resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
February, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 02
Learn to Trust Your Gut
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Many of us come to this field because we are intuitive by nature. We have strong instincts when it comes to helping people, and massage has become a natural adjunct to that; an extension of our intuition. But often, we are put in a position that causes us to question our judgment. Moreover, we often are employed where we cannot act on our judgment but have to work within the prescribed parameters of an employer or establishment. This worries me greatly. When we lose our right and our ability to trust our gut and act on our best judgment, even if it counters what our boss says, then we have lost control as health care providers and our profession in general. It is up to us to stand our ground, but more importantly, it is our duty to educate our employers so that no harm comes to our clients.
Many employers, nowadays, are not massage therapists. Spas are opening at alarming rates and businesspeople are the ones running the show. They do not know massage. They have not studied contraindications and pathologies. Their frame of reference is based on numbers and profit margins. I understand that and there is nothing wrong with it. I, too, am a businesswoman and am always concerned with a bottom line. However, when it comes to the client's health and well-being, I wish more employers looked to massage therapists for guidance around treatment and care. After all, this is their area of expertise. I am generalizing and this mutual relationship is starting to occur, but it is slow going.
This is what has prompted this article. A massage therapist called me the other day to discuss something that happened at the spa where she works. She considers herself a deep-tissue, medical-massage therapist. In her previous life, she was a registered nurse and still combines these worlds in her care for clients. She works at a spa, but the majority of her work is therapeutic and medically based. This is her passion. You may be thinking, "Then why is she working at a spa? Aren't the clients who go to spas there for relaxation and general Swedish massage?" Well yes, and no. Who are spa clients? People who just recovered from cancer, who have heart conditions, who have had strokes and are diabetic. The bottom line is that there is room for every type of therapist in a spa setting.
A client was "sold" a deep-tissue, medical massage at the urging of a receptionist. No history was taken. No pathologies were discussed. The receptionist felt that this "package" would be suitable for this client and charged accordingly. Note that the price for this service is one of the higher prices at this spa. During the verbal intake conducted by the therapist, it was discovered that this client had inflammatory joint disease, varicose veins and osteoporosis. Clearly, deep tissue was not the right course of treatment. The therapist acted accordingly and worked conservatively. She further educated the client that the massage he had purchased was inappropriate for his condition. "Then why did the receptionist sell it to me?" Put in a position to defend the spa and the receptionist, the therapist did her best but never should have been put in this position to begin with. Ultimately, the client was happy with the care and it all worked out.
Here is how I see this situation improving - education. As authorities in the field of massage therapy, especially in the absence of any other trained professionals, it is up to us to educate the employers and any staff that may work with the clients. This may not seem easy and may even be met with resistance. But don't we owe it to the clients to not only provide them with accurate care but also make sure they are paying for what their health history warrants? Be proactive and approach your employer. Tell him or her that you would like to be able to educate the staff so that each client gets the best possible care. In the end, that is good business.
Trust your gut. Work within the parameters of the client's condition, regardless of what service he or she purchased. Educate those that "sell" the services and educate the spa owners as to how beneficial this will be for the overall business model. It's up to us.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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