resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03
A New Method for Dealing with Hip Rotators
By Shari Auth, MA, Lac., LMT, NCBTMB
Remember "Piece Goods Often Go On Quilts" or as my anatomy teacher taught us, "Pirformis and the Go-Go Queens?" Both are memorization tools for recalling the names of the six deep lateral rotators of the hip.The first letter of both phrases corresponds to the first letter of one of the rotators (i.e. piriformis, gemellus superior, obtuator internus, etc.) Left-brain knowledge crammed in during massage school all to be forgotten later, with the exception of the fashionable piriformis. We may have forgotten the names, but in clinical practice, hip rotators are hard to forget. Tight hip rotators contribute to lumbago, sciatica, turn-out in the legs and feet, and just plain old hip pain in people who travel, sit or clench too much.
Clients hip rotators can be contracted and short for a long time before prompting them to see a massage therapist. For the average person, yogis and dancers aside, this is one of those hard-to-reach, hard-to-stretch and overall unconscious places.
The Auth Method is a system of massage that makes the health and well-being of the practitioner's body the priority, without sacrificing results. The method was developed with the belief that with the right tools, technique and body mechanics, performing massage can be effortless. In the Auth Method, the forearms are the preferred massage tool for the majority of massage work for a few reasons. The forearms are more durable massage tools than the hands, fingers or thumbs, so you can work longer on your clients with less wear and tear on your body. When it comes to hip rotators, this durability provides a strong tool for getting into the deep muscles of the pelvis. Let's face it, the hands, fingers and thumbs are no match for the large muscles of the hips.
Massaging the hip rotators with the fingers or thumbs can be pokey and uncomfortable for the client. When using the forearms, you have a broad surface area of contact, so the sensation is smooth and not pokey. This broad contact is ideal for working larger muscles groups because you can massage more of your clients in less time. Finally, the forearms are perfect for leaning into. I recommend using body weight instead of muscular force when massaging. Using muscular force is exhausting and runs the risk of working too deep. By using body weight, you'll naturally sink to the first layer of tight tissue; as that layer releases, you'll sink to the next layer of tight tissue. Work patiently, layer by layer, to create a deep tissue massage experience that is painless for your client and effortless for you.
Stretch and Release
Placing a muscle in a stretched position while performing massage is a wonderful tool for a massage therapist, because it intensifies the massage without further taxing the massage therapist. Extra effort by the therapist isn't needed for the recipient to receive deeper work. This comes in handy when you're working on a large or muscular client. Taking a muscle off the stretch softens the muscle and allows the practitioner to sink deeper into the muscle. Alternating between putting a muscle on and off the stretch while massaging is an effective technique for releasing a muscle. It incorporates all the benefits of stretching with massage, coupled with the benefits of taking a muscle off the stretch.
First Things First: Warming Up the Hip
Because the hip rotators are deep to the gluteus maximus, it is necessary to first massage the gluteus maximus. After the gluteus maximus has released, it is easier to contact and work with the deep rotators. With your client in prone position, undrape their hip. Tuck the drape securely under either leg. The drape should cover the client's midline. Effleurage the hip and leg, sufficiently spreading oil throughout. Stand alongside the table at the level of your client's anterior superior iliac spine facing down the table toward their feet. Spread your legs a legs-length apart with either leg in front. If the leg closest to the table is in front, try leaning your hip against the table for comfort. Rest your forearm closest to your client just below the iliac crest with your elbow skimming the lateral border of the sacrum. Be mindful to use your upper forearm versus your middle of lower forearm. Using the upper forearm provides you with more leverage.
Rest your other hand on your client's leg. (Image 1) Gradually lean your body weight onto your forearm and sink into your client's hip muscles. The massage table should be low enough that you can comfortably drop your body weight onto your client and high enough that your back is straight. Glide down your client's hips, tracing the border of the sacrum with the edge of your forearm and ending the stroke at the ischial tuberosity. Keep your forearm parallel with the massage table so you have a broad base of contact, this will ensure that your massage stroke isn't too pokey. (Image 2) Repeat the stroke as needed to warm up the hip and release the gluteus maximus.
Deep Hip Rotators
To massage the hip rotators with a stretch, pick up your client's ankle and bend their knee to 90 degrees. (Image 3) Repeat the same hip stroke with the knee bent; when you reach the vicinity of the rotators, about halfway down the sacrum, move their ankle and lower leg laterally. (Image 4) This will put the hip rotators on a stretch. You will feel the rotators become taut as they are being stretched. This taut quality will increase the intensity of the massage for your client, so be mindful not to overstretch or apply too much body weight onto the area. You may only have to move the ankle a couple of inches until the rotators have an adequate stretch — proceed slowly. By massaging the hip rotators in the stretched position, you are able to release tight hip rotators as well as lengthen short hip rotators.
Slowly bring the ankle back so it's hovering over the knee, releasing the stretch in the rotators, softening the tissue and allowing you to sink in deeper on the rotators. Repeat this stretch and release over the entire region of the rotators, increasing the stretch as necessary, moving slow and steady. This is a deep and often tight area for our clients. Encourage your clients to breath into their hips during this work. This will relax them and promote circulation in the area.
Releasing tight rotators can reduce turn-out in the legs, changing the alignment through your client's lower body. I have noticed that my clients are more grounded, centered and relaxed after receiving deep bodywork in the hips. Check in with your own body when massaging. Be conscious of keeping your shoulders relaxed, back straight and legs active. Remember, this is your time, too. At the end of the massage, if our clients are more relaxed but we are more tense, we have only succeeded in transferring tension rather than reducing it. Massage, even in deep areas of the body, can and should be easy on your body.
Shari Auth, MA, Lac., LMT, NCBTMB, is a licensed massage therapist and acupuncturist, and is certified in the Rolf method of structural integra-tion. She is the creator of the Auth Method and has a full-time practice in New York City. Auth teaches continuing education workshops and has a DVD, Auth Method of Therapeutic Massage: A Guide to Using the Forearms. For more information, visit www.authmethod.com or www.shariauth.com.
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