resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 11
The Power of Touch: A Basic Human Need
By Judi Calvert, LMP
"Countless variations of 'hands-on' therapy have been devised and practiced in every culture we know of, all honoring and elaborating the timeless traditions of primate grooming. The ubiquity, antiquity and variety of these practices can mean only one thing: back-scratching is more than politics. We all need to be touched." - Frank R. Wilson, author of The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture.
The evolution of human touch has progressed from the grooming behaviors of our primate ancestors to the variety of well-developed systems of manual therapies we know today. Yet, at every stop along the time line, our fundamental need for touch has remained critical to our epic story. This account of human touch is not a laundry list of techniques or scientific principles related to anatomy, physiology or pathology; the importance of touch goes beyond time and space, or art and science. Rather, it is about human interaction and human development at its most basic level.
Touch takes place on the canvas of human experience. Healthy, positive touch is intended to help and to heal, and the application of healthy touch takes many forms. Massage, for example, is the structured form of applied touch, administered with purpose and by way of thoughtful techniques based on knowledge. Touch can be an expression of our unique human nature and brings us many benefits. J. Lionel Taylor, author of The Stages of Human Life wrote: "The greatest sense in our body is our touch sense. It is probably the chief sense in the processes of sleeping and waking; it gives us our knowledge of depth or thickness and form; we feel, we love and hate, are touchy and are touched, through the touch corpuscles of our skin."
Primate grooming behaviors are the origins of healthy touch and I believe that it is both a basic need and an invaluable inheritance derived from our animal origins. Do you believe that humans exhibit both learned and instinctual touch behavior? I do. Touch, as Frank R. Wilson says, is ancient. Primitive man and woman inherited the social structure and function of grooming from their primate relatives. Of course, we have changed them significantly during our evolutionary process. For example, human models of leadership have emerged in place of alliances formed through grooming. But the principle remains the same.
For both species, touch continues to be a crucial element of care giving and the primary way we show love to our young. We know that positive, loving touch is a way to provide a sense of security, and massage therapists of yesterday and today know that touch remains essential to our health and well being. Research and observation shows us that primate grooming behaviors are a central feature of social life. Grooming establishes and maintains a social hierarchy within the community and between family members. It provides a way to give love and comfort, especially to their young. It's even used to apologize for offenses committed against another member of the group as a way to make up and move on. Some of those grooming behaviors include scratching, hugging, holding, slapping, pressing, dabbing, pulling, sucking, rubbing and licking. That behavior is woven into the social fabric of primate life. Grooming is a deeply ingrained behavior - a habit millions of years in use.
Over time, forms of grooming changed as humans evolved. As we began to stand upright, our bodies were no longer so exposed to the sun. Needing less protection from the elements, we lost our protective covering of thick, course hair.
As our skin became more exposed, it became more sensitive. The dexterous, sensitive primate hand evolved into an even more intricate instrument — the human hand. Developments in human hand dexterity and sensitivity, increased intelligence and the advent of language all contributed to more evolved touch behavior. Humans could now apply caring hands to soothe and heal. Eventually, that led to systematic touch techniques.
Though its form and function has changed considerably, the fundamental value of touch remains intact. Touch is a bonding agent, a means of pain relief and perhaps most importantly, a way to say, "I care." The inherent human need for touch has always been a part of our story, and it continues to this day. I give thanks to all the people in this field for helping the world with your healing hands.
Click here for more information about Judi Calvert, LMP.
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