resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
December, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 12
Heating Up Your Practice Safely, Part 1
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
Over the last decade, many bodyworkers have begun using stones, not to replace human touch but as an additional relaxing and leveraging technique. Traditionally used by Egyptians, Shamans and American Indians, stones have a long history of therapeutic use and spiritual healing.Today, incorporating stones in one's practice offers this ancient tool, to not only relax clients but also give our hands a rest. Hot stones are a form of thermal and magnetic therapy, requiring a unique trust between the client and practitioner. A respect for the trust bestowed in us by our clients need to be developed by a safe and meticulous protocol to perform this primal technique.
After attending a hot stone seminar this summer, I was immediately reminded how splendid hot stone massage is, not only for the client but also for the therapist. Throughout my years of practice, I was always hesitant to use any type of tool, I never cared for the way the tools felt on my skin, either giving or receiving. Yet with rocks, especially smooth and warm ones, the feeling is different. There is an instant primal connection to a real rock from the ocean or a riverbed, which is relaxing to the spirit and nurturing to the soul.
Hot stone massage is usually done with basalt lava stones, which contain high levels of calcium, magnesium and iron. These minerals can facilitate balance within our energy centers or chakras, and they can move stagnation within our channels and meridians. Many therapists use cold stones as well. These may be smaller marble stones or quartzite crystals. Cold stones are commonly used on the face.
Stones and heat are both very powerful. When not treated with respect and vigilance, they can actually injure the client. Other types of heat therapy to keep in mind include hydroculator wet packs, water bottles, herbal compress bags and infra-red heat lamps.
Last fall, I published a three-part series on malpractice and liability claims. Many of these claims frequently involve burns from hot stones, cupping and hydroculator packs.
And while we are well aware of all the benefits of hot stones and other heat therapies. Over the winter months, we will discuss several treatment procedures, contraindications and cautions of which we should be aware as we provide therapeutic heat, especially hot stones to our clients. This month, we will discuss treatment procedures, skin typing and informed consent.
It is of utmost importance to have set procedures. We must follow a methodical, yet simple, protocol in our treatment rooms to ensure the safety of ourselves and our clients. Sloppy procedures and little or no training are the number one causes of burns in the treatment room. Why do client's get burned? Usually because stones are too hot.
According to Michael Schroeder, vice president of the American Massage Council, "The most common problem with hot stones is the method therapists are using to cool down the stones. If they are too hot, therapists often use cold water to cool them down, but this only cools the external layer of the rock.
"After placing them on a client, the superficial layer of the stone quickly becomes hot again, sometimes burning the client. The therapist doesn't realize they have only temporarily cooled the external layer. This means if the stones are too hot, the only way to cool them down is time. We can put them on a washcloth next to the heater, turn down the temperature and wait for them to cool."
Additionally, always test stones on your own forearm before placing them on the client. Our own hands may not be a safe temperature gauge because they are less sensitive to heat than the rest of our bodies.
Never give a hot stone massage using silicon gloves. If you use a glove rather than tongs or a skimmer to remove the stones out of the water, never put them straight onto client. If the palm of your hand cannot hold the stone, most likely the client will not tolerate the heat. Again, test the temperature on your own forearm first.
Always use a temperature gauge in the water while heating up the stones. Warm stones (90 F - 110 F) are used for those with sensitivity to heat or for large stones that are going to compress the body without a sheet or towel. Hot stones (110 F - 125 F) are used for active massage. Temperatures will vary according to client, always test your equipment, set the heater at low without a cover and go from there.
It's better to start on tougher (yang) areas first (back and lateral portions of the body), then work toward medial and anterior portion (yin).
In general, "stones do not care for bones". We should avoid all bony clefts and spinal processes. No stones should be placed on the eyes if the client wears contact lenses.
Fitzpatrick Classification Scale
Another tool we can use to keep our clients and ourselves protected is becoming familiar with skin typing. The Fitzpatrick Classification Scale (developed in 1975 by Thomas Fitzpatrick, a Harvard Medical School dermatologist) classifies a person's complexion and tolerance of sunlight. The scale is used by several different health practitioners to determine how their patients will respond to heat therapies.
We can educate our clients by including a skin typing chart in our initial examination documents or by incorporating it into our informed consent documents.
Another important facet of a long-term successful practice using heat therapies is always having the client sign an informed consent document, specifically for hot stone therapy, before receiving treatment. This document may explain benefits and risks of hot stones therapy, contraindications and cautions, and explain the skin-typing procedures.
By enlightening our clients through a professional intake procedure, we further establish a foundation of love and trust that facilitates their healing.
In the chilly months ahead, heat therapies may be suitable to offer your clients as a seasonal special or a holiday gift. When incorporated into practice with a healthy respect and awareness, we can securely integrate these healing modalities into our current practices. In the coming months, we will discuss contraindicated diseases, conditions and medications for heat therapies.
I would love to hear your experiences or comments. Please feel free to contact me at .
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