce inflammation, speed healing of bruises and other tissue injuries, and reduce overall recovery time when compared to athletes taking a placebo.2,3
After several weeks of using proteolytic enzymes, I first noticed that my own back pain and arthritis began to subside. I was more capable of truly focusing on my clients and actually enjoyed the experience of giving massage again. More interesting was the response from my clients! Overall, I found that the ones that used proteolytic enzymes had incredible results. Shoulders were getting a larger range of motion, sensitive backs and swollen knees were subsiding and the natural structural alignment of their bodies moved with ease. Some mentioned later that they were sleeping better and that my massage efforts were lasting over a longer period of time.
What was even more remarkable was that it helped me to massage the sensitive lymph areas since proteolytic enzymes digest organic debris from the circulatory and lymph systems. With great surprise, some of my clients who had only set out to reverse and/or eliminate painful chronic issues found great healing among other systems of the body, including reducing allergies, sinusitis and asthma.
The Massage Therapist-Client Relationship
Although this all sounds good, it's important to note that it's very difficult to recommend nutrition to clients when many clients simply just want a massage. We also have to be careful to not pretend to "diagnose or cure" any client of any disease. I found there is a gray area where, just as we encourage clients to "drink plenty of water" after a deep therapy massage, we can mention proper nutrition. Information is power and if we simply give clients options to their health, I find they usually appreciate it and recommend me to others. Quite simply, we stand out as true healers and not as someone that is just manipulating muscle to some peaceful tunes.
I also found that most clients were actually starving for real information about natural health remedies. Due to the confusion in the market, they all had the same question: "With so many products and differing opinions, who can you trust?" I simply remind them to talk to their doctor before taking any supplement, but that, just as I had found incredible resources, there is a ton of unbiased information available online.
In the end, the more we help our clients, the more they help us. To provide true healing for our clients, we need to look at the body as a whole system and approach the massage, as only one aspect of a client's true healing process. Simply put, our body needs nutrition to accept the benefits of a good massage and the benefits of nutrition are enhanced when the body is not stressed and relaxed from a good massage. The bottom line: Nutrition and massage are perfect complements to each other.
Moriah Petrini has been a massage therapist for more than five years and is located in Fremont, Calif. She holds certifications in a variety of massage specialties, including deep-tissue massage, reflexology, structural massage and stone massage.
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