resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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.
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