resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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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