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Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
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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