resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.