resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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 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.
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.
April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04
Absorbing Essential Oils Through the Skin
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
I have always told students that an immediate and very effective form of aromatherapy is inhaling the aromatic molecules. It is a proven, powerful way to deliver the effects on body, mind and spirit.Even when body workers apply a lotion or oil product containing essential oils during a session, both the client and therapist are breathing. As such, both are receiving the effects of inhalation.
The question of absorption via the skin has been fairly mysterious and full of controversy for many years. Essential oils can and do affect the skin cells, but do they get into the body via lymph or bloodstream this way? Old research showing lavender in the bloodstream within a half hour after diluted skin application did not factor out inhalation.
The case against absorption through the epidermis begins at the uppermost layer, the stratum corneum that is designed to keep things from passing into the body. The other layers do not contain lymph or blood vessels, the reason why a cut needs to pass into the dermis and the subcutaneous layers to produce bleeding. How much of a product that will manage to reach the dermis has also been addressed. Aromatherapist and educator Robert Tisserand1 has said in his answer to whether a topical essential oil application could interact with a medication, "Only about 10% of that would be absorbed by the skin, so 10% EO applied becomes 1% EO absorbed." And any product containing true essential oils that has a detectable aroma indicates that an amount of the essence in the product is vaporizing, becoming a gas that is diffusing into the air (again, to be inhaled).
Medicinal products relying on skin absorption are frequently applied on areas of thinner epidermal layers, such as the axillary region. One might then assume that this would be true for essential oils, too. Some have suggested that fragrant molecules were more easily absorbed in openings in the skin, such as hair follicles and sweat glands. This gave rise to the idea that applying essential oils (often neat) to the feet, well known for their ability to sweat, was a potent way to deliver desired properties.
However, it appears that pores created by follicles and sweat glands have an exterior directed function and are not really a reliable delivery route. An article posted by Aromatherapy United2 titled, "Myth — Apply to Feet," listed some other interesting articles and research about dermal penetration including the following: "Absorption via the pores and follicles is considered to be insignificant because the orifices account for only 0.1% of the skin area and diffusion along sweat ducts is against an outward aqueous flow."
And these statements that also argue against the efficacy of dermal application to the feet and elsewhere: "The stratum corneum of the palms and soles is very thick (400-600 µM) whereas that of the arms, back, legs and abdomen is much thinner (8-15 µM)." "Normally, cells in solid tissues (for example, skin or mucous membranes of the lung or intestine) are so tightly compacted that substances cannot pass between them. Entry, therefore, requires that the xenobiotic have some capability to penetrate cell membranes. Also, the substance must cross several membranes in order to go from one area of the body to another."
More recently, researchers studying absorption methods have conducted an experiment to study dermal penetration via the feet. This study was not about essential oils, but sought to investigate an urban myth claiming people could become drunk by submerging their feet in vodka. (BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6812 (Published 14 December 2010)) The conclusion proved that this was false and alcohol was not detected in the blood when samples were taken every 30 minutes for a total of 180 minutes.
Despite the clinical approach to reflexology that uses no type of lotion or oil product, I have taught a CE course in the past on aromatic foot massage with reflexology. It combines soothing massage of the feet with aromatic oil, warm moist fragrant towels and some standard reflexology moves. While I agree with the clinical reflexology practitioners that their method is adequate and needs no additions, this class was designed as a spa treatment. Again, my primary idea was that the specifically chosen essential oil aromas would be inhaled by the client and affect desirable changes in that way. The soothing massage would enhance the receptivity of the client, increasing those effects. In practice, this seems to be the case.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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