resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
March, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 03
Help Your Client Achieve a Natural Labor: Four Simple Tips for Pain Relief
By Michelle C. Larson, MAc, BA, LMT
Most women are nervous about labor pain whether their goal is an unmedicated labor or not. Pain is part of the right of passage into motherhood, but there are many simple things you can do to make it more comfortable and assist your body in the natural process of birth.
As massage therapists, we have a wonderful opportunity to assist expectant moms in creating the best birth experience possible. Over the last year and a half, I studied natural pain relief techniques for labor and delivery. Using my background as a massage therapist, acupuncturist and labor doula, I applied the principles of hydrotherapy, massage and acupressure to find the most effective and fundamental techniques.
My goal was to decrease anxiety, keep labor progressing and decrease pain. The following are four procedures you can use with your clients to make labor and delivery less stressful:
Hot Foot Bath
Place her feet in hot water, deep enough to cover the feet and come above the malleoli. This will not only feel relaxing, but also will help to draw energy downward and promote descent of the baby. By relaxing the muscles in the feet and legs, her pelvic floor also will relax. As she relaxes her mind, she will find a decrease in pain during contractions.
Many hospitals will have plastic tubs you can use for this purpose. Simply ask the nurse. This also is a great treatment to use at home in early labor before you head to the hospital or birth center. If you like, you can add essential oils such as rosemary or lavender to enhance the energetic effect of the hot foot bath and add a wonderful aroma. Keep in mind some women are very sensitive to scents during labor.
"Mind over matter" works. Here is a tried-and-true meditation you can guide her through at any stage. Have her close her eyes between contractions, ask her to take her mind deep inside. "With every inhale imagine breath in life and energy. Each breath is as nourishing and energizing as your favorite dinner. You are drawing in energy from the world around you, filling yourself. Even though you are tired, you are becoming more and more energized. With every exhale allow your pelvic floor to relax and open, exhaling out any tension, fear and anxiety. Focus on the relaxation."
Starting the next contraction with this new-found relaxation will make it more productive and less painful. The pressure and stretching of the pelvic floor can be very frightening. This fear will cause a woman to tense these muscles which will delay labor and make it more uncomfortable.
Here are three simple, very effective acupressure points. You can use them at any stage of labor, but not during pregnancy. These points have a very strong, energetic action and are not to be used during pregnancy. Have her talk with her primary care provider to decide when she is ready for labor to begin, because these acupressure points can stimulate contractions.
With all of these techniques, the key is to communicate. Invite her to let you know what seems to work and what doesn't. Application of pressure over these points can be done with thumbs, hands, elbows or massage tools. You can use these points as little or as often as you'd like. As long as it feels good to your client, keep going.
Essential oils are a wonderful way to relax and ease tension. Not only is the scent therapeutic but also the application of the oils on the skin. Most oils are not to be used during pregnancy because they have a strong moving effect and can stimulate contractions. During labor, however, this is exactly what you want.
You can use a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a diffuser to scent the entire room, or place a few drops on a tissue to enjoy a light fragrance. A drop of essential oil applied to your fingertips during an acupressure massage will enhance the effect of the treatment.
Keep in mind that a scent she really likes normally may not be pleasing during labor. It's best to use the oils in such a way that you can easily remove them from the room or take the scent away if you find it becomes aggravating.
Lavender is one of the most commonly used essential oils. It provides very relaxing, nourishing feminine energy and helps to sooth pain.
Rosemary is very invigorating and uplifting. If labor has been slow and you find energy fading, the lively scent of rosemary is a huge help. This is also a good one to use during acupressure to stimulate the points.
Orange is a sweet smell that also is very invigorating. Use orange as you would rosemary for an extra energy boost or during your acupressure massage.
Massage therapists often are asked to assist a regular client during labor. This can be very intimidating, especially if you have never been through the birth experience. Use these simple techniques to feel empowered to confidently assist her. And remember, not all births go as planned. A successful birth ends with a healthy mom and a healthy baby; the process is unique and can never be planned.
Michelle Larson is a certified massage therapist with a masters degree in acupuncture and a bachelors degree in holistic health. As a faculty member of the Cortiva Maternity and Infant Massage Program, she travels nationally teaching continuing education for professional massage therapists.
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