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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 09
A Massage as Good as Gold
Submitted By Lori Schafer
Anna Gammal has spent the past 10 years specializing in sports massage and dedicating her life's work and focus to serving competitive athletes. A former 10,000-meter national champion in her native homeland of Greece, she watched the recent competitions in Beijing from a perspective far different than the 200 million viewers who tuned in to see records fall and hear anthems play.The emotional highs and lows touched her deeply, but Anna's thoughts frequently turned to her time spent with Olympic athletes from around the world and the benefits she has been able to provide by introducing massage into their training regimens.
Bringing personal experience, professional passion and therapeutic massage to serious athletes is a day-to-day privilege for Gammal, a 2000 graduate of Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester, Mass. She shares her knowledge of the aches, pains, joys and disappointments of the best athletic competitors in the world.
"Massage therapy allows me to relieve pain in others and to assist anyone in reaching their higher potential and ability. ... Providing what someone needs individually can be a challenge, but to be part of their transformation is exciting, rewarding and humbling. At the heart of it is the connection you develop with all of these extraordinary people."
Kareem Thompson, who competed in the long jump and 100-meter dash at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, saw firsthand what Anna was able to provide. "What an athlete feels and what is going on in the body can be different things. Anna was extremely intuitive and put my mind at ease very quickly. We developed a bond of trust that continues to this day. She was a real standout in my experience with massage therapists."
Developing an expertise in sports massage was a natural evolution for Gammal. In Greece, she competed and trained seriously, learning firsthand the importance and impact of massage for keeping the muscles supple and strong. However, it wasn't an automatic transition toward this career. Along the way, Gammal acquired professional experience as a preschool teacher, aerobics instructor and gymnastics teacher.
"From the start, it was clear Anna had all it takes to be successful - she had excellent massage skills, was developing her business skills and was not afraid to work hard to reach her goals," said Greg Hurd, LMT, MA, the director of career development and outreach at Bancroft.
Not long after graduation, Gammal moved into private practice. She founded Body & Beyond Massage Therapy in Hopkinton, Mass., where she treats clinical and sports massage clients such as Boston Marathon runners. She also maintained her close ties to the athletic community back in Greece. Because of her skills, personal background and commitment to the field, she was tapped to organize and co-direct the Olympic massage therapy team for the 2004 Athens Games.
George Kousaleos, BA, LMT, who served on the massage teams in 2000 and 2004, says choosing Gammal was a "no-brainer" when putting together the right group for Athens. As the 2004 Games approached, Kousaleos tried to find entry points for several months but was unsuccessful. Gammal, however, was already making connections in Greece and with the International Olympic Committee.
"Athens was interested in what we created for Salt Lake City [in 1996] and Atlanta. Anna spent several years organizing and recruiting 180 professional massage therapists to serve the world's athletes at the Athens games. Her leadership and hands-on participation were invaluable. Anna was clearly motivated by her own personal life experience as a competitor, but also because of her generosity of heart. She gave time, resources and was a key individual in making the Athens Massage Team the success that it was."
So, why wasn't Gammal in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics? According to Anna, each host country organizes its own massage services; it does not automatically carry over from one Olympics to the next. There were very early discussions with China organizers, but they chose to orchestrate massage services themselves - using only their own people - rather than rely on any outside volunteers.
Gammal continues to serve and advise current Olympic-level athletes and competition officials around the country, in addition to providing massage therapy to elite runners and competitors nationwide. She's been recruited by Olympic athletes and is looking to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
"My goal is to keep growing personally while educating people around the world about the benefits and importance of massage therapy in their everyday life," she said. "In terms of the advancement of our industry, there is a coming together that will occur between the body workers and the body scientists who study muscles and fascia. I want to be at the crossroads of that advancement."
Lori Schafer is a managing partner of On Target Communications. For questions or comments, contact Lori at www.ruontarget.com.
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