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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
Desexualizing the Touch Experience, Part II
By Cherie Sohnen-Moe
In the March 2011 issue of Massage Today, I wrote about the importance of desexualizing the touch experience and the proactive measures to help prevent clients from crossing your boundaries.I focused on the steps you can take to project a non-sexual image in your marketing materials (business name, email address, brochures, business cards, website) and telephone conversations (creating scripts and handling inappropriate calls). In this follow up, I would like to explore ways to create a safe space and desexualize the massage experience with clients.
Your appearance is an outward representation of your professional standards. Make sure your image projects competence and doesn't sexualize you. Dress appropriately for the working environment, maintain good hygiene, keep jewelry to a minimum, don't wear heavy perfume or cologne, and avoid provocative or revealing attire. Some examples of inappropriate clothing are: tank tops (especially for women); short shorts; shirts that show cleavage; shirts that expose the midriff; shirts that have questionable statements or provocative images; tight pants. Remember, your attire isn't meant to be a distraction or a loud statement.
Office space varies from a room in a professional complex, a free-standing building, a clinic, a spa, to a home office and mobile on-site locations. Many practitioners work in several types of office spaces.
Practitioners often choose an office location based on what's close to where they live or where they can find a good deal. From a marketing perspective, choose a location that's convenient to the majority of your target markets. Most importantly, choose a location where you and your clients feel safe. Check out the location at different times of the day. This is particularly crucial if you plan on being open in the evenings or on weekends. For instance, let's say you are considering renting space in a large complex. During the days there is a constant flow of people in and out of the building. This feels really good to you. You drive by at night and you only see one light shining in a window and a single car in the parking lot. That sight most likely doesn't elicit feelings of safety or comfort.
Establish a professional space. Sight, sound, smell, touch and imagination all have the potential to arouse. Often times practitioners attempt to set up a very relaxing space with dim lights, candles and soft music. These can be wonderful, but they can also send confusing messages — particularly to new clients or people who are in a vulnerable state in terms of their romantic relationships. Ideally, start with the room fairly well-lit and ask clients if they want the light dimmed. You can also offer them an eye pillow. Choose music that is soothing, without being sensual or romantic. You can never know what scent might trigger a sexual response in clients, but in general, avoid heady aromatherapy scents such as rose, musk and patchouli. In general, it's wise to be judicious with scents, as many people have allergies and sensitivities to fragrances.
Create a comfortable, yet professional treatment room. Use high-quality equipment and supplies. Keep extra linens handy for additional draping needs. Consider hanging anatomical charts and other posters that are health related. Limit your displays of personal photos and keepsakes.
When doing outcalls, set up a space that feels like an office. I recommend you have a hard case on rollers that holds your supplies. When you set up the table, also arrange your supplies on top of the case. This helps to make the space look a bit more office-like. Avoid setting up your treatment table in a bedroom unless you are working with an injured or ill client.
General Safety Precautions
If you feel threatened, leave the room and call the appropriate authorities. If you are in a spa or clinic, go directly to the front desk. If you are in a private office, leave the building. If you are doing an outcall session, leave the premises — you can return later, accompanied by someone, for your equipment and supplies. (See the September 2010 Issue of Massage Today, "When a Client Crosses the Line," for detailed information on this safety precautions.)
The manner in which practitioners interact with clients holds many potential cues. Depending on the actual type of hands-on treatment, the specific factors that could allude to sex include: degrees of nudity; the manner of draping; the positioning of the client; the type of touch; and lubricants such as oils and creams.
Many factors effect how a client reacts. Set the tone for professionalism from the outset. Greet clients with a smile and a handshake. Use appropriate language. Make sure that your words can't be easily misconstrued as suggestive. Choose words carefully when describing a client's body and use proper terminology for anatomical structures. Also, be conscious of body language: sometimes just a smile can make a client feel aroused or even scared. Immediately take control of the situation if a client attempts to sexualize a session verbally or physically (see September 2010 Issue for tips); don't let it escalate.
Do thorough pre-treatment interviews on first visits. Discover clients' long-term goals, as well goals for the current session. Work together to determine the course of treatment. Next, explain what is going to be done and why. Obtain written informed consent in the first session and additional consent when changing a treatment plan or working on or near sensitive areas. Keep accurate records and let clients see that you document your sessions. Give explicit instructions regarding the articles of clothing to be removed and the draping procedures. Allow privacy for disrobing.
Express confidence in your work. A hesitant touch could be easily misinterpreted. Apply lubricants with a firm touch and avoid dribbling them. Also, be careful about body contact during sessions. Avoid stray touching or movements. Position yourself in a manner so that only your extremities come in contact with clients' bodies.
Massage therapists are responsible for creating and maintaining a safe environment for clients and themselves. This is done by proactively working to ensure that the touch experience is not sexualized. While the tips in this article can't guarantee that a client won't get sexually aroused or act inappropriately, they set a foundation for a professional, safe, desexualized environment.
Click here for previous articles by Cherie Sohnen-Moe.
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