resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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.
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.
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.