resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
May, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 05
Understanding Stimulus Response by Engaging with Readers
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I open this column with a sincere thank you to all who responded to the last three columns. The responses and discussions have been thoughtful and inspiring. Many of you asked how you could help bring about or implement the suggestions.In a word, get involved. Oops, that was two words, sorry. Some of you forwarded the columns to your State Massage Boards. Great, keep the heat on. Show up and let them hear your concerns. You will be heard, as very few care enough to show up to give Boards input and without your input, they do the best they can think of at the time. They are good meaning, dedicated volunteers who put in a lot of time and effort. They appreciate input. Get involved. Stimulus is the only way to get a response. Oh, and stay involved.
When our Stakeholder groups meet, they met in secret. The AMTA Board of Directors, who claim to be a member driven association, have kept their agenda secret from members for years now. When all the Stakeholders meet together, it is in secret. It is time we demand transparency and openness from all our Stakeholders and organizations. If what they are doing is so good for us, why can't we know about it? If you have to hide and work in secret you are not serving the profession or the public, you are serving yourselves. Leaders should never be blindly trusted, they must be held accountable, as history shows, power corrupts. Get involved and stay involved. Citizen involvement keeps societies free.
My volunteer time in the AMTA and on the Iowa Board of Massage was not only rewarding and productive, but a very valuable, career enhancing experience. Get involved and stay involved. You will get out of your profession what you put into it. A few passionate, driven people most often change the world. Become one of them.
To my fellow educators of this profession, it is time you get actively involved and lead. If you cannot or feel you dare not endanger your gigs or attendance, join the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) and help support teacher standards and all the work the AFMTE is doing for you. Educators are the "Brain Trust" of our profession and need to be heard. The AFMTE can be your voice if you become active and no one will know it is you, because you become part of the voice of the massage education community. It is a great group to be a part of and to hang with. Get involved. Stay involved.
A generation of massage educators is reaching the age where they are passing the torch and even leaving the planet. This generation founded the modern massage movement in the U.S. Most are now in their 60's and beyond and many are still doing very well and are very active. Others are slowing down or retiring, and sadly, some are leaving us. For those of you who desire to study with the Masters and to learn from their true wisdom, don't put it off.
A Better Way
It is human nature to look for a better way and to resist changing to it. One of the delights of writing this column is the people who strike up conversations with me about the topics I write on. About 10 years ago, Lawrence Woods, a therapist from Indianapolis, challenged me on a therapy tip I had published. After several correspondences, we agreed we were both right. Our conversations continued and I found him to be quite an innovative therapist who had been trained by the best of the best around the world. As I travel through Indiana frequently, I decided to make an appointment with him and receive some treatment. His work was excellent and I continued to receive therapy from him whenever travel schedules allowed. About five years ago, he revealed to me what he had been researching and working on for a number of years. It was the perfection of a concept that has been around for decades, that I had seen in various forms from time to time, but it never worked consistently or predictably. If it worked, great, if not, you did something else. Lawrence had finally taken this concept and put together a system for treating soft-tissue that is predictable, consistent, painless to the patient and relatively easy on the therapist. Using Sherrington's Second Law, precise kinesiology and anatomy, a lot of insight and thousands of clinic hours of trial and error, he has developed a system that has completely changed the way I approach soft tissue therapy.
After decades of deliberately manipulating the painful muscular tissues of my clients, I found I no longer have to inflict discomfort on my clients to help them feel better or hurt myself in the process. There is no longer any need to cause pain or even "mild discomfort" to change the tonus of muscles. This other approach, which he calls Neural Reset Therapy® or NRT, seems to affect the hypertonicity of muscles much more profoundly than any other method that I'm aware of. I have been a therapist for 28 years and it's only been the past couple years, since learning NRT, that I have been enjoying treating people as much as I did in the beginning years of my career as a massage therapist.
I have felt and taught for some time that massage is a stimulus response mechanism, not as mechanical as some assume. We are stimulating mechano-receptors to elicit the inhibition response back to a target muscle or point. However, we have been walking a fine line between the mechano-receptors and the nociceptors, trying to keep our stimulus strong enough to elicit a response, which requires discomfort for the patient, but not so strong as to cause pain and the resulting protective contraction. I knew there had to be a better way to utilize the body's reciprocal inhibition mechanism in a way that would last beyond the moment of movement to "reset" the tonus of a muscle. Lawrence has achieved that with his NRT. Look interesting? Watch for more explanations of how to better address soft tissue faster and easier than ever before.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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