resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
March, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 03
TDR Massage for Self-Care of the Breast
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
A new client stated that his doctor had recommended massage to reduce his anxiety level. He had been experiencing frightening episodes of chest pain, but all the tests indicated that his heart was fine – hence the diagnosis of anxiety.I found elevated tissue density (TD) in his chest overall, as well as several pectoral trigger points. I released the trigger points and instructed him on how to massage his chest, and his chest pain has never returned.
Tissue density restoration massage for the breast was developed to relieve non-cardiac related chest pain, and to help detect and prevent breast cancer. If you experience chest pain but have been told by your doctor that it is not related to heart disease, a simple routine of chest/breast massage can relieve and prevent pain symptoms. Hyper-dense chest and breast tissues can be a source of pain, especially during periods of elevated tension, for men and women alike. When tissues harden, nerves are caught up within them, impairing normal sensation. While many men assume breast massage would be for women only, it is important to point out that men get breast cancer as well, as many as 1 in 1,000. Whether you are seeking to relieve achy chest tension, or promote breast health, the treatment is the same.
Several years ago, in the course of having a sonogram on my liver, pancreas and gall bladder, the doctor told the technician to try to visualize my heart as well. He added that it most likely would not show up. I asked why, and he told me that at my (plus) size, my tissues would most likely be too dense to "see" through. I explained to him that, as a massage therapist, I made it a practice to keep my breast tissues massaged so that they are malleable, and hopefully, any lump that might develop would be easily detected. He dismissed the idea that massage could change the density; stating that it is either dense or it is not. At completion of the testing, the technician let me know that there were no visualization problems, even at my size. I do not offer this one, personal, anecdotal experience as proof that TDR massage can improve the ability to visualize breast tissue; I would have needed to have a pre-massage test, as well as several other subjects being tested. I do, however, offer it as a possibility. It is my hope that one day someone researches the visualization differences in breasts before and after TD alteration massage.
I am gratified that my suspicion from years ago of the relationship between breast density and cancer has been found to be accurate. I discussed the cancer risk of having elevated breast density with anyone who would listen to me, from radiation nurses to doctors, but was told that density had nothing to do with it. That opinion has changed; a government cancer fact sheet states that having dense breasts is a breast cancer risk factor. And by "gratified," I mean I am pleased that - even though we can't change our genes or physiology, elevated tissue density is a condition that can easily be altered, by the individual, at no cost.
Self TDR massage for the breast is performed the same way for men as for women. You will want to be sure the space you are working in is warm and free of drafts. Warm the chest for about 20 minutes before performing assessment with a warming pad or pack. You will be looking for tissue that:
The guidelines of TDR massage are to keep the tissues warm and not to go over a 3 on a 1/10 pain scale. Keeping that in mind, the goal is to use as much pressure and movement as possible to ensure that each layer of tissue is fully hydrated, perfusing well and is not immobilized. Remember that normal, healthy tissue does not hurt when pressed into.
Lie on your right side. Raise your left arm and grasp it firmly at the elbow with your right hand. Gently jiggle the underarm area, looking for tight, firm or hardened areas. Palpate the tissues from the elbow, moving toward the armpit with your fingers in long, smooth strokes. Do this several times all around the arm, on the top, sides and bottom. Make a fist of your right hand and press it into your left armpit, making wide, firm circular strokes. Cup and lift your left breast with the left hand and, using the tips of your fingers, press gently into the chest wall. Using small, circular movements, palpate the borders of your entire breast. Still cupping the breast, use fingers to lightly jiggle the body of the breast, noting any sensations of tightness, adhesions or discomfort. Press the fingers of your right hand into the ball of left shoulder, dragging towards the center of your chest, palpate the tissues around the collarbone. Repeat on left side. In an upright position, place the palms of your hands at the sides of your chest wall, gently press and rake your palms across the chest, toward the mediastinum, mobilizing the pectoral muscles.
You now have a good idea of where you may have elevated TD. You can restore the density by massaging thoroughly, using massage cream and a heated pad, or simply a good warm shower and gentle soap. I would do any work needed in the axillary region first, simply because it will encourage and promote proper lymph drainage. After that, pick the area that was most uncomfortable and clear it up first. If it feels too tight, warm and massage it as firmly as possible without eliciting pain. Once you are able to press into that tissue without discomfort, move to the next worst area. If an area feels denser than it should, warm it and move it around until it softens and normalizes. Even slight sensory changes indicate elevated TD, so if there is a muscle or area that feels tingly or itchy, work on it as well. Always modulate the amount of pressure and movement you use based on the pain level, keeping it under a mild 3.
Another important aspect of any form of TDR massage is to take whatever time is needed to affect a change in the tissue density. I expect to spend at least 45 minutes on a hardened area before it will soften, pink up and stop hurting. Once an area is cleared up it will stay that way for a long time, maybe permanently with maintenance massage. For this reason, you really need to emphasize to your clients that they will be better served to work on one area until it improves, rather than to try to work on multiple areas during a single session. Once they experience the benefits of TDR massage, they appreciate the improvements and are willing to "do the work."
A female client once complained that her breasts felt like hard balls in a sagging sack. I suggested she perform breast massage in a warm shower every day. Several weeks later she told me she was very pleased that her breasts were no longer hardened and, rather than sagging, they felt full, plumped and buoyant. She no longer had the sensation that the tissues were separated from each other.
Click here for previous articles by Linda LePelley, RN, NMT.
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