resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
Learning to Pay Attention to the Quality of Touch
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
I once received a massage that stands out in my memory. The space was beautiful and inviting. The therapist was attentive as we visited prior to the session. It had been a while since I'd gotten a massage so I was really looking forward to this time to let go and renew.I was happy to relax on the warm table for a few minutes waiting for the session to begin. The therapist quietly entered the room. Then, I felt some quick touches on my back as she moved toward my feet where she abruptly started a vigorous foot massage. It was jolting. I wish I could say this was an isolated occurrence, but actually I've had this kind of experience several times. It reinforces the importance of the quality of our attention and touch at the very start of any session.
On the first day of my workshops, we do a focused attention exercise as we begin to explore gentle holding techniques. Partners sit facing one another and one person is the "receiver" and the other is the "giver" of the attention. The giver silently places their attention on their partner, mindful of acknowledging the individual within. They are instructed if the mind becomes distracted, to gently bring it back to focusing on their partner. After about three minutes, they silently switch roles and repeat the exercise. Then the group is asked to reflect on the experience. The feedback is always the same: the room feels warmer, the energy "softer," they feel calmer and centered and connected to one another. Occasionally, there are tears and always there are hugs as we close the exercise. It's remarkable to witness the shift that occurs in about six minutes. Now, we are ready to begin touching in a more intentional way.
Enhance the Quality of Your Touch
Whatever the context, all touch has quality and intention. The quality of your touch is the physical attributes of the touch itself. For example, touch may be warm or cold, firm or light, fast or slow, rhythmic or sporadic. The intention is what you communicate or convey through the touch. For example, you may use touch to communicate caring, to guide someone, or to greet a friend. Focused touch is touch that's offered gently and mindfully, with awareness of your intention. Beginning any session with a focused touch sets the tone for the entire massage, regardless of the techniques that follow in order to meet the needs of your client. The following are some simple steps that will enhance the quality of your touch as you initiate the touch session.
Centering before you make physical contact with your client affects the quality of your presence and makes the connection with your client more authentic.
Some examples of common centering methods include:
It doesn't matter if you begin the massage at the feet, head or other area; take care to make the initial contact soft and slow. Hold the touch for just a moment before beginning any technique. This allows your client to feel your presence and it establishes trust.
Intend to Connect
Meet your client in the moment. Silently acknowledge the individual within the body you are massaging and their ability to receive what is needed for the rest of the session, whether that is relaxation, healing from an injury or pain relief.
Closing The Session
The quality of your touch at the end of a session is important, too. End with a moment of focused touch and gently pull your hands from the body. This allows your client to continue to enjoy the effects of the massage without the jolt of an abrupt change of energy at the end.
Taking these simple steps will go a long way to build a supportive environment for your clients. I've found that when I take care of the quality of my touch at the beginning of a session, I'm more fulfilled by the experience. I hope you are, too.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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