resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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 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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
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.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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.
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.
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.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
July, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 07
Additional Insights Into Massage for Peripheral Neuropathy
By Lauren Muser Cates, CMT, S4OM
I have written this as a sort of companion piece to Rita Woods' February article which beautifully explained a protocol to address chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).I use a version of this protocol myself, as do many therapists in the oncology massage community. Much of what Rita shared in the article is good practice and the work that she and Charlotte Versagi have both done in the name of providing massage therapy for people affected by cancer is to be commended. Nevertheless, as the president of the Society for Oncology Massage, I am writing to share some additional background and practical considerations.
I want to start with the assertion about the cause of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). There is no doubt that many chemotherapeutic agents result in PN, but the exact mechanism is still unknown. There is no clear answer about why certain chemotherapeutic agents cause PN, or even why this protocol works well with PN caused by some agents and not with PN caused by others. The theory Rita proposes is reasonable and is supported by the anecdotal response rate, but the truth is that we really don't know what causes CIPN or why some people get it while others don't.
Working with a client who is suffering from CIPN is much bigger than simply the feet and/or hands that are affected. Safe application of this protocol with a client who is undergoing chemotherapy requires a good deal of consideration. Even a seemingly basic protocol like this one can have grave consequences for the client with cancer if proper precautions are not taken. When we talk about PN, it's also important to remember that there are other reasons a client affected by cancer treatment may be suffering from PN (tumor-related impingement and surgery-related primary nerve damage to name just two). In addition, there are a number of drugs used to treat cancer (thalidomide, velcade and methotrexate, for example) that do not respond well or at all to this protocol.
In my experience with this protocol, working "to the bone" is unnecessary and, in some cases, unsafe. A variety of cancer-specific concerns come to mind when I consider working this deeply. The four most serious are:
It is also important to note (and would be important to communicate to a client) that when CIPN has progressed to the point of total numbness, the application of this protocol will result in the return of pain before the return of normal sensation. Many people describe their CIPN as beginning with tingling and other degrees of paresthesia before it progresses to numbness. For some, it never progresses to numbness. If we imagine the progression of CIPN as a piece of thread going through the eye of a needle, we can imagine this protocol as pulling that thread back through and out of the eye of the same needle. As the protocol begins to take effect, sensation may be returned in reverse order of the way it was lost. Passing back through the eye of the needle, so to speak, can be painful at first.
In addition, it is possible that you may encounter swelling in the extremities. Swelling is a big question mark that can potentially point to serious considerations like vital organ compromise, infection or DVT with any client. When working with a client with a cancer treatment history, this question mark is even bigger.
In closing, it boils down to scope of practice and making good and ethical choices about what is and is not within one's scope. Addressing CIPN is certainly within the scope of practice for a massage therapist with a breadth and depth of knowledge that is appropriate to dealing with a compromised client. It is clearly outside the scope of practice for a massage therapist who does not have this background. It is simply not enough to "just work lightly" (as many therapists say they do with oncology clients) and it is unethical to blindly follow a protocol without a complete understanding of a particular client's medical condition.
Lauren Cates is the current President of the Society for Oncology Massage and an NCBTMB Continuing Education Approved Provider. For additional information related to working with clients with a cancer history, visit the Society for Oncology Massage website at, www.s4om.org. Lauren can be contacted at:
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