resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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