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Massage Today
May, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 05

Resistance Is Futile

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB

The human mind is the only thing in the universe that resists change. Everything is in a constant state of change, yet too many people want to stay in the 1980s (to pick a decade). Our profession has found an equilibrium that has made a lot of money for a lot of people and organizations. These people and organizations resist change. However, the world around us is changing dramatically. The structure that launched us in the 1980s has never been completed and now does not have the capacity to support massage therapy and bodywork as a profession.

So, the decision must soon be made, are we going to become a profession by elevating ourselves to that position, or lower ourselves to a trade? Currently, we sit in two different camps. Many of us consider ourselves to be professionals and this to be a profession. Others just see this as a job, a trade. I have been told by some, "Hey, it's just a massage." Career colleges see us as allied health care providers, as techs or assistants. In the tech or assistant role, we would be purely employees under gatekeeper (referral) control. This is a version of slave labor for the cartel, in my opinion, but hey, if it works for you.

Will we maintain our first-door providership? We can stumble along as we are now, clinging to a system reaching its breaking point. However, currently we are abusing entry-level students and patients. This cannot and will not continue. Change is inevitable. If we do not make it ourselves, it will be forced upon us. If we do not establish uniform, effective regulation with portability and uniform competencies, the public will abandon us, both as clients and entry-level students.

We need a professional model of licensure followed by meaningful certifications, or maybe we need to repeal regulation and work for freedom-to-practice acts. We need to decide if we are going to be alternative health care providers, allopathic symptom-reducers or body-rubbers. This will be the discussion here for awhile in the attempt to stimulate this discussion throughout the profession. Join in!

Deep-Tissue Massage

Too many complaints are coming in from all over the country. Therefore, in the interest of public safety and customer satisfaction, I would like to share, especially with less-experienced therapist readers, that deep-tissue massage does not just mean you press harder. What deep-tissue massage means is you become anatomically precise in your palpation and use techniques (strokes) that affect the deeper layers by moving the superficial layers over them or out of the way. If you are doing deep-tissue massage and the patient/client says it's too hard or is painful, you are working too hard for that person in that area. Respect the person on the table who is inside that body and lighten up, at least in that area. It will be easier on your body and theirs. Pain causes the body to tense up and contract. You can't contract and relax a muscle at the same time. If you are trying to bring about relaxation in the body on your table, you can't do so by inflicting pain. Lighten up to a pressure they can tolerate without tensing up and/or holding their breath. You will do more good at such a pressure and your rebooking percentage will increase dramatically.

Getting Shot?

In France, they are investigating two drug companies (GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur MSD) for manslaughter for failure to disclose the side effects of the anti-hepatitis B vaccine. Hep-B vaccines contain as much as 12.5 micrograms of mercury, more than 100 times the EPA's upper-limit standard when administered to infants. Mercury makes up 49 percent of the preservative thimerosal (Wikipedia), which is commonly used in vaccines. Mercury poisons the nervous system and accumulates in the brain. The term mad hatter is based on the fact that hat-makers of old used a lot of mercury in their processes and went "mad" (nervous-system poisoning) from inhaling the vapors.

In our country, the president and Congress are working to grant drug companies immunity for vaccine-induced injuries. It's amazing the amount of human suffering we justify in the name of profit. A "health care" system that only makes money from sickness and suffering must have an ever-increasing supply of sickness and suffering to continue to increase its profits. Think about that. Do we really want to join this cartel? Are we really complementary to allopathic medicine?

Have you ever had a vaccination? Did they give you the complete ingredient and side-effects list before they shot up you or your child? Did you ask for it and read it? Too many people are more careful about what they put in their car, their pets and on their plants than they are about what they put or allow to be put into their own body. Interesting priorities we have.

Have you noticed that last year, when there was a shortage of flu vaccine, it was a very light year for flu? This year, with lots of vaccine available, there has been lots of flu.

RLS Continued

I have discussed restless leg syndrome (RLS) in my previous several columns. My original question was whether anyone else noticed a correlation between trigger points in the Achilles tendon causing a twitch response in the leg and it being perceived as RLS. Several therapists reported similar findings. In addition, several therapists who have RLS have reported some interesting treatments, including one who gets complete relief using a homeopathic remedy (Luyties magnesia phosphate, 30x). Another therapist is an LMT and has a major in human physiology from the University of Oregon. She feels RLS is a magnesium balance problem. She uses 250 mg of MagCitrate to alleviate all her RLS symptoms. If you have any RLS experiences or remedies you would like to share, e-mail them to me and I will pass them along.

See you in the July issue. Bring fireworks!

Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB.


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