resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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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