resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
The Psychotherapy of Massage: What Makes Us Human?
By Gerry Pyves
For fifteen years, I have been trying to keep my two disciplines of psychotherapy and massage completely separate, out of respect for the reasons why clients came to see me. Clients who come for psychotherapy want to explore the psychological roots of their dysfunction, while clients who come for massage want to sort out their physical problems. I have a confession to make: I have failed miserably.
Appallingly, I have been affecting the bodies of my clients in my psychotherapy practice, and I now confess to affecting the minds of my massage clients. The psychotherapy regulators would have me NOT TOUCH my clients or "get physical" with them for fear of creating "transference issues." The massage regulators would not have me go beyond my scope of practice and start "messing with the minds" of my clients. So shoot me.
Try explaining these "regulations" to massage clients that release psychological and emotional traumas in the presence of powerful healing touch. Try explaining these regulations to those psychotherapy clients who find their body's energy and physical structure transformed by their psychotherapy.
Fear of Touch
Alarmingly, I meet more and more massage therapists who seem to think massage is just about fixing a structural problem. Others simply relegate such touch to the category of "relaxation massage." For which read the unspoken, ineffectual and superficial.
What Does Massage Touch?
What we actually touch of course, is human skin. We may influence the muscles and tendons and bones, but we do not touch them. What we actually touch is skin. The skin of a living and evolving person, who carries their full life history in every inch of their body.
I do not have the space here to go into all the detail regarding the skin but recommend a reading (or re-reading) of Ashley Montague's classic, Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin and Deane Juhan's brilliant, Job's Body. Both writers refer to the overwhelming scientific evidence that, when we touch the skin, we are making direct contact with a part of our organism that is hard wired directly to the brain and with all that makes us human. So just what is it then, that makes us human?
I use my own acronym to understand what a human being is composed of. It is a model that has served me well for 28 years of clinical practice. It stands for:
P - Physical
When we touch a person's skin, it is impossible to only touch their physical body. In giving more than 20,000 massage treatments as a therapist, I have found it impossible to massage another human being without having a powerful impact on their energy system, their emotions, their mental outlook or their spiritual state.
So why then, our profession's current obsession with only the person's physical structure? Is someone out there afraid of how touch affects our emotions, our thoughts or our spirit? So many bodyworkers I meet seem to just want to prod and poke and frantically "fix" the body; as if it is an enemy to be controlled. Do we really have to subjugate and control the body? Must we still follow these apparently touch phobic leaders of the massage profession (whether male or female) who seem so very frightened of simple nurturing touch? Do we really have to follow blindly as they insist on our touch becoming so medical? If I wanted to be so medical, I would have trained in medicine.
I chose massage because the body is the most magical self-healing organism on the planet, and guess what triggers that self healing? Simple healing touch. Every massage practitioner who has spent any time at all in the treatment room observing our clients knows the muscles in the body have only one "origin" and one "insertion" - the mind. Experienced massage therapists KNOW nurturing touch enables clients to release all their tight muscles in just one breath. Because they are letting go in their minds.
So please stop trying to tell me which bits of my body are wrong and trying to put me right. Just give me touch that respects the journey of my life and properly values the history that twisted my spine and compressed my tissues. Then I will release what I am ready to release. In my own time. In my own way.
Please don't just sit there with your SOAP notes and address one fifth of what makes me human. See all of me. Listen to all of me. I come for touch that connects me with my very soul. Do my muscles release when I get this? Of course, they do.
Gerry Pyves lives in West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. He holds an MA from Oxford University and qualified as a massage therapist in 1984. He became a UKCP registered Transactional Analysis psychotherapist in 1999. He is the founder and creator of NO HANDS® Massage. He is currently looking for instructors to teach NO HANDS® in the U.S. For more information, visit www.nohandsmassage.com.
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