resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
Do Your Clients Know How You Can Help Them?
By Ann Brown, LMT
When I meet someone, my self-introduction takes several steps. First, I'm a resort spa director. And I'm a licensed massage therapist, a nail technician and a cosmetologist. I put my credentials in order as to how I see my day-to-day duties and my business priorities.I want people – especially our spa clients – to see my business priorities and expertise. The list shows my history of moving through the spa industry and building my career but, more importantly, it shows our clients they can trust I know what I am talking about.
When clients have an issue they need help with, they often don't know what they need or why they are in pain. As an LMT, you know what presents itself is rarely a surface issue. Put yourself in your client's shoes. They may not know what questions to ask or who has the answers they need. Or they may not even know that some of their habits and patterns might lead to problems now or in the future.
In April 2013, I dislocated my jaw from a piece of candy that got stuck on the left side of my upper and lower teeth. Immediately, I knew I had either fractured or dislocated my jaw from the fireworks that went off in my left ear.
I spent the next three weeks on a 100 percent liquid diet and in complete silence, and my recovery has really been quite a process to say the least. For any of you massage therapists that do TMJ/jaw work, you know this is a very unique area and must be handled with care. I have seen two dentists, two chiropractors and tried unsuccessfully to find a therapist in my area that had some jaw specialty.
It wasn't until a recent trip to Florida to visit my 84-year-old mom that I finally found some real help. An industry friend referred me to an LMT that understood the jaw area and was trained in multiple modalities that might be able to help me with keeping the jaw tracking right and give me some insight to what the future might hold and if it might ever be back to normal.
The two 90-minute sessions were really fantastic, not just from the actual therapy performed, but also because of how much I learned from him. The sessions helped me to really uncover some patterns in myself. This LMT was able to connect the dots in a way that made me feel confident he would not hurt me and believe I could do something to improve the situation. I felt my clenching had done the most damage prior to the dislocation but, until these two sessions, I had no idea so many other structural issues were challenging to my recovery.
I think so many of us hold on to fear and physical and even emotional pain that, until the right therapist, referral, education or dialogue comes along, we tend to stay in a bit of paralysis. I almost don't like admitting it, being in the spa/wellness/massage industry, but even I was hesitant and a bit fearful going into the session with the LMT in Florida. I heard so many different opinions over the last seven months and I was confused myself as to the proper treatment that I was really unsure about a good outcome. I think I was able to trust this therapist based on the referral, his credentials, the terminology he used, the way he explained things to me about me, and his professional touch and ability to sense my pain and know my areas of concern by touch.
In our profession, we need to communicate with clients and build their trust. It is a tough field to find the right balance between relaxation/pampering and therapeutic work and a realistic guest expectation and outcome. To truly achieve results, it is imperative you clearly define who you are so the client can trust who you are. Share your bio, your mission, vision, education and specialization so a client in need can find you and put their fears at bay as you work together to reach a positive outcome. And then take it from you to them, ask the right questions, find out their goals and what might be holding them back from reaching them. I find a good communicator can almost do anything they put their mind too and this may take some practice or just asking everyone the same three to ten questions and starting to understand what the answers mean to them.
Most of us walking around in our 40s and up have some "things" going on that a therapist can really access and help us with remedies to achieve pain reduction, alignment and slow deterioration and help us realize poor patterns we almost don't even know we have. I am not suggesting that anyone go beyond the scope of massage, but even I am guilty of having body patterns that contributed to my jaw dislocation. I needed someone to point this out to me. My problem didn't stem from a piece of candy. It was some clenching and a left foot problem and a few other things I am aware of now and am working on to make sure my body stays as balanced as I can allow.
The experience has reinforced for me how we as massage therapists have a duty to give feedback and to help clients with their concerns. Communication is paramount. Asking the client their concerns and overall goals for any session is critical in a positive outcome.
Does your client know who you are and what you specialize in? How, when and where are you telling them? Do you walk your talk? Do you give homework? Do you know the goal of each of your clients? Can you help inform them about their body? I was lucky to find a therapist I was able to trust by his reputation, referrals and his credentials and his hands-on presence. I have learned so much about me from a jaw problem. I feel blessed, after my liquid diet, that I can chew and speak and now have a plan that addresses so much more than my jaw. I almost feel it is a gift to chew slowly and take my time at my meals, silly to think a dislocation of my jaw could provide some much good feedback of ways I need to improve. Our massage industry can help clients with wellness and prevention and slowing or turning around some ailments. I know I want to help, don't you?
Ann Brown, a licensed massage therapist, is a member of the International Spa Association's board of directors and serves as spa director at Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo. She also provides management consulting services through Spa Insight Consulting.
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