resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
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.
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.
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.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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.)
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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 more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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