resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
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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