resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
January, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 01
Non-Contagious Skin Rashes, Part 1: Contact Dermatitis
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
I frequently am surprised by what people request or respond to after they read my Massage Today columns. The things I often think will generate a lot of interest or discussion land with a thud (for instance, avian flu and whooping cough), and the topics I think must be old-hat and overdone for massage therapists generate an enormous amount of interest.Such has been the case for my articles on herpes simplex, warts, psoriasis and superficial cysts. So, to keep to the skin diseases trend, I offer the first of a two-part article on dermatitis and eczema: common, confusing, and frequently overlapping conditions that many massage therapists see and deal with on a daily basis.
The terminology around dermatitis and eczema is extremely confusing, largely because there is no universal consensus on what each term really means. If interested readers pursue this topic to get more information, they might be frustrated to find that some resources seem to use the word eczema to be synonymous with atopic dermatitis, while others (including this one) differentiate atopic dermatitis as a subset of eczema. Welcome to the world of pathology research!
In all the reading I have done on these topics, this is how I have ultimately organized the dermatitis/eczema hierarchy. (This is not the only way to organize these concepts, but can be a useful tool to see how these conditions relate to each other.)
For this discussion, we'll pick the simplest of these skin conditions: contact dermatitis. This is, as the name implies, inflammation of the skin where it has been touched by an allergen or irritating substance. This is different from skin rashes related to reactions that are not from direct skin contact: hives related to stress, or psoriasis, which involves skin cells that reproduce too rapidly.
Contact dermatitis comes in two forms: as a result of irritating or damaging exposures, or from a localized allergic reaction.
Once in a while, we can afford to damage our skin in this way. It heals fast, after all, and all is well again within a few days. However, if a person submerges their hands in caustic, irritating chemicals, or even just water, over and over again, the skin may sustain longer-term damage: contact irritant dermatitis. It's distinct from contact allergic dermatitis because everyone who scrubs their tub without gloves damages their skin, while not everyone has an allergic reaction to latex or nickel.
One group of allergic contact dermatitis outbreaks is probably familiar to most people: reactions to poison oak, poison sumac and poison ivy. The allergen in these plants is an invisible oil called urushiol, and about 75 percent of the population has a reaction to it. Urushiol is significant because not only can it remain potent even after months on tools or other surfaces, but it also can disperse in the air when plants are burned, leading to allergic reactions on the skin and possibly even in the respiratory passages of people nearby.
Massage for Contact Dermatitis?
If a client has contact dermatitis, it's important to identify what the triggers are and to avoid them in a massage setting. In other words, if this client is allergic to almond oil, it's important to have alternate lubricants available. (Many lotions contain almond oil, so read labels carefully.) But if a client has a red scaly mark where the button on their jeans hits, or around their wrist where their watch lies, this is not a significant issue for massage - we certainly won't catch the condition and we won't spread it (unless we use the watch as a massage tool!).
If a client has contact irritant dermatitis because of exposure to harsh chemicals or other substances, massage with lubricant might speed the healing process. Be aware, however, that massage brings blood to the area, and we want to avoid making itchy spots itchier. Also, we want to be careful about any scratching or blisters that might compromise the shield of the skin to invite infection: these make any kind of contact dermatitis a local contraindication.
For Next Time
In my next column, we will continue this discussion of non-contagious skin rashes with an exploration of eczema. In the meantime, if any pathology issues come up for you and your clients, feel free to let me know: What's on your table?
Many thanks and blessings!
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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