resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 06
Heating Up Your Practice Safely: Feedback From Readers
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
After receiving many compelling comments to the two-part series, "Heating Up Your Practice Safely," I was inspired to publish some of the common questions and insightful comments I received. As always, I appreciate your questions and comments and am always open to being educated by my readers.
"Thank you for the much-needed article on safety while using heat during massage therapy. I would just add multiple sclerosis to your list of conditions in which to avoid heat. Though it is considered to be an auto-immune condition, some may not know that and cause great harm. Thank you so much."
Thank you for your response to my article. Multiple sclerosis is an important addition to the list of diseases contraindicated for heat therapies. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling auto-immune disease that attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. More specifically, the body's own defense system attacks the myelin sheath (the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers in the central nervous system) leading nerve fibers vulnerable to damage. The injured myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is interrupted by scar tissue, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or incomplete, producing the variety of symptoms that raise a red flag for heat therapies. Among these are numbness, tingling, weakness, spasticity and unsteadiness of a limb. Fever, hot baths, sun exposure, and stress have all been associated with triggering or exacerbating an attack. Thanks for your contribution.
"I enjoyed your article in this month's Massage Today on hot stone therapy. I practice in Florida and as of March of this year my liability carrier (International Massage Association) announced that due to the increase in claims due to burns, they will no longer cover hot stone therapy. I have talked to other massage therapist with different carriers and they have had the same response. I've also noticed in various spa advertisements that they have dropped hot stone therapy from their ads as well, and one has changed from hot stone to warm stone.
"I have wanted to take a course for some time now but am shying away from doing so because of the change in policy. My question to you is, if the client signs a consent form and ends up with a burn and the therapist is not covered, what the legal ramifications would be. Of course this would have to happen now! Thanks for your input and I look forward to your forthcoming articles."
It appears as though your current massage malpractice insurance policy no longer meets your individual needs. I don't give legal advice, but I do know it's never wise to gamble with one's livelihood by carrying a policy that does not cover all the modalities you practice. It may be time to switch insurance carriers.
"I think you have pointed out a lot of great things in your article about hot stones. I would have liked to have seen something about the hygiene, i.e., how to care for the stones, cleaning and sanitation, since the stones are kept in the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish."
Thank you for your response. You bring up a crucial issue. Due to the increase in bacterial and virus outbreaks over the last decade, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has put a major emphasis on hand washing and routine sanitary procedures, especially in health care settings. Hospital and clinical settings are a major cause of the spread of many of these "super bugs." Unlike the common cold or a flu virus, these new super bugs spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or with contaminated objects. Carelessness or lack of proper sanitation procedures may make the massage therapist a perfect route for transmission of infection.
According to the South Carolina MRSA Infection Protection Act: "Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common staph infection which is resistant to many antibiotics and which is increasingly prevalent in health care settings. A study published in the 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that MRSA infections occur in approximately 94,000 persons each year and are associated with approximately 19,000 deaths; approximately eighty-six percent are health care associated."
In our practices, we have an obligation to ensure each client is protected from these "super bugs" with the safest routine clinical procedures. Different practitioners have their own unique way of sanitizing and/or cleaning their stones and massage tools. Some boil their stones in salt water or wipe with alcohol, others scrub the tool with soap and hot water. I've even heard of therapists using the dishwasher to sanitize the stones. With all the different methods of sanitation what is the safest standard procedure?
One of my teachers, Jenny Ray at Sacred Stone Therapy, has provided me with the latest information on sanitary procedures from the Geothermal Therapy Association (GTA). According to Ray, "The CDC has recently approved GTA recommendations as sufficient for protecting the client from H1N1, HIV AIDS, MRSA and other staph infections. The recommendations are as follows:
Stones should be washed as soon as possible after treatment, as the longer the oils and bacteria stay on, the harder they may be to remove. The critical issue is that the antiseptic routine must be done between each individual client. For more information, refer to the GTA Web site at www.stonewalkersassociation.com which will soon be moving to www.geothermaltherapy.com.
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