resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
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.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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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