resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
Incorporating Lymphatic Drainage in Facelift Massage
By Rita Woods, LMT
More and more therapists are performing facial massage as a stand alone session such as a facelift massage. Women in their 60s, the typical age group treated in my practice, present with specific issues that should be taken into consideration. First, if they do not receive regular massage and do not have an active lifestyle, they may have sluggish circulatory/lymphatic systems. Second, they may have health and medication issues that impact how, and if, you can proceed with the session. In this column, I'll discuss what you need to know and how to approach the facial lymphatic system in a basic and uncomplicated session.
Areas of Caution
First, some words of caution. If your client suffers from an active infection such as sinusitis, strep throat, tooth abscess or any skin infection, do not proceed. Active head/face infection is your number one contraindication for this work. If, however, they have been taking antibiotics for at least three days, it is generally safe to proceed. Next, if your client has facial swelling of unknown origin, do not proceed. Remember this is for a typical session with a healthy client and no extenuating circumstances. While it is possible to use this work to address blunt force trauma and post-facial surgery, that requires advanced training. Standard massage contraindications also apply even when working on the face alone.
Facial Lymphatic System
Now, onto the treatment itself. You remember from your massage school curriculum that massage increases circulation; it also increases lymphatic flow. That is, massage also increases the release and flow of lymphatic waste. As with any "waste disposal," some form of clearing should be done before adding more waste to the system. (For example, if there is mud stuck in the end of a garden hose, the mud must be cleared out before the water can flow effectively. The same holds true in the body's waste removal systems.)
Unlike the blood circulation in the face which drains in a variety of directions before ending up back at the heart, the facial lymphatic system follows a very exacting drainage path. The right side of the face flows to the right and the left side to the left - with both sides ultimately flowing into submandibular lymph nodes. While there are other locations housing lymph nodes involved with head/face "cleaning," such as under the occiput, the main ones for facelift style work are the submandibular ones. Lymph nodes vary in size from small - about the size of a pin head - to large, about the size of an olive. The ones under the mandible are about the size of a pea.
During a regular full body massage, muscles are warmed and circulation increases. When performing a stand alone face session, muscles must also be "prewarmed" in order to gain the necessary effects. As importantly, submandibular lymph nodes must be stimulated (rubbed) in order to open and enhance circulatory and lymphatic flow. Failure to do so could result in edema and puffiness especially under the eyes, an area prone to sluggish lymph flow.
If your client suffers from bags under the eyes or obvious fluid retention in the face, you may choose to focus more time on lymphatic work until some of the fluid and puffiness has decreased, possibly in one or two sessions. Although it is not possible or practical to teach a facial lymphatic protocol in this format, we can follow some basic steps that will surely help your client. Do not mix muscle work and lymphatic work. The lymph vessels are just under the surface of the skin on the face and are easily flattened by pressing too deeply. While they recover quickly, they need time to do so. A muscle technique to break up adhesions should not immediately be followed by a lymphatic stroke.
Two Key Areas
Two key areas to focus your attention are the submandibular nodes and the terminus. The terminus is where the lymph vessels dump into the circulatory system just before entering the heart. Unlike the rest of the body, the lymph vessels of the face have a straight shot down the neck and into the heart. You want to stimulate this area to prepare it to receive more lymph. This stimulation, while gentle, is more aggressive than work on the actual vessels. The same is true of the submandibular nodes. You will exert a steady and firm pressure, almost in a milking/pumping action, to these nodes. Done correctly, your client will be able to breathe, swallow and speak while you affect the nodes. The tips of your fingers apply pumping pressure on the underside of mandible and your fingers must remain in constant contact with the inner edge of the jaw line. The nodes are tucked up under the inside edge and in some cases can be palpated. Keeping your fingers on the bone will also ensure that you are not encroaching on arteries or veins in the neck.
Steps of Treatment
A typical session would be as follows: 1)Warm the facial muscles using any gentle, non-invasive technique; 2)Gently stimulate the lymphatic terminus which is found below the clavicles and on either side of the manubrium; 3) Stimulate the submandibular lymph nodes by using digital pressure up underneath the mandible bone; then 4) Proceed with your facelift session protocol. Upon completion of the facelift protocol, allow 5-10 minutes for stimulating the lymph flow through the lymphatic vessels. These vessels respond well to light stroking that is almost featherlike. Starting with the region closest to the nodes, apply a light stretch to the skin then follow the movement with a featherlike trailing toward the nodes. Your stroke will look like a 7 or an L. Work your strokes up to the middle of the face with the featherlike trailing toward the nodes. You may encounter some drag if there is lubricant on the face. If so, you can use a cotton ball for the trailing stroke. Cotton balls work well on and around the eyelids.
The combination of the proper facial and/or facelift massage and lymphatic drainage of the face can multiply the effects of facial work. Some of my happiest clients are those who finally get rid of the bag-gage.
I want to thank Charlotte Versagi, lymphatic massage instructor extraordinaire for sharing her knowledge and experience in the writing of this article.
Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.
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