resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
November, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 11
Healing Intention: What is Your State of Mind?
By Marie-Christine Lochot, LMT
Most massage therapists and bodyworkers choose the profession out of desire to help other people feel better. We believe that by using our hands and applying the techniques we have learned, we can help people heal from injuries, get stress relief and attain better health. This is conscious, mindful and determined; this is a healing intention.
Healing intention is better known when it applies to one person desiring to improve his or her health. The past few years, many books and movies have been made regarding that concept: "The Law of Attraction," Shortcut to a Miracle and more recently, "The Secret," to name a few. They are all based on Quantum Physics principles. "Through the study of the quantum realm ... science has now learned that: 1) We live in a universe that is 'an undivided whole;' 2) We are one with it and part of it; 3) It is a world of potentiality rather than predictability; and 4) We actually participate in the operation of this universe – it responds to us." – Michael C. Rann and Elizabeth Rann Arrott from Shortcut to a Miracle.
According to those principles, we can have an impact on our own life by projecting a goal. When I got interested in quantum physics, the most useful explanation I found was that we are projecting holograms of ourselves, or how we perceive ourselves, into the universe and that is what comes back to us. It's the famous, "Be careful to what you are wishing for, because it might happen." Therefore, a healing intention requires using a voluntary thought process that establishes belief, expectation and hope that one's health and balance will be regained.
What happens when that intention is held by a massage therapist or bodyworker? Which state of mind do we need to have before, during and after a session?
Getting ready for a session as we hold a healing intention, requires the therapist to be mentally prepared. To enhance this belief, we want to develop awareness and set a careful intention. One way to reach those goals is our own healing, making sure that we are at peace with our self and our inner world. Another way is to participate in mindfulness programs or meditation.
When the client arrives, listening to her or his desired objectives is paramount; our healing intention has to match what they are looking for in term of the results, even if we had another idea. It cannot be our agenda. I have clients who sometimes only want to address their stress and not their tight shoulders. My healing intention then is to help them relax their mind and balance their energy, even if I know how much their shoulders could benefit from more focused work.
As we sit at the head of the table and touch our client for the first time, our state of mind should be a hope that some healing will happen, belief that the body will guide us, compassion for the human being on the table and acceptance of the results. Be careful not to confuse intention with expectation. This is one of the keys of intentions or manifestations.
We also want to be grounded and centered. A good way to ground ourselves is to plant our feet firmly on the floor and imagine that roots come out of them to sink into mother earth. Being centered comes from grounding and being in a peaceful place. Lastly, I believe that we need to be humble; our mission is to be of service, we are not in charge.
During the session, presence is essential. If distracting thoughts come to mind, acknowledge them, then gently push them away and refocus onto the client's body. Awareness is another key element. As we proceed with strokes, we want to pay attention to the body's reactions and the feeling of the tissues under our skilled hands. I always try to listen to my hands and fingers as they seem to know best when to linger, which depth to go to and which rhythm to adopt. The unwinding of a muscle and the client's sighs of relief often confirm that it was the right approach.
Paying attention to our breath is also part of awareness. Slow and deep indicates that we are focused and relaxed. A shallow breath sends us the signal that we are tensed and need to relax our diaphragm. To accomplish that, I have found it useful to visualize a yellow or green light in my solar plexus. After a few minutes, discreet yawns, provoked by strong contractions of the diaphragm, are indicators that the quality of my breathing is improving.
Being quiet is a must. How can we be centered and aware if we are having a conversation? I am not talking about feedback from the client, but about mundane talk. Finally, empathy, gentleness and kindness are necessary cornerstones of a healing journey.
At the end of the session, gratitude is in order. Let's be grateful that the client trusted us with their healing needs, that we were there to meet those needs and that the body's wisdom did its magic. It probably went the way it was supposed to, even if sometimes we don't see it right away.
The following quote from Mahatma Gandhi is on the wall in my treatment room so I never forget my healing intentions and the sacredness of the work: "Work with the hands is the apprenticeship of honesty. May the work of your hands be a sign of gratitude and reverence to the human condition." May you have successful healing journeys with your clients.
Marie-Christine Lochot is a licensed massage therapist, energy bodyworker and educator. Owner of Massage Montclair in New Jersey, she has been a member of the AMTA since 1994 and is nationally certified by NCBTMB. With specialties in Swedish massage, massage for people affected by cancer and energy healing, Marie-Christine coaches and teaches energy healing to laypeople, massage professionals and in the corporate environment. With a diverse background in management and accounting, Marie-Christine also teaches small business and private practice organization. She can be reached at www.massagemontclair.com.
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