resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
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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