resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.