resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
January, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 01
Massage for Cancer Patients: Indicated or Contraindicated?
By William C. Handley Jr., LMT, Oncology Massage Therapist
Years of constant research have developed numerous new treatments to eradicate cancer or at least prolong the quality of life of a person living with cancer. As a cancer survivor, I can give firsthand testimony that most cancer patients feel abandoned in the time they need the most support."You have cancer" will be some of the scariest words you will ever hear in your life!
Most of the family members and loved ones of a person diagnosed with cancer will tell that person they will be with them and support them all the way through their battle with the disease. I'm sure, without a doubt, that their intentions are true. But in the eyes of the person living with the cancer, the support usually comes from a distance. Due to fallacies and myths, most people that are intending to support a person living with cancer actually will distance themselves from the person fighting the disease. These fallacies, myths, and lack of education and facts can lead the supporters to think they can hurt a person battling cancer by touching them, hugging them, or even that they can catch the cancer by being in contact with them. This simple distance is more noticeable to the person living with cancer because they need the close support and touch of their loved ones. When you have a life-threatening disease, a touch or hug develops a lot more meaning than just contact.
Massage therapy is one of the most relaxing forms of touch available. Massage therapy also has many health benefits, but there have been concerns that massage therapy actually can cause the cancer to spread. Most massage therapy schools taught that cancer was a contraindication for massage. The two main concerns of how massage therapy could spread cancer involved its effects on circulation and the cancer tumors. Research continues to dispute the original concerns that massage therapy can spread cancer. The support to dispute this myth grows each year through credible experts and numerous studies.
Oncology massage therapy actually is a combination of many styles of massage incorporated into one session. The differences in the styles and techniques used with cancer patients are noticeable, both visually and physically. Oncology massage is a non-invasive technique, specifically adapted for individuals of all ages and types of cancer. Cancer patients should only receive massage therapy from a therapist educated in oncology massage. A therapist uneducated in the adaptations of these styles and proper techniques actually can cause the cancer patient to develop different conditions and even cause the death of the patient. There are contraindications and precautions for a cancer patient to receive massage therapy. This list has grown over the years to become more complete and ensure that those who are educated in oncology massage also are educated in what they should not do and what they should be cautious of.
Acceptance of massage therapy for cancer patients from medical professionals has been a continuing educational process for the medical institutions, physicians and the oncology massage therapists. The medical institutions require credentials and protocols for treatment and procedure manuals. This means a massage therapist must be able to produce documentation and certification that he or she has had education in massage for cancer patients, in addition to the standard education in massage therapy. The therapist also must have detailed protocols for treatment that give an outline of the therapy plans for each stage of cancer, such as: pre- and postsurgical protocols, chemotherapy and radiation protocols, lymphedema protocols and scar tissue protocols. The therapist also must provide a correctly formatted procedure manual under the requirements of a joint commission.
The physicians must be educated in the benefits of oncology massage and how to properly refer patients with a correct prescription and diagnosis. This is another educational responsibility of the oncology massage therapist - to meet with these physicians and provide them with hard, undeniable evidence of medical studies. The best evidence has been patient testimony after a physician sends their first referral.
The oncology massage therapist must obtain additional education and training through qualified instructors. There are now several classes available in this modality of massage therapy. Cheryl Chapman and Tracy Walton offer very informative continuing education classes. Gayle MacDonald recently joined with Dr. Sandy Canzone and developed a 300-hour certification course in oncology massage. Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center also offers a continuing educational course in oncology massage therapy. Courses such as these are vital and should eventually be mandatory for a massage therapist to be able to provide massage therapy for those living with or surviving cancer. Mandatory requirements will help give a more credible recognition and acceptance of this therapy.
Standard massage therapy performed by a generally licensed massage therapist and without additional specialized education in cancer should be considered a contraindication for cancer patients. However, oncology massage therapy provided by a properly educated oncology massage therapist is a definite indication for those living with or surviving the disease.
William Handley Jr. currently heads up the oncology/mastectomy massage therapy program at Cabell Huntington Hospital in West Virginia and is the director of Tranquility Massage Therapy. He is a cancer survivor and the first certified cancer/mastectomy massage specialist in W.V., where he developed and implemented the state’s first oncology/mastectomy massage therapy program.
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