resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
April, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 04
The Importance of Remembering Gentleness
By Tracy Walton, LMT, MS
I focus my hands-on work with people with cancer or cancer histories. My massage therapy practice is small but earnest, edged out a bit by other professional activities, but nevertheless a vital part of my professional and personal life.I spend part of Tuesdays in my massage therapy office. Tuesdays are sacred. Some have suggested I give up my practice. But no, I say, these clients need the work. Couldn't they go to someone I've trained? Of course, yes. They do, sometimes. But I recognize, too, that I need to do the work. I need to offer up my hands to them. It is a calling as much as it is a vocation.
My clients come battle-scarred. They have endured countless needle sticks, scalpels and markings. Beams of radiation have crossed their tissues, from front to back. They have swallowed strong medication, counted days until the end of treatment and endured unimaginable side effects. They have survived endless tests, re-tests and long waits. They teach me about grace during uncertainty, and trust amidst the mystery. These clients lead me by example. In offering them skilled touch, I am reminded of the body's vulnerability and strength, all at once.
Twenty-two years ago, I completed my massage training with Ben Benjamin and his staff at the Muscular Therapy Institute. I remember one particularly important moment, close to graduation, when I was learning one-on-one from Ben. He brought me back to the first strokes I'd ever learned. I practiced them, over and over. He said to me, "It's more important to learn to work gently, than deeply." His words still ring true, today. They ring true because working gently is working deeply. Our kind hands touch people on the surface, in the muscles, but they also touch deeply.
This truth overtakes me each time I supervise an oncology massage clinic. Watching a roomful of massage therapists work, I see deep engagement in every exchange. Therapists train for four days, earnestly preparing for this clinic of client volunteers with cancer and cancer histories. It's a massive amount of work, plenty of paperwork and information, and not a little bit stressful. But once everyone is interviewed and settled in and the hands-on work begins, a great peace settles over the clinic classroom. I look around and take it in. I can tell that, for each therapist, for that hour, the person on the table is their whole world. Nothing matters more than this person.
That kind of focus is a rare thing, and our clients notice it. One client left me a voicemail message from the parking lot, right after bidding us goodbye. As is sometimes the case, she had been interviewed and massaged by two therapists working in tandem. She spoke of a heart filled with gratitude. Of her two therapists, she said, "they touched a chord in me that nobody was able to touch." That kind of experience of massage cannot be forced, it can only be welcomed when it occurs. It can be invited in by a therapist's gentle work, which, according to the client whose chord was touched, is deep work. It is called forth by our full attention, and our hands of kindness.
At times, such kindness elicits a flood of feeling. I recall one client who would weep every time a member of her health care team was kind to her. It was not that she wasn't used to it — she had many moments with compassionate health care professionals. But each caring gesture or kind word reminded her of how badly she needed it, and how alone she felt. Another client had a hard time scheduling massage because it involved stopping long enough to feel something, when it was easier to just keep going, getting through the months of cancer treatment. She told me she couldn't stand the kindness of skilled massage, she just wanted to press on and get through. We honor and respect these needs, as well as all others.
It's a bit circular, but I suppose even our resistance to kindness deserves kindness. People with cancer are not the only ones to appreciate gentle depth of work. I've worked with robust clients and strong muscles, I've followed muscle tension around after athletic injuries, and I've noticed how all of us seem to appreciate hands of kindness. Many times, I have circled back to Ben's words, and always, they have sent me forward again, into territory that is achingly real, ripe with connection, and deeply satisfying.
Click here for more information about Tracy Walton, LMT, MS.
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