resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
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.