resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
June, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 06
Mapping Body Into Motion
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
"I found that when I made certain expressions, I was flooded with strong emotional sensations. It wasn't just any expression, only the ones I had already identified as universal to all human beings. ... Over the next ten years, we did four experiments, including one in a non-Western culture, the Minangkabau of Western Sumatra.When peopled followed our instructions about which muscles to move, their physiology changed and most reported feeling the emotion. Again, it wasn't just any facial movement that produced this change. They had to make the muscular movements that our earlier research had found were universal expressions of emotion."3
There is a deep and seemingly inherent connection between our bodies and our emotions. Based on more than 40 years of research into human emotions, Paul Ekman characterizes many of our emotional responses as unconscious reactions to triggers that affect (or may have once affected) our welfare.3 Some are inherent, but the differences in individual responses to similar situations indicate many are learned. Ekman and his colleagues discovered that the process of mentally revisiting events from memory retriggered the emotions and bodily responses (such as increased heartbeat, blood pressure, respiration and sweating) that occurred during the original event. The memory "movies" we run in our heads - the events we habitually revisit in our mind's eye - have profound effects on the state of our bodies.
Perhaps even more interesting, from the perspective of massage practice, Ekman found that making various facial expressions would bring forth strong emotional responses. The associations between the expressions and the emotions were observed to be universal across cultures, indicating they are an intrinsic part of how we are "wired" as human beings. There is thus strong support from research that the muscles we activate and the bodily sensations we experience are as much generators of our emotional state as our emotions are influencers of our bodily state.
The ability to positively affect emotions via massage appears to have an extensive foundation in the research literature. In a meta-analysis of previous massage literature, Moyer reported consistent emotional benefits.5 "Reductions of trait anxiety and depression following a course of treatment were MT's largest effects. The average MT participant experienced a reduction of trait anxiety that was greater than 77 percent of comparison group participants, and a reduction of depression that was greater than 73 percent of comparison group participants."
Similarly, in a previous column, "Searching for Medical Massage" (October 2005), I noted that a large number of applications of massage in a medical context were reporting psychological and emotional benefits leading to increased well-being.4
In their recent book, The Body Has a Mind of Its Own, Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee report on neurological research that touches on the mechanisms of such body-mind interactions. The research concerns both how the mind creates our inherent sense of our body and how we map the space immediately around our body into extensions of our body. For example, we use tools as if they were actual parts of our body, extending our sense of touch to include our tool's contact with the outside world. Such mapping may form the scientific basis for the "connection" of touch and for the healing powers of touch.2
"The scientific method has never been able to confirm that qi flows or other mystical vital energies are real and present in the mind and body. Yet the experiences of these things are so palpable for so many people that it would be a cop-out to dismiss them out of hand as 'nothing more than' wishful thinking. Perhaps science, having banished these energies from the account of reality, can nonetheless explain the sensory awareness that people have of them. The brain's touch, movement, and peripersonal space maps go far in explaining many key elements of these beliefs and experiences."2
The Blakeslee's accounts of body maps are in congruence with my own observations from multiple forays into research. There are features and reactions of the body that are not explicitly physical, but stem from the immense pattern-matching and mapping processes of our brain. In some cases, what we perceive might be both a mapping of the peripersonal space and a mapping from one sensory mode to another. Abbott, for example, reports recent research on mirror-touch synesthesia, in which a touch seen literally is felt by the observer.1
The bottom line is that, as humans, we are neurologically wired to respond to and be part of the sensory world immediately surrounding us. As massage practitioners, this opens the door to helping our fellow humans cope with transitions and traumas, and for sharing their joys. Our emotions map into our body, but just as surely, our bodily experiences map into our emotions.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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