resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
July, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 07
Using My Massage Therapy Skills to Help Save a Career
By Debbie Roberts, LMT
I always like to bring you a real case and a real story. I know you, too, will someday probably have that same type of client that needs your help with treatment. This time, I am helping an oral surgeon save his career by saving his hands.When this doctor presented in my office seeking help, he had been looking at surgery on his hands as his only option to save his career. It took him 10 years to complete his degree and 10 years of practicing to almost lose everything he had worked so hard for.
While working with him, it became clear to me that a massage therapist looking to specialize and gain a reputation as the one to seek out for hand dysfunction could have a forever busy practice. Just go to YouTube and look at what small instruments and awkward positions that this profession does on a daily basis. Now, think how many other professions use similar intricate tools. Those professionals need a therapist that can take a no nonsense approach to helping them save the career they have spent so much time and money on to achieve.
Working with hands or feet is very challenging for the massage therapist in terms of how it affects your hands. The work has to be very meticulous and that can be very wearing to your own hands. So I have tried to offer suggestions of how to do treatment in a manner to get the job done and have less wear on you.
He presented with aching hands all the time, he was beginning to lose grip strength, his fingers had become stiff feeling and it was affecting his ability to close his hand, he had bilateral thumb pain and bilateral numbness and tingling in the ring and little finger. He had more thumb pain on the right, but said this was due to the fact that three months ago he was playing with his son and his finger had been abruptly pulled backwards. He also complained of right shoulder pain.
The first thing we want to do is assess or take a screen of the patient. A screen helps you rule out, should they be in your office or do they need other higher medical care. Just a reminder to stay within your scope of practice, a screen is not to be used as diagnoses, it is to be used as a tool to understand movement quality. You are looking at how healthy or dysfunctional is the individual's joint movement. This helps you determine the complex of muscles and fascia to be treated. When taking a screen, you will want to look above and below the joint being questioned. From the screen, you can develop an organized logical approach to treatment and suggestions of home care.
Screen Number One
Rule out cervical involvement by looking at the quality of cervical motion and asking the question throughout the screen: is there pain or no pain? In this case, he has presented with ulnar nerve involvement. Also ask if they feel any referral pain when going through the range of motion. Cervical flexion: they should be able to touch their chin to chest 45 degrees. Cervical extension: 45 degrees with mouth closed. Cervical side bending 20-40 (watch to see if the shoulder rises indicating how tight the trapezius muscle can be). Cervical rotation 70-90 degrees without pain. See reference.
Specific to this case because he had shoulder pain, I also went through all of the shoulder range of motion tests and he had a positive impingement sign. He also had a very stiff neck. We are addressing all of his concerns from the screen, but for this article I have kept the focus on the hand and forearm.
Screen Number Two
Assess their wrist and elbow range of motion. Wrist flexion: 80 degrees. Wrist extension: 70 degrees. Ulnar Deviation: 45 degrees. Radial Deviation 20 degrees. Supination 90 degrees. Pronation 90 degrees. Elbow extension 0 degrees and Elbow flexion 145. See reference.
Screen Number Three
Muscle test wrist flexion, extension, pronation and supination. Muscle test elbow extension and flexion. Muscle test all the ranges of each digit including the thumb. Each finger may flex, extend, abduct and adduct and also circumduct. See reference.
The reason I listed all of the muscles indicates your need to be extremely specific. You want to look at an anatomy book and to the best of your ability treat each and every muscle you see. If you treat fractional inches at a time from the finger tips to the elbow joint, and then from the elbow to the shoulder, slowly along the bone, you won't miss anything. But if you always do an effleurage type of stroke you will miss something. Therapy should be about being specific, not generalized. The hand should not only feel better, but should also have better function. Recheck your range of motion and muscle tests to show the client how much improvement your treatment has made. I mentioned above all the tools I used besides my hands and every few minutes during the session I will trade out and use those tools so I save my own career.
Treatment Tip: I generally follow the thought of contrast first, myofascial second, specific work next, then PNF stretching and repeat. So far, 25 years and still going strong!
So, how is this client doing today? He is doing great and I continue to see him once a week. He has since been able to go back to more intricate work because his body isn't fighting him with pain anymore.
Fun Ring Finger Trivia
Before medical science discovered how the circulatory system functioned, people believed that a vein of blood ran directly from the third finger on the left hand to the heart. Because of the hand-heart connection, they chose the descriptive name vena amoris, Latin name meaning, literally vein of love. Based upon this name, their contemporaries, purported experts in the field of matrimonial etiquette, wrote that it would only be fitting that the wedding ring be worn on this finger.
Click here for more information about Debbie Roberts, LMT.
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