resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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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