resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
August 13, 2004
Two Give Meaning to Life
By Judith Kohn, MS, LMT, NCTMB
I was a little apprehensive driving to the hospital because I didn't know where in the Bronx it was, and I was sure it wasn't in a great neighborhood. I had read about its wonderful mission on its Web site and knew it would be a very special place.I found it with ease, right off the highway and drove into it's parking lot.
What a luxury in the Bronx! A hospital with a parking lot! I had packed a little shopping bag in hopes of giving Sandy a massage. It had some lotion, hand sanitizer, and baby wipes -- just in case she was up to it.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I had seen her a few weeks back when Deb and I had taken her out for a soda. A life and lady once so vibrant and full was suddenly frail and weak. I had called in advance and knew there were no other visitors expected. I was secretly happy that I would have Sandy to myself to talk and "bond," and to let her know that she was special to me.
In my mind, I had rehearsed what I wanted to tell her; it was very important for me to convey my feelings. I had no intention of staying more than an hour or so, but three hours later, I found myself leaving, emotional and fuzzy in my head. I didn't understand the impact of what had transpired between us until days later, for what I experienced was by far one of the most meaningful days of my life.
We started the visit by talking and catching up. From my studies, to work, to my oh-so-horrible dates. She kept telling me it'll happen; I kept telling her I was losing hope. But somehow, looking at her on the bed so pale and sick gave me a little hope -- like she was willing it to me.
We quickly moved to more serious topics of spirits, of dad, of life after death, of the spirit world and its beauty, and, of course, of dying. We both got choked up as I shared my intimate thoughts and told her how happy I was that she had never tried to be my mother but had just been my friend.
We talked about how she had tried with dad because I didn't like him very much; she said she had tried to soften him and she hated how he treated me. She cried, took my hand and told me she loved me. She had never told me that before. I told her I loved her back, and at that moment, I really understood what she had come to mean to me.
We reminisced about my 30th birthday party, talked about my 40th approaching, and how she had just started dating dad. Then we listed all of the boyfriends she had met since that day and laughed. Of course, I can laugh about it now.
Sandy had been my advocate all along when I decided to go to massage therapy school. I had hoped that dad would approve (even though it wasn't medical school), but somehow I know that Sandy would have made him see it if he didn't on his own.
After about an hour she asked for a massage; she was glad that I brought my "tools." I had learned about massage for specific conditions and knew that cancer was contraindicated in some cases; however, Sandy was terminal. There was nothing I or anyone could do except try to make her feel better.
I worked mostly on her hands and arms, but then we both got more comfortable and I was able to do work on each side of her neck and shoulders with her laying on her side. She wanted her feet worked on, so I asked the doctor for permission to work on her soles. When I got the green light, I worked gently on her feet; she was so relaxed and calm. She was very grateful both for the human contact and for the few minutes of escaping the hell of knowing the end was near. To experience a few minutes of joy, sensation and relaxation from the anxious thoughts was my gift to her. What I didn't expect was the gift I received in return: A feeling of tremendous healing and meaning to know that what I was doing, as little as that was, was being transformed to someone so ill and so happy in that moment. The feeling was indescrible.
This feeling inside me was one of fullness, though bittersweet, in its intensity and sadness, yet combined with awe at what doctors who help cure must feel many times throughout their careers. It brought me out of my head with my own problems. Sandy was even concerned about how long I had worked on her feet; she asked if my hands had grown tired. But I didn't even feel the slightest fatigue. The muscles I had built up in massage school made me feel guilty looking at her thin bones through her skin. I made up my mind in those few hours to visit at least once a week to give her a massage while she is able to receive it.
Sandy passed away on October 27, 2003, two months after entering the hospice. My massages were the highlight of her days, and she looked forward to my evening visits after work one or two times a week. We grew closer during those two months as friends and shared a special connection during the massage experience. I am comforted to know that I helped give her some enjoyment in her remaining days on earth. What she taught me I will always carry in my heart.
My heart is full now. I have both assisted and been taught by the dying; it has given meaning to me, and for that lesson I am grateful. Thank you Sandy. I love you and miss you.
Judith Kohn lives in Westchester County, outside of New York City. She is a full-time human resources director and part-time licensed massage therapist. Judith also holds a master's degree in counseling and bachelor's in psychology. She went to massage therapy school after to embrace wellness and do something holistic and different from office work. She believes massage helps to bring meaning and purpose to her life as she brings healing to others; it also helps keep her grounded and centered.
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