resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
September, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 09
What About My Feet?
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
During a recent session with a regular client of mine, we ended up having a conversation about feet. I cannot remember how the topic came up - maybe he was having particularly bad pain in his feet that day - but we ended up discussing what kind of shoes we wear the majority of the time.
The conversation made me realize that for as much time as I spend working peoples' feet, I have not yet written exclusively about feet and massage, or self-care of feet for practitioners.
Massage therapists are one of the groups of professionals who spend most of their time working on their feet; in addition to pulling, pushing, bending, leaning and lifting. We have a rather "physical" job, and after giving five to eight massages in one day, I know my feet have frequently felt the effects of this.
I can also admit I rarely do anything more than stretch my feet out and give myself a mini-pedicure before I go to bed. The following morning, my feet seem to recover, and I go about my day as usual. However, after the aforementioned conversation, I started discussing footwear and lower body pain with colleagues, and I decided this topic would be extremely useful to write about.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), almost 75 percent of people experience foot pain at some point in their lives, and only one out of every six sufferers seeks help from a podiatrist. Research from the APMA also demonstrates that those who spend four or more hours a day working on their feet suffer from chronic foot pain more than any other group of people. Even more important is the fact that nearly 78 percent of Americans suffer from foot pain because they are wearing ill-fitting shoes. So now I'm wondering, have I recently been properly fitted for shoes? In fact, have I ever been properly fitted for shoes? Since we fall into the category of people who stand for more than four hours a day while we work, it is crucial that we pay attention to our feet, and what we are putting on them. Here are some tips from the APMA on how to purchase shoes that will both fit you well and serve you well:
There is one category of shoes that is so controversial I feel like we need to address it all on its own: flip flops. Just mentioning them in front of physical therapists and orthopedic doctors elicits snarls and frowns. At first, I was amused by the reactionary tendencies these summer shoes evoked in the health care community. But after reading up on them, it is clear that frequent use of flip flops can cause long-term foot problems for people, such as tendonitis, blisters, plantar fasciitis and sprained ankles. The more immediate consequences of wearing flip flops in place of other shoes include cuts, bruises and injuries because they do not offer your feet good protection or support. Visit the APMA Web site for their recommendations on finding a good pair of flip flops for the summer. I stress this, because all current research says they should not be worn for work, and should not be worn on a daily basis.
Strength & Flexibility Exercises
Now that we've discussed footwear, I would like to share some stretches with you that I came across on Runner'sWorld.com. They focus on your foot, ankle, and lower leg, and if done daily, will increase your strength and flexibility, which can help prevent injury in the future.
The Monopoly Game: Put 10 small objects on the floor (i.e. marbles or Monopoly pieces) and place a small cup nearby. Using your toes, pick up the pieces one at a time and put them in the cup. Do two sets of 10 with each foot. Compete with your spouse or kids to see who can do 10 in the fastest time.
The Drunk Flamingo: Standing on stable ground, balance on one foot with your eyes open. Once you can do that for one minute, try it with your eyes closed. Master that and then move to an unstable surface such as: a mini-trampoline, foam block, wobble board or Bosu trainer.
Toe Tug: Loop one end of an exercise band around a sturdy table leg or bedpost. Sit with your legs straight in front of you, and loop the other end around the top part of one foot. The band should be anchored straight in front of you, and it should be taut when your foot is pointed away from you. Pull your toes toward you, keeping your leg straight. Go as far as your ankle will let you. Release slowly, returning to the starting position. Do two sets of 20 on each leg.
Bent-Knee Wall Stretch: Runners often forget to stretch the soleus - a muscle deep in the calf that attaches to the Achilles. "Doing a calf stretch with a straight leg hits the gastrocnemius, but that's only half the battle," Schneider says. Here's how to target the soleus: Stand with your palms against a wall, one leg forward, one leg back. Lower into a "seated" position with legs bent. Lean into the wall until you feel it in your back calf. Hold 30 to 45 seconds then switch legs.
Negative Calf Raises: Stand on a step with your toes on the edge and your heels hanging off. Push up with both feet into a calf raise. Lift one leg off the step, and lower your other leg so that your heel drops below the step. Take at least 10 seconds to lower it all the way down - that's the eccentric part of the move and has been shown to help prevent Achilles tendinitis.
Plantar Stretch: Sit down barefoot and cross your right leg so that your ankle rests on your left thigh. Hold your toes and bend them back toward your shin, stretching the plantar fascia. A study showed that people suffering from plantar fasciitis had a 77 percent chance of returning to full activity within three to six months after performing this stretch. Researchers suggest that you do the stretch 10 times at least three times a day (once or twice a day doesn't produce as strong of an effect).
I've always been selective when it comes to buying shoes, and after researching for this article, I am certainly happy for that trait. I am also looking forward to staying up on current research regarding footwear and foot health; I will continue to be careful before I stand on my own two feet!
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.
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