resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
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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