resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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