resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
Massage and the Medical Community: MD Provides Answers
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
A lot has changed in the field of massage therapy since I entered it 30 years ago. We now have specialty areas to focus in, continuing education to pursue, conferences and workshops to attend and many wonderful products to support and sell.Most importantly, massage therapy is now viewed by the majority of healthcare practitioners as a viable method of treating and managing health issues. Massage therapists are now on staff at hospitals, doctors' offices and assisted living facilities. And I do believe in my lifetime, we will see health insurance start to cover massage therapy for certain health issues.
In fact, one of my most loyal clients, Sara McCracken, happens to be a doctor. She retired from her position as the Director of the Breast Center at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after having a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. After experiencing the benefits of massage, she encouraged her mother (who was also a doctor) to start getting massages for herself as well. I decided to interview her, for a medical practitioner's view of massage in today's world. Below is part of our conversation.
Dr. M: Weekly, since 1996.
SP: Has your opinion on the benefits of massage changed over the years?
Dr. M: Yes, I used to see it as a mechanism for just pleasure and relaxation. However, after I had breast cancer and a year of chemotherapies, surgeries and radiation, I was too exhausted to do any exercise. I started getting massages soon after that on a regular weekly basis. It improved my circulation and really increased my energy levels which were abysmally low. I developed significant arthritis and joint pain from some of the drugs I was still taking to keep the cancer at bay. Massage helped me remain more flexible. After a few years, the radiation caused significant tightening of the musculature in my chest on the left side, as well as the left side of my neck. This caused significant imbalance of the intercostals and paraspinal muscles. I did have physical therapy for many months as well as therapeutic massage each week and the massage helped to slow down the contracture of the muscles.
SP: For what conditions/problems do you recommend massage to your patients?
Dr. M: I recommend it especially for people who have had radiation and many patients on cancer medications, both for stress relief and physical pain. I also suggest massage for people with arthritis and other joint problems.
SP: In your experience, what has been the most "misunderstood" concept about massage in the medical community?
Dr. M: That it has no medical benefit – that it is more like a pedicure or facial because so many therapists happen to be housed in beauty salons or spas.
SP: Do you have any thoughts on whether or not massage should or should not be covered by health insurance?
Dr. M: YES! I hope it is covered for therapeutic massage, such as geriatric massage, sports injuries and for conditions like arthritis and numerous other chronic health conditions.
SP: Anything else you would like to say about massage and its benefits?
Dr. M: My mother Margaret, now deceased, was a retired doctor with significant arthritis and poor circulation. Massage therapy really helped her circulation and arthritis pain. Again, she would not have risked a "salon" massage targeting the younger, healthier population. But after seeing my success with it and finding a massage therapist with continuing education skills that had a private practice, she was willing to try it, and ended up fully supporting it. We both frequently had leg cramps. Massage therapy helps to release the lactic acid build up. Some of my medications also give me quad and hamstring muscle cramps that can hurt for many days unless I get my massage. It seems to be the only thing that helps manage that pain. I just cannot stress enough how much massage has helped me and my mother. I whole heartedly recommend it to people suffering from chronic pain.
I didn't realize I had been working with Dr. Sara for almost 20 years until we started this interview! That is one of the many perks of this career: clients that end up becoming respected colleagues, good acquaintances or personal friends. As I reflected upon this, I realized how fortunate I am to have entered this career field. I have spent the past 30 years helping people feel better on a daily basis and now I get to teach the next generation of therapists to do the same!
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
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