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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
May, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 05
How Often Do You Get A Massage?
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
When was the last time you received a massage? This is not a rhetorical question; I really want you to answer this question for yourself. If you have to pause to think about the answer, then chances are you have gone too long without one. I know our lives are rather full between tending to clients and family, running errands, paying bills, and everything that comes with managing a household. But, as the saying goes, one cannot heal others unless they first heal themselves. Taking care of yourself is just as important to a massage therapist as taking care of your clients.
Remember all the reasons massage is valuable for your clients? You share with them how massage can help to alleviate joint and back pain, manage fibromyalgia and migraines, speed recovery from injury, increase blood circulation and manage stress, etc. Well, all of these reasons apply to you as well. While we all enjoy the laying on of hands, we can't experience all the benefits of a massage vicariously through our clients: we must lay our hands down once in a while and let someone else do the work so we can practice what we advocate.
In order to best serve your clients, it is important to keep in touch with how receiving massage feels to you. Without regular massages, we can easily lose perspective on how issues of touch affect a client in terms of pressure, temperature, and the frequency of repetitive strokes. Weekly or monthly massages allow us to experience new techniques or ways to modify existing ones for a certain group of clients. For example, as a specialist in geriatric massage, I find it helpful to trade massages with colleagues who work with other modalities.
Getting a massage is also important for us as practitioners because it helps prevent injuries common to the profession, such as repetitive stress injuries, muscle strains and carpal tunnel. This advice sounds familiar, doesn't it? I am sure you have mentioned this to more than one of your clients in the past several months. Now it is time to listen to your own advice! Just like athletes, our body is our tool and our work depends on it functioning well. It is for this reason that we must care for our bodies/tool with the same degree of intensity that dancers, swimmers, and runners do.
In a recent survey I gave to students at the Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute, only 6 percent reported that they receive a massage once per week with the majority responding that they receive a massage 6 times per year or less. The main reason respondents gave for not receiving regular massages was that they cannot afford it more often. Ideally, we should be receiving a massage weekly; if that is not possible than we should strive for a massage every other week. Here are some common reasons given for not receiving regular massages, as well as some suggestions for overcoming these obstacles:
I do not want to spend the money. I have to respect this response. Many of us may have experienced a change in our clientele recently, and we must adjust the way we manage our finances accordingly. If you do not feel comfortable spending money on a massage, please consider trading with someone. Probably the most common person to trade with would be another massage therapist. However, if that is not an option for the therapist you like (e.g. he or she only accepts cash), perhaps another form of trade would free up some money to get a massage from the person you prefer. For example, maybe you could trade a massage for a haircut, yard work, babysitting, marketing opportunities, or something else. By not spending money on these other things, you would be able to put aside the money needed for a massage.
I have not found a practitioner with whom I want to trade/pay. The Internet is a wonderful tool for finding people with similar interests. Visiting local massage schools is a great way to connect with fellow practitioners. Check the free daily papers for events related to massage, or postings from local massage therapists. Word-of-mouth also goes a long way, so the more people you talk to, the better chance you have to meet other therapists. Once you start finding people, it is simply a matter of trial and error until you find a practitioner whose work you enjoy, and with whom you can arrange a form of payment.
I do not have the time. Really? I believe we all have time for what is a priority to us. Yes, we are all busy, especially those of us who are caretakers of young children, aging parents, or other family members. What rings more true is to say "I do not believe receiving a massage is a priority in my busy life right now." I urge you to reconsider, for all the reasons mentioned. Every massage therapist can find one hour (one and a half, including travel time) each week, or every other week, for something that is a priority. Your challenge, therefore, is to re-categorize massage as a priority in your life.
The bottom line is this: We cannot be an effective massage therapist if we do not take good care of ourselves. It is imperative that we listen to our bodies and respond accordingly to its needs. So please, try turning off your ringer, take a deep breath, lay yourself down on the massage table instead of standing by it, and let someone take care of you for a wonderful change of pace towards self-care and being the best therapist you can be.
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
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