resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
March, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 03
Beware of the Backlash
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The backlash against our profession has finally begun. I was asked by a resort spa to do special medical massage training for its staff. In the conversation, the spa manager confided that it is getting harder to sell massages to guests. The reason he gave was that guests have received too many lousy massages at resorts and spas. They have either been injured or received a less-than-relaxing rubdown that did not help them at all, so they have written off massage. Therefore, these affluent guests, who can afford our services out-of-pocket, are writing off our profession as worthless, or worse, dangerous. This is the beginning of the backlash against the massage profession. I am surprised it has taken so long.
All the research that has been done validating massage becomes worthless if the typical therapist cannot reproduce the results. When the typical massage school student does not really know the difference between deep friction and effleurage, much less anatomy, how can they read a research protocol and duplicate the treatment? I have been told, "Silly boy, it is not necessary to know anatomy, all that is needed is a good intent. Just feel the energy and let it guide you." All I can say to this ignorance is that even if you are going to be a psychic surgeon, you need to know the difference between a tumor on the liver and the gallbladder before you begin the removal.
As we frantically beg for acceptance by the allopathic medical establishment (that is, MDs), do we believe we can garner much respect given the average competency of our profession?
A fellow instructor told me of a spa owner who said they would rather risk the chance of a lawsuit than put money into educating their staff on techniques and hygiene for stone massage. Some spas only change the stone water once a day. (How green of them.) How can this happen in a profession that is theoretically about health and healing? It happens as the heart of the profession is replaced by bottom-line mentality. Professionalism and professional ethics are more difficult and expensive for schools to demonstrate and teach, and for operators to maintain. Investors and investment groups are only interested in massage for the return on their investment (the bottom line). This mentality abuses both the therapists and the clientele. Both are beginning to figure this out. The number of people entering the profession is leveling off and now the public is walking away.
Debra Brooks, PhD, said, "When you lose the heart of a profession, you lose the art of a profession." It has been the art of our profession that attracted people to massage. The art provides the caring, healing and true health care. We are losing the art at an ever-increasing rate, and as we do, consumers will walk away in greater numbers. They get all the science and routines they can stand from the allopathic providers for "free" via insurance. The public came to us because we were an alternative. We had the science with a heart that gave the art, which finally provided the individualized attention people needed to heal.
Now we seem to have either one or the other. Some therapists learn the science, but not the art of touching from the heart. Others learn lots of new age/artsy stuff (which is different from the art of professional practice,), but not enough science to be safe and effective at the physical level. As we have become branded, integrated (look what has happened to osteopathy since it became integrated - if you are old enough to remember) and educated by investors, we have lost more and more of the heart. Our profession has disintegrated into first a trade and then down to just a job. Sometimes success, as measured in numbers, is a hollow victory.
What will our profession do about this? Probably nothing in the near future. It's hard to stand in front of the cash-flow train of the schools and large spa/clinic operators at this time. The marketplace will eventually force corrections. The marketplace is ruthless and it won't be pretty.
In my January column, I mentioned a possible correlation between trigger points in the Achilles tendon and restless leg syndrome (RLS). I received two very interesting e-mails on the subject. The first suggested that RLS is the body discharging the excess energy from overconsumption, especially eating too much meat and sugar. The second suggested a correlation with nerve entrapment in the psoas muscle. If you have experience with RLS and would like to share, please e-mail me.
Your Government and Mine
As the presidential circus moves across the country, notice there is only one candidate who has come out publicly for freedom of choice in health care and who supports unfettered access to alternative therapies. All the rest propose completely allopathic systems. One candidate wants to force everyone to get annual tests and vaccinations, calling this wellness care.
Meanwhile, over at the FDA, political appointees accept and approve bogus studies from approval-seeking companies, often against the recommendations of FDA staff. Thus, we are being force-fed GMO foods while the rest of the world is trying to ban them. We use our economic leverage to try to force it down their throats, too. Most recently, the FDA approved milk and meat from clones. How can this be? There haven't been enough clones producing meat and milk to feed a significant test group of people to determine its safety. Politicians, not objective scientists, have ruled it as safe. Whenever there is a political or corporate gain to "scientific research," follow the money trail and you will find the truth. The truth is seldom what you are being told by the mainstream media.
We are endangering our own food chain with GMO foods and "terminator" seeds. Without quality food, there can be no health, and health is the most important thing there is. Massage should be about health: maintaining it, enhancing it and, if necessary, restoring it through healing touch and advocating a healthy lifestyle. We are selling ourselves short when all we do is push oil around. More in May.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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