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TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
August, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 08
Extending the Benefits of Massage By Using Aromatherapy
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
Most massage therapists interested in using essential oils as part of their sessions can easily relate to the idea of the physical properties of each of the oils and how they can be applied for a client's specific needs.Those familiar with the concept of subtle aromatherapy, which I have written about in previous columns, also know that a client can have the specific mental, emotional and spiritual energies that are part of the symptoms being presented directly addressed and assisted by using appropriate essential oils in the massage oil blend. But what happens after the client leaves the office?
On the purely physical level, essential oils can take from 18 to 24 hours to be processed and eliminated by the body. This is one of the reasons it is important to educate yourself and your clients about certain contraindications, such as increased UV impact on skin cells for the expressed citrus oils of lemon (Citrus limon), lime (Citrus aurantifolia) and bergamot (Citrus bergamia). Another example is the heightened intoxicant ability of clary sage (Salvia sclarea) that could easily cause unpleasant affects for a client who might consume alcohol at a dinner or party shortly after their massage. But this long lasting quality of essential oils is also a great benefit when working with clients who have chronic or acute inflammation and pain. It greatly enhances and extends the relief the client gets from the hands on techniques.
Along with delivering the essential oils to the body through application, simple inhalation of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has been shown to relieve pain and stress. The question of whether it is the stress relief achieved by inhalation alone that is responsible for the lowered pain experience has not been determined, but that has been suggested as a distinct possibility by research oriented aromatherapists like Robert Tisserand. Other essential oils with anti-anxiety properties, such as Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana), patchouli (Pogostemom cablin), rose (Rosa damascena) and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) can also demonstrate this stress relieving effect upon inhalation. Certainly, both therapist and client receive these benefits during the use of an aromatic massage oil blend.
Other ways to extend massage benefits with essential oils include giving the remainder of the blend to the client for home use. In a previous article, I mentioned that in order to sell an essential oil or blend, the therapist must have a retail license and collect taxes where required by law. But if the blend involved is part of the client's session, an extra amount can be created and given to the client as part of that session. This would require the massage session to cost more of course, but it does bypass the retail issues.
I would advise that whenever the client is going to leave with an aromatherapy blend for home use, they be given a "directions for use" form with the blend so they will know exactly what to do with it once they are at home. Verbal directions heard when a client is relaxed and focused on check out issues might not be retained as well. If they are given only the remaining massage oil, it can be used as a spot treatment a certain number of times a day and it can also be mixed into bath salts and used in a bath. If a small bottle of the undiluted blend itself is given for some reason, be sure to also include directions for proper dilution before use on the skin. Undiluted essences would be appropriate for room diffusion and inhalation, for dilution into honey, cream or bath salts for bathing, or for being added to an unscented carrier oil to create more for topical use. That could be helpful if the client is not going to be able to return for several weeks and they are dealing with a chronic issue, like arthritis. Essences I might avoid for bath use would be peppermint (Mentha x piperita), as it can be highly irritating to sensitive skin or mucous membranes, lemon (Citrus limon) and pine (Pinus sylvestris), unless it is certain that these are not old oils that have oxidized to become more irritating, and the above mentioned expressed citrus oils of lime and bergamot, due to their phototoxic potentials.
Be sure to keep a record of the exact essential oils and amount of drops to amount of carrier oil that was used for each client and the directions for use given. The good reports received about the extended benefits from using essential oils when the client returns will not only bring satisfaction but could easily result in increased referrals.
General Aromatherapy Bath Directions
Draw a hot tub that is not so hot that it will cause excessive perspiration. While the tub is filling, add all or part of the diluted aromatic massage oil to 2 cups of Epsom salts, mixing well. And undiluted blend can be added by drop to a tablespoon of honey or a cup of heavy cream. Up to 15 drops may be used and let the aroma be your guide. Again, mix well for complete dilution.
Once you are seated in the tub, add the essential oils (salts, honey, cream) to the water and swirl, inhaling deeply. Soak for 10 minutes and enjoy!
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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