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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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."
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.
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.)
June, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 06
Massage Your Balancing Act
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
In my May column, I talked about how to empower your clients using simple communication skills. It doesn't matter whether you work in a clinic, a spa or as an outcall massage therapist; chances are you have encountered one or more clients who experience feelings of hopelessness and depression because of their physical pain.
Keeping an open dialogue and educating your clients about their bodies, as well as maintaining a positive attitude in the treatment room, are as essential to a client's well-being as the bodywork itself. Sometimes, this is easier said than done - especially when you are in the midst of your own challenges.
As massage therapists, we often are so focused on helping our clients that we neglect our own professional, financial, personal and spiritual lives. So, how does one go about creating balance in all of these areas? I will walk you through five steps that can help you balance and produce positive changes in any area of your life.
If you've listened to the news in the past couple of months, you've heard the buzz about the economy. Prices for basic goods, services and gas continue to rise, and many experts are predicting some tough times ahead. Obviously, some things - like the economy - are outside of our control. And it's not healthy to expend large amounts of energy on the things we can't control. Rather, what we need to do is focus our efforts on those things in our immediate lives we can control, evaluate the challenges and take steps to overcome them.
In addition to running a massage practice, we all perform various juggling acts. I am on the road several weeks a year teaching seminars, as well as running a clinic and continually working to develop new, and improve upon, existing products. This doesn't take into account trying to maintain a social life and my relationships with friends and family. Perhaps you are dealing with similar issues: running a massage practice, trying to devote more time to yourself and your family, and a host of other personal and professional obligations. So, here is rule number one: It's easier to deal with the stresses of life when you are flexible. There is no doubt challenges constantly will be thrown your way. Maintaining flexibility and a willingness to adjust your plans will make dealing with these challenges much easier.
Five Steps to Positive Change
1. Acknowledge that something is out of balance and needs your attention. No one ever improved a situation by looking the other way. No matter how painful, scary or unpleasant the circumstances, it's generally best to face it squarely.
Professional Challenges. Are you worried about increasing volume or just maintaining your massage practice in this unsettling economy? Try one or more of the following:
Check out my article, "Building Raving Fans," in the April issue of Massage Today for a host of additional practice-building tips.
Financial Challenges. Are you making a decent living or barely making enough money to get by? Hire a financial planner who specializes in small-business money management. A financial planner can help you create a reasonable budget you can stick to; help you plan for retirement and unexpected financial emergencies; and help you get organized so you can see the bigger financial picture down the line. Can't afford to pay a financial planner? Consider trading services with one. Or check out your local bookstore - there are plenty of great books that specialize in financial planning and small businesses.
Personal and Spiritual Challenges. You won't be much good to your clients unless you're taking care of your mental and physical health. Exercise, eat healthier and take time out to recharge your brain and do the things you enjoy.
2. Ask empowering questions that include a specific positive outcome. Ask yourself what you can do right now to immediately improve your situation.
Professional Challenges. Empowering questions include:
Financial Challenges. Empowering questions include:
Personal and Spiritual Challenges. Empowering questions include:
3. Implement change by taking action. The empowering questions you asked in step two will help determine the actions you need to take. There is a saying that goes, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." The key is to start and then constantly move in the direction of the outcome. Don't get frustrated if things don't happen right away. Most things take time to come to fruition - and patience is a virtue.
4. Assess and modify your plan to achieve your outcome. This is where flexibility comes into play. Always prepare for unexpected challenges and try not to get overwhelmed when things don't go exactly right. Instead, ask yourself, "What did I learn today?" When you hit a wall, start at step one and repeat the cycle. Realize there will be occasional bumps in the road. For more about achieving your desired outcomes, check out my article, "The Power of the List," in the January 2007 issue of Massage Today.
5. Maintain a positive outlook. It's important to see the silver lining in everything we do. Most people will never completely understand the challenges we face as massages therapists, but you chose this profession because you wanted to help people. No matter what challenges you are facing, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay positive. Take the lemons in your very capable hands and make lemonade.
Join me again next month for more valuable information. Until then, stay focused, be positive and enjoy the process.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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