resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
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.
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.)
September, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 09
The Significance of Tissue Density Measurement
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
Massage therapists often struggle with the perceptions and beliefs expressed by others about the validity of massage therapy. Some massage therapists end up questioning the benefits of massage as well.It saddens me when I hear a therapist state that massage is just a "feel-good" experience. While there is nothing wrong with basing one's personal practice on providing relaxation massage, there are many therapists who dedicate their work to the relief of pain. Those of us who strive, and are able, to relieve our client's pain are often told that our results are subjective, therefore, "anecdotal."
It's been suggested to me a few times that the reason I'm successful at relieving pain is that I'm so kind and my clients like me. Supposedly my, "therapeutic presence" makes people feel better. Therapeutic presence is very comforting and beneficial, but it alone will not change a physical problem. I've also been told I possess "innate healing abilities." Some of us may have been seduced by the heady notion that we are magical healers, an idea that finds room for consideration when one cannot otherwise explain good results where others have failed. However, we do the profession a great disservice by cloaking our positive outcomes in ambiguity. Such is the stuff that quackery surrounds itself with, "mysterious ancient secrets" and the like. Better to acknowledge that while we may not know why a treatment works, we use it because it causes improvement. By studying and refining such treatments, perhaps the improvements can be increased and eventually understood.
It was during a devastating period of time when a medical condition caused me to lose the ability to walk that I became aware that palpable changes in tissue density (TD) are a reliable gauge of musculoskeletal pain. I was not willing to give up my massage practice, so I made adjustments to my clinic, such as removing the legs from my massage table to lower it and working from a seated position in a rolling task chair. I looked at what I was doing from a different perspective, and started trying new things that I would never have considered had I still been able to stand correctly and utilize proper body mechanics. I can laugh now, looking back at the dark days when I feared I would no longer be able to make a real difference in medical conditions such as arthritis, back pain, sciatica and other painful conditions. I believed I would have to relegate myself to doing relaxation massage, that I could only do, "feel-good" work. I resolved, however, to give it my all and deliver the most relaxing, best feeling massage each client had ever gotten. It was at this point in time that my work became most effective. Seated, and spending more concentrated time on a focused area, I came to recognize the subtle changes in the density and texture of tissues.
Painful, elevated TD can absolutely be felt by the therapist. Once a therapist has developed the skill of TD palpation, they can recognize problem areas before the client is even aware of them. It is not a psychic or intuitive knowledge; it is a universally assessable, measurable and documentable state of being which can be determined, recorded, and understood by any skilled clinician. Most importantly, elevated TD is restorable, and, once restored to normal density, pain is relieved and function often returned. This is what successful massage therapists have been doing all along. By narrowing the focus of whichever method we use that effectively restores TD; one can increase positive outcomes dramatically.
I think of the existence of elevated TD as a sort of, "Rosetta Stone." You may recall that it was the discovery of the Rosetta Stone that led researchers to understand the meaning of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Upon it is recorded the same message in two languages using three different scripts, some understood at that time of discovery, the other, hieroglyphic, unknown. To over-simplify it, they were able to plug in what they knew about some of the writing and decipher that which was unknown. The association of elevated TD to a Rosetta Stone comes to mind when I think about conditions we don't understand, for example, the affect weather has on people with arthritis and old injuries. Science tells us that the complaints of pain that occur with changes in weather are subjective, therefore, are simple folklore and can't be proven. But "plug in" elevated TD as a factor, and there is an assessable, measurable, and treatable explanation. And, once recognized, it is undeniable.
Elevated TD results in tissue hardening and contraction, which can form various secondary compartments within the body. Our nerves become caught up in these formations and are subject to the stresses applied to the makeshift walls of these compartments by weather related changes in barometric pressure - similar to the discomfort we experience in our ears with changes in elevation. The severity will depend on the grade of TD involved.
Through the measurement of TD we can now provide consistent, corroborative, objective data about the condition of tissues before and after treatment. Combine that with a client's subjective statements, and the efficacy and benefits of therapeutic massage are provable. There is no longer justification for the benefits of massage to be questioned by doctors, clients or massage therapists. There is no reason left to deny the effectiveness of therapeutic massage, nor is there any acceptable excuse to decline payment for treatments.
Linda LePelley, RN, NMT is a registered nurse and licensed massage therapist with 19 years of clinical massage experience. She developed Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) Massage, an effective treatment for the pain found in hyper-dense tissues. For more information, visit www.MyHealingHands.com.
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