resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
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 previous articles by Angie Patrick.
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