resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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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