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Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
December, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 12
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
In January 2001, the first edition of Massage Today was released, and my first Speaking of Pathologies column was in the inaugural issue.It was an introduction to a new concept: readers could send me their interesting questions and challenges around pathology topics, and I would pull together some information for responses that might benefit the rest of the profession. Since that time I have written more than 50 columns on topics ranging from herpes simplex to bariatric surgery to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Most of the time, my articles were stimulated by your input; sometimes I had no direction from readers and simply pursued my own line of interest; this led to a series on neurological conditions including ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries, about which I'm still getting letters several years later, and to a lively discussion about student clinics that established great connections with massage educators around the country.
I have saved every edition of Massage Today since the first one. As I look through our recent history, I see headline after headline tracking legislative issues; massage outreach programs to underserved groups; controversies between our trade organizations; reports on educational and political meetings that influence our professions; and, more and more, articles about the science of massage and how it can be applied in the context of clients who live with imperfect health.
This is the long way around of saying that the time has come for me to step aside. My own career is about to make a major shift. Between this and other commitments, along with the fact that Massage Today is now packed with the kind of content that used to be hard to come by, means that this is one obligation that I can let go. I do it with some reluctance. Massage Today has been very good to me, providing a venue through which I have been able to communicate with thousands of colleagues, and I feel a sense of loyalty to it and to the people who work there. However, as we all know, there is a point where our commitments can become overwhelming and our ability to fulfill them can become compromised. Rather than see that happen, I am happy and proud to leave at a time that I know information about massage and bodywork in the context of disease is more accessible than ever before, and that readers who want to find information or guidance about specific conditions won't be left without resources.
When I started as a pathology writer, I would sometimes do internet searches for "Massage and XX," filling in the name of some disorder or condition. Often, there were no results. Just as often, I would find an advertisement for a practitioner who worked with that disease but no information specifically on the science of massage in that context.
Nowadays the options are so much broader! General information about diseases is still available through the old stand-bys (Mayo.com, WebMD.com, CDC.gov and branches of the NIH are some of my favorites), but we have arrived at a point where we can raise the bar to include academic-level research specifically about massage and bodywork. I have three resources that I feel are especially useful in this context, and I would love for readers to keep these for future reference:
The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (www.ijtmb.org): This is the academic, peer-reviewed publication of the Massage Therapy Foundation. It is published electronically every quarter and is completely free. The IJTMB recently celebrated its first birthday. Because it is just getting started, its archives are not yet deep but I would love for readers to start here in their search for information.
Google Scholar (www.googlescholar.com): This is an easy-to-use resource for gathering technical content while weeding out the majority of websites that are selling products in the guise of offering information.
Pubmed (www.pubmed.gov): This is run by the government and gathers academic articles about health care from all over the world. My last Pubmed search of "massage therapy" yielded more than 9,000 articles in which massage was studied as primary or comparative intervention. The problem with Pubmed is that while the abstracts of most articles are available, the full text of each may be harder to access unless, like articles in the IJTMB, they are made available through an open-source publisher.
Several other great sources for information exist, and I encourage practitioners to explore them and share them with others. Perhaps the most important point to stress is that what it takes to gather value from this information is patience, persistence and possibly a good medical dictionary. My own background and training is emphatically not in the sciences. If a theatre major from a small liberal-arts college can make sense of a Pubmed article, so can every person reading this column.
Massage Therapy Foundation
Which leads to my next point: one reason I am leaving Massage Today as a regular columnist is to serve as president of the Massage Therapy Foundation, starting in March 2010. Massage Today has been tremendously supportive of the MTF, so most readers are probably familiar with the basic idea. The Massage Therapy Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has been created to advance the massage therapy profession through education, community service and research. We accomplish these goals in many ways, but we rely on donations so that we can fund research projects, help massage therapists set up outreach projects for underserved populations, publish the IJTMB, host research conferences (the party is in May 2010 in Seattle at the Highlighting Massage Therapy Research in Complementary and Integrative Medicine conference!), sponsor student and practitioner case report contests, and send educators out to teach principles of research literacy to massage school faculty all over the country. We do this because the future of the massage therapy profession is in research.
Credible, well-designed research that yields clear information about how massage affects human function allows us to build bridges with the rest of the health care community. It allows us to market massage as a self-care strategy rather than an occasional luxury. It supports massage therapy with qualified practitioners as a safe, cost-effective and powerful health care intervention. Not every massage therapist will become a researcher, but we all need to develop some basic skills so that we can find research, interpret it and apply it to our practices. I hope every reader here will use the Massage Therapy Foundation (www.massagetherapyfoundation.org) to help with those goals, and I further hope that every Massage Today reader will consider making an annual donation to the Foundation to help pay for those services.
Writing a reader-led column has richly fed me as a writer and an educator. As I scan my list of articles, I have distinct memories of interactions with some readers:
These questions and experiences, so generously shared by our colleagues, have opened conversations that I hope have benefitted everyone who read the columns they inspired. Those conversations aren't over, but they have to take place in a different setting now.
It has been my honor and my privilege to work with all of you here. Please rest assured that the other Massage Today columnists will, with great talent and skill, seamlessly fill the small hole I leave. Thanks for all of your support over the years, and please know you have my very best wishes. Many thanks and many blessings.
Editor's note: While Ruth Werner says farewell as a columnist, she will not be far from your readership. Ruth will be part of an exciting new online format with Massage Today. Stay tuned!
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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