resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
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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