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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
October, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 10
Massage and Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
By Rita Woods, LMT
You can use your massage skills and talents to work on clients with diabetic and chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathies. The degree of success is dependent upon the stage/severity of the neuropathy, client compliance with their own medical care and the "homework" you give them, and your understanding and use of the correct massage therapy protocol.
Neuropathies are characterized by a progressive loss of nerve fiber function. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy or (DPN) can be defined as "the presence of symptoms and or signs of peripheral nerve dysfunction in people with diabetes after exclusion of other causes." This is by far the most common form of neuropathy and one that you are likely to see in your massage practice. Symptoms include pain, tingling, a burning sensation, numbness or loss of feeling, pins and needles feeling and even muscle weakness. This neuropathy usually starts in the toes (in the most distal peripheral nerves) then progresses to the foot, then up the ankle and so on. The hands can be affected in the same way. This condition is almost always bilateral, involving both feet and or both hands. While DPN can involve organs and other body systems, our goal here, staying within our scope of practice, is to normalize function in the feet and hands using appropriate massage therapy techniques. It's important to understand some processes to help hone your skills and to help educate your clients about why it is important to follow their doctors orders. Understanding the why of something often encourages participation and compliance.
First, let's look at the condition itself. The feet of a person with long-term or poorly treated diabetes will often look discolored in a mottled pattern, bluish, shiny/tight or swollen. The client may or may not have been diagnosed with diabetes. Often, it's the neuropathy that causes them to go see their doctor. Early stages usually show no outward physical signs but more advanced stages may show blue toes. This can (and usually does) eventually turn to gangrene where the tissue dies and turns black. The first sign of gangrene can look like a small poppy seed sized black spot. This tissue cannot be regenerated and amputation is the end result of this progression. Naturally, the goal is to begin working on these feet before the condition gets to that point. Following is a case study provided by Charlotte Versagi, LMT, using the massage protocol. This was her first and most dramatic case that eventually led to the saving of hundreds of toes and feet.
The client was a 55-year-old male construction worker with severe diabetes and bilateral cold/blue feet with numbness and tingling. He could barely stand to have his feet touched and his feet were so painful from neuropathy that he could barely get his feet into his work boots in the morning and almost cried when he pried his boots off at night. When he went to the doctor, he was told, "you should plan on an amputation sometime in the near future." There was no mention of any treatment option, no additional medication proposed, just "plan on amputation."
He came to Charlotte asking what she could do. She started the protocol, very slowly, very lightly and called in his wife to teach her. After a few weeks, they were going in "to the bone" as the protocol suggests. He came once per week. His wife was performing the protocol twice a day. He rubbed his own feet whenever he could. In four months, he had almost no pain, had full function and his feet were warm to the touch and normally colored. The doctor retracted his statement about amputation. It should be noted that the client was following a strict diet and taking his medication as directed and was compliant with all aspects of his diabetes care.
Glucose in the body undergoes a series of chemical reactions. If you consume normal amounts of sugars (fructose, sucrose, any form of "sugar" including honey) the early stages of the chemical reactions form an equilibrium reaction. This is called a reversible reaction and allows the body to function optimally. On the other hand, if too much sugar is consumed, these reactions are not reversible and a cascade of events take place by joining the glucose molecule with a protein or fat in an abnormal process which is pathological in nature. This process is called glycation and involves every fundamental process of cellular metabolism. Eventually, through a series of reactions, you wind up with advanced glycation end products or AGEs. These are bad things and cause nothing but harm and damage.
Glycation has been implicated in many diseases and inflammatory processes. It affects the cardiovascular system in a very big way. Tissues that have a slow turnover (more permanent) in the body are most affected by glycation. So the cardiovascular system, connective tissue and skin, nerve tissue and renal tissue are major targets. Inside a blood vessel are elastin fibers to which AGE molecules will attach, thus decreasing the diameter (or caliber) of the blood vessel. There is also a lot of collagen in the arterial walls that can cross-link with the AGE molecules further compromising the blood vessels ability to function properly. Each time there is a glucose spike and AGE molecules are formed, distal circulation is compromised and the blood vessels themselves become occluded beginning with the small capillaries. Unable to supply the surrounding tissue and nerves with nutrients and oxygen the resulting oxidative debt turns toes blue and causes nerves to malfunction sending signals to the brain of pain, tingling, burning and numbness. In addition to the mechanical damage, it is believed these toxic AGE molecules (and other toxins) also trigger the release of substances that further damage the adjacent nerves.
The most important factor to getting DPN under control is to first stop the sugar spikes. Clients must maintain their glucose at a balanced level. No great highs or lows. (They know what level their doctor wants them to maintain.) With diet and medication under control, the massage therapy protocol (coming next article) can truly help save toes and feet from amputation and relieve some or all of the pain and misery of the neuropathy. The next article will discuss chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy and give the detailed step-by-step massage therapy protocol for peripheral neuropathy as developed by Charlotte Michael Versagi who has graciously allowed me to share it, in its entirety, with Massage Today readers.
Editor's Note: For additional information, see Step-By-Step Massage Therapy Protocols for Common Conditions by Charlotte Michael Versagi with contributions by Rita D. Woods. Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011. To find this book and more on medical protocols, visit www.charlottemichaelversagi.com or www.darienlourde.com.
Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.
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