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Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
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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