resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
December, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 12
Your Clients’ Winter Skin
By Rita Woods, LMT
What can I do about it? In the winter months, this is the question most often asked by my clients. They are talking about their dry and sometimes cracked skin. The skin is the first barrier of defense against millions of bacteria, viruses, molds and fungus. The skin is like the walls of a fortress that protect the interior from invading armies. Intact, healthy skin is vital to our overall health. As a therapist, I always keep extra lotion on hand during the winter because the client's skin will suck it up like a sponge.
Skin is our domain. We see it and touch it on every client. We use it to get to muscles, ligaments, fascia and all that lies underneath it. Just think about it - we work muscles and soft tissue, but never actually get to touch it. We make contact with our target muscles by using the skin. It's important that we offer advice, suggestions and services that will assist our clients, as they depend on us for information. Let's face it, we probably see more skin on a person than their spouse or partner.
Let's first look at why the skin becomes dryer in the winter months. Low humidity is the main cause. The air around us is more dry, so the moisture is wicked out of our body and we receive virtually no moisture from our environment. Other factors contribute to dry skin but dry air will exacerbate an existing problem. When you think about dry skin, you should have two objectives in mind: first, getting moisture into the cells, and second, keeping it there.
One thing you can do is to work with the air around you. Add some moisture to it. When I was a kid I remember my mom putting containers of water on the vents in the floor. She was adding moisture back into the air. That was our humidifier. Grandma had a wood stove and always had a cast-iron tea kettle simmering on the stove. Again, moisture back into the air. In addition to keeping our skin moist and cutting down on static electricity, moist air retains heat better.
If you are dehydrated, drinking more water can help. However, recent studies suggest people who are adequately hydrated do not receive any additional skin benefit from drinking more water.
Now let's look at topical applications. We call these moisturizers, with hand and body lotions being the most commonly used products. There are three types of basic moisturizers. One puts moisture in, one prevents moisture from escaping, and one makes the skin feel smoother. Individual skin varies, so trial and error may be necessary to find the right combination. It's chemistry that make these work, so I'll give you ingredients to look for. There are many substances in each category, but these most often appear in over-the-counter lotions.
Humectants. This is a classification of moisturizer that penetrates the stratum corneum, the top layer of skin, and helps absorb moisture. Humectants are popular in anti-aging products since skin dries out more as we age. The common ingredients in this category include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, propylene glycol and sorbitol.
Occlusives. This category works by coating the top layer of the skin to decrease evaporation. Common substances with occlusive properties include lanolin, stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, mineral oil and petrolatum. I can already hear the moans about using mineral oil or petrolatum. But keep in mind that for many people, their hands, fingers and feet will actually crack and bleed. This is a most unhealthy condition and can be quite painful as well. In this case, they may want to use grandma's beauty secret of smearing a white petroleum product, like Vaseline, on their hands and then donning a pair of white gloves before going to bed.
Emollients. Emollients soften and smooth skin texture. Common substances with emollient properties include cyclomethicone, dimethicone, isopropyl myristate, octyl extenuate, isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl isostearate and jojoba oil.
By knowing the action of different ingredients, you and your client will have the ability to make better decisions about winter skin care. But there is still more that can be done. The skin has a layer of lipids that is vital to healthy skin. This natural lipid component can be stripped away with soaps, harsh cleansers and even hot water. At the very least, try using warm rather than hot water for showering. After showering, pat dry and while the skin is moist, but not wet, apply your lotion; especially a moisturizer or lotion with humectant properties. This can draw moisture from the surface into the skin.
Exfoliates. A lotion or moisturizer works more effectively when the skin is free from dead surface cells. For best results in the winter, use a good nonabrasive exfoliator that contains its own moisturizing properties. A salt scrub may be helpful but can also be drying to winter skin.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and deserves quality care. For many people, winter care may require measures that go beyond their normal routine. Skin care problems should be viewed as any other acute or chronic health issue and be addressed accordingly. The use of products or ingredients that you may normally avoid could be your best defense. I had a friend tell me that when her hands start to crack, she uses grandma's Vasoline-and-gloves regime. She sees it as medicine: It's not to be taken all the time, but she is grateful for it when there is a problem.
Click here for more information about Rita Woods, LMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.