resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
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.
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.
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.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
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.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
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.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
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.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
August, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 08
The First Oncology Massage Healing Summit
By Tracy Walton, LMT, MS
In May, I was honored to attend the first gathering of oncology massage therapists in North America. There were about 160 massage therapists and about 20 presenters. It might sound lofty to say this event was historic, but it was a first.This meeting of the minds and hands was a conference in the making for several years. And for years, therapists have been longing for such an opportunity to work with people with cancer.
The conference, "Oncology Massage Healing Summit," was held at Mercy College of Northwest Ohio in Toledo. Gayle MacDonald and Tina Ferner dreamt up the notion of a conference in this area. Gayle is the author of Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer, now in its second edition, and Massage for the Hospital Patient and Medically Frail Client. Tina coordinates the Integrative Therapy Department at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo.
Typically, a conference is planned by an association that charges a committee with the details, and a professional conference organizer to implement them. But there has been no such association. In this case, two people with a cheering section of many more of us carried out all of that with the devoted implementation of the Mercy College Department of Continuing Professional Education. The fact that it came off seamlessly is a wonder and a testament to the skill and foresight of the conference planners.
Gayle MacDonald began the conference with a keynote, "Holy Toledo and the Sisters of Mercy: the Sacredness of the Work We Do." Because the order of the Sisters of Mercy was the founder and foundation of Mercy Hospital, she made references to several spiritual traditions which have, as an outgrowth, a compassion embodied in ministry to the sick, and often touch is part of that healing ministry. Gayle went on to describe the movement of oncology massage, how far it has grown beyond the old, unfounded worry that massage might spread cancer, and its projection into its own future.
Indeed, the future was clearly in evidence over the weekend. Presentations covered a range of topics: approaches to Eastern medicine, finding evidence on massage and cancer on the Web, essential oils for emotional and spiritual healing, and the sharing of therapists' stories. There were many other fascinating sessions, but space limits their mention here.
Presenters came from such far-flung places as Alaska, Brazil, Toronto, New York, Colorado and Montreal. I attended several excellent presentations. Jamie Elswick spoke and demonstrated work on healing the scars of cancer surgery. Charlotte Versagi demonstrated lymphatic drainage for the person with cancer and Isabel Adkins presented on the trauma of cancer and treatments. Each of these presentations deepened my understanding of massage for people with cancer, as well as my belief in the power of the work.
But, as it often is with conferences, conversations around the edges of the formal presentations are as bountiful as the presentations themselves. In what seemed like hundreds of conversations packed into two short days, I heard therapists networking about hospital programs, funding, research, community service and education. (For some sense of the richness of the program, the proceedings and some of the education sessions, see www.mercycollege.edu/oncology_conf.php.)
At dinner one night, I sat at a table with seven other therapists. Several of us were massage researchers, or interested in the research of massage. The question, "What is the healing ingredient in massage therapy?" came up. One therapist said it was that he covered the whole body in his sessions; that the client was helped to feel whole and perfect and attended to in all of their wholeness by his whole-body approach. Another therapist said she felt it was "our humanity" that made massage therapy so healing for people. Another said, simply, "our compassion."
In one of the most important outcomes of the conference, a groundswell of support for an oncology massage therapy association solidified into some infrastructure for the association. When it develops into a Web presence and entity, I will post its Web site on my own at www.tracywalton.com. And when a second conference is scheduled, I'll post that, too!
Just last week, I received a message on my machine from someone looking for a massage therapist for a friend with cancer. Her friend had sought massage, but had been turned away by a therapist who told her it could spread her cancer. I am still surprised to hear this old myth, and I did what I could to help in this situation. But I've had many such phone calls over the years. They stand in sharp contrast to the growing support for caring, careful massage for people with cancer.
It was a joy being at a conference where that concern was a phantom of the past. It was a joy to see how far the work has come. Finally, it was a joy to see the energy of those around me engaged, not only in moving on from that old fear, but moving forward with seven-league boots in the profession's natural next steps. Our compassion, our humanity, our whole-body approach to healing - all of these should serve us well.
Click here for more information about Tracy Walton, LMT, MS.
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