resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
September, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 09
Help Grow a Pearl
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Despite several dark clouds hanging over the profession of massage therapy/bodywork, there is reason to be quite optimistic. The public demand for soft-tissue therapy continues to increase.The public patronage of venues providing relaxation massage also continues to increase. If a critical mass is reached before universal health care is forced upon us, it will be difficult for the politicians to take massage away. Relaxation massage will probably be unaffected.
Massage therapists, as first-door health care providers, will survive if our professional associations stand up for us. If our associations do not, and they seldom have, therapeutic massage will be put under the gatekeeping control of allopaths, where it will exist in some form. Not to despair, if you don't want to work under the thumbs of the allopaths. You can do a lot under the guise of relaxation if you are careful about the words you use. Just never treat a condition. This is simple. Only specifically address the tissue in spasm, reduce tender and trigger points, restore circulation and range of motion, and if the condition goes away it's not your fault, right? Of course not. Posture analysis and alignment are strictly for cosmetic purposes, right? So those who learn "how to rub" as Hippocrates called it, instead of just learning how to push lubricant around, will still be able to make a good living helping a lot of people. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Everything is an opportunity, and ours to make the best (or worst) of.
The organic food industry has become the target of a hostile take-over by the agribusiness/government cartel. People want clean, safe food that tastes better and that makes them feel better after they eat it. They are willing to pay a premium for it. The people who started many of the brands you have come to know and trust are reaching retirement age. One of the large agribusiness conglomerates makes them an offer they can't refuse, so they sell out and retire as millionaires. You can't blame them really. It's scary how one of the large food conglomerates now owns almost every major health food brand. Have they come to their senses and decided to provide better products? Hardly; they have bought up the organic food industry and are now using their millions and their lobbyists to corrupt and dilute the organic standards. Why? For profit, of course. They can get more money for chemically laced crap if they call it organic. It is called "greenwashing." This is having a negative impact on small, sincere organic farmers and companies who can only compete if organic standards actually mean something. The FDA and the USDA are doing everything they can get away with to destroy organic standards for the benefit of the large agrichemical and food companies. Are you concerned about the quality of the food you eat, the environment and organic standards? Does the survival of natural alternatives in health care and access to quality supplements, herbs, homeopathy, even massage, mean anything to you? If so, you need to get involved. A phone call and one letter a month would make a huge difference; even better, one a week. A good source of information is www.organicconsumers.org.
A more radical group - not in a bad way - that really lays it on the line is www.healthfreedomusa.org. Believe that you, as one person, can make a difference, because you can. The letters and e-mails to these bureaucrats are making a difference. Several dastardly initiatives and power grabs have been turned back. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Become an irritant - help grow a pearl!
It's fascinating how the microcosm of the massage profession reflects the macrocosm of American society at large. In this case, large career colleges bought up the largest and most successful massage schools whose owners were at or near retirement age, and now are using their millions and their lobbyists to dilute our professions education standards.
Along these lines, what's left of Iowa's massage law is now under attack by the "cosmo schools," among others, who want no standards for instructors or a required curriculum. No standards or accountability means more profit, but a poorer product be it food or therapists.
As our organic food standards are lost, it will become best to shop at farmer's markets for food from local growers who still care. As our massage education standards are lost, it will be best to go to locally owned schools operated by therapists who have successfully made a living at massage. If you can't, or haven't, made a good living at it, you shouldn't be teaching it. This is a huge problem with education in America in general. The motto, "Those who can't do, teach" is a major reason why our education system turns out so many illiterates and incompetents.
The muscular system of the body is not a bunch of separate parts (muscles). It's really one huge muscle, "The Muscle." Inseparable from fascia, "The Muscle," or the myofascial system, is such that tension anywhere in the system is tension everywhere in the system. Look for "chaining" patterns of muscles in the body. For example, the abdominal obliques interdigitate into the anterior serratus, which continues into the rhomboids and levator scapula, creating a spiral connection from pubis to C-1. How about the rectus abdominis merging into sternalis, continuing on to sternocleidomastoid? When one muscle in a "chain" won't relax, maybe it can't because of the tension placed on it from the rest of the chain. Examine the other muscles in the chain, treat (relax) them and see if the problem muscle then responds better to your treatment.
Out of ink, so I have to stop. See you in November.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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.