resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 06
Tai Chi: A Bridge Between You and Your Clients
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
Over the past year, I have written quite a bit on wellness opportunities for massage therapists as part of the self-care series in Massage Today. Until I reflected on this, it never occurred to me how many different and interesting ways there are to take care of one's self! A recent visit with a friend of mine, a gerontologist who works at St.Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis, opened me up to yet another avenue of pursuit for wellness that complements the work therapists do. She shared with me the success she has had with her arthritis patients since starting a new tai chi regiment with them.
I have previously written about the benefits of yoga, and while tai chi is similar, it is more accessible than yoga, as it is a little less demanding on the body. While both yoga and tai chi integrate breathing with body postures and focus on aligning the body and mind, there are significant differences between them. Yoga originated in India, includes schools that are very vigorous, and originally included a spiritual component to the practice. Tai chi is a form of martial arts that originated in China, focuses on aligning the body and mind, and uses solely low-impact movements. While traveling through China, many times I witnessed people in parks practicing tai chi, as well as men in business suits starting out their workday by practicing tai chi in their office.
That being said, my research led me to Dr. Paul Lam, a world authority in the field of tai chi practice and instruction. He is a physician in Australia and has trained over 10,000 instructors across the globe through his Tai Chi for Health program. After answering my questions, I was amazed by the many benefits of tai chi, not only for massage therapists, but also for our clients, especially those who suffer from arthritis. Dr. Lam was such a wonderful source of information.
The following is my interview with Dr. Lam:
How would you describe tai chi to the layperson?
Tai chi originated in ancient China where it is considered a martial art. There is much more to tai chi than one can see, but basically, tai chi consists of slow, continuous whole-body movements, strung together in a form. Like dance, the movements are learned and follow one after the other. The essential principles of tai chi include integrating the mind with the body, fluid movements, controlled breathing and mental concentration. The central focus is to enable the qi (pronounced chee), or life force, to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. Total harmony of the inner- and outer-self comes from the integration of the mind and body. This can be achieved through regular practice.
We know there are many benefits to practicing tai chi. When thinking about massage therapists, and the work they do, what do you think are the most beneficial aspects of tai chi for them?
Treating patients can be emotionally and physically draining for massage therapists. Tai chi can strengthen your mental balance and improve your physical energy as well as your internal strength. It is an excellent way to help therapists revitalize themselves. Once a therapist learns tai chi, he/she can then apply the tai chi principle as they treat their patients. These principles enable the therapist to work with better posture, using more internal energy and causing less muscular strain. This increases the therapeutic effect and minimizes the chance of injury. The therapist can use tai chi principles to regenerate their internal energy so they will not feel as tired as they usually do.
Is it more beneficial for massage therapists to practice tai chi before or after giving a massage?
Practicing tai chi is always beneficial at any time, especially before and after a session with a client. Practicing tai chi prior to seeing clients only takes a short period of time and helps to warm up and stretch the body. After a session, it can help one wind down by restoring physical and mental energy.
Are there different routines to do in the morning and in the evening?
There are many forms of tai chi, and one should choose a form based on individual preference. You can learn many different sets of tai chi or focus on one simple set. Whether one practices the same set or different sets in the morning or evening does not matter. The benefit of practicing tai chi and the key to improving in it is to adhere to the essential principles, which remain the same regardless of which style or set one chooses.
If someone wants to begin tai chi for the first time, where should he/she start?
I believe going to a good teacher, one who is suitable for your needs, is the best way to begin the practice of tai chi. Our instructors for the Tai Chi for Health programs are taught how to teach the program safely and effectively and can be an excellent place to start. Actually, massage therapists are one of the professional groups qualified to learn to teach in our Tai Chi for Health program within a relatively short period of time, so you might already know a colleague who teaches tai chi, and just didn't realize it!
While Dr. Lam believes the best place to start is in a classroom, he also suggested DVDs and books on tai chi for those who cannot attend a class. For more information on Dr. Lam including a list of his intructors, DVDs and books, go to www.drpaullam.com.
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.
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.