resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
December, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 12
Integrating Fitness Into a Massage Therapy Practice
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
Our work as massage therapists helps millions of people. By integrating exercise into their treatment plans, we can take their healing an important step further. All exercise programs should start with a thorough assessment.There are two types of assessments that are important to getting your client well and keeping them that way. The first is an injury assessment, which we have discussed many times in this column. The second is a movement or exercise assessment--and here is where we move into new territory. Very few massage therapists are skilled at assessing movement and prescribing exercise. This is unfortunate because movement assessments can provide valuable information about why your client got injured by identifying predisposing factors. Clients are often in pain because of an underlying weakness, instability, lack of mobility, and a poor understanding of how to move properly.
For example, let's say a client is experiencing low back pain. Normally, a massage therapist would perform soft tissue work around the hips, low back, and perhaps the psoas muscle and send the client on their way feeling a sense of relief. A few days may go by with minimal pain until suddenly the person begins to feel the same symptoms that initially led them to seek treatment. In contrast, if the therapist had the ability to perform an exercise assessment they could design a specific mobilization and stretching program (based on a range-of-motion assessment), teach the client how to execute a proper bend, squat, and/or lunge pattern, then teach them how to condition their body to support the demands of their work and/or sport environment.
Understanding Movement and Functional Anatomy
Understanding movement and functional anatomy will give you greater insight into how to address issues related to repeated injury, neurological dysfunction, inefficient motor control, lack of coordination, and overall weakness. The gift of exercise also has the added value of getting the client actively involved in the healing process.
It's important to figure out which form of exercise is appropriate for the client at the present moment, and which may be appropriate as the person gets stronger. If an exercise is too easy, the client will be bored and not progress. If an exercise is too hard, they will get discouraged and quit. Think of Goldilocks -- only if the program is just right for a client will they overcome the initial challenges and take to the program.
The integration of massage and exercise is important for the long-term health of our clients. So how can you gain enough knowledge about exercise to be able to incorporate it into your practice? The best way is to become certified as a personal trainer. There are a wide variety of certification programs available, and some are more helpful for massage therapists than others. If you'd like specific recommendations, feel free to contact me directly; I'd be happy to help you find one that will work well for you.
It's also important that massage therapists exercise themselves. This profession can be demanding, and if practitioners don't develop very specific kinds of strength and flexibility, they're likely to get injured - especially in their backs, wrists, and hands. There are many strength benchmarks that all massage therapists should meet to ensure success and longevity. With sufficient strength, flexibility, and knowledge of exercise and fitness, we will be better equipped to prevent injuries both in our clients and in ourselves.
Note: In some states, massage therapists are not legally permitted to prescribe exercises - another good reason to become a certified personal trainer.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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