resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
June, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 06
Are we all on the same playing field?
By James Waslaski
I just returned from attending an incredible seminar sponsored by Performance Health. Manual therapy participants included industry leaders and pioneers from the fields of Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training, and Massage.Many of the participants had multiple certifications, such as chiropractors that also had degrees in physical therapy and personal training That was followed the very next week by teaching a seminar in Drogheda Ireland, just outside Dublin, to an international group of manual therapists.
The awesome thing is that most of the people, from both groups, left their titles and egos aside, to learn and share manual therapy techniques that would benefit all of our patients. Presentations were designed to bridge the gap within the manual therapy profession, for the best interest of every client that walks though our door suffering from a musculoskeletal problem.
So this article has been written to not only help bridge the gap between all manual therapists in the health care system, but bridge the gap and give respect to all advanced disciplines in the massage industry.
This year we are releasing a book with Pearson Publishing to share the work that has positively changed the lives of thousands of patients throughout the world with musculoskeletal pain. Therapeutic work that blends multiple advanced massage therapy modalities, with other manual therapy disciplines. We avoided the word medical massage in the title, because we felt a need to honor other great advanced modalities that have an amazing effect in eliminating complicated medical conditions including: Posturology, Myoskeletal Alignment, Visceral Manipulation, Lymphatic Drainage, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Structural Integration, Anatomy Trains, Myofascial Release, Neuromuscular Therapy, Energetic Therapy, and this list goes on.
We realized that although the term medical massage is one of the biggest buzz words in the massage industry, it is also one of the most controversial words in our industry. Some industry leaders would tell you we are not doing medical massage unless the client we are treating is referred by a physician. That would mean that the majority of the clients that recovered from complicated musculoskeletal medical conditions from my work in the past 20 years did not get medical massage. At least one state has told their therapists they cannot call what they do medical massage unless they are certified in neuromuscular therapy. I love neuromuscular therapy, but there are a whole lot of medical conditions that respond better to other modalities. What good can we do if the medical client has a visceral, lymphatic, and/or cranial problem if we limit our work to just one modality?
So, to respect the many great advanced disciplines in the massage therapy industry, we chose to call our new text book Clinical Massage: A Structural Approach to Pain Management. Throughout, it stresses the importance of combining science, with presence in therapy, intention, and intuition. We also talk about the importance of knowing when to refer certain clients to therapists in other modalities, and to medical practitioners in other disciplines. Since I have received advanced training over the years in many other modalities such as Functional Assessment, Posturology, Myoskeletal Alignment, etc., I realize the importance of blending multiple modalities and multiple disciplines to better treat the wide array of medical conditions we see in our offices and clinics.
I also found out that the more we know, the more we realize we don't know. We need to align with leaders in the manual therapy industry for the best interest of each client. We also need to combine eastern and western philosophies of medicine. Clinically based practitioners need to stop putting down energy healing, just because of their lack of knowledge, or insufficient training in that particular area. There is a lot of scientific proof out there in regard to our negative thoughts and negative energy creating pain, disease, and illness all the way to the level of the DNA.
It really bothers me when I hear a massage therapist say things like "What does the doctor or physical therapist know?" Or that energy work is "woo woo stuff." It is time we all put our egos aside, and work together in the best interest of the clients we serve.
In summary let me share a medical condition we see with our clients. Let's look at a client that presents with thoracic outlet or adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Is that a neck problem, a shoulder problem, compensation from a true leg length discrepancy problem, or an emotional problem? Will it benefit more from manipulative therapy, posturology, massage, or energy work? What muscle groups are pulling bones onto nerves and blood vessels? Will the client benefit more from a flexibility program or a strengthening program? Should we work on balancing the muscle groups of the neck and shoulder first, or release the fascial adhesions in the joint capsule? What modality or discipline will have the greatest effect on resolving the clinical symptoms? Can the client completely recover if they just get treated with manipulative therapy, and not have the muscles in the neck and shoulder balanced out? Is there an emotional component to this condition that could benefit from energy work?
The training with Performance Health, and the six day training in Ireland, focused on function, form, balance and movement. Assessment and clinical reasoning was important. Blending of disciplines was important. It was also crystal clear that each manual therapist had to teach the client better postural awareness and proper ergonomics. The client needed to get involved in a self care program to help themselves.
I have always encouraged therapists to constantly blend multiple massage modalities and manual therapy disciplines. Even just in the area of Orthopedic Massage, Whitney Lowe and I have decided to blend our uniquely complimentary certification programs in Orthopedic Massage, to raise the bar, and make a Master Level Orthopedic Massage Certification available. It will still be just considered one branch of the medical massage umbrella. It scares me knowing our industry is moving towards an advanced certification in massage. I wonder which advanced manual therapy disciplines will make it into the exam. Maybe we should back up a bit and first come to agreement on what medical massage is?
The time has come that manual therapists need to be on the same page when treating clients with complicated clinical conditions. I believe if we took all the incredible healing modalities in the massage or manual therapy profession and put them in one big toolbox, we would revolutionize medicine.
For now, let’s work together in the manual therapy profession, without turf wars. Stop criticizing other medical practitioners and start sharing the brilliant modalities they got in medical or PT school for the best interest of clients who have been given no hope for pain-free living.
Artwork furnished by Pearson Publishing from the book Clinical Massage Therapy: A Structural Approach to Pain Management.
Click here for more information about James Waslaski.
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.