resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
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.
May, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 05
VacuTherapies and Working With the Senior Athlete
By Annie Garic
There are more than 10,000 men and women between the ages of 50 and 90+ that gather every two years to compete in the National Senior Games. These athletes train year round in their chosen sport and participate in yearly local events in order to improve their skills.As with athletes at any age, injuries occur that can sometimes sideline them. I know, because I’m one of them. No one wants to take time out due to a nagging injury. VacuTherapies can really help speed up recovery time.
Vacuum therapy, is a highly effective modality for treating most injuries at any age, even if your client is not an athlete. These techniques are a modern application for the ancient tool used in traditional cupping practices. With vacuum therapy, the practitioner uses cups as an extension of their hands to mobilize tissue and fluids. Cups are utilized in a variety of different ways in order to accomplish the desired results. An amazing aspect of this method is the speed in which results are achieved. Vacuum therapy promotes circulation, moves stagnation, reduces inflammation and loosens adhesions. It’s a technique that can be enjoyed by the injured athlete because it has a sedating effect on the nervous system. Proper use of equipment lifts and separates tissues allowing fresh blood and oxygen into dehydrated, undernourished areas.
A 59-year-old female basketball player broke a bone in her hand during practice that required surgery. Two weeks later, the swelling in her hand under the cast had not subsided. She was not able to bend her fingers, which was an intricate part of her physical therapy. She then came for a massage. I applied the VacuTherapies machine to the appropriate areas. While I monitored the machine, I was also able to work with my hands on other affected areas of her body that needed attention. The vacuum machine affords the practitioner the opportunity to achieve more results in the same amount of time. The vacuum therapy drained the lymph system and the inflammation in her hand was reduced significantly. She returned to physical therapy and her recovery time was lessoned. She was back on the court earlier than was predicted.
Vacuum therapies can also be used on site. The vast selection of equipment affords the therapist a multitude of choices to bring along to any sporting event. The cups range in size to accommodate the large muscle groups, like quadriceps and gluteus, and very small ones to fit hands, feet and the occipital region. While playing in a basketball tournament, a 56-year-old female athlete strained her gastrocnemius, forcing her to sit out the rest of the day. That evening, we used a large cup from the manual set to lift and stretch the soft tissue. I initially used suction/release technique due to the sensitivity of the lower leg. Then, gentle, long gliding movements to move out any debris using constant suction. I completed the treatment with reverse friction using a smaller cup along the anterior attachments and around the knee. The next day, the athlete was able to resume tournament play as if nothing happened...to the dismay of the opposing teams, I might add.
One of my clients is a 64-year-old avid tennis player. While playing, she experienced a pain in her shoulder. By the time she finished her match, it had transferred to neck pain. By using a technique called “rolling rotation” I was able to locate the trigger point in her rhomboids. This technique, along with a couple of other techniques called twisting and shaking enabled the release of some deep adhesions.
Senior games offer 19 different sports to participate in. One of my clients, a 67-year-old male, takes advantage of about half of them. One day, he sustained an injury to his wrist while diving for a softball. The pain was shooting up his extensor muscles. The first thing I did was park the micro magnet cups to change the polarity of the tissue. Then I applied some suction/release for deep tissue release. I finished the treatment with reverse friction on the attachments of his forearm muscles. A couple of weeks later, I ran into him at the gym, where he was playing pickle ball. I asked how his injury was doing and he said, “what injury?” One treatment had resolved it completely.
Several years ago, a female athlete came to me for a pain she felt in the attachment area of her hamstrings that was also radiating down to her foot. She had just turned 80 and was training for a half marathon. She was on a time frame that did not allow her to cut back on her work outs. At the beginning of the treatment, the client was very sensitive to palpation on her gluteus. I placed a large cup from the vacuum machine on the suction/release mode area to flush the muscles and relax the nervous system. This allowed me to have both hands free to explore the hamstrings. What I found was an adhesion in the belly of the biceps femoris and semitendinosis muscles.
The “bunching up” mid-way down her leg seemed to be causing her pain at the ischial tuberosity. I then switched the cup from her gluteus to the area over the adhesion. The gluteus area was much less sensitive and I was able to do some deep tissue work on her periforimis with the client experiencing much less pain. After taking the pulsating cup off of the hamstrings, the adhesion had softened significantly. I changed the cup size and adjusted the machine to static suction and continued to use the vacuum with different techniques over the entire muscle group. When the session was over, the client reported a reduction in her pain and a feeling of lightness in her leg. We did one more treatment a week later and she was free of pain. This therapy did not interrupt her training schedule and she successfully accomplished her goal of completing the half marathon.
As a therapist and senior athlete, the equipment provided through this modality is an invaluable part of my lifestyle. Self care is key to maintaining fitness for my career and sporting activities. After an extreme workout, I am able to apply the cups easily to flush areas of lactic acid before any soreness sets in. When traveling to competitions, I pack a set of the various sized silicone cups. This prepares me for any ailment that may arise. The “big mouth” silicone cup comes in handy to relieve congestion in the legs and hips. The smaller size cups accommodate other body parts that may be in need. My teammates benefit from them, too, and that makes for a winning combination.
Annie Garic graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education from the University of New Orleans and a Masters degree in Physical Education from Southern Methodist University. She began her massage therapy career in 1987 earning certifications from the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing, the Atlanta School of Massage and the Upledger Institute. In 2000, she took her first ACE Massage Cupping(TM) workshop from Anita Shannon and became a Certified ACE Massage Cupping(TM) Educator in 2005. Annie practices in New Orleans and Asheville, North Carolina and teaches nationwide.
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