resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
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.
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 Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
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.
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.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
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.
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.
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 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
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.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
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.
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.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
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.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
January, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 01
VacuTherapies and the Professional Athlete
By Stacie Nevelus, LMT, CMCE
VacuTherapies can be an amazing addition to any bodywork session, especially when working with professional athletes. I find that professional athletes want deep, effective bodywork to help maintain their bodies so they can compete on a professional level.Whether they need therapy through training, in season or for injury rehabilitation, VacuTherapies techniques provide athletes with a highly beneficial therapy without pain or discomfort. VacuTherapies encompass various cups from a manual pump method to a mechanized vacuum, truly a modern protocol using an ancient tool.
This modality brings various benefits to an athlete. It will increase range of motion, restore and maintain flexibility, release fascia, reduce acute and chronic pain, decrease restriction of movement from micro scarring from old injuries and allow the practitioner to do passive range of motion with cup placement. With routine work, it can enhance performance and help keep these incredibly active professionals injury free.
I use a wide variety of cups with sizes ranging from the diameter of a pencil to 6 inches in diameter. This enables me to address and work on soft tissue in various parts the body in a very specific way. I can use smaller cups to breakdown post-surgical scars or choose to work with the largest six inch cup on an NFL lineman for his back and legs. I can adjust the variable vacuum pressure from the lightest of suction for hypersensitive areas to stronger suction for deeper work. When I introduce these therapies into a session, athletes soon realize the benefits and the difference the modality offers them. It is unlike anything else they've experienced and they respond so quickly that it can simply be one session to become pain free.
One of the biggest benefits I find with using vacuum therapies is that it is such a comfortable treatment for the athlete. A common myth is that good sports therapy should be deep and painful, like the saying, "No pain no gain." When the tissue is prepared with this modality, it sedates the nervous system, allowing the athlete to receive deep applied therapy with ease. The practitioner benefits as well, because it is much less demanding on their body to do the work.
What Athletes Say
Bronson Arroyo, starting pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds says, "When parking the cups, any deep work after that is less painful. It's nice to have an alternative that doesn't crush you. Moving the cups around slowly, pulls tightness out of an area." David Baas, starting center with the New York Giants says, "I have always been used to someone digging their elbows into me to relieve my muscle tension. That changed with massage cupping. It opened my eyes to whole new idea of massage. Its unique ability to get results with less pressure is a bonus all around for patient and therapist. It has helped me extend my career and I would recommend it to anyone."
By simply gliding the cup over soft tissue, VacuTherapies create vasodilatation almost instantly, bringing oxygen rich blood and nutrients to the muscle and tissue. This results in life and vitality in otherwise stagnant tissue. Adam Jones, center fielder with the Baltimore Orioles and two time All-Star and Gold Glove award winner, describes the work: "The work you've performed on me over the last three years has helped me increase the amount of games per season. I honestly have felt better and healed faster with the cups. Massage with cups are big-time body flushes and make me feel fresher. It gives me my legs back."
By creating this blood flow, it's as if a map is created, showing me where the blood flow is readily available to the tissue. It also shows me the areas that are ischemic. When I see this demarcation, it indicates to me that there is possible adhesion, restriction or scar tissue. I simply use this information to help me work more specifically with the athlete to address their areas of concern, to free up the tissue and to get them optimal performance and always feeling at their best. In addition to blood flow being brought to the tissue, I am able to draw out inflammation without adding to it. It also releases debris left behind from old injuries and I am able to open up the body's lymphatic system and clear the debris down to cellular level.
Sometimes athletes get injured on the field due to a sports trauma. With mechanized vacuum therapies, I have been able to help athletes quickly recover from various injuries or surgeries and get them back on the field. I worked with a professional baseball outfielder in the American League after he completed surgery for a sports hernia he encountered during the season. After talking with him, we decided that his recovery goals could be accomplished with these techniques. We needed to get him moving freely, regain his range of motion and decrease the scar tissue that had accumulated after the surgery to have him back on the field and starting on opening day. We agreed on two sessions per week with vacuum therapies for the duration of spring training. At the first session, the scar tissue present was about the size of a golf ball. By the second session, it had a softened perimeter and was much improved. In approximately five sessions of consistent work, I was able to dissolve the adhesion that had been created after his surgery. I continued the work to keep the surrounding muscles pliable and to ensure that he had his full range of motion and was able to move without hesitation. We were so successful that he was able to join his team on opening day.
When an athlete presents with an acute injury, I like to use the micro magnetic cups during their treatment session. These magnetic cups are amazing at decreasing the hypersensitivity that comes with a fresh injury. The cups allow me to shift the polarity and the PH of the injured tissue. I follow up the magnetic treatment with some simple drainage of the area to decrease the inflammation that has been created from the injury. I find this helps facilitate a quicker healing process for the athlete and get them safely back to work.
One of my favorite areas to treat on athletes is the hips. Whether in training or in season, keeping the hips open is key to performance enhancement with less injury ... no matter what the sport. VacuTherapies can yield profound results as the tissue is released and allows the athletes to have a larger range of motion without the restrictions of the hypertonic muscles. By simply parking the cups over key trigger points and incorporating passive range of motion, the whole gluteal compartment can release in a matter of minutes. Any hands-on work I do after this application is much easier on me as the practitioner, since the tissue is already released, and definitely easier for the athlete to receive the deeper massage work. By working with the cup on the target tissue, the vacuum lifts and creates space between the layers of the tissue. It stretches the fascia and essentially puts a handle on the belly of the muscle.
I had a USA Master's Track and Field All-American athlete come to me complaining of a restriction in her right hip. She was a competitive high jumper and simply had no more spring in her jump. She is a physical therapist and had tried various modalities on herself without success. In the first session, which included massage cupping, I used specific cups and parked them over the trigger points so that she could gain more flexibility and spring. She returned for the second treatment just prior to a national competition and I used a larger cup over the gluteal compartment. What I saw next amazed me because I had never seen it before and I have yet to see it since. There was a large dent in her tissue as it gathered in the cup. This clearly indicated to me the adhesion she had was deep. Healthy tissue will present with a nice rounding in the cup once the vacuum is applied to an area. Later that week, she went on to compete nationally and received several medals in her events. Two sessions with vacuum therapy included seemed to address what was plaguing her for many months and returned the spring back to her jump. By creating the vacuum, we were able to create space between the layers of the tissue. The adhesion was possibly created from an old trauma, or simply the heat created in the exertion of the tissue causing it to fuse together. She continues to come to me as needed, but every time I park a larger cup on her right gluteal area, there is no dent to be found. The adhesion will not return unless new trauma is created.
VacuTherapies allow me to prepare the tissue before using any other massage modality, and can also be used to achieve a desired result without the addition of other work. I enjoy the variety of cups and techniques used to accomplish an array of bodywork that is so highly beneficial for the professional athlete. From training to in season, or in the case of injury, VacuTherapies offer me a remarkable tool for the multi-faceted athlete.
Stacie Nevelus, LMT, CMCE, specializes in therapeutic and sports massage, as well as VacuTherapies. She is a certified educator for ACE Massage Cupping and MediCupping and provides national workshops for massage therapists and other healthcare professionals. Stacie focuses on her private practice in Florida, as well as working nationally with MLB and NFL professional athletes. For more information, visit www.StacieNevelus.com.
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