resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
May, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 05
Simple Answers Create Positive Results
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Addressing the pain and discomfort associated with trigger points is one of the most common complaints massage therapists deal with in the treatment room. It's not uncommon, for example, to palpate a trigger point in the upper trapezius, sternocleidomastoid or suboccipital muscles, which produces a referred phenomenon to a completely different area of the body, such as the head.
When trigger points refer into the head, the phenomenon often is described as pain, headache, pressure, tingling and/or numbness. Although clients often are surprised at this phenomenon, most are thrilled when I am able to isolate and treat the trigger point. Occasionally, however, a client might show distress at this discovery and say something like, "I'm all screwed up," "I'm wired wrong" or "I'm weird." In this article, I will share simple solutions for addressing these types of comments in ways that will help empower your clients to have a more positive attitude and take a more proactive approach to their health care.
The mental image we have of ourselves is important, especially when it comes to our health and well-being. I don't want my clients to believe they are "screwed up" or "wired wrong." To help transform this negative mindset, I educate my clients to help them establish a new understanding about the processes taking place inside their bodies. Part of this includes suggesting more appropriate labels to describe what is happening. For example, I might say, "You are not all screwed up or wired wrong. The patterns you're experiencing are typical of many people with trigger points." Then, as I explain to the patient how trigger points are formed, I simultaneously use laminated trigger-point charts to demonstrate the path and the pattern of the trigger points. I always use a wet-erase marker to circle the trigger point patterns right on the chart. This is an easy method, and the marker can be wiped off using a wet paper towel (Figure 1).
Since "a picture is worth a thousand words," postural photos are another useful visual aid. Postural photos allow both the client and the therapist to see and assess the client's posture patterns and identify specific problems, such as a high-shoulder or forward-head posture (Figure 2). Photos show clients the structural stress placed on their muscles; this also usually corresponds to the presence of trigger points in the same musculature.
Offering a thorough explanation while using a visual aid helps the client achieve a greater understanding of the body's physiological reactions and causes of their pain. Additionally, clients who can "see" their problem via a chart or a photograph will not only understand it better; they also will have the knowledge to influence their situation and take an active role in their health care. For more about using visual aids, read my article, "Charting Progress: Visuals for Success," in the February 2008 issue of Massage Today, where I share how to integrate visual aids into any massage environment, whether it's a medical, clinical, spa or outcall setting.
Simple Solutions for Empowering Your Clients
The next time one of your clients says they feel "all screwed up" or "wired wrong," try using one of the following quotes to help create a more positive outlook:
Finally, create a positive environment and maintain a positive attitude for your clients. Let your clients know they are not alone; that many people suffer from conditions similar to theirs; and that you have successfully helped many before them. While we as massage therapists may clearly understand what a client is experiencing, we can't assume the client has the same level of understanding. Remember to communicate openly and with compassion. This can work wonders on a client's mental outlook and also can help make them more comfortable in the treatment room.
Obviously, there are going to be situations we can't help. Perhaps a client's condition is structural, too advanced, genetic, etc. In these cases, we just do the best we can by providing the best treatment we know how and educating our clients about the importance of self-care, such as drinking water, getting quality sleep, eating nutritious foods, exercising, maintaining good posture and keeping a positive outlook. While we might not be able to help everyone in every situation, those we can help within the scope of our training will sincerely appreciate our efforts.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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