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Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
February, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 02
Helping You Choose Wisely
By Angie Patrick
In my years of experience in the massage-supply business, I have had the tremendous opportunity to meet and speak with literally thousands of massage therapists. I often am asked questions about professional-grade products and how to know when it might be time to make a change. When I began in the industry years ago, there were only a couple of major players in the lubricant field, so the choices were not so difficult to make. But now, as our industry has grown and prospered, so have the choices in lubricants. My intent in this article is not to promote any specific brand, but rather give you some pointers so you can make the right decision for your own practice.
My first piece of advice: Always use professional-grade products designed and manufactured for professional massage therapist use. Products found in drug stores, discount chains and grocery stores are typically not designed for use on a professional level. Keep in mind you will be in contact with this product every day, with your hands immersed. You want to make sure the products you choose are designed for this type of extended exposure to skin and that it's not irritating to your skin after prolonged exposure.
Changes in skin-care technology have prompted many changes in lubricant markets. Manufacturers have become far more savvy in the ingredients they use and the overall effect the products have on the skin. In other words, it's OK to branch out and try something new because there is so much out there now. It's just a smart idea to stay in touch with new ideas in lubricants. Here are a few tips on how you can try new products without breaking the bank.
When looking for new products, it's always smart to ask your supplier if they happen to have any samples. Manufacturers sometimes will supply their distributors with sample-size products to try. In the event there are no samples, I would suggest you buy the smallest available size of the product in order to give it your evaluation. In most cases, once you break the seal on a product, it cannot be returned. This is the best reason I know to buy the smallest size on the first try. You can always buy a larger size if you like the product. Even if you have used the same lubricant for years, it never hurts to branch out a bit and see what else the market has to offer.
How should I care for my lubricants? This is a question I get asked all the time. I have to say, it's always best to avoid extreme temperatures. I have heard of therapists who have left their products in their cars for months during searing heat and bitter cold, and then wonder why it separated or smelled "funny." You should care for your lubricants by providing them storage in a temperate location not prone to climate changes. Oils like the dark, so a cabinet or closet works well. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.
How do I know when my lubricant has "gone bad?" Most manufacturers provide information regarding the shelf life of their products. In some cases, you may even see an expiration date printed on the bottle or jar. You will want to avoid using any product that has an undesirable odor. Oils can sometimes have a faint "cooking oil" smell when they begin to turn. Lotions and crèmes can give an unpleasant smell that somewhat resembles "plastic," for lack of a better descriptive. Of course, should you see any discoloration or growth on the inside of the container or cap, you should discard the product immediately.
One way you can help inhibit the growth of bacteria in your lubricants is to avoid cross-contamination of the product. Never use your hands to dip product from a larger container to a smaller one. Always use a clean spoon or spatula. This will prevent bacteria that live on your skin from being transferred to the product.
Whether you decide to use an oil, lotion or crème, it's always important to make sure you have asked your client about any allergies they may have. Occasionally, you will have a client who may have a pronounced allergy to an ingredient found in your lubricants - most commonly nuts. Be sure you have asked the proper questions on your intake form so you can avoid your client having an uncomfortable reaction.
This brings us to the question, "Which lubricant type will work best for me?" This will depend largely on the type of massage you want to perform. Each type of lubricant has its own special properties that aid the therapist in treatment. Oils can be used for any modality in which you will need extended glide. Oil provides the least amount of friction and is widely utilized for Swedish massage. Seed oils and nut oils are widely used; however, I would again stress the importance of making sure your client has no allergies to the ingredients in the oil you use. Lotions and crèmes are better suited for modalities that do not require a great deal of glide but instead utilize grip. You will want a product that will allow you enough glide to warm the tissue, but finish with enough grip as to allow you to work the tissue below the skin.
Finally, "How do I clean my sheets and avoid staining?" This is a concern for therapists and spas alike. Once your sheets are stained, you really cannot use them again because your clients will have the impression they are unsanitary. So, how do you care for them? There are detergents on the market made especially for the removal of oils, creams and lotions. You can surf the Web site of your favorite massage-product supplier and find a number of eco-friendly and lubricant-specific detergents designed to break down and remove the residue. Also, many manufacturers are using ingredients that make the products "water-dispersible," which certainly helps when it comes time to do laundry!
I encourage you to check out all your options and begin your journey of exploration. There are so many wonderful and exciting things appearing on the market every day; you owe it to yourself to stay in the know and be informed about the newest advancements and product breakthroughs in the industry. It's a big sea of options out there; happy fishing!
Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.
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