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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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