resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
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.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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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